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Duke Arts Presents

Beasts of the Southern Wild with Wordless Music, North Carolina Symphony & Lost Bayou Ramblers

Friday, September 8, 2017 | 8:00 pm

Saturday, September 9, 2017 | 8:00 pm

Reynolds Industries Theater

Beasts of the Southern Wild — unequal parts fairy tale and adventure drama — is a Cinderella story of the film world. After unexpectedly winning major awards at both Cannes and Sundance, it picked up four Oscar nominations. Set in a remote southern Louisiana community called the Bathtub, the film follows the indomitable Hushpuppy and her father, Wink, as they contend with apocalyptic storms, rising sea levels, and prehistoric beasts set free by thawing glaciers. “This movie is a blast of sheer, improbable joy, a boisterous, thrilling action movie,” exclaimed A.O. Scott in The New York Times.

From traditional Louisiana rave-ups to glistening neoclassical miniatures, the score — written by Dan Romer and director Benh Zeitlin and called the movie’s “unsung hero” by The Hollywood Reporter — played a central role in the film’s success, adding to its emotional heft and underlining its mesmerizing cinematography. For the past five years, the audacious New York company Wordless Music has undertaken the enormous project of producing screenings with the country’s top orchestras, giving film scores the spotlight they deserve.

Beasts of the Southern Wild with live orchestra has played Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and Manhattan’s Symphony Space, New Orleans’ historic Saenger Theatre, and London’s Barbican. In Durham, twenty-five musicians from the North Carolina Symphony, under conductor Ryan McAdams, play the score two nights in a row alongside a screening of the film in a very special presentation launching Duke Performances’ 2017/18 season. Louisiana’s Lost Bayou Ramblers, the contemporary Cajun band that lent its talents to the movie, joins the symphony for this major undertaking, bringing the excitement of live performance to a film made of pure imagination. Don’t miss this season-opening extravaganza.

Made possible, in part, with a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts & the North Carolina Arts Council.

The Lost Bayou Ramblers 'Beasts of the Southern Wild Trailer '

“A swirling, magical score that channels the spirit of protagonist Hushpuppy, an indomitable six-year-old girl.”