Music: Happy Ending (with Best Video’s Richard Brown & Hank Hoffman), Lys Guillorn on Thurs., Feb. 12, at 8 PM

Happy_Ending_Lys_BV_021215_WebHappy Ending, featuring Best Video’s own Hank Hoffman and Richard Brown, plays the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Feb. 12. Acclaimed indie rock songstress Lys Guillorn will open with a short solo set. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Happy Ending plays electric rock ‘n’ roll, mixing original compositions influenced by garage rock, folk rock and psychedelia—oftentimes with a political slant—with cover songs from the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Happy Ending has released three albums. The most recent, “Electricity for the Youth of Today,” was recorded live at Best Video Performance Space in December of 2013. The vinyl LP and 45 “Have A Nice Day” came out in 1984 and the compact disc “Smile for the Camera” in 1996. John Foster, editor of Op Magazine, described “Have A Nice Day” as a “future cult item for the collectors.” Hank Hoffman sings and plays guitar; Richard Brown plays guitar and alto saxophone. Tom Smith is on drums and Randy Stone plays bass. Happy Ending has a Facebook page.

Lys Guillorn is a singer/songwriter of the same musical school as Laura Veirs and Kristin Hersh, with a little Emmylou Harris thrown in: dreamy, lyric-driven, melodically interesting, and indefinable.  She makes “oddly uplifting, folk, blues, country-infused, acoustic semi-electric psychedelic dark pop music.” (Geraint Jones, Comes With a Smile, UK). In recent years, Guillorn has released a full-length CD, an EP, and a collection of compilation tracks on her own Little Cowgirl Records. She released her second full-length CD of original material, “Winged Victory,” in November, 2013.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday., Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Wednesday, Feb. 4. ALT-COUNTRY: LINES WEST

• Friday, Feb. 6. AVANT-GARDE: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Monday, Feb. 9. FILM SCREENING: “LOST HORIZON”

• Wednesday, Feb. 11. JAZZ: BRETT BOTTOMLEY

• Thursday, Feb. 12. INDIE ROCK: HAPPY ENDING, LYS GUILLORN

• Friday, Feb. 13. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Monday, Feb. 16. FILM SCREENING: “ABOUT SCHMIDT”

• Wednesday, Feb. 18. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ILANA ZSIGMOND

• Friday, Feb. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE MOUNTAIN MOVERS

• Monday, Feb. 23. FILM SCREENING: “CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS”

• Thursday, Fen. 26. BLUEGRASS: CHURCH SECTS

• Friday, Feb. 27. FUNK/ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Monday, Mar. 2. FILM SCREENING: “THE SWIMMER”

• Thursday, Mar. 5. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Mar. 6. JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA WiRED

• Monday, Mar. 9. FILM SCREENING: “GRAN TORINO”

• Monday, Mar. 16. FILM SCREENING: “NOW, VOYAGER”

• Monday, Mar. 23. FILM SCREENING: “UP IN THE AIR”

• Friday, April 3. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR

• Thursday, Apr. 9. 150th ANNIVERSARY OF APPOMATTOX/FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

• Wednesday, Aug. 26. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

 

Film screening: “A Late Quartet” replaces “Lost Horizon” as opening film in new film series, Mon., Feb. 9, at 7 PM (UPDATED)

All_7_posters_Late_Quartet_2_rows_WebThe next film series in collaboration with Temple Beth Sholom begins Monday, Feb. 9, at 7 PM with a screening of the 2012 drama “A Late Quartet,” just substituted for the originally planned “Lost Horizon” (for reasons noted below). “Found Horizons: Changes and Choices in Mid-Life” will feature powerful films in which the protagonists face stark mid-life choices. As has been our practice, each screening will begin with a short, context-setting introduction and by followed by an optional discussion.

Each screening begins at 7 PM. The cost for each movie is $5 and reservations are encouraged. The series is co-sponsored by Temple Beth Sholom Adult Education.

Due to a annoyingly restored version of “Lost Horizon” being the only version extant, we are going to screen another movie in its place, which deals forthrightly and grippingly with the issues of the series—powerful films in which the protagonists face stark mid-life choices—and happens to be one of Best Video owner Hank Paper’s favorite films of the last couple of years: “A Late Quartet.”

Featuring rapturous music and bravura acting (including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, and Christopher Walken in a completely involving “straight” role), this dramatic film portrays a classical string quartet, approaching its 25th anniversary recital, that suddenly finds itself struggling to stay together in the face of long suppressed emotions, competing egos and uncontrollable lust. It’s what movies are all about!

The rest of the schedule:

Monday, Feb. 16: “About Schmidt” (2002)

In this alternately outrageous, hilarious and tender film directed by Alexander Payne (“Nebraska,” “The Descendants,” “Sideways”) Jack Nicholson offers one of his iconic roles as an insurance worker who, upon retirement from a safe, predictable life, embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter’s wedding only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected.

Monday, Feb. 23: “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989)

(Martin Landau, Woody Allen) Without forsaking his self-reflexive humor, this Woody Allen film offers one of the most profound examinations of temptation and guilt. Oscar-nominated for Best actor, director and writing.

Monday, Mar. 2: “The Swimmer” (1968)

In this unique movie filmed in New Canaan, CT, a charismatic and mysterious man (played by Burt Lancaster), after a summer away, decides to swim in a succession of his neighbor’s pools that lead to his home, a stunt that winds up telling his life story. Engaging poolside encounters with an interesting cast of characters (including Joan Rivers, Marge Champion and Cornelius Otis Skinner) lead to a shattering revelation in this film that, once seen, is never forgotten.

Monday, Mar. 9: “Gran Torino” (2008)

In this multiple award winning film and old school parable, Clint Eastwood (who also directed the film) plays a disgruntled Korean veteran living alone in a Vietnamese neighborhood, determined to fight his own demons and prejudices with grit and resolve. DIRTY HARRY grows up.

Monday, Mar. 16: “Now, Voyager” (1942)

Can a Boston spinster without self-esteem and completely dominated by her wealthy mother blossom under therapy and find impossible romance? One of the most romantic movies – and perhaps most affecting Bette Davis film – ever made.

Monday, Mar. 23: “Up in the Air” (2009)

In this very contemporary film starring George Clooney and Vera Farmiga, Clooney enjoys a lucrative virtual life flying around the country firing people on behalf of their corporations, until he finds this perfect life threatened by a new hire and a frequent-traveler woman of his dreams.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Feb. 4. ALT-COUNTRY: LINES WEST

• Friday, Feb. 6. AVANT-GARDE: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Monday, Feb. 9. FILM SCREENING: “LOST HORIZON” “A LATE QUARTET”

• Wednesday, Feb. 11. JAZZ: BRETT BOTTOMLEY

• Thursday, Feb. 12. INDIE ROCK: HAPPY ENDING, LYS GUILLORN

• Friday, Feb. 13. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Monday, Feb. 16. FILM SCREENING: “ABOUT SCHMIDT”

• Wednesday, Feb. 18. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ILANA ZSIGMOND

• Friday, Feb. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE MOUNTAIN MOVERS

• Monday, Feb. 23. FILM SCREENING: “CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS”

• Thursday, Fen. 26. BLUEGRASS: CHURCH SECTS

• Friday, Feb. 27. FUNK/ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Monday, Mar. 2. FILM SCREENING: “THE SWIMMER”

• Thursday, Mar. 5. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Mar. 6. JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA WiRED

• Monday, Mar. 9. FILM SCREENING: “GRAN TORINO”

• Monday, Mar. 16. FILM SCREENING: “NOW, VOYAGER”

• Monday, Mar. 23. FILM SCREENING: “UP IN THE AIR”

• Friday, April 3. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR

• Thursday, Apr. 9. 150th ANNIVERSARY OF APPOMATTOX/FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

• Wednesday, Aug. 26. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

Music: Brett Bottomley on Wed., Feb. 11, at 8 PM

Brett_Bottomley_bw_WebJazz musician Brett Bottomley returns to the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Feb. 11. The cover is $5 and the music starts at 8 PM.

Brett Bottomley is a local jazz and rock Chapman Stickist From North Haven. He has released his first solo stick CD “Journeys” this past year, and gigs extensively throughout the Northeast as a soloist and with his band Toy Masheen.

Brett plays jazz “guitar and bass” parts simultaneously  on his instrument, creating a unique listening experience. Mark Macksoud will be joining on drums and percussion.

The Stick comes from the guitar and bass, but its playing method shares roots with keyboards and drums as well, placing all of these musical voices in the hands of one musician.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday., Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Wednesday, Feb. 4. ALT-COUNTRY: LINES WEST

• Friday, Feb. 6. AVANT-GARDE: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Monday, Feb. 9. FILM SCREENING: “LOST HORIZON”

• Wednesday, Feb. 11. JAZZ: BRETT BOTTOMLEY

• Thursday, Feb. 12. INDIE ROCK: HAPPY ENDING, LYS GUILLORN

• Friday, Feb. 13. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Monday, Feb. 16. FILM SCREENING: “ABOUT SCHMIDT”

• Wednesday, Feb. 18. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ILANA ZSIGMOND

• Friday, Feb. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE MOUNTAIN MOVERS

• Monday, Feb. 23. FILM SCREENING: “CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS”

• Thursday, Fen. 26. BLUEGRASS: CHURCH SECTS

• Friday, Feb. 27. FUNK/ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Monday, Mar. 2. FILM SCREENING: “THE SWIMMER”

• Thursday, Mar. 5. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Mar. 6. JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA WiRED

• Monday, Mar. 9. FILM SCREENING: “GRAN TORINO”

• Monday, Mar. 16. FILM SCREENING: “NOW, VOYAGER”

• Monday, Mar. 23. FILM SCREENING: “UP IN THE AIR”

• Friday, April 3. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR

• Thursday, Apr. 9. 150th ANNIVERSARY OF APPOMATTOX/FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

• Wednesday, Aug. 26. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

 

Music: Free improvisation by Rivener and Light Upon Blight Fri., Feb. 6, at 8 PM

The adventurous free improvisation groups Rivener and Light Upon Blight play the Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Feb. 6. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Rivener is Michael Kiefer (Myty Konkeror/Twin Lakes Records) and Paul Belbusti (Mercy Choir/Dead Language Records). They’ve teamed up to create lysergic genre-bending improvisations that draw on a wide range influences, including, but never limited to, psych, no wave, noise, damaged blues, free-jazz, and rock.

Rivener debut at Cafe Nine in New Haven.

Rivener debut at Cafe Nine in New Haven.

Much like volcanic eruptions, Light Upon Blight performances are uncompromising acts of spontaneous destruction and creation. Purging and destroying the old while simultaneously laying new, fertile ground. No two Light Upon Blight performances are ever the same, just as nature intended. Sounds like: Free Jazz with a noise aesthetic or an exorcism.

Light Upon Blight at Cafe Nine.

Light Upon Blight at Cafe Nine.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Jan. 29. THEATER READING: “COZY BEACH” by STEVE BELLWOOD

• Friday., Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Wednesday, Feb. 4. ALT-COUNTRY: LINES WEST

• Friday, Feb. 6. AVANT-GARDE: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Monday, Feb. 9. FILM SCREENING: “LOST HORIZON”

• Wednesday, Feb. 11. JAZZ: BRETT BOTTOMLEY

• Thursday, Feb. 12. INDIE ROCK: HAPPY ENDING, LYS GUILLORN

• Friday, Feb. 13. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Monday, Feb. 16. FILM SCREENING: “ABOUT SCHMIDT”

• Wednesday, Feb. 18. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ILANA ZSIGMOND

• Friday, Feb. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE MOUNTAIN MOVERS

• Monday, Feb. 23. FILM SCREENING: “CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS”

• Thursday, Fen. 26. BLUEGRASS: CHURCH SECTS

• Friday, Feb. 27. FUNK/ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Monday, Mar. 2. FILM SCREENING: “THE SWIMMER”

• Thursday, Mar. 5. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Mar. 6. JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA WiRED

• Monday, Mar. 9. FILM SCREENING: “GRAN TORINO”

• Monday, Mar. 16. FILM SCREENING: “NOW, VOYAGER”

• Monday, Mar. 23. FILM SCREENING: “UP IN THE AIR”

• Friday, April 3. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR

• Thursday, Apr. 9. 150th ANNIVERSARY OF APPOMATTOX/FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

• Wednesday, Aug. 26. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

 

Music: Lines West plays Wed., Feb. 4, at 8 PM

Lines_West_WebBridgeport-based alt-Americana/roots group Lines West play the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Feb. 4. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

“Stop Look and Listen,” the first full-length from Bridgeport, Connecticut’s Lines West. Compared to Wilco and Big Star, Lines West feature a wide range of American rock traditions. Lines West is a four-piece group co-fronted by John Radzin on guitar and vocals and Brian Larney on keyboard, guitar, and vocals. Radzin and Larney formed Lines West in May 2013. “Stop Look and Listen” was co-produced by Radzin and Larney (under their production moniker JAYBEE).

Fueled by the songwriting tandem of Radzin and Larney, “Stop Look and Listen” is a unique blast of rootsy pop/rock described by Review Stalker as as “perfectly crafted pop songs that should be all over terrestrial radio at the very least”.

Radzin was born in Wisconsin, where he learned to camp, build fires, and wear cowboy boots. Long car rides across the prairie were spent singing harmonies with his mother, brother and sisters, and once he picked up a guitar, he never looked back. After formally studying music at the University of Wisconsin, Radzin spent two years in London, absorbing what he could of that music scene before departing for Los Angeles. He spent eight years in Los Angeles, working as an engineer with artists as diverse as Slash and Neil Diamond. Radzin left the studio world to front L.A. heavy-pop trio (and KCRW favorite) Magnified before moving to Connecticut.

Larney also brings to Lines West a wealth of music industry experience. Larney released his second solo record, “Jupiter With You,” on July 22. His debut solo album, “At the Starting Line,” was recorded at famed studio SUMA Recording in Ohio and was produced by Grammy-nominated David Mayfield in the winter of 2013. “At the Starting Line” earned Larney rave reviews from fans and critics alike: “Larney’s charisma and voice are distinctive enough to pull off anything he wants to do.” (Wildy Haskell, Wildy’s World)

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Jan. 29. THEATER READING: “COZY BEACH” by STEVE BELLWOOD

• Friday., Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Wednesday, Feb. 4. ALT-COUNTRY: LINES WEST

• Friday, Feb. 6. AVANT-GARDE: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Monday, Feb. 9. FILM SCREENING: “LOST HORIZON”

• Wednesday, Feb. 11. JAZZ: BRETT BOTTOMLEY

• Thursday, Feb. 12. INDIE ROCK: HAPPY ENDING, LYS GUILLORN

• Friday, Feb. 13. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Monday, Feb. 16. FILM SCREENING: “ABOUT SCHMIDT”

• Wednesday, Feb. 18. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ILANA ZSIGMOND

• Friday, Feb. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE MOUNTAIN MOVERS

• Monday, Feb. 23. FILM SCREENING: “CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS”

• Thursday, Fen. 26. BLUEGRASS: CHURCH SECTS

• Friday, Feb. 27. FUNK/ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Monday, Mar. 2. FILM SCREENING: “THE SWIMMER”

• Thursday, Mar. 5. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Mar. 6. JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA WiRED

• Monday, Mar. 9. FILM SCREENING: “GRAN TORINO”

• Monday, Mar. 16. FILM SCREENING: “NOW, VOYAGER”

• Monday, Mar. 23. FILM SCREENING: “UP IN THE AIR”

• Friday, April 3. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR

• Thursday, Apr. 9. 150th ANNIVERSARY OF APPOMATTOX/FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

• Wednesday, Aug. 26. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

 

New Releases 1/27/15

Top Hits
The Judge (drama, Robert Downey Jr. Rotten Tomatoes: 47%. Metacritic: 48. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “Early in ‘The Judge,’ Hank Palmer, a hotshot Chicago defense lawyer played by Robert Downey Jr. with his usual fast-talking swagger, learns that his mother has died. He packs a bag, says goodbye to his unfaithful wife and his adorable daughter (Emma Tremblay), and jumps in his Ferrari. He drives only as far as the airport, however. Even though his Rockwellesque hometown is in Indiana, just one state over, Hank decides to fly rather than drive. Presumably to save time — something this long, baggy, meandering film, directed by David Dobkin from a screenplay by Nick Schenk and Bill Dubuque, otherwise has very little interest in doing.” Read more…)

My Old Lady (romance/drama, Kevin Kline. Rotten Tomatoes: 59%. Metacritic: 52. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “Perky music and a suave, light-footed entrance by Kevin Kline as an American in Paris give the early scenes of ‘My Old Lady’ the feel of a Franco-American comedy in the vein of Cédric Klapisch’s recent ‘Chinese Puzzle.’ But the 75-year-old playwright Israel Horovitz’s screen adaptation of his own 2002 production is not what it initially appears to be.” Read more…)

Before I Go to Sleep (thriller, Nicole Kidman. Rotten Tomatoes: 36%. Metacritic: 41. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “The opening image of ‘Before I Go to Sleep,’ a preposterous thriller adapted from S. J. Watson’s best-selling novel, is an extreme close-up of a blue, bloodshot eye. That orb belongs to Christine [Nicole Kidman], a damsel in distress afflicted with that hoary soap-opera device, amnesia. When Christine wakes up every morning, she has no idea where she is and not a clue about the man in bed with her who claims to be her husband, Ben [Colin Firth].” Read more…)

Fury (war drama, Brad Pitt. Rotten Tomatoes: 78%. Metacritic: 64. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘We’re in the killing Nazis business. And cousin, business is a-booming.’ So said Brad Pitt [in the person of Lt. Aldo Raine] in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Inglourious Basterds.’ Five years later, and nearly 70 years after World War II, Mr. Pitt returns to combat in ‘Fury,’ playing the leader of an American tank crew fighting its way across Germany in the spring of 1945. His character, Sgt. Don Collier [nicknamed Wardaddy], is a wearier, less garrulous fellow than Raine, and the film’s director, David Ayer, has a more linear and literal sensibility than Mr. Tarantino, but the business of Nazi killing remains brisk.” Read more…)

Miss Meadows (thriller, Katie Holmes. Rotten Tomatoes: 22%. Metacritic: 43. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “Between ‘Serial Mom’ and ‘God Bless America,’ not to mention the moonlighting criminals who populate binge television, vigilantes in sheep’s clothing are familiar by now. ‘Miss Meadows’ gives the old perverse routine a whirl with a weirdly soul-baring Katie Holmes as a prim-and-proper gunlady, but despite an eccentric streak (which turns erratic), the script doesn’t allow much room for the premise to take flight.” Read more…)

Felony (thriller, Tom Wilkinson. Rotten Tomatoes: 74%. Metacritic: 52. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “A deeply cynical movie masquerading as a complex moral dilemma, the Australian drama ‘Felony’ proves only that skilled actors and slick photography can tart up even the most problematic script.” Read more…)

Days and Nights (drama/comedy, Katie Holmes. Rotten Tomatoes: 0%. Metacritic: 36. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “The cast list for ‘Days and Nights,’ a modern reworking of Chekhov’s ‘The Seagull,’ is so juicy that I approached the movie with lip-smacking expectations of scenery being chewed and spit out with histrionic gusto. Even at its worst, how bad could an updated version of the play be, if actors of the caliber of Allison Janney, William Hurt, Cherry Jones and Mark Rylance had signed on? The answer is worse than you could imagine.” Read more…)

Big Driver (thriller, Maria Bello. Rotten Tomatoes: 44%. Metacritic: 56.)
Downton Abbey: Season 5 (British period drama, Hugh Bonneville. Rotten Tomatoes: 78%. Metacritic: 75.)

New Blu-Ray
The Judge
Fury

New British
Downton Abbey: Season 5 (period drama, Hugh Bonneville. Rotten Tomatoes: 78%. Metacritic: 75.)

New Children’s DVDs
The Book of Life (animated feature, Diego Luna [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 82%. Metacritic: 67. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “If swirls of gorgeous, gaudy color were all it took to animate an animated movie then ‘The Book of Life’ — with its showy splashes of acid purples and greens, its tangerine-dream sunsets and big blue-gray moon — would be bursting with as much energy and life as a Warner Bros. cartoon classic. As it is, this often beautiful and too-often moribund, if exhaustingly frenetic, feature tends to be less energetic than the dead people waltzing through it.” Read more…)

Music: Uri Shaham presents jazz Fri., Jan. 30, at 8 PM

Uri Shaham

Uri Shaham

Pianist Uri Shaham offers “A Jazzy Evening of Pure Joy and Lots of Fun” at Best Video on Friday, Jan. 30. The music starts st 8 PM and the cover is $5. In other words, a few of the busiest local jazz musicians gather for a swinging Friday evening of jazz standards and gooooooooood vibes.

Shaham has been playing jazz for about 10 years, first in Israel and since two years ago, also here. He performs regularly in New Haven and the vicinity, in particular in The 9th Note and Cave a Vin.

“I play mainstream jazz with strong Hard Bop Influences. Among my strong influences are jazz pianists Kenny Barron, Barry Harris, Hank Jones, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, Bud Powell, Red Garland, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea,” says Shaham.

The band for the night is Jilian Grey (vocals), Billy Cofrances (sax), Joe Cardinale (guitar), Uri Shaham (piano), Sam Suggs (double bass), and Eric Hallenbeck (drums).

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Jan. 22. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Friday, Jan. 23. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITERS: DEEPER SLEEPER (GARY VELUSH), MICHAEL KUSEK

• Sunday, Jan. 25. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NORTH BY NORTHWEST”

• Wednesday, Jan. 28. BRAZILIAN MUSIC—A TRIBUTE TO TOM JOBIM: SAMBELEZA

• Thursday, Jan. 29. THEATER READING: “COZY BEACH” by STEVE BELLWOOD

• Friday., Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Wednesday, Feb. 4. ALT-COUNTRY: LINES WEST

• Friday, Feb. 6. AVANT-GARDE: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Monday, Feb. 9. FILM SCREENING: “LOST HORIZON”

• Wednesday, Feb. 11. JAZZ: BRETT BOTTOMLEY

• Thursday, Feb. 12. INDIE ROCK: HAPPY ENDING, LYS GUILLORN

• Friday, Feb. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE MOUNTAIN MOVERS

• Monday, Feb. 16. FILM SCREENING: “ABOUT SCHMIDT”

• Monday, Feb. 23. FILM SCREENING: “CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS”

• Monday, Mar. 2. FILM SCREENING: “THE SWIMMER”

• Thursday, Mar. 5. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Mar. 6. JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA WiRED

• Monday, Mar. 9. FILM SCREENING: “GRAN TORINO”

• Monday, Mar. 16. FILM SCREENING: “NOW, VOYAGER”

• Monday, Mar. 23. FILM SCREENING: “UP IN THE AIR”

• Friday, April 3. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR

• Thursday, Apr. 9. 150th ANNIVERSARY OF APPOMATTOX/FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

Playwright Steve Bellwood presents theatrical reading of “Cozy Beach” drama Thurs., Jan. 29

SONY DSCPlaywright Steve Bellwood debuts his drama “Cozy Beach” with a theatrical/reading performance at Best video Performance Space on Thursday, Jan. 29. The event starts at 8 PM and admission is $5.

Prolific New Haven playwright and free-form original story-teller Steve Bellwood ventures into the long-form live theatrical possibilities of a drama series. Originally inspired by Robert Altman’s interweaving movie meldings in “Short Cuts” and his (relatively late) introduction to the onslaught high literary and dramatic quality of various television series, Bellwood seeks to emulate such in live theatre.

As the primary source of his exposure to these series, it seems appropriate to premier an introductory program-presentation-reading of “Cozy Beach” at Best Video Performance Space.

Set in New Haven and a neighboring shoreline community, involving multiple characters and interwoven stories, this work-in-development will be presented in an adaptive shape of excerpted scenes to introduce primary characters and themes, and hopefully provoke and inspire general discussion and involvement.

Steve Bellwood

Steve Bellwood

Two prep-school senior girls are brutally murdered in a parents’ leafy suburban home, and the double homicide spins off an exploration of sex-drugs-organ trafficking, mercy-killing, PTSD, addiction, success and failure, justice, revenge, gender-identity, cultural identity, corruption and complicity by omission. When the underworld invades the over world….

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Jan. 22. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Friday, Jan. 23. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITERS: DEEPER SLEEPER (GARY VELUSH), MICHAEL KUSEK

• Sunday, Jan. 25. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NORTH BY NORTHWEST”

• Wednesday, Jan. 28. BRAZILIAN MUSIC—A TRIBUTE TO TOM JOBIM: SAMBELEZA

• Thursday, Jan. 29. THEATER READING: “COZY BEACH” by STEVE BELLWOOD

• Friday., Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Wednesday, Feb. 4. ALT-COUNTRY: LINES WEST

• Friday, Feb. 6. AVANT-GARDE: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Monday, Feb. 9. FILM SCREENING: “LOST HORIZON”

• Wednesday, Feb. 11. JAZZ: BRETT BOTTOMLEY

• Thursday, Feb. 12. INDIE ROCK: HAPPY ENDING, LYS GUILLORN

• Friday, Feb. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE MOUNTAIN MOVERS

• Monday, Feb. 16. FILM SCREENING: “ABOUT SCHMIDT”

• Monday, Feb. 23. FILM SCREENING: “CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS”

• Monday, Mar. 2. FILM SCREENING: “THE SWIMMER”

• Thursday, Mar. 5. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Mar. 6. JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA WiRED

• Monday, Mar. 9. FILM SCREENING: “GRAN TORINO”

• Monday, Mar. 16. FILM SCREENING: “NOW, VOYAGER”

• Monday, Mar. 23. FILM SCREENING: “UP IN THE AIR”

• Friday, April 3. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR

• Thursday, Apr. 9. 150th ANNIVERSARY OF APPOMATTOX/FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

Music: Brazilian music group Sambeleza presents “A Tribute to Tom Jobim” Wed., Jan. 28, at 8 PM

Sambeleza_BV_092414WebSambeleza plays the Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Jan. 28. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Sambeleza—featuring Isabella Mendes, Jeff Fuller, Joe Carter and Asher Delerme—performs a wide variety of Brazilian songs, both old and new, with a jazz twist. For this show, the group presents a tribute to legendary Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, also known as Tom Jobim. The concert comes three days after what would have been the late Jobim’s 88th birthday.

Brasil (spelled with an “s” in Portuguese) is well known for its rich heritage—a blend of indigenous, African and European cultures—from which the music has risen with fascinating rhythms, soaring melodies and colorful harmonies. The musicians of Sambeleza are outstanding U. S. and Brazilian interpreters of the great songs of the bossa nova and samba traditions, as well as outstanding jazz artists in their own right. Sambeleza derives its name from two words: samba, the national dance of Brasil, and beleza, Portuguese for “beauty.”

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Jan. 22. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Friday, Jan. 23. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITERS: DEEPER SLEEPER (GARY VELUSH), MICHAEL KUSEK

• Sunday, Jan. 25. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY HITCHCOCK: “NORTH BY NORTHWEST”

• Wednesday, Jan. 28. BRAZILIAN MUSIC—A TRIBUTE TO TOM JOBIM: SAMBELEZA

• Thursday, Jan. 29. THEATER READING: “COZY BEACH” by STEVE BELLWOOD

• Friday., Jan. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM

• Wednesday, Feb. 4. ALT-COUNTRY: LINES WEST

• Friday, Feb. 6. AVANT-GARDE: RIVENER, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Monday, Feb. 9. FILM SCREENING: “LOST HORIZON”

• Wednesday, Feb. 11. JAZZ: BRETT BOTTOMLEY

• Thursday, Feb. 12. INDIE ROCK: HAPPY ENDING, LYS GUILLORN

• Friday, Feb. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE MOUNTAIN MOVERS

• Monday, Feb. 16. FILM SCREENING: “ABOUT SCHMIDT”

• Monday, Feb. 23. FILM SCREENING: “CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS”

• Monday, Mar. 2. FILM SCREENING: “THE SWIMMER”

• Thursday, Mar. 5. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Mar. 6. JAZZ: NICK DiMARIA WiRED

• Monday, Mar. 9. FILM SCREENING: “GRAN TORINO”

• Monday, Mar. 16. FILM SCREENING: “NOW, VOYAGER”

• Monday, Mar. 23. FILM SCREENING: “UP IN THE AIR”

• Friday, April 3. AVANT-GARDE: ZERO DOLLAR

• Thursday, Apr. 9. 150th ANNIVERSARY OF APPOMATTOX/FOLK MUSIC: SHELDON CAMPBELL

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Friday, May 1. FILM FEST: “A DARK ROOM”

New Releases 1/20/15

Top Hits
Lucy (sci-fi, Scarlett Johansson. Rotten Tomatoes: 66%. Metacritic: 61. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Thank goodness [or the goddess] for male directors who dig strong female characters. Whatever their reasons, these directors often expand the range of roles women play, whether it’s one of Howard Hawks’s dames calling the shots or one of James Cameron’s. That the French director Luc Besson, an industrious multi-hyphenate, has a thing for femmes fortes has been evident since 1990, when he unleashed a pouty toothpick in ‘La Femme Nikita,’ a delirious, violent fantasy that turned an outlaw into a gun-toting gamine and an exploitable commodity that, in turn, spawned both an American big-screen remake [‘Point of No Return’] and a television series. Mr. Besson’s particular kink for fatal female beauties receives an entertaining workout in his latest film, ‘Lucy,’ in which he again introduces a young woman who undergoes a remarkable metamorphosis that leads to convulsions of extreme violence and an increasingly frenzied visual style that lay waste to both men and any semblance of story sense.” Read more…)

Rudderless (drama, Billy Crudup. Rotten Tomatoes: 63%. Metacritic: 52. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “‘Rudderless,’ the misbegotten directorial debut of William H. Macy, is so dishonest, manipulative and ultimately infuriating that it never recovers after its bombshell revelation two-thirds of the way into the movie. Not that its coyly withheld disclosure is all that unexpected. What is surprising is that Mr. Macy, who wrote the screenplay with Casey Twenter and Jeff Robison and plays the owner of tavern, didn’t know better than to be so coy.” Read more…)

Annabelle (horror, Annabelle Wallis. Rotten Tomatoes: 29%. Metacritic: 37. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “The director, John R. Leonetti, served as the cinematographer on ‘The Conjuring’ [2013], and the best scares in ‘Annabnelle’ involve tricks of the eye. A murder in a neighbor’s house is seen through Mia’s bedroom window. A sensational long take choreographs a home invasion. Set largely in a Santa Monica, Calif., house and an apartment in Pasadena, ‘Annabelle’ is less cluttered with creepy bric-a-brac than ‘The Conjuring.’ [The original director, James Wan, produced here.] But Mr. Leonetti embraces the potential of negative space.” Read more…)

The Drop (crime/thriller, James Gandolfini. Rotten Tomatoes: 89%. Metacritic: 69. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “This might be the time to note that ‘The Drop’ was written by Dennis Lehane, who adapted it from his short story ‘Animal Rescue.’ While this movie, directed by Michael R. Roskam [‘Bullhead’], doesn’t have the grandeur of ‘Mystic River,’ the emotional sting of ‘Gone Baby Gone’ or the nutty audacity of ‘Shutter Island’ [or any Massachusetts accents], it nonetheless demonstrates some solid Lehanean virtues. The material may be warmed over, but the writing is meaty and pulpy enough to sustain a handful of satisfying performances.” Read more…)

The Zero Theorem (Terry Gilliam-directed sci-fi/fantasy, Christopher Waltz. Rotten Tomatoes: 52%. Metacritic: 50. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “The Zero Theorem” “spring[s] from the fertile, undisciplined imagination of Terry Gilliam. That fact makes ‘The Zero Theorem,’ written by Pat Rushin, a lively viewing experience, thanks to Mr. Gilliam’s perpetual-motion shooting style and his witty, allusive visual vocabulary. Every frame is dense with information, some of it in the service of the film’s allegorical intention, some of it there for fun. Mr. Gilliam has been, since his days as an animator for ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus,’ a tirelessly inventive filmmaker. He has also occasionally ascended to the level of visionary, in particular with the prescient, still-potent science-fiction satire ‘Brazil.'” Read more…)

White Bird In a Blizzard (drama/thriller, Shailene Woodley. Rotten Tomatoes: 49%. Metacritic: 49. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “A coming-of-age drama wrapped in a sunny, Southern California film noir — unless it’s the other way around — ‘White Bird in a Blizzard’ plants us in the point of view of a teenage girl named Kat, whose young life is disrupted by the disappearance of her mother, Eve. Kat is played by Shailene Woodley, Eve by Eva Green, a counterintuitive but strangely persuasive pairing that helps to make this film, directed by Gregg Araki and adapted from Laura Kasischke’s 1999 novel, intriguing in spite of its tentative tone and wobbly structure.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Lucy
The Drop
Rear Window

New Foreign
The Missing Picture (Cambodia, history/documentary/animation, Rithy Panh. Rotten Tomatoes: 99%. Metacritic: 87. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “The audacity of ‘The Missing Picture’ — a brilliant documentary about a child who held on to life in Cambodia’s killing fields — is equaled only by its soulfulness. On April 17, 1975, the day the Khmer Rouge seized the capital, Phnom Penh, the 13-year-old Rithy Panh, his family and millions more were driven from that city and other towns and villages and straight into hell. Four years later, many of his relatives, including his father, mother, sisters and a niece and nephew were dead; decades later, Mr. Panh, now a filmmaker, has told his story in a movie in which the act of remembrance serves as a form of resistance.” Read more…)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
The Wonderful Country (1959, western, Robert Mitchum. From Howard Thompson’s 1959 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “It was a pleasure yesterday to watch Tom Lea’s novel ‘The Wonderful Country’ spreading across the screen pretty much, we suspect, the way the author must have wanted it. This is a superior, intelligent film on nearly every count. Robert Mitchum, Julie London, Gary Merrill and a good supporting cast are framed against a superbly authentic landscape of the Rio Grande territory, in a faithful retelling of Mr. Lea’s post-Civil War drama about an American-born ‘pistolero’—a hired killer in Mexico.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin-directed paean to Winnipeg. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%. Metacritic: 84. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “Fact-checking ‘My Winnipeg’ would be absurd, since the film, which combines archival documentary images with freshly shot, antique-looking passages, is more concerned with lyrical truth than with literal accuracy. And even though I suspect that some of its more outlandish assertions are at least partly grounded in fact, [director Guy] Maddin is engaged less in historical inquiry than in hallucinatory autobiography, ruminating on the deep and accidental relationship between a specific place and an individual life. As ‘My Winnipeg’ conjures it, the bond between city and filmmaker is ambivalent and reciprocal. Much as he may dream of taking that one-way rail journey to somewhere else, Mr. Maddin can no more spurn Winnipeg than it can disown him.” Read more…)

Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon (personality, show business, Shep Gordon. Rotten Tomatoes: 77%. Metacritic: 64. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York times review: “A valentine from one friend to another, ‘Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon’ is not entirely kidding about that title, or at least its tone. Directed by the comedian Mike Myers, this clubby documentary lauds the swellness and shrewdness of the talent manager Shep Gordon with the help of celebrities and the sunnily mellifluent subject himself.” Read more…)

New Children’s DVDs
The Boxtrolls (animated feature, Ben Kingsley [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes:  75%. Metacritic:  61. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “In ‘The Boxtrolls,’ old-fashioned stop-motion animation is combined with new-style 3-D cinematography to charming effect. The film, based on the book ‘Here Be Monsters!’ by Alan Snow, tells a familiar story with familiar themes and characters — misunderstood monsters; a repulsive villain with comical henchmen; a hero with an identity crisis — but it does so with refreshing wit and energy. At times it might be a little dark and scary for the very youngest viewers, but their slightly older siblings are likely to appreciate the way this movie balances the silly and the sinister, the creepy and the cute, the nasty and the nice. Adults may also find themselves amused. This one did, at any rate.” Read more…)