Burt Lancaster stars in “The Swimmer,” the third movie in “Found Horizons” film series, Mon., Mar. 2; RESERVATIONS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Swimmer_poster_WebThe latest film series in collaboration with Temple Beth Sholom continues Monday, Mar. 2, at 7 PM with a screening of the 1968 film “The Swimmer,” starring Burt Lancaster and based on a short story by John Cheever. “Found Horizons: Changes and Choices in Mid-Life” features powerful films in which the protagonists face stark mid-life choices. As has been our practice, each screening begins with a short, context-setting introduction and is followed by an optional discussion.

Each screening begins at 7 PM. The cost for each movie is $5 and reservations are encouraged. Reservations are particularly encouraged for this movie—we already have a substantial list of people planning to attend. The series is co-sponsored by Temple Beth Sholom Adult Education.

In “The Swimmer,” a 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.

The remaining schedule:

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.

Monday, Mar. 30: “A Late Quartet” (2012)

“A Late Quartet” one of Best Video owner Hank Paper’s favorite films of the last couple of years. 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!

New Releases 2/24/15

Top Hits
Whiplash (Oscar-nominated drama, J.K. Simmons. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%. Metacritic: 88. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “[Director Damien] Chazelle, a 29-year-old natural-born filmmaker whose previous feature was the stylistically daring, hipster-cute musical romance ‘Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench,’ has an aficionado’s ear for jazz and an offbeat sense of genre. He and the director of photography, Sharone Meir, give ‘Whiplash’ the brooding, spooky look of a horror movie, turning the New York streets and the school hallways into a realm of deep, expressive shadows. There is an atmosphere of whispery menace, and Mr. Simmons prowls the screen with a vampire’s stealth and a killer’s wry half-smile.” Read more…)

Beyond the Lights (drama, Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Rotten Tomatoes: 81%. Metacritic: 73. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “‘Beyond the Lights’ may be a fantasy — movies about love, like songs about love, tend to fall into that category — but it is an uncommonly smart and honest fantasy. What it wants us to believe, most of all, is that despite all the ugliness and exploitation in the world of entertainment, the bond between artist and audience is a real and sustaining form of love in its own right. And the movie is marvelous proof of its own argument.” Read more…)

Horrible Bosses 2 (comedy, Jason Bateman. Rotten Tomatoes: 35%. Metacritic: 40. New York Times critic Stephen Holden didn’t like this movie: “‘Horrible Bosses 2,’ one of the sloppiest and most unnecessary Hollywood sequels ever made, isn’t dirtier or more offensive than its 2011 forerunner. But it is infinitely dumber and not half as funny. This disgracefully slapdash farce, directed by Sean Anders from a screenplay he wrote with John Morris, brings back many of the same stars from the first film in token appearances to try to maintain an illusion of continuity. But the story doesn’t even try to make sense. You often have the queasy feeling that the screenplay was improvised on the spot.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Whiplash

New Foreign
The Eagle: Season 1 (Denmark, detective series, Jens Albinus)

New British
Midsomer Murders: Set 25 (mystery series, Neil Dudgeon)
The Game (espionage mini-series, Jonathan Aris)

New TV
Sons of Anarchy: Season 7

New Children’s DVDs
Big Hero 6 (Disney animated feature, Ryan Potter. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%. Metacritic: 74. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Have the Walt Disney and Pixar animation studios become Walt Pixar, or maybe Wixar or Dixar? It’s getting hard to tell these once-distinct siblings apart. Disney’s latest animated feature, ‘Big Hero 6,’ is a bright, visually sumptuous 3-D computer-animated feature that gives you a bit of an emotional workout. It doesn’t have some of the familiar Disney markers: There are no eardrum-busting anthems or warbling critters, and it isn’t a fairy tale, exactly, mostly because it’s about a boy. It’s a Disney superhero movie with a story from a Marvel comic book, if one rendered with the wit and texture often associated with Pixar, which I guess makes it a Walt Pixar Marvel.” Read more…)

Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars (Disney animated series)

Music: Electric jazz with Nick Di Maria and WiRED on Fri., Mar. 6, at 8 PM

Nick_Di_Maria_WiRED_WebNick Di Maria and WiRED play the Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Mar. 6. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

WiRED is the result when jazz musicians embrace their rock roots. By combining the music of modern and classic jazz with the sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Radiohead, a complete and new sound emerges that grooves, rocks, and swings all at once. Nick Di Maria and WiRED recently recorded “Time Circuit,” an 8 track album of original music that will be presented at Best Video.

WiRED will feature Nick Di Maria on trumpet, Andrew Zwart on electric bass,  Eric Hallenbeck on drums, and a keyboard player to be announced.

Nick Di Maria is a New Haven, CT based trumpeter, composer and educator.

A graduate of Western Connecticut State University, Nick holds a Bachelor’s in Jazz Performance studying under Eddie Henderson, Dave Scott, Jeremy Pelt, Taylor Ho Bynum and Rich Clymer.

Nick began playing music at age 10 and over the years has played in multiple genres from jazz to reggae to classical to punk. In 2001 Nick joined the CT Ska/Punk scene playing with the infamous band, The Flaming Tsunamis. For 5 years Nick was an integral member of the 6 piece band, touring with and  co-writing some of the band’s most famous tunes. Nick appears on 2 of the band’s albums, Focus the Fury and Zombies vs. Robots!

In 2006 upon graduating from college, Nick assembled his first working quartet. From the beginning the band began working the CT jazz scene playing all over the state, including a residency in Newtown in the summer of 2006.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Feb. 26. BLUEGRASS: CHURCH SECTS

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

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

• Wednesday, Mar. 4. THEATRICAL READING: “COZY BEACH” by STEVE BELLWOOD

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

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

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

• Wednesday, Mar. 11. ROCK: ROPE, BOP TWEEDIE

• Friday, Mar. 13. BLUEGRASS: THE WOOL HATS STRING BAND

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

• Wednesday, Mar. 18. MODERN ROCK SPOKEN WORD SONGSTRESS/INDIE FOLK ROCK: SHADOW & COMPANY

• Thursday, Mar. 19. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Friday, Mar. 20. ALT-COUNTRY: MERCY MEADOWS

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

• Monday. Mar. 30. FILM SCREENING: “A LATE QUARTET”

• Thursday, April 2. ROCK/POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

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

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

• Friday, Apr. 10. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Thursday, Apr. 23. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC: PRESTER JOHN featuring SHAWN PERSINGER & DAVID MILLER

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

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

 

Music: Singer-songwriter Anne Marie Menta returns with her band Thurs., Mar. 5, at 8 PM

Anne_Marie_Menta_BV_061214_WebThe Anne Marie Menta Band plays Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Mar. 5. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Anne Marie Menta hails from New Haven, CT., where she has been a long time favorite singer/songwriter. She comes from a family of three brothers, where playing and listening to music was their great passion. Her musical credits include fronting various rock & roll, folk, and country bands as a singer/guitarist, including The Wanderers, Sugar Moon, Sky Riders, and Rodeo Radio. In the mid 90s, she decided to concentrate on her own original music, and those tunes of hers that she “snuck” into her cover band repertoire now became her main focus. But, the country, folk, and pop music that she loved continued to be an influence in her writing.

Anne Marie’s first two CDs of original music, “Untried & True” and “When the Love Ran Deep” were released in 1999 and 2004 to enthusiastic reviews and gained airplay throughout New England acoustic music programs. Her third CD, “Seven Secrets,” was released in late November 2009 and continues her lyrical and melodic style of songwriting, as well as collaborations with her producer and fellow songwriter and instrumentalist, Dick Neal. She has been a featured performer at the Eli Whitney Folk Festival in New Haven, CT. and opened for artists such as Richard Shindell, The Kennedys, and Eddie from Ohio. She was a finalist in the 2004 South Florida Folk Festival Singer/Songwriter competition, and a showcase artist at NERFA (New England Regional Folk Alliance.)

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

• Thursday, Feb. 26. BLUEGRASS: CHURCH SECTS

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

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

• Wednesday, Mar. 4. THEATRICAL READING: “COZY BEACH” by STEVE BELLWOOD

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

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

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

• Wednesday, Mar. 11. ROCK: ROPE, BOP TWEEDIE

• Friday, Mar. 13. BLUEGRASS: THE WOOL HATS STRING BAND

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

• Wednesday, Mar. 18. MODERN ROCK SPOKEN WORD SONGSTRESS/INDIE FOLK ROCK: SHADOW & COMPANY

• Thursday, Mar. 19. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Friday, Mar. 20. ALT-COUNTRY: MERCY MEADOWS

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

• Monday. Mar. 30. FILM SCREENING: “A LATE QUARTET”

• Thursday, April 2. ROCK/POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

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

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

• Friday, Apr. 10. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Thursday, Apr. 23. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC: PRESTER JOHN featuring SHAWN PERSINGER & DAVID MILLER

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

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

 

Theatrical Reading: Further scenes from Steve Bellwood’s “Cozy Beach” on Wed., Mar. 4, at 8 PM

SONY DSC“A new day in New Haven, and a tragic one for two families whose teenage daughters were brutally murdered last night in the Edgewood Heights…”

Beneath many a mildly fluttering surface, underground currents are spiraling out of control. Only Cozy Beach seems to harbor a solution to all this city’s problems.

Steve Bellwood, prolific New Haven playwright and free-form story-teller, introduces more workshop scenes from his live sidewalk-cracking theatrical drama series on Wed., Mar. 4. The program starts at 8 PM and admission is $5.

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, he found it appropriate to premiere an introductory program-presentation-reading of “Cozy Beach” at Best Video Performance Space back in January.

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.

Actors Jessica Stern, Norman Allen and Jackie Sidle in a scene from "Cozy Beach," Jan. 29, 2015.

Actors Jessica Stern, Norman Allen and Jackie Sidle in a scene from “Cozy Beach,” Jan. 29, 2015.

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:

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

• Thursday, Feb. 26. BLUEGRASS: CHURCH SECTS

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

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

• Wednesday, Mar. 4. THEATRICAL READING: “COZY BEACH” by STEVE BELLWOOD

• 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”

• Wednesday, Mar. 18. MODERN ROCK SPOKEN WORD SONGSTRESS/INDIE FOLK ROCK: SHADOW & COMPANY

• Thursday, Mar. 19. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Friday, Mar. 20. ALT-COUNTRY: MERCY MEADOWS

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

• Monday. Mar. 30. FILM SCREENING: “A LATE QUARTET”

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

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

• Friday, Apr. 10. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

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

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

“Found Horizons” film series continues Mon., Feb. 23, at 7 PM with Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors”

WA-Crimes-and-Misdemeanors_WebThe latest film series in collaboration with Temple Beth Sholom continues Monday, Feb. 23, at 7 PM with a screening of the 1989 film “Crimes and Misdemeanors.” “Found Horizons: Changes and Choices in Mid-Life” features powerful films in which the protagonists face stark mid-life choices. As has been our practice, each screening begins with a short, context-setting introduction and is 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.

Without forsaking his self-reflexive humor, Woody Allen offers one of the most profound examinations of temptation and guilt in “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” starring Allen and Martin Landau. Oscar-nominated for Best actor, director and writing.

The schedule:

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

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.

Monday, Mar. 30: “A Late Quartet” (2012)

“A Late Quartet” one of Best Video owner Hank Paper’s favorite films of the last couple of years. 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!

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

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

• Thursday, Feb. 26. BLUEGRASS: CHURCH SECTS

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

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

• Wednesday, Mar. 4. THEATRICAL READING: “COZY BEACH” by STEVE BELLWOOD

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

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

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

• Wednesday, Mar. 11. ROCK: ROPE, BOP TWEEDIE

• Friday, Mar. 13. BLUEGRASS: THE WOOL HATS STRING BAND

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

• Wednesday, Mar. 18. MODERN ROCK SPOKEN WORD SONGSTRESS/INDIE FOLK ROCK: SHADOW & COMPANY

• Thursday, Mar. 19. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Friday, Mar. 20. ALT-COUNTRY: MERCY MEADOWS

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

• Monday. Mar. 30. FILM SCREENING: “A LATE QUARTET”

• Thursday, April 2. ROCK/POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

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

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

• Friday, Apr. 10. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Thursday, Apr. 23. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC: PRESTER JOHN featuring SHAWN PERSINGER & DAVID MILLER

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

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

Music: Rock and funk with Holiday Ping, Fri., Feb. 27, at 8 PM

Holiday_Ping_WebHoliday Ping performs Friday, Feb. 27 at Best Video Performance Space. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Holiday Ping, founded last year, features local New Haven area musicians Henry Sidle, Jack Riotte, Andrew Fermo, and Jackson Roman. The quartet plays an eclectic mix of covers and their own originals with live improvisational elements. The group is heavily influenced by jam bands such as The Grateful Dead and Phish and jazz improvisational greats such as Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock.

Henry Sidle has previously played the Performance Space in solo acoustic mode and with Holiday Ping’s predescessor band Extrasensory Henry Sidle, born in Chicago, is a teenage guitar player and singer/songwriter who plays gigs most days of the year. When Henry was 11, he began to play the guitar. Several years later, Henry has made his way to major festivals, venues, studios, cities and private parties. Henry’s music has been played Sirius XM’s Grateful Dead station. Henry has a unique acoustic rock sound, spiced up with his BOSS RC-30 loop station and large repertoire of originals and covers.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

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

• Thursday, Feb. 26. BLUEGRASS: CHURCH SECTS

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

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

• Wednesday, Mar. 4. THEATRICAL READING: “COZY BEACH” by STEVE BELLWOOD

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

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

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

• Wednesday, Mar. 11. ROCK: ROPE, BOP TWEEDIE

• Friday, Mar. 13. BLUEGRASS: THE WOOL HATS STRING BAND

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

• Wednesday, Mar. 18. MODERN ROCK SPOKEN WORD SONGSTRESS/INDIE FOLK ROCK: SHADOW & COMPANY

• Thursday, Mar. 19. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Friday, Mar. 20. ALT-COUNTRY: MERCY MEADOWS

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

• Monday. Mar. 30. FILM SCREENING: “A LATE QUARTET”

• Thursday, April 2. ROCK/POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

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

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

• Friday, Apr. 10. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Thursday, Apr. 23. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC: PRESTER JOHN featuring SHAWN PERSINGER & DAVID MILLER

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

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

 

Music: Church Sects play Thurs., Feb. 26, at 8 PM

Church_Sects_WebChurch Sects play the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Feb. 26. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Church Sects is New Haven based foot-stompin’ bluegrass (or “newgrass” if you want to be pedantic). Featuring Chris Kiley on banjo & acoustic guitar, Jesse Newman on fiddle, and Mike Russo on stand up bass, Church Sects draws from bluegrass, folk, punk, & alt-country to make music that will get you hootin’ & hollerin’.

Chris Kiley is a singer/songwriter out of Bethany, CT, who previously played in Lion’s Teeth. He grew up in Seymour, CT and was musical from a young age. He started playing the guitar in 1997 and was writing songs by 2001. He has played countless shows at coffee shops and bars in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont. He now lives in the greater New Haven area.

Jesse Newman is a solo composer and avid violinist working from central Connecticut (formerly Troy NY and New York City). When not playing in Church Sects and the group Olive Tiger, his eclectic brand of accessible laptop music is inspired by house techno, trance, drum and bass, industrial, and classical music. During performances, his songs are accompanied by live electric violin with distinct digital processing, setting new boundaries for instrumental electronica.

Drummer Mike Russo also plays in Tanuki Suit.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

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

• Thursday, Feb. 26. BLUEGRASS: CHURCH SECTS

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

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

• Wednesday, Mar. 4. THEATRICAL READING: “COZY BEACH” by STEVE BELLWOOD

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

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

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

• Wednesday, Mar. 11. ROCK: ROPE, BOP TWEEDIE

• Friday, Mar. 13. BLUEGRASS: THE WOOL HATS STRING BAND

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

• Wednesday, Mar. 18. MODERN ROCK SPOKEN WORD SONGSTRESS/INDIE FOLK ROCK: SHADOW & COMPANY

• Thursday, Mar. 19. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Friday, Mar. 20. ALT-COUNTRY: MERCY MEADOWS

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

• Monday. Mar. 30. FILM SCREENING: “A LATE QUARTET”

• Thursday, April 2. ROCK/POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

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

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

• Friday, Apr. 10. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Thursday, Apr. 23. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC: PRESTER JOHN featuring SHAWN PERSINGER & DAVID MILLER

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

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

 

New Releases 2/17/15

Top Hits
Birdman (drama, Michael Keaton. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 88. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “‘Birdman,’ a big bang of movie razzle-dazzle from Alejandro G. Iñárritu, opens with a winking sleight of hand. Riggan Thomson, a Hollywood has-been turned Broadway second-chancer played by a blissed-out Michael Keaton, is hanging out in his dressing room at the St. James Theater in Times Square, by which I mean floating, like a mystic who’s passed transcendence and gone straight to nirvana. It’s a destabilizing liftoff for a funny, frenetic, buoyant and rambunctiously showboating entertainment in which Mr. Iñárritu himself rises high and then higher still.” Read more…)

The Interview (comedy, Seth Rogen. Rotten Tomatoes: 53%. Metacritic: 52. From A.O. Scott’s  New York Times review: “‘The Interview’ is pretty much what everyone thought it would be before all the trouble started: a goofy, strenuously naughty, hit-and-miss farce, propelled not by any particular political ideas but by the usual spectacle of male sexual, emotional and existential confusion. It turned out to be perfect laptop viewing, apart from an occasionally wonky Wi-Fi connection. The bloodshed was less gross on the small screen, and the best jokes — loose, absurdist, improvised-sounding riffs — landed better in a quiet, half-distracted room than they might have in a crowded theater.” Read more…)

The Theory of Everything (biopic/romance, Eddie Redmayne. Rotten Tomatoes: 79%. Metacritic: 72. From A.O. Scott’s New York times review: “James Marsh’s biographical film about the British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, tries very hard to live up to its title: It wants to show a remarkable man in full, to explore his ideas, his emotional life and his struggle with illness.” Read more… )

St. Vincent (drama/comedy, Bill Murray. Rotten Tomatoes: 77%. Metacritic: 64. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “A big, sloppy wet kiss of a movie about an old grouch, a sweet kid and their odd-couple friendship, ‘St. Vincent’ has a couple of things going for it, mostly Bill murray. For some time now, Mr. Murray has been burnishing his cult in Wes Anderson films, where he adds Murrayesque mystery and bite — is he deep or just dyspeptic? — and his unforgettable silent-clown mug to Mr. Anderson’s worlds of wonder. Sometimes, Mr. Murray pops up for a paycheck, while at other times, he slips into a character that promises something more than the usual slop offered men over 60, like Franklin Delano Roosevelt in ‘Hyde Park on Hudson’ or an architect on a World War II mission in ‘The Monuments Men.'” Read more…)

Dumb and Dumber To (comedy, Jim Carrey. Rotten Tomatoes: 29%. Metacritic: 36. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “In ‘Dumb and Dumber To, Peter and Bobby Farrelly — and the stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels — have boldly if unoriginally returned to the scene of their inaugural crime: their 1994 directing debut, ‘Dumb and Dumber.’ An anti-classic of its disreputable, guffawing type, it wasn’t the first movie to elevate human idiocy into an intentional art; Jerry Lewis and ‘Caddyshack,’ among many others, got there long before Lloyd [Mr. Carrey] and Harry [Mr. Daniels] hit the road in their memorably fuzzy puppy-mobile with the wagging tongue.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Birdman
The Interview
The Theory of Everything
St. Vincent

New Foreign
Pont Du Nord (France, 1981, Bulle Ogier. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From Vincent Canby’s 1981 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Everyone connected with ‘Le Pont du Nord’ has done far better things, including [director Jacques] Rivette [‘La Religieuse,’ ‘L’Amour Fou,’ ‘Celine and Julie Go Boating’], Bulle Ogier and Suzanne Schiffmann, who has done wonderful work in collaboration with Francois Truffaut. Pascale Ogier is a striking looking young actress. Beyond that there isn’t much to say about her on the basis of this film.” Read more…)

New TV
Game of Thrones: Season 4 (fantasy series, Peter Dinklage)
The Chair: Season 1 (reality drama, filmmaking)

New Documentaries
Life Itself (bio, movie history, Roger Ebert. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 87. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “‘Life Itself,’ the new documentary about Roger Ebert, examines many facets of the nation’s most famous film critic: his newsman background, his exhaustively chronicled battle with cancer that ended in his death last year, his drinking, his wit, his love for his wife, Chaz. But perhaps one of the most surprising aspects — considering his profession was often reviled by the very people whose work was being examined — is his reputation among filmmakers.” Read more…)

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (filmmaking, animation, Hayao Miyazaki. Rotten Tomatoes: 89%. Metacritic: 74. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “‘The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness’ documents the inner workings of Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio, at a time when its two most celebrated directors were making new films. The movie largely focuses on Hayao Miyazaki, who formally announced his retirement after ‘The Wind Rises’ had its premiere in 2013. ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya.’ by Isao Takahata [‘Grave of the Fireflies’], Mr. Miyazaki’s discoverer and friendly rival, opened in New York this year.” Read more…)

Children’s DVDs
The Tale of Princess Kaguya (animated feature from Studio Ghibli, Chloe Grace Moretz [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 89. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times revew: “‘The Tale of the Princess Kaguya’ is the first animated feature in over a decade directed by Isao Takahata, the 78-year-old Studio Ghibli stalwart. Exquisitely drawn with both watercolor delicacy and a brisk sense of line, the film finds a peculiarly moving undertow of feeling in a venerable Japanese folk tale about a foundling country girl who can’t shake a sense of being out of place.” Read more…)

Rob Harmon’s Picks 2/17/15

Rob_Harmon_image_for_picksROB HARMON’s PICKS 2/17/15

Top 10 Movies of 2014

The red carpet is being rolled out, the statuettes polished up, and the envelopes sealed, but what speaks “closing the book on movies of last year” like a good ol’ fashioned Top 10 list? Let’s take a look (all are available on DVD/Blu-ray unless otherwise noted):

10. WHIPLASH (dir. Damien Chazelle, available on DVD/Blu-ray Tues., Feb. 24th)

Films about the act of artistic creation seemed to be a major theme of last year (see BIG EYES, THE WIND RISES, and MR. TURNER below) and it was hard to ignore the sheer visceral power of this story of up-and-coming jazz drummer Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) incessantly butting heads with Machiavellian teacher-from-hell Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons). Aside from the great lead performances, WHIPLASH was one of the best written and most tightly-edited pictures of the year.

9. NIGHTCRAWLER (dir. Dan Gilroy)

Exploring dark material is nothing new for actor Jake Gyllenhaal but he seems to especially be on a roll of late, with last year’s kidnapping drama PRISONERS and this film — a remarkable slice of L.A.-set neo-noir. NIGHTCRAWLER — one of the most breathtakingly shot films of last year — seems perennially set in that moment just after the sun has set in the desert, when the warmth of the sun can still be felt on the skin but darkness has quickly moved in. Gyllenhaal plays Louis Bloom, a chillingly amoral blank slate, who drifts from one place to the next, attempting to nose out job or economic opportunity from his bleak surroundings whilst spouting strange business-ese and corporate-isms until he chances upon his destined avocation: enterprising and unscrupulous cameraman for the “if it bleeds, it leads” local news cycle. Needless to say, Bloom takes to it like a fish to water: NIGHTCRAWLER is a fascinating hero’s progress for our time.

8. BOYHOOD (dir. Richard Linklater)

Much has been said and written in recent months about Richard Linklater’s ambitious drama about one boy’s (Ellar Coltrane) growing up. Though large and unwieldy — due to the film’s unprecedented structure (cast and crew assembling to film for only a few weeks each year, over a 12-year period!) — BOYHOOD is really a marvel and gets better as it goes, with the final half being easily the strongest of the movie. This should come as no surprise: Linklater’s stock-in-trade are characters who move freely (usually either walking or driving) and talk, so it makes sense that BOYHOOD would not really take off until its protagonist has finally “grown up” and wrested control of the film from the half-baked subplots which held the film hostage early on.

7. SNOWPIERCER (Bong Joon-ho)

Based on a French comic book about a dystopian future world which has been encased in ice and snow after a climate-engineering accident, SNOWPIERCER is set on a state-of-the-art juggernaut of a train which endlessly circles the earth and contains the final remnants of the human race, living in a strictly class-divided society and battling for survival. In spite of its bleak and strange scenario, SNOWPIERCER – the English language-debut from Korea’s Bong Joon-ho (MEMORIES OF MURDER, THE HOST, MOTHER) – proved to be one of the most thrillingly visual films of last year, a marvel of effects and production design. As an added bonus, Tilda Swinton chews the scenery, in what was easily the scene-stealing role of the year.

6. BIG EYES (dir. Tim Burton, available on DVD/Blu-ray – April?)

Destined to be overlooked this film award season is Tim Burton’s latest, about artist Margaret Keane (Amy Adams), whose paintings and mass-produced prints of sad-eyed waifs in the late 1950’s and 60’s became the essence of American kitsch and whose work was for years claimed to be that of her husband, Walter (Christoph Waltz). While the film is — in typical Burton fashion — a brightly-colored, comic book-ish, and, yes, even googly-eyed evocation of time and place, it is hard not to see that Burton sees in Keane a compatriot. BIG EYES is a clever, understated, and warm tribute to the artistic impulse and the need to create, even when the value of one’s labors is a little in doubt.

5. THE WIND RISES (dir. Hayao Mizazaki)

Is this Miyazaki’s swan song? I hope not, but if it is, he picked an excellent, and fitting, note to end on. THE WIND RISES tells the story of Jiro Hirokoshi, designer of Mitsubishi aircraft used during World War II, which at first seems like strange subject matter for a committed pacifist like Miyazaki. What emerges, though, is a portrait of an obsessive artist and one man’s struggle for meaning through the years – themes which Miyazaki would naturally take to heart. THE WIND RISES is an all-around lyrical and beautiful film about the value of persistence.

4. MR. TURNER (dir. Mike Leigh, available on DVD/Blu-ray – April?)

Mike Leigh — best known for kitchen sink realism of the likes of LIFE IS SWEET, SECRETS AND LIES, and NAKED — has made occasional forays into period drama (TOPSY TURVY, VERA DRAKE), which he here returns to with his portrait of J.M.W. Turner (Timothy Spall), famed 19th century British painter of seascapes. Many of Leigh’s troupe of favorite actors are on display, as is the gorgeous cinematography of frequent Leigh collaborator Dick Pope. A slow and ponderously-paced film, that – in typical Leigh fashion – builds to an emotionally powerful, though quiet, climax.

3. GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (dir. Wes Anderson)

Part rollicking buddy movie, part paean to lost love and the vanished past, GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL was the most fun one could have at the movie theater last year: a sickeningly-sweet confection, a treat that can’t be beat!

2. GONE GIRL (dir. David Fincher)

Perhaps the most talked-about film of last year was also one of its best, and certainly the twistiest and most serpentine of thrillers, proving that David Fincher is still in top form. Adapted from the novel by Gillian Flynn GONE GIRL details the fallout over the apparent murder of wealthy housewife Amy (Rosamund Pike) by her bored, philandering alpha male husband Nick (Ben Affleck) in a middle-class Missouri neighborhood. A stylish and moody evocation of the desert of modern emotional life GONE GIRL really gets under the skin (not to be confused with Under the Skin, see below). Pike’s Amy emerges as one of the most complex female characters in recent memory, while Nick and Amy themselves may just be the cinematic couple for our time.

1. UNDER THE SKIN (dir. Jonathan Glazer)

Mind-blowing, strange, and eerie to the max, UNDER THE SKIN was also the most substantial film of last year. Jonathan Glazer’s whats-it about an emotionally-detached alien vamp (Scarlett Johansson), nocturnally roaming the streets of Scotland and searching for male victims, is far more than it initially seems: a sustained and austere meditation on the search for identity in a modern, scorched landscape.