Music: The Seltzer Sisters of Nu Haven Kapelye play Wed., Feb. 3, at 8 PM

Hedda and Jackie Selzter_WebThe Seltzer Sisters of Nu Haven Kapelye perform at Best Video Film & Cultural Center Wednesday, Feb. 3. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Best Video and Mainmensch Music Co. present “From Second Avenue to Broadway: The Seltzer Sisters sing 1930’s New York.”

In Best Video’s delightfully intimate setting, The Seltzer Sisters of the Nu Haven Kapelye bring you repertoire ranging from their favorite Yiddish swing numbers to the best loved tunes of the American Song Book.

The line-up: Jackie Sidle Seltzer (vocals), Hedda Rubenstein Seltzer (vocals), Christina Crowder (accordion), Stacy Phillips (violin) and David Chevan (bass).

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, Jan. 29. NHV REMEMBERS DAVID BOWIE—THE EARLY YEARS (1964-1987)

• Monday, Feb. 1. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “THE MARTIAN”

• Wednesday, Feb. 3. YIDDISH SWING/JAZZ VOCALS: THE SELTZER SISTERS of the NU HAVEN KAPELYE

• Thursday, Feb. 4. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SWAMP YANKEE, ALEXANDER

• Friday, Feb. 5. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: MERCY CHOIR, PAGEANT DOVE

• Sunday, Feb. 7. BLUEGRASS JAM 2-5 PM (FREE)

• Monday, Feb. 8. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO”

• Friday, Feb. 12. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Monday, Feb. 15. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE”

• Wednesday, Feb. 17. ACOUSTIC BLUES/FOLK: DITTYMACK

• Thursday, Feb. 18. JAZZ: THE MONK PROJECT BAND

• Friday, Feb. 19. GUITARISTS/SINGER-SONGWRITERS: RANDY COLLINS, IAN ETHAN CASE

• Monday, Feb. 22. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “99 HOMES”

• Friday, Feb. 26. INDIE ROCK: PROCEDURE CLUB

• Thursday, Mar. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOY IKE

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Thursday, Mar. 24. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Wednesday, Mar. 30. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: EUGENE GALLAGHER, WESTERN ESTATES

• Thursday, Mar. 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

Film Series: Oscar series continues Mon., Feb. 1, with “The Martian”

Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s seven-movie, Oscar-oriented film series continues on Monday, Feb. 1 with a screening of “The Martian.” Each screening starts at 7 PM and admission is $7.

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“The Martian” stars Matt Damon as astronaut Mark Watney who is left stranded on Mars after he is presumed dead by his crew after a storm. Watney is thrown back on his own ingenuity while NASA, international scientists and his crew members try and figure out if and how they can bring him back home.

A New York Times Critic’s Pick, “The Martian” earned a glowing review from critic Manohla Dargis:

A space western and a blissed-out cosmic high, “The Martian” stars Matt Damon as an American astronaut who, like a latter-day Robinson Crusoe, learns to survive on his own island of despair. At once epic and intimate, it involves a dual journey into outer and inner space, a trip that takes you into that immensity called the universe and deep into the equally vast landscape of a single consciousness. For this accidental castaway, space is the place where he’s physically marooned, but also where his mind is set free — a dynamic that of course invokes moviegoing itself.

“The Martian” has garnered six Oscar nominations, for Best Picture, Best Actor (Damon), Sound Editing, Production Design, Visual Effects and Adapted Screenplay.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Jan. 27. SURF ROCK: THE CLAMS; SHADOW PUPPETS: KIM MIKENIS, THE HUMAN LIGHT BOX

• Thursday, Jan. 28. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Friday, Jan. 29. NHV REMEMBERS DAVID BOWIE—THE EARLY YEARS (1964-1987)

• Monday, Feb. 1. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “THE MARTIAN”

• Wednesday, Feb. 3. YIDDISH SWING/JAZZ VOCALS: THE SELTZER SISTERS of the NU HAVEN KAPELYE

• Thursday, Feb. 4. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SWAMP YANKEE, ALEXANDER

• Friday, Feb. 5. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: MERCY CHOIR, PAGEANT DOVE

• Sunday, Feb. 7. BLUEGRASS JAM 2-5 PM (FREE)

• Monday, Feb. 8. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO”

• Friday, Feb. 12. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Monday, Feb. 15. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE”

• Wednesday, Feb. 17. ACOUSTIC BLUES/FOLK: DITTYMACK

• Thursday, Feb. 18. JAZZ: THE MONK PROJECT BAND

• Friday, Feb. 19. GUITARISTS/SINGER-SONGWRITERS: RANDY COLLINS, IAN ETHAN CASE

• Monday, Feb. 22. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “99 HOMES”

• Friday, Feb. 26. INDIE ROCK: PROCEDURE CLUB

• Thursday, Mar. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOY IKE

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Thursday, Mar. 24. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Wednesday, Mar. 30. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: EUGENE GALLAGHER, WESTERN ESTATES

• Thursday, Mar. 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

Music: NHV Remembers David Bowie: The Early Years (1964 – 1987) Fri., Jan. 29, 7:30 PM

Bowie_image_text_WebA whole host of New Haven-area musicians and groups join together at Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Friday, Jan. 29, to pay tribute to the late legendary rock musician David Bowie. This show focuses on songs recorded by Bowie from 1964-87; a second show covering Bowie’s post-1987 oeuvre will be held Feb. 13 at Cafe Nine in New Haven. Cover for this show is $5 and it starts early—7:30 PM.

The lineup so far, not necessarily in performing order:

Zoo Front – Rebel Rebel
The Tet Offensive – My Death
Floating Lanterns – Station to Station intro/Look Back in Anger
The Proud Flesh – Heroes, Soul Love
Super Creeps – Andy Warhol, After All
The One That’s Not Ch-Ch-Changes but the Other One – Oh! You Pretty Things
Ben Erickson – Lady Stardust
Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps w/ Zohra Rawling – Ashes to Ashes, Scary Monsters
Ceschi – Quicksand
Sam Perduta – Five Years
Anne Rhodes, Trevor Babb, Adam Matlock – Star Man
Happy Ending – Panic In Detroit
Orkestar BAM – The Man Who Sold The World

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Jan. 21. WORLD MUSIC/FOLK: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Friday, Jan. 22. INDIE ROCK: THE FURORS, JACKET THOR

• Monday, Jan. 25. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON”

• Wednesday, Jan. 27. SURF ROCK: THE CLAMS; SHADOW PUPPETS: KIM MIKENIS, THE HUMAN LIGHT BOX

• Thursday, Jan. 28. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Friday, Jan. 29. NHV REMEMBERS DAVID BOWIE—THE EARLY YEARS (1964-1987)

• Monday, Feb. 1. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “THE MARTIAN”

• Wednesday, Feb. 3. YIDDISH SWING/JAZZ VOCALS: THE SELTZER SISTERS of the NU HAVEN KAPELYE

• Thursday, Feb. 4. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SWAMP YANKEE, ALEXANDER

• Friday, Feb. 5. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: MERCY CHOIR, PAGEANT DOVE

• Sunday, Feb. 7. BLUEGRASS JAM 2-5 PM (FREE)

• Monday, Feb. 8. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO”

• Friday, Feb. 12. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Monday, Feb. 15. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE”

• Wednesday, Feb. 17. ACOUSTIC BLUES/FOLK: DITTYMACK

• Thursday, Feb. 18. JAZZ: THE MONK PROJECT BAND

• Friday, Feb. 19. GUITARISTS/SINGER-SONGWRITERS: RANDY COLLINS, IAN ETHAN CASE

• Monday, Feb. 22. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “99 HOMES”

• Friday, Feb. 26. INDIE ROCK: PROCEDURE CLUB

• Thursday, Mar. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOY IKE

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Thursday, Mar. 24. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Wednesday, Mar. 30. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: EUGENE GALLAGHER, WESTERN ESTATES

• Thursday, Mar. 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

Music: The Dudley Farm String Band plays bluegrass Thurs., Jan. 28, at 8 PM

Dudley_Farm_String_Band_BV_070315_WebDudley Farm String Band plays the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Jan. 28. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

While they have roots in bluegrass, Dudley Farm String Band brings together bluegrass, traditional and progressive styles. You might hear them playing old-timey standards one minute, and progressive folk or rock-‘n-roll sets the next. They have a great time when they play together, and it shows.

They pull tunes and styles from the likes of Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, The Soggy Bottom Boys (from “O Brother Where Art Thou?”), Doc Watson, Bela Fleck, Pink Floyd, Irving Berlin, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman. The group has also developed a substantial collection of original tunes.

The five band members play a range of folk instruments: Mat Crowley – mandolin; Irv Hagwood – banjo; Stan Hershonic – resonator slide guitar, mandolin, banjolin and harmonica; Mike Sinclair – bass and harmonica; and Brian Young – guitar, banjo and bass. They all sing from time to time, with Brian, Mat and Stan most often featured.

They’ve played in venues around the state, including: The Podunk Bluegrass Festival, East Hartford, CT; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; Medad Stone Tavern Museum, Guilford; Madison Historical Society and Bauer Park, Madison, CT; Night of a Thousand Stars (Guilford Free Library); North Branford Library; The International Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven, CT; The Durham Fair, and, of course, performances at Dudley Farm. Dudley Farm String Band also recorded traditional music for the soundtrack of a Dudley Farm video showing a recent barn-raising at the farm.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Jan. 21. WORLD MUSIC/FOLK: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Friday, Jan. 22. INDIE ROCK: THE FURORS, JACKET THOR

• Monday, Jan. 25. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON”

• Wednesday, Jan. 27. SURF ROCK: THE CLAMS; SHADOW PUPPETS: KIM MIKENIS, THE HUMAN LIGHT BOX

• Thursday, Jan. 28. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Friday, Jan. 29. NHV REMEMBERS DAVID BOWIE—THE EARLY YEARS (1964-1987)

• Monday, Feb. 1. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “THE MARTIAN”

• Wednesday, Feb. 3. YIDDISH SWING/JAZZ VOCALS: THE SELTZER SISTERS of the NU HAVEN KAPELYE

• Thursday, Feb. 4. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SWAMP YANKEE, ALEXANDER

• Friday, Feb. 5. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: MERCY CHOIR, PAGEANT DOVE

• Sunday, Feb. 7. BLUEGRASS JAM 2-5 PM (FREE)

• Monday, Feb. 8. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO”

• Friday, Feb. 12. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Monday, Feb. 15. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE”

• Wednesday, Feb. 17. ACOUSTIC BLUES/FOLK: DITTYMACK

• Thursday, Feb. 18. JAZZ: THE MONK PROJECT BAND

• Friday, Feb. 19. GUITARISTS/SINGER-SONGWRITERS: RANDY COLLINS, IAN ETHAN CASE

• Monday, Feb. 22. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “99 HOMES”

• Friday, Feb. 26. INDIE ROCK: PROCEDURE CLUB

• Thursday, Mar. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOY IKE

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Thursday, Mar. 24. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Wednesday, Mar. 30. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: EUGENE GALLAGHER, WESTERN ESTATES

• Thursday, Mar. 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

Music & Puppetry: The Clams play surf music, Kim Mikenis offers shadow puppetry Wed., Jan. 27, at 8 PM

Surf rock trio The Clams plays Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Wednesday, Jan. 26. The show starts at 8 PM with Kim Mikenis, The Human Light Box, presenting a short amusing shadow puppet performance. The cover is $5.

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Straight from the beach party / clambake of your dreams, The Clams brought the driving sound of 1960s surf music to parties, clubs and events everywhere. This 3 piece group dished up tasty instrumental surf classics ala Dick Dale and the Ventures, surfed-up TV and movie classics and loads of Clams originals!

The Clams have provided reverb soaked, go-go powered instrumentals from Maine to Pennsylvania. The Clams have shared stages with The Nebulas, 9th Wave, SPF-4, The Rip Chords and Many more awsome bands. The Clams have played The Cutting Room NYC, Otto’s Shrunken Head, Cafe 9, Ralph’s Diner, Kirkland Cafe, Geno’s Rock Club, Yarmouth Clams Festival and many more groovy venues.

Kim_Mikenis_Web

Kim Mikenis’ artist statement:

I am fascinated with combining art and science with my love of nature. I play with paper, sculpt, assemble, collage, paint and sew. I enjoy figuring out where to place the finished figures on the canvas and often feel a sense of sadness once the figures are permanently attached to one final fixed position. My enjoyment with play and constant movement has spurned creation of dozens of puppet shows and stop motion animations.  I am also inspired by travels abroad, the comforts of home, vaudeville, circus, human fears, scientific phenomenon and animals.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Jan. 21. WORLD MUSIC/FOLK: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Friday, Jan. 22. INDIE ROCK: THE FURORS, JACKET THOR

• Monday, Jan. 25. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON”

• Wednesday, Jan. 27. SURF ROCK: THE CLAMS; SHADOW PUPPETS: KIM MIKENIS, THE HUMAN LIGHT BOX

• Thursday, Jan. 28. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Friday, Jan. 29. NHV REMEMBERS DAVID BOWIE—THE EARLY YEARS (1964-1987)

• Monday, Feb. 1. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “THE MARTIAN”

• Wednesday, Feb. 3. YIDDISH SWING/JAZZ VOCALS: THE SELTZER SISTERS of the NU HAVEN KAPELYE

• Thursday, Feb. 4. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SWAMP YANKEE, ALEXANDER

• Friday, Feb. 5. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: MERCY CHOIR, PAGEANT DOVE

• Sunday, Feb. 7. BLUEGRASS JAM 2-5 PM (FREE)

• Monday, Feb. 8. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO”

• Friday, Feb. 12. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Monday, Feb. 15. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE”

• Wednesday, Feb. 17. ACOUSTIC BLUES/FOLK: DITTYMACK

• Thursday, Feb. 18. JAZZ: THE MONK PROJECT BAND

• Friday, Feb. 19. GUITARISTS/SINGER-SONGWRITERS: RANDY COLLINS, IAN ETHAN CASE

• Monday, Feb. 22. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “99 HOMES”

• Friday, Feb. 26. INDIE ROCK: PROCEDURE CLUB

• Thursday, Mar. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOY IKE

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Thursday, Mar. 24. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Wednesday, Mar. 30. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: EUGENE GALLAGHER, WESTERN ESTATES

• Thursday, Mar. 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

Film Screening: “Straight Outta Compton” Mon., Jan. 25; film at center of #oscarsowhite controversy

Straight Outta ComptonBest Video Film & Cultural Center’s seven-movie, Oscar-oriented film series continues on Monday, Jan. 25 with a screening of “Straight Outta Compton.” Each screening starts at 7 PM and admission is $7.

“Straight Outta Compton” tells the story of the rise of Los Angles rap group N.W.A., which broke through in the late 1980s by delivering hard-hitting rhymes offering a street-level view of Black life in the L.A. Compton neighborhood. It’s a tale of violent drug dealing, oppressive policing, ambitious and creative musicians, and shady managers and record label honchos.

New York Times reviewer Manohla Dargis writes:

[The opening scene]— a churn of menacing theater and darting action — seduces you with its noirish vibe while laying down a few recurring themes, including the urgent refrain that black lives are at stake. That melody wends through the movie, which shares its title with the group’s 1988 record and tracks a fistful of upstarts who — with beats, smarts, corrosive poetry and powerful rhetoric — helped introduce gangster rap to an alternately freaked-out and receptive world. It’s a story driven by classic tensions: struggle and triumph, division and conquest, group and individual. In some meaningful ways, it is as familiar a bootstraps account as “The Social Network,” David Fincher’s dramatization of Mark Zuckerberg’s ascendancy, even if “Straight Outta Compton” is also about black art and autonomy as means of resistance.

But, unlike “The Social Network,” “Straight Outta Compton” was mostly—more on that in a moment—shut out of Oscar nominations. And the lack of attention by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences to “Straight Outta Compton”—as well as other films by Black filmmakers such as Ryan Coogler or featuring prominent performances by Black actors like Idris Elba—has engendered a controversy trending under the hastag #oscarsowhite.

A New York Times roundtable discussion of the controversy between critics A.O. Scott, Manohla Dargis and Wesley Morris was prefaced thusly:

Are these the whitest Oscar nominations ever? Or just the most recent Academy Award whiteout? For the second year in a row, the nominations failed to recognize any minority actors. Movies about black lives like “Creed” and “Straight Outta Compton” did receive recognition, but their nominations were for either white writers (“Compton”) or a white performer (Sylvester Stallone in “Creed”). The black directors of each movie along with their nonwhite actors were shut out.

Director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith—wife of Will Smith, not nominated for his role in “Concussion”—announced that they would boycott the Oscar ceremony in protest.

Come to Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Monday, Jan. 25, to watch “Straight Outta Compton” and consider these questions.

Watch a trailer for “Straight Outta Compton”:

Remaining schedule:

Jan. 25: “Straight Outta Compton”
Feb. 1: “The Martian”
Feb. 8: “Sicario”
Feb. 15: “Suffragette”
Feb. 22: “99 Homes”

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Jan. 21. WORLD MUSIC/FOLK: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Friday, Jan. 22. INDIE ROCK: THE FURORS, JACKET THOR

• Monday, Jan. 25. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON”

• Wednesday, Jan. 27. SURF ROCK: THE CLAMS; SHADOW PUPPETS: KIM MIKENIS, THE HUMAN LIGHT BOX

• Thursday, Jan. 28. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Friday, Jan. 29. NHV REMEMBERS DAVID BOWIE—THE EARLY YEARS (1964-1987)

• Monday, Feb. 1. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “THE MARTIAN”

• Wednesday, Feb. 3. YIDDISH SWING/JAZZ VOCALS: THE SELTZER SISTERS of the NU HAVEN KAPELYE

• Thursday, Feb. 4. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SWAMP YANKEE, ALEXANDER

• Friday, Feb. 5. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: MERCY CHOIR, PAGEANT DOVE

• Sunday, Feb. 7. BLUEGRASS JAM 2-5 PM (FREE)

• Monday, Feb. 8. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO”

• Friday, Feb. 12. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Monday, Feb. 15. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE”

• Wednesday, Feb. 17. ACOUSTIC BLUES/FOLK: DITTYMACK

• Thursday, Feb. 18. JAZZ: THE MONK PROJECT BAND

• Friday, Feb. 19. GUITARISTS/SINGER-SONGWRITERS: RANDY COLLINS, IAN ETHAN CASE

• Monday, Feb. 22. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “99 HOMES”

• Friday, Feb. 26. INDIE ROCK: PROCEDURE CLUB

• Thursday, Mar. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOY IKE

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Thursday, Mar. 24. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Wednesday, Mar. 30. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: EUGENE GALLAGHER, WESTERN ESTATES

• Thursday, Mar. 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

 

New Releases 1/19/16

Top Hits
Straight_Outta_ComptonStraight Outta Compton (drama/music, Dr. Dre. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. Metacritic: 72. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “The director, F. Gary Gray, has a modern commercial filmmaker’s sense of space and rhythm that’s announced in [the opening] scene’s mobile camerawork, loose compositions and functional editing. Yet Eazy’s peewee pugnaciousness [he’s a shrimp who towers over villainy with his defiance] suggests that Mr. Gray has a fondness for old James Cagney movies, too. Like an original Hollywood gangster, Eazy leads with his charisma [he’s a beautiful bluffer], motor mouth and quick feet, which he puts to nimble use when chaos erupts in the house, shattering it into a cacophony of sights and sounds: shrieking sirens, screaming bullets, snarling dog. The scene defines Eazy as a great escape artist and gestures toward the breakouts soon to come, including the one that takes N.W.A. out of Compton.” Read more…)

The Intern (comedy, Robert De Niro. Rotten Tomatoes: 60%. Metacritic: 51. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “The director Nancy Meyers doesn’t just make movies, she makes the kind of lifestyle fantasies you sink into like eiderdown. Her movies are frothy, playful, homogeneous, routinely maddening and generally pretty irresistible even when they’re not all that good. Her most notable visual signature is the immaculate, luxuriously appointed interiors she’s known to fuss over personally — they inevitably feature throw pillows that look as if they’ve been arranged with a measuring tape.” Read more…)

EverestEverest (true life adventure, Jason Clarke. Rotten Tomatoes: 72%. Metacritic: 64. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘Because it’s there’ is a perfectly valid justification for climbing an enormous mountain — a famous one, at any rate — but maybe not a good enough reason to see a movie. Or to make a movie, for that matter. Technically, of course, a film isn’t really ‘there’ until someone makes it, and ‘Everest,’ a breathless, large-scale 3-D action spectacle [directed by Baltasar Kormakur] about an ill-starred attempt to scale the planet’s highest peak, was called into being with impressive star power and technical bravura. It definitely exists. But it never seems to get anywhere, taking up space and time without managing to be especially memorable or imposing.” Read more…)

The Look of Silence (history, Indonesia, human rights, genocide. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 92. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘The Look of Silence,’ a documentary directed by the American filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer and an anonymous Indonesian collaborator, is a painful, profoundly empathetic work of moral reckoning. Like its companion film, ‘The Act of Killing,’ released in 2013, it examines the mass killings that began in Indonesia in 1965, when at least a million people were slaughtered in the aftermath of a military coup. In the earlier movie, perpetrators of the massacres eagerly re-enact their crimes, borrowing costumes and attitudes from American genre movies, as if they were western or film noir heroes. In ‘The Look of Silence,’ it is clear that many of the killers, whose political sponsors are still in power, feel little or no regret for their actions. On the contrary, they bask in a glow of righteous vindication.” Read more…)

Learning to Drive (comedy/drama/romance, Patricia Clarkson. Rotten Tomatoes: 65%. Metacritic: 59. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Stephen Holden’s Times review: “Among the charms of ‘Learning to Drive,’ a small, observant dual portrait of a New York book critic and her Indian-American driving instructor, are the detailed, lived-in performances of its stars, Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley. The film belongs to a school of grown-up, low-drama two-handers, of which the most famous example is ‘Driving Miss Daisy,’ but ‘Learning to Drive’ isn’t half as sentimental. As this movie, directed by Isabel Coixet, tracks the deepening friendship between people from different cultures and backgrounds, it acquires an unforced metaphorical resonance.” Read more…)

Diary_Teenage_GirlThe Diary of a Teenage Girl (drama/romance, Bel Powley. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%. Metacritic: 87. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “Minnie Goetze, the 15-year-old heroine of ‘The Diary of a Teenage Girl,’ is a would-be cartoonist who, despite her first name, is closer in lusty spirit and scratchy pen to Robert Crumb than to Walt Disney. When, partway through this gutsy, exhilarating movie, she draws her first cartoon, it’s of a bodacious female colossus striding across San Francisco. As this inky giant keeps on trucking, she evokes the 50-foot-woman of cult film fame, if one that has received a Crumb makeover, with thighs as mighty as giant sequoias and a bottom that rolls like a ship in a storm. The terrific actress Bel Powley was in her early 20s when ‘Diary’ was shot, but looks more like a teenager than most of the generically buffed and prettified adolescents who populate American screens.” Read more…)

Woodlawn: The True Story (sports/drama, Sean Astin. Rotten Tomatoes: 83%. Metacritic: 57.)

New Blu-Ray
Straight Outta Compton
The Intern
Everest

New Classics DVDs (pre-1960)
GildaGilda (1946, film noir classic, Criterion edition, Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. “Gilda” is now recognized as a film noir classic. But New York Times critic Bosley Crowther was not enamored with it when it as released in 1946. He wrote [log-in required]: “Despite close and earnest attention to this nigh-onto-two-hour film, this reviewer was utterly baffled by what happened on the screen. To our average register of reasoning, it simply did not make sense. It seems that a fantastic female, the pivotal character in this film, turns up in a Buenos Aires casino as the wife of the dour proprietor. But it also seems that she was previously the sweetie of a caustic young man who is quite a hand at gambling and is employed by this same proprietor. For reasons which are guardedly suggested, she taunts and torments this tough lad until, by a twist of circumstances, her husband is suddenly removed. Then she marries the laddie but continues to fight with him because of some curious disposition which is never properly explained. In the end, after certain vagrant incidents, they are reconciled—but don’t ask us why.” Read more…)

Let There Be Light: John Huston’s Wartime Documentaries (1942, wartime documentaries by John Huston. Includes “Let There Be Light,” “Winning Your Wings,” “Report from the Aleutians” and “San Pietro.” “Let There Be Light,” which dealt with postwar treatment of veterans with “psychoneurotic” disorders (now known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), was suppressed by the Army shortly after it was made as potentially harmful to future recruiting efforts. New York Times critic Vincent Canby reviewed it upon its release in 1981 [log-in required]: “With its voice-over narration [provided by Walter Huston], its use of wipes and dissolves and its full-orchestra soundtrack music, ‘Let There Be Light’ is an amazingly elegant movie, far different from the kind of documentaries we’re now used to and pioneered by such post-World War II film makers as Morris Engel, Robert Drew, D.A. Pennebaker, Richard Leacock and Albert and David Maysles. Its studied look may have the effect of softening the movie’s impact on today’s audiences, who’ve grown up seeing riots, wars and assassinations live-and-in-color on their home television screens. Yet it’s not difficult to understand the force of the film. Among the patients we see from their arrival at Mason General through their treatments, cures and releases are men suffering from amnesia, hysterical paralysis, stuttering and acute melancholia.” Read more…)

New British
Vera: Season 2 (police procedural, Brenda Blethyn)
Vera: Season 3 (police procedural, Brenda Blethyn)

New Documentaries
Look_of_SilenceThe Look of Silence (history, Indonesia, human rights, genocide. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 92. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘The Look of Silence,’ a documentary directed by the American filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer and an anonymous Indonesian collaborator, is a painful, profoundly empathetic work of moral reckoning. Like its companion film, ‘The Act of Killing,’ released in 2013, it examines the mass killings that began in Indonesia in 1965, when at least a million people were slaughtered in the aftermath of a military coup. In the earlier movie, perpetrators of the massacres eagerly re-enact their crimes, borrowing costumes and attitudes from American genre movies, as if they were western or film noir heroes. In ‘The Look of Silence,’ it is clear that many of the killers, whose political sponsors are still in power, feel little or no regret for their actions. On the contrary, they bask in a glow of righteous vindication.” Read more…)

Meet the Patels (romance, comedy, ethnicity. Rotten Tomatoes: 84%. Metacritic: 70. From Andy Webster’s New York Times review: “‘Meet the Patels’ is a tidy, easygoing documentary in which peripheral players prove more intriguing than its central focus. That would be Ravi Patel, a successful actor [‘Transformers’; the coming TV series ‘Grandfathered’] in Los Angeles who has separated from his redheaded girlfriend, Audrey, lacking the nerve to tell his Indian-born parents about their relationship.” Read more…)

Inside Assad’s Syria (war, current events, human rights, foreign policy)
A Bear’s Story (nature/family)

New Children’s DVDs
A Bear’s Story (nature/family)

Music: The Furors return Fri., Jan. 22; Jacket Thor opens

The Furors play Best Video Film & Cultural Center this Friday, Jan. 22. Jacket Thor opens with a solo set. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

The Furors

The Furors

Comprised of guitarist Derek Holcomb and drummer Tom Dans—Holcomb sings lead and Dans harmonizes—The Furors have been playing together for over three decades. They have self-released numerous vinyl 45s, a vinyl LP and several compact discs. Their catalog is so beloved among local musicians that a tribute album, “Let’s Get Furious,” was released in 2003 featuring 38 Furors songs covered by 38 local musicians and groups.

The Furors’ music is joyful, quirky three-minute pop, like a cross between They Might Be Giants and early British Invasion rock ‘n’ roll.

Jacket Thor is a folk/lo-fi/art project by Ryan Kalentkowski from central CT. Beginning in 2012, he has been releasing various recordings along with his own artwork and playing shows locally as well as on the road.

Jacket_Thor_BV_091114_03_Web

His songs are somewhat melancholy at times, which is mostly because he just really wants a mustache and he knows that he can’t have one.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Monday, Jan. 18. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “PAWN SACRIFICE”

• Thursday, Jan. 21. WORLD MUSIC/FOLK: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Friday, Jan. 22. INDIE ROCK: THE FURORS, JACKET THOR

• Monday, Jan. 25. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON”

• Wednesday, Jan. 27. SURF ROCK: THE CLAMS; SHADOW PUPPETS: KIM MIKENIS, THE HUMAN LIGHT BOX

• Thursday, Jan. 28. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Friday, Jan. 29. NHV REMEMBERS DAVID BOWIE—THE EARLY YEARS (1964-1987)

• Monday, Feb. 1. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “THE MARTIAN”

• Wednesday, Feb. 3. YIDDISH SWING/JAZZ VOCALS: THE SELTZER SISTERS of the NU HAVEN KAPELYE

• Thursday, Feb. 4. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SWAMP YANKEE, ALEXANDER

• Friday, Feb. 5. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: MERCY CHOIR, PAGEANT DOVE

• Sunday, Feb. 7. BLUEGRASS JAM 2-5 PM (FREE)

• Monday, Feb. 8. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO”

• Friday, Feb. 12. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Monday, Feb. 15. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE”

• Wednesday, Feb. 17. ACOUSTIC BLUES/FOLK: DITTYMACK

• Thursday, Feb. 18. JAZZ: THE MONK PROJECT BAND

• Friday, Feb. 19. GUITARISTS/SINGER-SONGWRITERS: RANDY COLLINS, IAN ETHAN CASE

• Monday, Feb. 22. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “99 HOMES”

• Friday, Feb. 26. INDIE ROCK: PROCEDURE CLUB

• Thursday, Mar. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOY IKE

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Thursday, Mar. 24. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Wednesday, Mar. 30. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: EUGENE GALLAGHER, WESTERN ESTATES

• Thursday, Mar. 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

 

Music: Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps play Thurs., Jan. 21, at 8 PM

Dr_Caterwaul_BV_010915_Twin_Peaks_WebDr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps return to Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Thursday, Jan. 21. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps–composed of Michael Tepper on upright bass, Adam Matlock on accordion and vocals; Michael Paolucci on percussion; Chris Cretella on electric guitar and Brian Slattery on violin, banjo, trombone and vocals–plays as much music as it’s able to: blues and murder ballads, Eastern European folk, traditional music from North and South America, tango, swing, classical music, and the songs of contemporary songwriters (including Matlock), using the influences of the music they love to create fluid, improvised arrangements.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Monday, Jan. 18. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “PAWN SACRIFICE”

• Thursday, Jan. 21. WORLD MUSIC/FOLK: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Friday, Jan. 22. INDIE ROCK: THE FURORS, JACKET THOR

• Monday, Jan. 25. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON”

• Wednesday, Jan. 27. SURF ROCK: THE CLAMS; SHADOW PUPPETS: KIM MIKENIS, THE HUMAN LIGHT BOX

• Thursday, Jan. 28. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Friday, Jan. 29. NHV REMEMBERS DAVID BOWIE—THE EARLY YEARS (1964-1987)

• Monday, Feb. 1. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “THE MARTIAN”

• Wednesday, Feb. 3. YIDDISH SWING/JAZZ VOCALS: THE SELTZER SISTERS of the NU HAVEN KAPELYE

• Thursday, Feb. 4. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SWAMP YANKEE, ALEXANDER

• Friday, Feb. 5. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: MERCY CHOIR, PAGEANT DOVE

• Sunday, Feb. 7. BLUEGRASS JAM 2-5 PM (FREE)

• Monday, Feb. 8. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO”

• Friday, Feb. 12. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Monday, Feb. 15. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE”

• Wednesday, Feb. 17. ACOUSTIC BLUES/FOLK: DITTYMACK

• Thursday, Feb. 18. JAZZ: THE MONK PROJECT BAND

• Friday, Feb. 19. GUITARISTS/SINGER-SONGWRITERS: RANDY COLLINS, IAN ETHAN CASE

• Monday, Feb. 22. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “99 HOMES”

• Friday, Feb. 26. INDIE ROCK: PROCEDURE CLUB

• Thursday, Mar. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOY IKE

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Thursday, Mar. 24. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Wednesday, Mar. 30. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: EUGENE GALLAGHER, WESTERN ESTATES

• Thursday, Mar. 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

 

Film screening: Oscar series continues with “Pawn Sacrifice” Mon., Jan. 18, at 7 PM

Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s seven-movie, Oscar-oriented film series continues on Monday, Jan. 18 (the same day official Oscar nominations are announced), with a screening of “Pawn Sacrifice.” Each screening starts at 7 PM and admission is $7.

Oscar_Series_2016_flyer_Web

Yes, there’s the Political Election but first, there’s the Oscar Race: Seven Oscar contenders—for one award or another—straight outta the theater to Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s Performance Space. The series runs consecutive Mondays from Jan. 11 through Feb. 22. (The televised Oscar ceremony is on Sunday, Feb. 28.)

See the films, receive your ballot, and become a winner yourself — with a BVFCC prize for the most correct choices!

In “Pawn Sacrifice,” Chess prodigy Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) challenges the Soviet Empire during the Cold War while battling his own notorious demons (not to mention the CIA). With Liev Shreiber and Peter Sarsgaard. The movie was a New York Times Critic’s pick. Neil Genzlinger writes:

It was a challenge to play Bobby Fischer in chess, and it’s a challenge for an actor to play him on the screen. Anyone taking on the task needs to be careful not to get carried away with the man’s eccentricities, to make sure to retain the pathos beneath the sideshow. Tobey Maguire meets that challenge adroitly in “Pawn Sacrifice,” a film by Edward Zwick about Fischer’s chess match against the Soviet grandmaster Boris Spassky.

Remaining schedule and info:

Monday, Jan. 18 • PAWN SACRIFICE

Monday, Jan. 25 • STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON: This highly entertaining and illuminating film dominated the box office with strong reviews. Offering depth in culture rather than simple glorification, this true-life story of the emergence of rap against L.A. police brutality in the ‘80s, is as relevant today as it was then.

Monday, Feb. 1 • THE MARTIAN: On a manned mission to Mars, an astronaut (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and abandoned by his crew. Alone on a hostile planet, he must use his ingenuity, wit, and spirit to survive and find a way to signal earth that he is alive. Directed by Ridley Scott – smart, thrilling, and surprisingly funny.

Monday, Feb. 8 • SICARIO: In this highly acclaimed thriller, an idealistic FBI agent (Emily Blunt) negotiates the lawless border between the USA and Mexico, and the porous loyalties of the elite agency (Benito del Torio, Josh Brolin) that hired her, causing her to question her beliefs.

Monday, Feb. 15 • SUFFRAGETTE: Carrie Mulligan, Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham Carter portray early-century radicalized foot soldiers willing to sacrifice their jobs, homes, children, and lives for the right of all women to control their lives. Still a relevant issue for 2016.

Monday, Feb. 22 • 99 HOMES: Taking place in Orlando, a young father (Andrew Garfield) struggles to get his home back (and keep his integrity) by working for the ambitious real estate broker (Michael Shannon) who foreclosed him. My favorite film of 2015.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Jan. 21. WORLD MUSIC/FOLK: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Friday, Jan. 22. INDIE ROCK: THE FURORS, JACKET THOR

• Monday, Jan. 25. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON”

• Wednesday, Jan. 27. SURF ROCK: THE CLAMS

• Thursday, Jan. 28. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Friday, Jan. 29. NHV REMEMBERS DAVID BOWIE—THE EARLY YEARS (1964-1987)

• Monday, Feb. 1. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “THE MARTIAN”

• Wednesday, Feb. 3. YIDDISH SWING/JAZZ VOCALS: THE SELTZER SISTERS of the NU HAVEN KAPELYE

• Thursday, Feb. 4. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: SWAMP YANKEE, ALEXANDER

• Friday, Feb. 5. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: MERCY CHOIR, PAGEANT DOVE

• Sunday, Feb. 7. BLUEGRASS JAM 2-5 PM (FREE)

• Monday, Feb. 8. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO”

• Friday, Feb. 12. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Monday, Feb. 15. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE”

• Wednesday, Feb. 17. ACOUSTIC BLUES/FOLK: DITTYMACK

• Thursday, Feb. 18. JAZZ: THE MONK PROJECT BAND

• Friday, Feb. 19. GUITARISTS/SINGER-SONGWRITERS: RANDY COLLINS, IAN ETHAN CASE

• Monday, Feb. 22. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “99 HOMES”

• Friday, Feb. 26. INDIE ROCK: PROCEDURE CLUB

• Thursday, Mar. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: JOY IKE

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER

• Thursday, Mar. 24. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Wednesday, Mar. 30. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: EUGENE GALLAGHER, WESTERN ESTATES

• Thursday, Mar. 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI