Strip Mall Rats

The long and the shorts of it

 FRI 2/6

The first installment of the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art's "Night of Shorts" focused on the history of the urban landscape, the changes it's gone through, and the diminishing space of the downtown area. Now, PBICA presents "Night of Shorts II: Construct," a series of short films that critique that use of public and private spaces and trace the boom in consumer-driven meccas in the United States and Europe. Closest to our hearts here in the Sunshine State is Strip Mall Trilogy (2001) by Roger Beebe, which explores the ubiquitous urban scourge in all its mind-numbing glory. It's difficult to imagine that the strip mall could be artistic fodder, but Beebe took his Super 8 to various parking lots across Florida to shoot cars, stores, license plates, and signs, and put the random images to music -- in the form of noises he recorded at the strip malls. Think of it as a symphony of consumerism or as suburban poetry. The other films of the night include Boomsville (1968), a cartoon tracing the growth of a city; Jeremiah Strong (2001), the story of a man trying to find low-income housing; and Pink Socks (2002), which features tourist footage shot by Iowa filmmaker Leighton Pierce at Piazza San Marco in Venice. The whole thing kicks off outside PBICA (601 Lake Ave., Lake Worth) on South L Street at 8 p.m. Call 561-582-0006. -- Audra Schroeder

Greek Fest

Scene from Jeremiah Strong
Scene from Jeremiah Strong

Eat it three times fast

What's the real attraction at the 25th Annual Greek Festival thrown by St. Demetrios Church (815 NE 15th Ave., Fort Lauderdale)? The ladies. Not the belly dancers, mind you, but the little old ladies who have been baking their hearts out for weeks so that you can sample authentic spanikopita (spinach pie), koulourakia (Easter cookies), and (eggplant casserole). Nearly 200 church volunteers pitch in to run the festival, which draws crowds of about 10,000 each year. In addition to the chow, you can enjoy dancing, music, arts and crafts vendors, and a mini-Olympics competition for kids. Hey, we'll wrestle you for that baklava. The festival runs Friday through Sunday. Admission is $5 for age 16 and older, free for kids. You can park at the Bank Atlantic at 1750 E. Sunrise Blvd. and hop a free shuttle to the festival. Call 954-761-FEST. -- Deidra Funcheon

 
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