New Releases 3/31/15

Top Hits
Wild (drama, Reese Witherspoon. Rotten Tomtoes: 90%. Metacritic: 76. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “The structure of ‘Wild’ is as complicated as its themes. The ‘action’ on the trail — walking, thinking, pitching the tent at night and packing it up in the morning — is punctuated by looping reminiscences of the life that preceded it. What is most audacious about the film, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée [‘Dallas Buyers Club’] from a screenplay by Nick Hornby [yes, that Nick Hornby], is how closely it follows and how fully it respects [author Cheryl] Strayed’s free-associative, memory-driven narrative. In its thrilling disregard for the conventions of commercial cinematic storytelling, ‘Wild’ reveals what some of us have long suspected: that plot is the enemy of truth, and that images and emotions can carry meaning more effectively than neatly packaged scenes or carefully scripted character arcs.” Read more…)

Interstellar (science fiction, Matthew McConaughey. Rotten Tomtoes: 72%. Metacritic: 74. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “Like the great space epics of the past, Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ distills terrestrial anxieties and aspirations into a potent pop parable, a mirror of the mood down here on Earth. Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ blended the technological awe of the Apollo era with the trippy hopes and terrors of the Age of Aquarius. George Lucas’s first ‘Star Wars’ trilogy, set not in the speculative future but in the imaginary past, answered the malaise of the ’70s with swashbuckling nostalgia. ‘Interstellar,’ full of visual dazzle, thematic ambition, geek bait and corn (including the literal kind), is a sweeping, futuristic adventure driven by grief, dread and regret.” Read more…)

The Rewrite (romance, Hugh Grant. Rotten Tomtoes: 64%. Metacritic: 51. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “‘The Rewrite’ the fourth screen collaboration of Hugh Grant and the director and screenwriter Marc Lawrence, is a return to form for the long-running team after the debacle six years ago of ‘Did You Hear About the Morgans?’ By ‘return to form,’ I don’t mean to suggest that their pre-‘Morgans’ films — ‘Two Weeks Notice’ and ‘Music and Lyrics’ — were more than reasonably intelligent romantic comedies buoyed by Mr. Grant’s appeal as a bumbling, sheepish charmer.” Read more…)

The Imitation Game (historical drama, Benedict Cumberbatch. Rotten Tomtoes: 89%. Metacritic: 73. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘The Imitation Game’ is a highly conventional movie about a profoundly unusual man. This is not entirely a bad thing. Alan Turing’s tragically shortened life — he was 41 when he died in 1954 — is a complex and fascinating story, bristling with ideas and present-day implications, and it benefits from the streamlined structure and accessible presentation of modern prestige cinema. The science is not too difficult, the emotions are clear and emphatic, and the truth of history is respected just enough to make room for tidy and engrossing drama.” Read more…)

Wild Card (action, Jason Statham. Rotten Tomtoes: 28%. Metacritic: 40. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “Set in the underbelly of Las Vegas and full of dull existential timeouts, ‘Wild Card’ is about second chances. For the ‘security consultant’ played by Jason Statham, that would mean finally escaping the [violent] grind. For the film’s storied screenwriter, William Goldman, it’s the rare privilege of re-adapting his novel ‘Heat’ after its first incarnation in 1986 with Burt Reynolds.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Interstellar
Wild
The Imitation Game

New TV
Silicon Valley: Season 1

Music: San Francisco-tinged rock by Parker’s Tangent Fri., Apr. 10, at 8 PM

Parkers_Tangent_BV_081414_WebParker’s Tangent plays the Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Apr. 10. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Parker’s Tangent based out of New Haven, CT plays blues and roots based original art rock. The music can be poetic, quiet and touching to bluesy to out and out rocking. This is a professional group that has a lot of fun performing and that fun is picked up by the audience.

The band’s lineup is comprised of a female lead singer whose wonderful, warm sultry voice has been compared to Grace Slick and Norah Jones, drums [also female] guitar, bass, and violin! This is a professional all-star group with each of the musicians having many, many years of experience in other local bands. While the group plays primarily electric they are able to perform acoustically [“unplugged”] as well.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

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

• Friday, Apr. 3. AVANT-GARDE: FUCHSPRELLEN

• Wednesday, Apr. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

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

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

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Wednesday, Apr. 22. AMERICANA/ROOTS: THE HELLWIGS

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

• Friday, Apr. 24. BLUEGRASS: THE KOREY BRODSKY BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 30. INDIE ROCK: loom

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

• Friday, May 15. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

Music: The Anne Marie Menta Band live Wed., Apr. 8, at 8 PM

Anne_Marie_Menta_BV_061214_WebThe Anne Marie Menta Band plays Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Apr. 8. 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:

• Friday, Mar. 27. INDIE ROCK: PROCEDURE CLUB

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

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

• Friday, Apr. 3. AVANT-GARDE: FUCHSPRELLEN

• Wednesday, Apr. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

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

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

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Wednesday, Apr. 22. AMERICANA/ROOTS: THE HELLWIGS

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

• Friday, Apr. 24. BLUEGRASS: THE KOREY BRODSKY BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 30. INDIE ROCK: loom

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

• Friday, May 15. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

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

Music: Avant-garde jazz with Fuchsprellen Fri., Apr. 3, at 8 PM

Fuchsprellen_BV_050814_02_Web

Fuchsprellen playing Best Video in the spring of 2014.

The free improvising group Fuchsprellen will perform in the Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Apr. 3. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Fuchsprellen—the name comes from “fox tossing,” a popular blood sport of the 17th and 18th centuries—play free-form, improvised music.  The basic group this evening will be comprised of Peter Riccio (guitarist and singer of The Sawtelles) on drums, Pete Brunelli on electronics and bass and Best Video manager Richard Brown on alto saxophone. No foxes will be harmed in the making of this music.

This is music composed in real time with the various players listening to and responding to the sounds created by their compatriots. Anything can happen and it often does. This music evokes the free jazz of the 1960’s and 1970’s—although it isn’t really “jazz,” per se—and the New York City loft scene of the 1980’s.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Mar. 26. ROCK: LA TUNDA

• Friday, Mar. 27. INDIE ROCK: PROCEDURE CLUB

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

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

• Friday, Apr. 3. AVANT-GARDE: FUCHSPRELLEN

• Wednesday, Apr. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

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

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

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Wednesday, Apr. 22. AMERICANA/ROOTS: THE HELLWIGS

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

• Friday, Apr. 24. BLUEGRASS: THE KOREY BRODSKY BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 30. INDIE ROCK: loom

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

• Friday, May 15. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

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

New Releases 3/24/15

Top Hits
Unbroken (war drama, Jack O’Connell. Rotten Tomatoes: 51%. Metacritic: 59. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “It took four marquee writers — Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson — to wrestle Ms. Hillenbrand’s many pages into a movie, which clocks in at 2 hours 17 minutes. That’s scarcely enough time for any life, but it’s impossible when each chapter in that life could itself be a book [including an underplayed epiphany], and the strain shows, especially in the camp sequences. Ms. Jolie does fine work throughout, including on the raft where, after the crash, Louie and two others, Phil [Domhnall Gleeson] and Mac [Finn Wittrock], battle dehydration, starvation and sharks, including one that the men, in a jolting scene, wrestle onboard and devour. Like a lot of actors turned directors, she’s good with the performers, even when platitudes gush from their mouths along with the blood.” Read more…)

Hobbit 3: Battle of the Five Armies (fantasy/action, Martin Freeman. Rotten Tomatoes: 60%. Metacritic: 59. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “‘You are only quite a little fellow in a wide world, after all,’ Gandalf reminds his companion at the end of ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.’ The avuncular line has a cozy feel that evokes the bedtime-storytelling of J. R. R. Tolkien’s 1937 children’s classic — now better known as the trilogized prequel to a 21st-century fantasy phenomenon. |Gandalf’s sentiment is also all too apt for Peter Jackson’s vexing conclusion to his oddly apportioned adaptation: Bilbo Baggins is indeed quite a little fellow in Mr. Jackson’s wide world here — less a central hero on a quest than a supporting player in a film bookended by destruction and war in gray, grim lands.” Read more…)

Into the Woods (musical/fantasy, Meryl Streep. Rotten Tomatoes: 71%. Metacritic: 69. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Stephen Holden’s Times review: “‘Into the Woods,’ the splendid Disney screen adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical, infuses new vitality into the tired marketing concept of entertainment for ‘children of all ages.’ That usually translates to mean only children and their doting parents. But with ‘Into the Woods,’ you grow up with the characters, young and old, in a lifelong process of self-discovery.” Read more…)

Song One (romance, Anne Hathaway. Rotten Tomatoes: 35%. Metacritic: 48. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “Heartfelt but enervated, ‘Song One’ noodles around the Brooklyn music scene without stirring up magic. The original songs [by Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice] are pleasant if unmemorable, and [actor Johnny] Flynn’s performance is too tentative to counter the story’s lack of drama. That leaves John Guleserian’s lovely hand-held photography and [actress Anne] Hathaway’s quiet radiance to pick up the slack, which they might have done had they been allowed more time with Mary Steenburgen. Her zesty turn as Franny’s freewheeling mother is as invigorating as a shot of Red Bull to a sleep-deprived student.” Read more…)

Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete (coming-of-age drama, Skylan Brooks. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 61. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “There are times in ‘The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete’ |when the emotions it stirs up are so naked and unembarrassed that it feels as if you’ve entered a cinematic time machine back to the silent era, to when child actors like Jackie Coogan gutted you with sentiment. Coogan played the title character in Charles Chaplin’s glorious 1921 weepie ‘The Kid,’ the urchin with the tight grip around the Tramp’s neck and lock on the audience’s affections. The heartbreakers in ‘Mister & Pete,’ a melodrama about two children slipping through the cracks, shed fewer tears than the Kid did — poverty can toughen even the most tender bodies — but their hold on you is as fierce.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Unbroken
Hobbit 3: Battle of the Five Armies

New Foreign
Without Pity (Italy, 1948, neorealist drama, Carla del Poggio. From Bosley Crowther’s dated 1950 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Although it attempts to give a naturalistic view of man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man, ‘Without Pity,’ the Italian importation, which came to the Rialto yesterday, lacks cohesion and, to some extent, effective drama. For this yarn, dealing with the tragic hounding by black marketeers and the United States Army of an American Negro GI and the Italian girl with whom he is in love vacillates between crude melodramatics and some improbable situations. It makes a graphic point as a commentary on the venality of both Italians and the non-Italians with whom they trafficked. But its main theme, clouded by the specter of miscegenation, is a trite one and not especially convincing.” Read more…)

3 Films by Roberto Rosselini:
Stromboli (Italy, 1950, drama, Ingrid Bergman. Rotten Tomatoes: 81%. New York Times critic Bosley Crowther panned this world cinema classic when it was released in the United States in 1950 [log-in required]: “After all the unprecedented interest that the picture “Stromboli” has aroused — it being, of course, the fateful drama which Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini have made—it comes as a startling anticlimax to discover that this widely heralded film is incredibly feeble, inarticulate, uninspiring and painfully banal.” Read more…
Time has treated the movie much more kindly. New York Times DVD critic Dave Kehr wrote, when this set was released: “The scandal [the affair between Bergman and Roberto Rosselini] has long been forgotten, but ‘Stromboli’ — which is being reissued this week in a superb Criterion Collection edition, along with two other Bergman-Rossellini films, ‘Europe ’51’ (1952) and ‘Journey to Italy’ (1954) — now stands as one of the pioneering works of modern European filmmaking. The ‘strange listlessness and incoherence’ that Crowther went on to object to represents a studied reaction to the ‘well made’ movie of the day: the rhythms of ‘Stromboli’ are no longer those of tension and release, of peaks and valleys; its characters no longer the psychologically coherent and clearly motivated figures of popular fiction; its narrative no longer the closed, symmetrical structure of the three-act play.
” Instead, ‘Stromboli’ opens the door to the ambivalent, the aleatory and the unknowable — an opening that would be expanded by ‘Europa ’51’ and finally flung wide by ‘Journey to Italy.’ Through that door came Bresson, Bergman and Antonioni, later to be joined by Godard, Oshima and Cassavetes. Though no single artist, and certainly no single work, can ever be counted the sole source of an aesthetic revolution, it is hard to imagine the contemporary art cinema without Rossellini — he may not have been the first to point the way, but he was certainly the first to take the heat.” Read more…)
Europe ’51 (Italy, 1952, drama, Ingrid Bergman)
Journey to Italy (Italy, 1954, drama, Ingrid Bergman. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%.)

New British
Lisztomania (1975, biopic by Ken Russell, Roger Daltry. Rotten Tomatoes: 43%. From Richard Eder’s New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Ken Russell blows up his colored balloons with ether: They bob prettily, and when they burst we pass out. ‘Lisztomania,’ which opened yesterday at the Ziegfeld, is the latest of his spangled flights of fancy. Fancy it is, but hardly a flight.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
Six by Sondheim (bio, musical theater. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 85.)

Rob Harmon’s Picks 3/24/15

Rob_photo_031715_WebTHE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER (dir. David Robert Mitchell, 2010)

Teen-oriented ensemble films, perhaps because of their emphasis on the entry and awakening into adulthood, have a tendency to focus on a short and very specific length of time, usually a day followed by a night (followed by a morning). Movies have a long history of this, stretching back at least as far as the granddaddy of the genre, Nicholas Ray’s REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, but also including such distinguished fare as George Lucas’ AMERICAN GRAFFITI, John Hughes’ THE BREAKFAST CLUB and FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF, and Richard Linklater’s DAZED AND CONFUSED. Once the sun goes down, so these films would imply, teens – whether jocks, nerds, stoners, dorks, or cool kids – tend to collectively drop their social disguises, rendering them suddenly somnambulant and reflective, like wandering philosophers in the night (a bit like adults, incidentally!).

Like the cinematic fountain of youth, these types of films seem to ask adult viewers: how cool would it be to be young again, and yet mature enough to appreciate it? Or, in a more general sense, remember what it was like to have your whole life ahead of you?

From the overly wordy title alone – THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER – it is clear that first-time writer/director David Robert Mitchell is well-versed in this body of work, yet he proves wise enough not to resort to a mere tribute or rehash.

Myth_American_SleepoverThe film follows four main characters: Rob (Marlon Morton), a sensitive middle schooler about to make the jump to high school, whose hormones are raging and can’t get that girl he saw at the grocery store out of his head; high schooler Claudia (Amanda Bauer) – new in town – who stumbles upon evidence that her boyfriend may not have been quite honest with her; high schooler Maggie (Claire Sloma), who yearns for at least one sexual adventure before summer’s end; and Scott (Brett Jacobsen), home from college, but whose life has seemingly stalled out and who suddenly cannot seem to shake the memory of a girl – or girls, as it may be – from his younger, more exciting, high school days. Aside from these main characters the film features a dozen or so other supporting ones, giving the film a fully-fleshed out feel. Like Linklater, Mitchell does not seem to believe in throw-away characters.

THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER is a true indie, filmed mainly in the suburbs of Detroit, and Mitchell works wonders with a cast of near-unknowns, wringing all of the expected dreams, hopes, and angst from a group of characters perched incipiently on adulthood. The film features a number of unexpected and well-thought-out plot-turns, but is also wise enough to dwell upon the ephemeral details: the tap-tap-tapping of a girl’s toe ring against the side of a bathtub, the emotional and physical rush of a first kiss, the reek of a cigarette or the sting of a beer in the nostrils on a warm summer’s night. The film’s soundtrack, though minimal, is effective and features a few lovely songs.

Much like those long summer’s nights we remember as kids and teenagers, The Myth of the American Sleepover may draw out the moment for maximum impact, but it also eventually – and necessarily – draws to a close and the sun comes up, its characters wistful, but wiser. Youth here is treated like a whisper – eminently worth savoring, but over almost before we know it.

Incidentally, Mitchell has recently released his second movie – continuing his interest in the worlds of youth and teen-oriented genres – with the nerve-jangling IT FOLLOWS, an indie horror film which will necessarily garner favorable comparisons to THE SHINING and Asian shockers such as RINGU, THE EYE and PULSE.

“Found Horizons” film series closes with “A Late Quartet,” Mon., Mar. 30, at 7 PM

late_quartet_xlg_WebThe latest film series in collaboration with Temple Beth Sholom wraps up Monday, Mar. 30, at 7 PM with the 2012 movie “A Late Quartet,” starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener. “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.

“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:

• Thursday, Mar. 26. ROCK: LA TUNDA

• Friday, Mar. 27. INDIE ROCK: PROCEDURE CLUB

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

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

• Friday, Apr. 3. AVANT-GARDE: FUCHSPRELLEN

• Wednesday, Apr. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

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

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

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Wednesday, Apr. 22. AMERICANA/ROOTS: THE HELLWIGS

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

• Friday, Apr. 24. BLUEGRASS: THE KOREY BRODSKY BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 30. INDIE ROCK: loom

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

• Friday, May 15. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

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

Music: The Shellye Valauskas Experience on Thurs., Apr. 2, at 8 PM

SVE_BV_073114_WebThe Shellye Valauskas Experience plays the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Apr. 2. 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.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

• Thursday, Mar. 26. ROCK: LA TUNDA

• Friday, Mar. 27. INDIE ROCK: PROCEDURE CLUB

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

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

• Friday, Apr. 3. AVANT-GARDE: FUCHSPRELLEN

• Wednesday, Apr. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

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

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

• Friday, April 17. WPKN BENEFIT

• Wednesday, Apr. 22. AMERICANA/ROOTS: THE HELLWIGS

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

• Friday, Apr. 24. BLUEGRASS: THE KOREY BRODSKY BAND

• Thursday, Apr. 30. INDIE ROCK: loom

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

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

Tonight’s scheduled show by The Hellwigs postponed to Apr. 22

Due to illness of one the band members, tonight’s scheduled show by The Hellwigs has been rescheduled to Wednesday, Apr. 22.

“Up in the Air” screens Mon., Mar. 23, as part of “Found Horizons” series

UITA Payoff 1-ShtThe latest film series in collaboration with Temple Beth Sholom continues Monday, Mar. 23, at 7 PM with a screening of the 2009 movie “Up in the Air,” starring George Clooney. “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.

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.

The remaining schedule:

Mon., Mar. 23: “Up in the Air”

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!