New releases 7/29/14

Top Hits

Noah (Biblical action, Russell Crowe. Rotten Tomatoes: 77%. Metacritic: 68. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “Many versions of the tale — including that Sunday-school and summer camp song that has been stuck in my head for decades — emphasize the happy outcome: the rainbow, the dove, the cute paired-off beasts, the repopulation of the flood-cleansed earth. But Darren Aronofsky, in his ambitious fusion of Old Testament awe with modern blockbuster spectacle, dwells on the dark and troubling implications of Noah’s experience. Noah, Mr. Aronofsky’s earnest, uneven, intermittently powerful film, is both a psychological case study and a parable of hubris and humility. At its best, it shares some its namesake’s ferocious conviction, and not a little of his madness.” Read more…)

Lullaby (drama, Garrett Hedlund. Rotten Tomatoes: 31%. Metacritic: 35. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “Am I a hardhearted meanie because I watched Lullaby, a solemn, triple-hankie sobfest about assisted suicide, in a state of dry-eyed impatience? Maybe so. But “Lullaby,” the directorial debut of Andrew Levitas, a jack of all artistic trades, is the kind of manipulative, cliché-infested hokum that alienates moviegoers by its insistence on hogging all the tears.” Read more…)

Cold Turkey (drama, Peter Bogdanovich. Rotten Tomatoes: 20%. Metacritic: 42. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “The film, written and directed by Will Slocombe, looks in on the Thanksgiving of a family presided over by Poppy [Peter Bogdanovich], who spends most of the movie listening to his grown children asking him for money. This particular Thanksgiving is destined for disruption because his daughter Nina [Alicia Witt] has shown up for the first time in years. Another daughter, Lindsay [Sonya Walger], is also on hand, as is their half-brother, Jacob [Ashton Holmes], and Poppy’s second wife [Cheryl Hines]. The self-absorbed offspring are oblivious to the possibility that schlumpy old Poppy might have problems of his own.” Read more…)

It Felt Like Love (indie drama, NY Times Critic’s Pick, Gina Piersanti. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. Metacritic: 76. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “A mood poem to summer loving and sexual awakening, It Felt Like Love powerfully evokes a time when flesh is paramount, and peer behavior is the standard by which we judge our own. That’s certainly true for Lila [Gina Piersanti], a coltish 14-year-old unaware of her beauty but intensely conscious of her body. Hanging out at the beach or at parties in her working-class Brooklyn neighborhood, she silently notes the casual intimacies of her slightly older friend [Giovanna Salimeni] and her boyfriend, as they un-self-consciously fondle and flirt. Uncertainly mimicking their sexual assurance, and with no mother to guide her, Lila randomly fixes on Sammy [Ronen Rubinstein], a weed-smoking, pornography-watching bad boy whose contempt for women is as potent as his pheromones.” read more…)

The Other Woman (comedy, Cameron Diaz. Rotten Tomatoes: 23%. Metacritic: 39. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “It takes a lot of heavy weather to snuff out the spark of Cameron Diaz who, at 41, still has the twinkle and bounce of an impish high school cheerleader. With her cornflower-blue eyes and mischievous feline grin, she remains every guy’s ultimate gal pal. One of her gifts as an comic actor is a light touch. But in The Other Woman, Ms. Diaz has her hands full. This female revenge comedy is so dumb, lazy, clumsily assembled and unoriginal, it could crush any actor forced to execute its leaden slapstick gags and mouth its crude, humorless dialogue [by the first-time screenwriter Melissa K. Stack].” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Noah

New Foreign
The French Minister (France, comedy, Thierry Lhermitte. Rotten Tomatoes: 63%. Metacritic: 65. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Whoosh. When the title character slams a door in Bertrand Tavernier’s dry, sly comedy The French Minister, the walls shudder, and papers and people go flying. A man on the furious move, Alexandre Taillard de Worms isn’t only the French minister of foreign affairs, with a name that’s a meaningful mouthful, but he’s also a force of nature or maybe of bureaucracy. Sleek, coifed and buffed, with tailored suits and brilliantly shined shoes, he looks like one of the more sober masters of the universe, even if his violent gestures and the wreckage he leaves in his wake make him a closer kin to that old cartoon menace, the Tasmanian Devil, than to one of the boldface names running La France.” Read more…)

The Amazing Catfish (Mexico, comedy/drama, Lisa Owen. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 69. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “The Mexican director Claudia Sainte-Luce orchestrates the beginning of The Amazing Catfish to show her sluggish main character — a young supermarket clerk, also named Claudia — finally waking up, in a manner of speaking. First she literally awakens, in an ineffably eerie, dimly lighted scene. But it’s during a sudden hospital visit, in a room with an older woman named Martha [Lisa Owen], that she feels the unfamiliar tug of family.” Read more…)

On My Way (France, comedy/drama, Catherine Deneuve. Rotten Tomatoes: 83%. Metacritic: 60. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “The word that best describes Catherine Deneuve in Emmanuelle Bercot’s likable French road movie, On My Way, is unflappable. Her character, Bettie, who runs a failing bistro in Brittany, is a former regional beauty queen in her 60s who lives with her controlling mother, Annie (Claude Gensac).” Read more…)

Stalingrad (Russia, war drama, Mariya Smolnikova. Rotten Tomatoes: 47%. Metacritic: 49. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “The credits of Stalingrad, a Russian-made 3-D film set during a pivotal battle in World War II, attribute the story to selected chapters from the panoramic novel Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman. It’s not the source you might expect for a war movie that uses slow-motion as liberally as a Michael Bay film and that heaves its scream-filled skirmishes onto the arena-size canvas of an Imax screen.” Read more…)

New British
Secret State (political thriller, Gabriel Byrne)
Midsomer Murders Set 24 (mystery series, Neil Dudgeon)
The Escape Artist (courtroom drama, David Tennant. Rotten Tomatoes: 83%. Metacritic: 71.)
Orphan Black: Season 2 (action/sci-fi series, Tatiana Maslany. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 79.)

New Documentaries
Finding Vivian Mayer (photography, biography, Vivian Mayer. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%. Metacritic: 75. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “An exciting electric current of discovery runs through Finding Vivian Maier, a documentary about a street photographer who never exhibited her work. She scarcely shared it even with those who knew her. Then again, many of her acquaintances when she was taking some of her remarkable images, particularly in and around Chicago in the 1950s and ’60s, were the children she cared for while working as a nanny. Later in her life, some of those children took care of her in turn, first by moving her into an apartment and then the nursing home where she died in 2009. What rotten timing: She was on the verge of being discovered, first as a curiosity and then as a social-media sensation and a mystery.” Read more…)

Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story (art, politics, biography, Tomi Ungerer. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 73. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Andy Webster’s Times review: “Brad Bernstein’s captivating documentary Far Out Isn’t Far Out Enough is a portrait of an illustrator, Tomi Ungerer; a time, largely the 1950s and ’60s; a place, New York City [mostly]; and an industry, children’s book publishing. It is also a record of a man’s tormented youth, his broad artistic impulses and the price he paid for following them.” Read more…)

Paul Bowles: The Cage Door Is Always Open (literature, history, biography, culture, Paul Bowles)

Music: Singer-Songwriters Jennifer Dauphinais, Sam Perduta on Fri., Aug. 8, at 8 PM

Singer-songwriters Jennifer Dauphinais (of Ponybird) and Sam Perduta (of Elison Jackson) play the Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Aug. 8. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Ponybird_Best_Video_01313_Web

Influenced by the emotional roots of country, the confessional poetry of folk, and the spatial freedom of ambient and harmonic tones, Ponybird is the solo project of Jennifer Dauphinais, an evolving artist who translates something both introspective and infinite all at once. The heart of Ponybird is derived from a central singer-songwriter focus, with a tribe of players that satellite the work. This format allows the flexibility for booking the project as a solo, duo, or full-band performance. Ponybird recently completed recording of the new album “Modest Quarters.”

Sam_Perduta_Neverending_Books_Web

Sam Perduta leads and writes the songs for local rock band Elison Jackson. Over the past two years, the group has played about five shows a month, and more when they have done mini-tours. Their EP “I Do Believe She Flew Out The Drainpipe,” which came out in 2012, received a rave review on CT.com from Chip McCabe as “hands down one of the best things you’ll hear out of the CT music scene this year.” The group released their new LP, “Do Not Fear To Kill A Dead Man,” in 2013 on the Telegraph Recording Company label and it garnered similar acclaim.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Tuesday, July 29. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS AND HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Wednesday, JULY 30, SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Thursday, July 31. ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Friday, Aug. 1. ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI

• Monday, Aug. 4. LECTURE: MARK SCHENCKER DISCUSSES “THE REAL WORLD OF DOWNTON ABBEY”

• Thursday, Aug. 7. FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, Aug. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: JENNIFER DAUPHINAIS (PONYBIRD); SAM PERDUTA

• Monday, Aug. 11. FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION: WITNESS with JUDITH STAVISKY

• Wednesday, Aug. 13. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND, SETH TIVEN

• Thursday, Aug. 14. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, Aug. 15. POP/ART/PUPPETRY: POCKET VINYL, GLUMPUPPET

• Monday, Aug. 18. FILM SCREENING: DANNY SAYS (ROUGH CUT) with FILMMAKER BRENDAN TOLLER

• Wednesday, Aug. 20. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Thursday, Aug. 21. ROCK: ROPE, JAMES VELVET

• Friday, Aug. 22. CABARET: RICH MORAN

• Thursday, Aug. 28. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Friday, Aug. 29. IMPROV COMEDY TROUPE: TINY DICTATOR

• Wednesday, Sept. 3. CARIBBEAN/POP: LUKE RODNEY

• Thursday, Sept. 4. ACOUSTIC ROCK: JAMES VELVET & THE LONESOME SPARROWS

• Friday, Sept. 5. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SABRINA TRUEHEART (Just announced!)

• Wednesday, Sept. 10. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Friday, Sept. 12. CHORAL ROCK, INDIE ROCK: THE DRESS-UPS (CD RELEASE!), THE SAWTELLES (Just announced!)

• Thursday, Sept. 18. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED (Just announced!)

• Friday, Sept. 19. INDIE ROCK: EURISKO

• Wednesday, Oct. 1. SINGER-SONGWRITER: NAMOLI BRENNET

• Thursday, Oct. 2. ORIGINAL INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC/JAZZ: GEORGE LESIW BAND (Just announced!)

• Friday, Oct. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN, HANNAH FAIR

• Friday, Oct. 10. INDIE ROCK: OLIVE TIGER (Just announced!)

 

Music: Sheldon Campbell on Thurs., Aug. 7, at 8 PM

Sheldon Campbell will perform in the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Aug. 7. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover charge is $5.

Sheldon_Campbell_Best_Video_promo_Web

Sheldon Campbell performs a mix of traditional and original folk music.  A student of Robert Messore for guitar and Martha King for voice for over 10 years, Sheldon has performed at St. John’s coffee house in New Haven, on WSHU’s Profiles in Folk, in classes at the Yale School of Medicine (where he’s an award-winning teacher) and at national scientific meetings.

He writes original songs about history, fatherhood, and microbial disease—but he’ll keep the latter to a minimum for this venue. Look forward to an infectious evening of song from the silly to the dramatic, with plenty of opportunities to sing along.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Tuesday, July 29. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS AND HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Wednesday, JULY 30, SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Thursday, July 31. ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Friday, Aug. 1. ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI

• Monday, Aug. 4. LECTURE: MARK SCHENCKER DISCUSSES “THE REAL WORLD OF DOWNTON ABBEY”

• Thursday, Aug. 7. FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, Aug. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: JENNIFER DAUPHINAIS (PONYBIRD); SAM PERDUTA

• Monday, Aug. 11. FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION: WITNESS with JUDITH STAVISKY

• Wednesday, Aug. 13. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND, SETH TIVEN

• Thursday, Aug. 14. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, Aug. 15. POP/ART/PUPPETRY: POCKET VINYL, GLUMPUPPET

• Monday, Aug. 18. FILM SCREENING: DANNY SAYS (ROUGH CUT) with FILMMAKER BRENDAN TOLLER

• Wednesday, Aug. 20. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Thursday, Aug. 21. ROCK: ROPE, JAMES VELVET

• Friday, Aug. 22. CABARET: RICH MORAN

• Thursday, Aug. 28. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Friday, Aug. 29. IMPROV COMEDY TROUPE: TINY DICTATOR

• Wednesday, Sept. 3. CARIBBEAN/POP: LUKE RODNEY

• Thursday, Sept. 4. ACOUSTIC ROCK: JAMES VELVET & THE LONESOME SPARROWS

• Friday, Sept. 5. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SABRINA TRUEHEART (Just announced!)

• Wednesday, Sept. 10. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Friday, Sept. 12. CHORAL ROCK, INDIE ROCK: THE DRESS-UPS (CD RELEASE!), THE SAWTELLES (Just announced!)

• Thursday, Sept. 18. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED (Just announced!)

• Friday, Sept. 19. INDIE ROCK: EURISKO

• Wednesday, Oct. 1. SINGER-SONGWRITER: NAMOLI BRENNET

• Thursday, Oct. 2. ORIGINAL INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC/JAZZ: GEORGE LESIW BAND (Just announced!)

• Friday, Oct. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN, HANNAH FAIR

• Friday, Oct. 10. INDIE ROCK: OLIVE TIGER (Just announced!)

 

Music: David Elkin-Ginnetti on Fri., Aug. 1, at 8 PM

david_press_photo_july2014_WebDavid Elkin-Ginnetti plays the Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Aug. 1. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

David Elkin-Ginnetti is a musician and conceptual sound artist from New Haven, Conn. He plays saxophone, bass clarinet and various electronics. His music reflects an appreciation for improvisation, post-modernity and popular dance musics.

Recent compositional tactics include trans-medium contamination and chance-based composition via intentional obfuscation. This is David’s 2nd time performing at Best Video, following collaborative mixed-media performance “HAPPENING/NOW” in the summer of 2013. David will be studying music at Wesleyan University in the fall.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, July 25. EXPERIMENTAL GHOST POP: SIRENS; PROGRESSIVE ACOUSTIC ROCK: FE FI FO

• Tuesday, July 29. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS AND HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Wednesday, JULY 30, SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Thursday, July 31. ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Friday, Aug. 1. ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI

• Monday, Aug. 4. LECTURE: MARK SCHENCKER DISCUSSES “THE REAL WORLD OF DOWNTON ABBEY”

• Thursday, Aug. 7. FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, Aug. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: JENNIFER DAUPHINAIS (PONYBIRD); SAM PERDUTA

• Monday, Aug. 11. FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION: WITNESS

• Wednesday, Aug. 13. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Thursday, Aug. 14. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, Aug. 15. POP/ART/PUPPETRY: POCKET VINYL, GLUMPUPPET

• Monday, Aug. 18. FILM SCREENING: DANNY SAYS (ROUGH CUT)

• Wednesday, Aug. 20. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Thursday, Aug. 21. ROCK: ROPE

• Friday, Aug. 22. CABARET: RICH MORAN

• Thursday, Aug. 28. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Friday, Sept. 5. ACOUSTIC ROCK: JAMES VELVET & THE LONESOME SPARROWS

• Wednesday, Sept. 10. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Friday, Sept. 19. INDIE ROCK: EURISKO

• Wednesday, Oct. 1. SINGER-SONGWRITER: NAMOLI BRENNET

• Friday, Oct. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN, HANNAH FAIR

Music: The Shellye Valauskas Experience on Thurs., July 31, at 8 PM

Shellye_Dean_Bruce_at_BV_010512The Shellye Valauskas Experience plays the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, July 31. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Shellye Valauskas is a sweet songwriter who cares for catchy rhythms and hooks. Her CD “Box It Up,” recorded with her band The Shellye Valauskas Experience, is a box of secrets, surprises and delights. By the time she formed the band, vocalist/guitarist Shellye Valauskas was an established solo performer, winning the New Haven Advocate’s Grand Band Slam readers’ poll and rating a slot in New York’s CMJ Marathon.

As her songwriting collaborator and bandmate, she enlisted ace guitarist Dean Falcone, who’s served the Connecticut music scene since the early ’80s with Jon Brion in The Excerpts, his own Dean and the Dragsters, and a host of others. Valauskas’ and Falcone’s shared love for the intelligent, heartwarming yet punchy pop of Crowded House, The Posies and Aimee Mann, as well as the burgeoning Americana movement, helped them nail a distinctive yet accessible radio-friendly sound from the start.

Watch them playing at the Best Video Performance Space earlier this year:

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, July 24. PROGRESSIVE FOLK ROCK: KINDRED QUEER

• Friday, July 25. EXPERIMENTAL GHOST POP: SIRENS

• Tuesday, July 29. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS AND HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Wednesday, JULY 30, SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Thursday, July 31. ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Friday, Aug. 1. ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI

• Monday, Aug. 4. LECTURE: MARK SCHENCKER DISCUSSES “THE REAL WORLD OF DOWNTON ABBEY”

• Thursday, Aug. 7. FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, Aug. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: JENNIFER DAUPHINAIS (PONYBIRD); SAM PERDUTA

• Monday, Aug. 11. FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION: WITNESS

• Wednesday, Aug. 13. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND, SETH TIVEN

• Thursday, Aug. 14. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, Aug. 15. POP/ART/PUPPETRY: POCKET VINYL, GLUMPUPPET

• Monday, Aug. 18. FILM SCREENING: DANNY SAYS (ROUGH CUT)

• Wednesday, Aug. 20. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Thursday, Aug. 21. ROCK: ROPE, JAMES VELVET

• Friday, Aug. 22. CABARET: RICH MORAN

• Thursday, Aug. 28. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Wednesday, Sept. 3. CARIBBEAN/POP: LUKE RODNEY

• Friday, Sept. 4. ACOUSTIC ROCK: JAMES VELVET & THE LONESOME SPARROWS

• Wednesday, Sept. 10. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Friday, Sept. 19. INDIE ROCK: EURISKO

• Wednesday, Oct. 1. SINGER-SONGWRITER: NAMOLI BRENNET

• Friday, Oct. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN, HANNAH FAIR

 

Music: Robert Messore solo guitar Wed., July 30, at 8 PM

IMG_4770Robert Messore brings his take on acoustic music to the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, July 30. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover charge is $5. This is Messore’s only scheduled solo show for the summer.

Robert Messore (meh-sor’-ee) has been called “Connecticut’s finest fingerstyle guitarist.” He plays beautiful instrumental guitar music and he is noted for composing tuneful pieces that work well as music, and not simply as fancy guitar playing. Robert has been called “the Heart of the New Haven Folk Scene” for his vital and many-faceted contributions as solo performer, side man, recording artist, teacher and concert presenter (working on several concert series and the Connecticut Folk Festival). Robert has passionately devoted himself to the guitar for 30+ years and was voted Best Instrumentalist in a New Haven Advocate readers’ poll.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, July 23. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: PAUL BELBUSTI (MERCY CHOIR); LEILA CROCKETT (BABY G)

• Thursday, July 24. PROGRESSIVE FOLK ROCK: KINDRED QUEER

• Friday, July 25. EXPERIMENTAL GHOST POP: SIRENS

• Tuesday, July 29. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS AND HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Wednesday, JULY 30, SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Thursday, July 31. ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Friday, Aug. 1. ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI

• Monday, Aug. 4. LECTURE: MARK SCHENCKER DISCUSSES “THE REAL WORLD OF DOWNTON ABBEY”

• Thursday, Aug. 7. FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, Aug. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: JENNIFER DAUPHINAIS (PONYBIRD); SAM PERDUTA

• Monday, Aug. 11. FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION: WITNESS

• Wednesday, Aug. 13. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Thursday, Aug. 14. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, Aug. 15. POP/ART/PUPPETRY: POCKET VINYL, GLUMPUPPET

• Monday, Aug. 18. FILM SCREENING: DANNY SAYS (ROUGH CUT)

• Wednesday, Aug. 20. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Thursday, Aug. 21. ROCK: ROPE

• Friday, Aug. 22. CABARET: RICH MORAN

• Thursday, Aug. 28. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Friday, Sept. 5. ACOUSTIC ROCK: JAMES VELVET & THE LONESOME SPARROWS

• Wednesday, Sept. 10. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Friday, Sept. 19. INDIE ROCK: EURISKO

• Wednesday, Oct. 1. SINGER-SONGWRITER: NAMOLI BRENNET

• Friday, Oct. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN, HANNAH FAIR

 

New releases 7/22/14

Top Hits
Heaven Is for Real (drama/religion, Greg Kinnear. Rotten Tomatoes: 46%. Metacritic: 47. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review:”The wooing of religious moviegoers — a delicate operation, as the Noah backlash attests — has been ramping up lately, with major players like Ridley Scott and Ben Kingsley mining the Bible for box office gold. But if there’s such a thing as a safe bet in this genre, it’s Heaven Is for Real, a Christian sermon that even the most doctrinaire believer can applaud.” Read more…)

Transcendence (sci-fi/drama, Johnny Depp. Rotten Tomatoes: 19%. Metacritic: 42. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Johnny Depp, who’s built a brilliant career despite many of his lamentable film choices, may not be the first actor you think of to play a genius — much less humanity’s destroyer or savior. But he’s weirdly perfect in Transcendence, an inelegant, no doubt implausible (maybe not) science-fiction film about a futurist whose consciousness is uploaded onto the Internet. There, he (or a mysterious vestige of his being) expands like the universe, growing larger and mutating into a being who is godlike and yet far from divine, sort of like a star at the apex of his popularity.” Read more…)

Cesar Chavez (bio/drama, Michael Peña. Rotten Tomatoes: 40%. Metacritic: 51. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “Cesar Chavez, directed by Diego Luna, is a well-cast, well-intentioned movie that falls into the trap that often awaits film biographies of brave and widely admired individuals. The movie is so intent on reminding viewers of its subject’s heroism that it struggles to make him an interesting, three-dimensional person, and it tells his story as a series of dramatic bullet points, punctuated by black-and-white footage, some real, some simulated, of historical events.” Read more…)

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn (drama/comedy, Robin Williams. Rotten Tomatoes: 11%. Metacritic: 21. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times revew: “From the director of Field of Dreams comes one of those movies about someone who learns he has a terminal diagnosis and desperately tries to take stock. In Phil Alden Robinson’s The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, Robin Williams plays an irascible New York lawyer who gains a sudden window of self-awareness when a doctor says he has 90 minutes left to live. The movie is predictably sentimental at its root, but it’s also meant to be comedy, partly resting on Mr. Williams’s energetic but failed attempt to play a jerk.” Read more…)

Blue Ruin (thriller, Macon Blair. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 77. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “Stingy with details and dialogue, but more than generous with atmosphere, this seductively photographed thriller [written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier, who also wielded the camera] sells its empty calories with great skill. Dwight’s [Macon Blair] ability to sneak around unnoticed serves him well when news of a double murderer’s release from prison galvanizes him into panicky but seemingly long-planned action. Dribbles of information link the killer to a traumatic event in Dwight’s past, and he needs to settle the score.” Read more…)

Wrinkles (animated feature for adults/comedy, Martin Sheen. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 81. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “Whether you find Wrinkles, an animated look at creeping inanimation, amusing or terrifying will depend almost entirely on which side of 50 you are currently parked. Even the youngest viewer, however, will sense the tragedy coming off this film in waves: It takes more than cartoon characters to buffer the horror of human decline.” Read more…)

Sabotage (action/thriller, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Rotten Tomatoes: 20%. Metacritic: 42. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Lovers of camp and cannabis are the most plausible audience for Sabotage, given the giggle-to-bullet ratio in this extravagantly silly movie about a gang of marauding Drug Enforcement Administration undercover thugs. Scholars of Arnold Schwarzenegger, its big-ticket attraction, may also want to check in, just to see what the governator has been up to in his postpolitical golden years. Let me spare you the change and the suspense: He can still bench-press serious weight, as a narratively superfluous visit to a gym makes clear, and he’s still not an actor, as is evident by the confusingly indistinguishable grimaces, smiles and vacant looks that he’s put into rotation here.” Read more…)

That Awkward Moment (comedy, Zac Efron. Rotten Tomatoes: 22%. Metacritic: 36. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review (Holden didn’t like it): “Are you dating or just hooking up? According to Jason [Zac Eforon], who narrate That Awkward Moment, a vile, witless sex comedy set in contemporary Manhattan, the dreaded word that signals danger to a smug, self-imagined stud is a post-coital ‘So?’ Spoken by a woman wondering if their casual relationship will proceed to the next level — dating — it is a clear warning that the time has come to run for the hills.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
The Angriest Man in Brooklyn
Sabotage
Heaven Is For Real

New Foreign
Cairo 678 (Egypt, drama, Nelly Karim. Rotten Tomatoes: 80%.)

Music: Stacy Phillips hosts bluegrass jam Tues., July 29, at 7:30 PM

Bluegrass Characters Trio_WebGrammy Award-winning dobro/violin player Stacy Phillips brings his recurring last Tuesday-of-the-month bluegrass show to the Best Video Performance Space on Tuesday, July 29. The music will start at 7:30 PM—rather than our usual 8 PM start—and the cover is $5.

Stacy Phillips and His Bluegrass Characters features a rotating pool of the best acoustic musicians and singers in the Northeast.  The band features traditional bluegrass repertoire, good natured insults and a fun approach to this quintessential American music.

This month with Phil Zimmerman (mandolin), Andy Bromage (guitar), Pete Kelly (bass) and Red Kaufman (banjo). As usual, The Characters are led by Grammy award winning dobro/violin player Stacy Phillips. These guys have played all over the world with the likes of Bela Fleck, Mark O’Connor, Pete Rowan, Dave Bromberg, Michael Cleveland, etc. etc.  Expect other fine musicians drop by for a tune or two.

Three chords and the truth, sung from the heart and through the nose. This is a recurring last-Tuesday-of-the-month show.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, July 18. SURF MUSIC/ROCKABILLY: THE SIX PACK DUTCHMEN, TOM HEARN

• Wednesday, July 23. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: PAUL BELBUSTI (MERCY CHOIR); LEILA CROCKETT (BABY G)

• Thursday, July 24. PROGRESSIVE FOLK ROCK: KINDRED QUEER

• Friday, July 25. EXPERIMENTAL GHOST POP: SIRENS

• Tuesday, July 29. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS AND HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Wednesday, JULY 30, SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Thursday, July 31. ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Friday, Aug. 1. ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI

• Monday, Aug. 4. LECTURE: MARK SCHENCKER DISCUSSES “THE REAL WORLD OF DOWNTON ABBEY”

• Thursday, Aug. 7. FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, Aug. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: JENNIFER DAUPHINAIS (PONYBIRD); SAM PERDUTA

• Monday, Aug. 11. FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION: WITNESS

• Wednesday, Aug. 13. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Thursday, Aug. 14. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, Aug. 15. POP/ART/PUPPETRY: POCKET VINYL, GLUMPUPPET

• Monday, Aug. 18. FILM SCREENING: DANNY SAYS (ROUGH CUT)

• Wednesday, Aug. 20. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Thursday, Aug. 21. ROCK: ROPE

• Friday, Aug. 22. CABARET: RICH MORAN

• Thursday, Aug. 28. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Friday, Sept. 5. ACOUSTIC ROCK: JAMES VELVET & THE LONESOME SPARROWS

• Wednesday, Sept. 10. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Friday, Sept. 19. INDIE ROCK: EURISKO

• Wednesday, Oct. 1. SINGER-SONGWRITER: NAMOLI BRENNET

• Friday, Oct. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN, HANNAH FAIR

 

For fans of “Downton Abbey”: Prof. Mark Schenker lectures on “The Real World of Downton Abbey” Aug. 4 at 7:30 PM

Can’t get enough of the popular British series “Downton Abbey?”

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Then come on down to the Best Video Performance Space on Monday, Aug. 4, at 7:30 PM. Mark Schenker, the Dean of Academic Affairs in Yale College, will give a lecture on the social, political and literary contexts of the late 19th and early 20th century in England that helped shaped the world depicted in the extraordinarily popular PBS series. There will be a $5 admission charge for this event.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, July 23. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: PAUL BELBUSTI (MERCY CHOIR); LEILA CROCKETT (BABY G)

• Thursday, July 24. PROGRESSIVE FOLK ROCK: KINDRED QUEER

• Friday, July 25. EXPERIMENTAL GHOST POP: SIRENS

• Tuesday, July 29. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS AND HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Wednesday, JULY 30, SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Thursday, July 31. ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Friday, Aug. 1. ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI

• Monday, Aug. 4. LECTURE: MARK SCHENCKER DISCUSSES “THE REAL WORLD OF DOWNTON ABBEY”

• Thursday, Aug. 7. FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, Aug. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: JENNIFER DAUPHINAIS (PONYBIRD); SAM PERDUTA

• Monday, Aug. 11. FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION: WITNESS

• Wednesday, Aug. 13. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Thursday, Aug. 14. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, Aug. 15. POP/ART/PUPPETRY: POCKET VINYL, GLUMPUPPET

• Monday, Aug. 18. FILM SCREENING: DANNY SAYS (ROUGH CUT)

• Wednesday, Aug. 20. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Thursday, Aug. 21. ROCK: ROPE

• Friday, Aug. 22. CABARET: RICH MORAN

• Thursday, Aug. 28. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Friday, Sept. 5. ACOUSTIC ROCK: JAMES VELVET & THE LONESOME SPARROWS

• Wednesday, Sept. 10. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Friday, Sept. 19. INDIE ROCK: EURISKO

• Wednesday, Oct. 1. SINGER-SONGWRITER: NAMOLI BRENNET

• Friday, Oct. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN, HANNAH FAIR

 

(UPDATED 7/23!) Music: SIRENS offer experimental ghost pop on Fri., July 25, at 8 PM

SIRENS performs at Best Video Performance Space on Friday, July 25. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

UPDATE!: The progressive acoustic group Fe Fi Fo will do a short opening set before SIRENS’ performance. The Fe Fi Fo acoustic trio takes you on colorful tonal and lyrical adventures. Fe Fi Fo plays mostly original music however often includes cover material from artists like Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart and even some Frank Zappa.

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SIRENS was started by chance in 2009 in New York City by Paris Mancini. The project immediately caught fire and traveled to Berlin, across the US, and more recently, Latin America. SIRENS has existed so far as a 3 piece, a one-woman power choir, a wall of noise in the back of a shady bar in Staten Island, the front of a symphony recording in middle America, a secret show in a mirror room underground in Chelsea, recording amongst millions in Mexico City, etc.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, July 18. SURF MUSIC/ROCKABILLY: THE SIX PACK DUTCHMEN, TOM HEARN

• Wednesday, July 23. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: PAUL BELBUSTI (MERCY CHOIR); LEILA CROCKETT (BABY G)

• Thursday, July 24. PROGRESSIVE FOLK ROCK: KINDRED QUEER

• Friday, July 25. EXPERIMENTAL GHOST POP: SIRENS

• Tuesday, July 29. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS AND HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Wednesday, JULY 30, SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Thursday, July 31. ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Friday, Aug. 1. ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI

• Monday, Aug. 4. LECTURE: MARK SCHENCKER DISCUSSES “THE REAL WORLD OF DOWNTON ABBEY”

• Thursday, Aug. 7. FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, Aug. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: JENNIFER DAUPHINAIS (PONYBIRD); SAM PERDUTA

• Monday, Aug. 11. FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION: WITNESS

• Wednesday, Aug. 13. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Thursday, Aug. 14. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, Aug. 15. POP/ART/PUPPETRY: POCKET VINYL, GLUMPUPPET

• Monday, Aug. 18. FILM SCREENING: DANNY SAYS (ROUGH CUT)

• Wednesday, Aug. 20. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Thursday, Aug. 21. ROCK: ROPE

• Friday, Aug. 22. CABARET: RICH MORAN

• Thursday, Aug. 28. BLUEGRASS: RAGWEED

• Friday, Sept. 5. ACOUSTIC ROCK: JAMES VELVET & THE LONESOME SPARROWS

• Wednesday, Sept. 10. STRING QUARTET ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Friday, Sept. 19. INDIE ROCK: EURISKO

• Wednesday, Oct. 1. SINGER-SONGWRITER: NAMOLI BRENNET

• Friday, Oct. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: DAPHNE LEE MARTIN, HANNAH FAIR