Film screening: Oscar series continues this Mon., Feb. 29, with “Sicario,” rescheduled from Feb. 8 due to snow

Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s Oscar-oriented film series continues on Monday, Feb. 29 with a screening of “Sicario,” rescheduled from Feb. 8 due to snow. Each screening starts at 7 PM and admission is $7.

Sicario_poster_Web

“Sicario” is a drug war crime thriller starring Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro, directed by Denis Villeneuve.

Critic A.O. Scott sized up the film in the New York Times:

The dry, menacing scenery surveyed in “Sicario” is real, of course, as are some of the aspects of its harrowing story. But the desert and the drug war — a landscape evoking old westerns populated with a new cast of outlaws and would-be sheriffs — has also become fertile pop-cultural ground. We know the territory, thematic and geographic, from “No Country for Old Men” and “Breaking Bad,” from “The Counselor” and “Traffic” and even “Weeds.”

Mr. Villeneuve, aided by Taylor Sheridan’s lean script, Roger Deakins’s parched cinematography and Johann Johannsson’s slow-moving heart attack of a score, respects the imperatives of genre while trying to avoid the usual clichés. It’s not easy, and he doesn’t entirely succeed. But he’s also trying to scramble some of the usual codes, and to paint a morally complicated picture instead of restaging a morality play.

“Sicario” has earned three Oscar nominations: Best Original Score, Cinematography and Sound Editing.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

• Monday, Feb. 29. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO” (Rescheduled due to snow)

• Wednesday, Mar. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: BEN ERICKSON, STEPHEN HLADUN

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

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Sunday, Mar. 6. FILM SCREENING & Q&A WITH SCREENWRITER DONALD MARGULIES (Co-presented with The Institute Library): “THE END OF THE TOUR”

• Monday, Mar. 7. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE” (Rescheduled from 2/15 due to snow)

• Wednesday, Mar. 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: PAT STONE with AMANDA BELITTO

• Thursday, Mar. 10. EXPERIMENTAL: HUMAN FLOURISHING, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER IS PRESTER JOHN

• Sunday, Mar. 13 FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Mar. 16. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Oct. 18. ALT-COUNTRY: NO LINES NORTH

• Wednesday, Mar. 23. EXPERIMENTAL: THE FOREST ROOM, NICK Di MARIA: ZERO DOLLAR SOLO

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

• Friday, Mar. 25. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DICK NEAL

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

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

• Wednesday, Apr. 6. INDIE ROCK presented by Redscroll Records: HEX INVERTER, DIRT DEVIL, NOTHING ISRAEL

• Friday. Apr. 8. FOLK: HUGH BIRDSALL & DANA TAKAKI

• Thursday, Apr. 14. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE

• Friday, Apr. 15. JAZZ: REBECCA ABBOTT, GARY GRIPPO & FRIENDS

• Wednesday, Apr. 20. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Thursday, Apr. 28. SEPHARDIC MUSIC: THE HERETICS OF CORDOBA

• Saturday, May 7. SOFT ACOUSTIC/ROCK: THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS

• Friday, May 13. THREE SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: ANNE MARIE MENTA, DICK NEAL, GLEN ROETHEL

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

 

Music: World class jazz saxophone by Jovan Alexandre Fri., Mar. 4, at 8 PM

Jovan_Alexandre_BV_100915_WebTenor saxophonist Jovan Alexandre  performs at Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Mar. 4. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Alexandre will be accompanied by Tim Norton on bass, Tadataka Unno on piano and Akihiro Sugimoto on alto saxophone.

Jovan Alexandre is an emerging jazz tenor saxophone phenomenon, known for the brightness of his tone and the elegant bearing of his compositions. He may be situated, broadly speaking, within the penumbra of hard-bop and post-bop styles elaborated and taught in Alexandre’s native New England by the iconic Jackie McLean [1931-2006] during his later, seminal years as a Connecticut resident and educator.

Alexandre has been a soloist on recordings for drummers Ralph Peterson (Outer Reaches [2010]) and Winard Harper (Coexist, sharing the tenor spotlight with Frank Wess [2012]), and for the South African jazz singer Nonhlanhla Kheswa (Meadowlands, Stolen Jazz [2013]). Alexandre’s first album as a leader, Collective Consciousness, will be released worldwide on February 24, 2015.

Just as Jackie McLean himself had—in such albums for Blue Note as Let Freedom Ring [1962] and One Step Beyond [1963]—extrapolated upon both the lyricism and projection of a Charlie Parker or a Dexter Gordon and the angular modes and scales of John Coltrane, so has Jovan Alexandre revealed himself as a spiritual heir to McLean with authoritative and imaginative excursions into the free-flowing modernist colloquy pioneered by McLean.

Alexandre’s uniqueness, though, lies in his personal sound. He plays free of bombast, full of texture. His sound can variously seem molten and sharp-cornered within the same tune, sometimes practically within the same phrase. The melody lines are stately, whatever their tempo.

At Hartt, Alexandre’s primary mentor was Jackie McLean’s own son, tenor saxophonist René McLean. He also studied with other direct protégés of Jackie McLean, especially tenor saxophonist Jimmy Greene and alto saxophonist Kris Allen, along with pianist and arranger Chris Casey, trombonist Steve Davis, and bassist Nat Reeves. These instrumentalists are all key contributors to what some have called a “Hartford sound” grounded in Jackie McLean’s teachings and continuing influence, and especially his notions of historicity and the value of hand-to-hand transmission of jazz knowledge.

Even before graduating from Hartt, Alexandre had begun to earn a reputation as one of the most interesting of the new tenor saxophone soloists, through appearances with several top-name musicians such as Hank Jones,  Dionne Warwick, Curtis Fuller, Harold Mabern, Larry Willis, Charles Tolliver, Randy Brecker, Antoine Roney, Benito Gonzalez, Shimrit Shoshan, and Kendrick Oliver & The New Life Jazz Orchestra.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

• Monday, Feb. 29. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO” (Rescheduled due to snow)

• Wednesday, Mar. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: BEN ERICKSON, STEPHEN HLADUN

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

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Sunday, Mar. 6. FILM SCREENING & Q&A WITH SCREENWRITER DONALD MARGULIES (Co-presented with The Institute Library): “THE END OF THE TOUR”

• Monday, Mar. 7. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE” (Rescheduled from 2/15 due to snow)

• Wednesday, Mar. 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: PAT STONE with AMANDA BELITTO

• Thursday, Mar. 10. EXPERIMENTAL: HUMAN FLOURISHING, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER IS PRESTER JOHN

• Sunday, Mar. 13 FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Mar. 16. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Oct. 18. ALT-COUNTRY: NO LINES NORTH

• Wednesday, Mar. 23. EXPERIMENTAL: THE FOREST ROOM, NICK Di MARIA: ZERO DOLLAR SOLO

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

• Friday, Mar. 25. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DICK NEAL

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

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

• Wednesday, Apr. 6. INDIE ROCK presented by Redscroll Records: HEX INVERTER, DIRT DEVIL, NOTHING ISRAEL

• Friday. Apr. 8. FOLK: HUGH BIRDSALL & DANA TAKAKI

• Thursday, Apr. 14. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE

• Friday, Apr. 15. JAZZ: REBECCA ABBOTT, GARY GRIPPO & FRIENDS

• Wednesday, Apr. 20. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Thursday, Apr. 28. SEPHARDIC MUSIC: THE HERETICS OF CORDOBA

• Saturday, May 7. SOFT ACOUSTIC/ROCK: THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS

• Friday, May 13. THREE SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: ANNE MARIE MENTA, DICK NEAL, GLEN ROETHEL

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

 

Music: Touring singer-songwriter Joy Ike returns to Best Video Thurs., Mar. 3, at 8 PM

Joy_Ike_BVFCC_030316_Poster_WebJoy Ike, a touring artist from Pittsburgh, plays the Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Mar. 3. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5. Ike played Best Video in July of 2014 and charmed the crowd with her music and repartee. She will be accompanied by percussionist and sister Peace Ike.

Born to Nigerian immigrants, independent artist Joy Ike’s music, voice, and writing has drawn comparisons to female musicians such as Norah Jones, Corinne Bailey Rae, Regina Spektor, and Fiona Apple. But her percussive piano-playing and soaring vocals give homage to her African upbringing.

Leaving her career as a publicist in 2008, Ike has since played hundreds of shows across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest. She has had the opportunity to share the stage and open for Jeffrey Gaines, Denison Whitmer, Deas Vail, Butterfly Boucher, Cody Chestnutt, Tyrone Wells, Najee, and Allen Toussaint, to name a few.

A write-up on NPR’s All Things Considered says, “The depth of subjects she tackles in her poetic lyrics are perfectly complemented by a unique blend of neo-soul, with just the right dash of pop…a truly compelling act to watch in person, with the ability to create an intimate setting in locations big and small.”

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

• Monday, Feb. 29. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO” (Rescheduled due to snow)

• Wednesday, Mar. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: BEN ERICKSON, STEPHEN HLADUN

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

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Sunday, Mar. 6. FILM SCREENING & Q&A WITH SCREENWRITER DONALD MARGULIES (Co-presented with The Institute Library): “THE END OF THE TOUR”

• Monday, Mar. 7. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE” (Rescheduled from 2/15 due to snow)

• Wednesday, Mar. 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: PAT STONE with AMANDA BELITTO

• Thursday, Mar. 10. EXPERIMENTAL: HUMAN FLOURISHING, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER IS PRESTER JOHN

• Sunday, Mar. 13 FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Mar. 16. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Oct. 18. ALT-COUNTRY: NO LINES NORTH

• Wednesday, Mar. 23. EXPERIMENTAL: THE FOREST ROOM, NICK Di MARIA: ZERO DOLLAR SOLO

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

• Friday, Mar. 25. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DICK NEAL

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

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

• Wednesday, Apr. 6. INDIE ROCK presented by Redscroll Records: HEX INVERTER, DIRT DEVIL, NOTHING ISRAEL

• Friday. Apr. 8. FOLK: HUGH BIRDSALL & DANA TAKAKI

• Thursday, Apr. 14. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE

• Friday, Apr. 15. JAZZ: REBECCA ABBOTT, GARY GRIPPO & FRIENDS

• Wednesday, Apr. 20. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Thursday, Apr. 28. SEPHARDIC MUSIC: THE HERETICS OF CORDOBA

• Saturday, May 7. SOFT ACOUSTIC/ROCK: THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS

• Friday, May 13. THREE SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: ANNE MARIE MENTA, DICK NEAL, GLEN ROETHEL

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

 

Music: Ben Erickson, Stephen Hladun play Wed., Mar. 2, at 8 PM

Ben Erickson and Stephen Hladun will perform solo sets at Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Wednesday, Mar. 2. The show starts at 8 PM and there is a $5 cover.

Ben_Erickson_Web

Ben Erickson

Ben Erickson is a mainstay of the New Haven underground rock circuit, having sang and played guitar for numerous bands since the mid ’90’s. His extensive solo catalog ranges from the traditional to the experimental, with dark lyrics of passion and intrigue accompanied by unique voicings on guitar and piano. Ben is currently the guitarist of The Lost Riots and guitarist/singer in Stone Cobra. He resides in Milford.

Hailing from the early 90’s underground Milford music scene Steve Hladun has been making music in various iterations over the years including, among other acts, Carlos Projeckt and Electric Bucket. Nowadays he lives in Bridgeport and  enjoys making collage art and recording beachside post-swim acoustic guitar memos.

Stephen Hladun

Stephen Hladun

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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

• Monday, Feb. 29. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO” (Rescheduled due to snow)

• Wednesday, Mar. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: BEN ERICKSON, STEPHEN HLADUN

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

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Sunday, Mar. 6. FILM SCREENING & Q&A WITH SCREENWRITER DONALD MARGULIES (Co-presented with The Institute Library): “THE END OF THE TOUR”

• Monday, Mar. 7. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE” (Rescheduled from 2/15 due to snow)

• Wednesday, Mar. 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: PAT STONE with AMANDA BELITTO

• Thursday, Mar. 10. EXPERIMENTAL: HUMAN FLOURISHING, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER IS PRESTER JOHN

• Sunday, Mar. 13 FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Mar. 16. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Oct. 18. ALT-COUNTRY: NO LINES NORTH

• Wednesday, Mar. 23. EXPERIMENTAL: THE FOREST ROOM, NICK Di MARIA: ZERO DOLLAR SOLO

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

• Friday, Mar. 25. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DICK NEAL

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

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

• Wednesday, Apr. 6. INDIE ROCK presented by Redscroll Records: HEX INVERTER, DIRT DEVIL, NOTHING ISRAEL

• Friday. Apr. 8. FOLK: HUGH BIRDSALL & DANA TAKAKI

• Thursday, Apr. 14. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE

• Friday, Apr. 15. JAZZ: REBECCA ABBOTT, GARY GRIPPO & FRIENDS

• Wednesday, Apr. 20. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Thursday, Apr. 28. SEPHARDIC MUSIC: THE HERETICS OF CORDOBA

• Saturday, May 7. SOFT ACOUSTIC/ROCK: THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS

• Friday, May 13. THREE SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: ANNE MARIE MENTA, DICK NEAL, GLEN ROETHEL

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

 

New Releases 2/23/16

Top Hits
SpotlightSpotlight (drama, Michael Keaton. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 93. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “But the image of two prominent men talking quietly behind closed doors — [Cardinal Bernard] Law is played with orotund charm by Len Cariou, [Boston Globe editor Marty] Baron with sphinxlike self-containment by Liev Schreiber — haunts this somber, thrilling movie and crystallizes its major concern, which is the way power operates in the absence of accountability. When institutions convinced of their own greatness work together, what usually happens is that the truth is buried and the innocent suffer. Breaking that pattern of collaboration is not easy. Challenging deeply entrenched, widely respected authority can be very scary.” Read more…)

Secret in Their Eyes (thriller, Julia Roberts. Rotten Tomatoes: 42%. Metacritic: 45. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “The biggest shock of ‘Secret in Their Eyes,’ a sluggish, semi-coherent remake of the 2010 Argentine film that won an Oscar for best foreign picture, is the bedraggled appearance of Julia Roberts. The million-dollar smile is barely a flicker on a face drained of color and expression. Her character, Jess, an investigator for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, has the vitality of a clinically depressed zombie.” Read more…)

I Smile Back (drama, Sarah Silverman. Rotten Tomatoes: 53%. Metacritic: 59. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “The consequence is a glossy but superficial addiction tale [written by Paige Dylan and Amy Koppelman, and based on Ms. Koppelman’s 2008 novel], a wearying loop of slug-snort-crash that leaves Ms. Silverman out on a ledge and the audience with no way to reach her. It’s a performance in a vacuum, one that could have cut deeper had her scenes with Mr. Charles displayed even a fraction of the emotional anarchy that John Cassavetes could write with one hand tied behind his back.” Read more…)

Entertainment (comedy/drama, John C. Reilly. Rotten Tomatoes: 80%. Metacritic: 65. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “Watching ‘Entertainment’ is a profoundly uncomfortable, some would say repellent, experience that isn’t easily forgotten. Yet I left this barbed portrait of a cracking-up comic with more than a little respect for its fearless director, Rick Alverson, and his trusting star, Gregg Turkington. You can’t deny that they’re a match made in heaven.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Suffragette
Spotlight
The Good Dinosaur

New Foreign
I_Knew_Her_WellI Knew Her Well (Italy, 1965, drama, Stefania Sandrelli. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn  Kenny’s Times review: “[Director Antonio] Pietrangeli’s New Wave-inflected, choppily fast-forwarding style depicts Adriana as a kind of unattached Emma Bovary, sometimes clearheaded, sometimes empty-headed. [Actress Stefania] Sandrelli, in a variety of wigs and costumes, is never less than hypnotically beautiful. Mr. Pietrangeli’s perspective could be said to split the difference between the analytic detachment of early-60s Antonioni and the political anger of late-60s/early-70s Bertolucci… But ‘I Knew Her Well,’ never before released in the United States, ultimately speaks in a register of its own, and while it’s hardly subtle, it is compelling.” Read more…)

New Television
Flesh and Bone (drama set in NY ballet world, Sarah Hay. Rotten Tomatoes: 60%. Metacritic: 52.)
Fargo: Season 2 (crime/drama/comedy, Kirsten Dunst. Rotten Tomatoes: 99%. Metacritic: 96.)

New American Back Catalog (post-1960)
GraduateThe Graduate (Criterion edition of 1967 classic drama/comedy, Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft. Rotten Tomatoes: 89%. Metacritic: 77. From Bosley Crowther’s 1967 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Suddenly, here toward the year’s end, when the new films are plunging toward the wire and the prospects of an Oscar-worthy long shot coming through get progressively more dim, there sweeps ahead a film that is not only one  of the best of the year, but also one of the best seriocomic social satires we’ve had from Hollywood since Preston Sturges was making them. It is Mike Nichols’s and Lawrence Turman’s devastating and uproarious ‘The Graduate,’ which came yesterday to the Lincoln Art and the Coronet. Mark it right down in your datebook as a picture you’ll have to see—and maybe see twice to savor all its sharp satiric wit and cinematic treats.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
Racing Extinction (ecology, nature, economics. Rotten Tomatoes: 79%. Metacritic: 81. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “If you can watch ‘Racing Extinction’ without bawling at least once, then its director, Louie Psihoyos, suggests you consider that all the tenderly photographed endangered species that flood its frames are only signposts to the disappearance of our own… Noting that our planet’s five major extinctions had in common a spike in carbon dioxide, Mr. Psihoyos worries that the emissions of our own age, aptly dubbed the Anthropocene, are damaging our oceans in ways that are mostly invisible. And that the devastating consequences of more direct human behaviors — like the mass slaughter of exotic marine life for food and folk medicines — are also largely overlooked.” Read more…)

New Children’s DVDs
The Good Dinosaur (Disney/Pixar animated feature, Jeffrey Wright [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 76%. Metacritic: 66. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “O pioneers! O weirdness! Animated movies teach us how to watch magically strange, sometimes furry worlds, making it easy to go with the unfamiliar flow. As the flyover asteroid suggests, ‘The Good Dinosaur’ is charmingly different, but its oddness sneaks up on you only after the filmmakers lay out some storybook bona fides.” Read more…)

Be Cool, Scooby-Doo: Season 1, Part 1

Music: Procedure Club’s indie rock on Fri., Feb. 26, at 8 PM; Roman Wolfe opens

Procedure Club at Lyric Hall. Photo by Robert Robinson

Procedure Club at Lyric Hall. Photo by Robert Robinson

Noise pop band Procedure Club returns to Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Friday, Feb. 26. Roman Wolfe opens. The tunes start at 8 PM and there is a $5 cover.

Procedure Club is a band from New Haven.  They formed in 2007, and had releases on Slumberland Records, Sixteen Tamborines (Japan), and Beko Disques (France) and others.

They haven’t had a record out since their 2010 album, “Doomed Forever.”  This hiatus is primarily because Adam Malec broke and/or lost recording equipment (including a hard drive with tons of cool new music on it) and secondarily because Andrea Belltower went away for graduate studies. Long time collaborator Tim Borkovski went out and bought a new sound card and other equipment so the band could get back to recording again. So that’s what they’ve all been doing lately in East Rock.

The band is made up of Adam, Andrea, Tim, and Sam. Adam and Andrea began a noise-pop recording project around 2008 while living in New Haven. They recorded “Doomed Forever,” their first album, and released it on Slumberland records in 2010. After a hiatus, they’ve reunited, along with members Tim and Sam, and will be releasing an album on Safety Meeting in early summer.

Solo performer Roman Wolfe opens, playing synths.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• 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”

• Wednesday, Feb. 24. BLUEGRASS: THE EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

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

• Monday, Feb. 29. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO” (Rescheduled due to snow)

• Wednesday, Mar. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: BEN ERICKSON, STEPHEN HLADUN

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

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Sunday, Mar. 6. FILM SCREENING & Q&A WITH SCREENWRITER DONALD MARGULIES (Co-presented with The Institute Library): “THE END OF THE TOUR”

• Monday, Mar. 7. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE” (Rescheduled from 2/15 due to snow)

• Thursday, Mar. 10. EXPERIMENTAL: HUMAN FLOURISHING, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER IS PRESTER JOHN

• Sunday, Mar. 13 FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

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

• Friday, Mar. 25. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DICK NEAL

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

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

• Wednesday, Apr. 6. INDIE ROCK presented by Redscroll Records: HEX INVERTER, DIRT DEVIL, NOTHING ISRAEL

• Friday. Apr. 8. FOLK: HUGH BIRDSALL & DANA TAKAKI

• Thursday, Apr. 14. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE

• Wednesday, Apr. 20. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Thursday, Apr. 28. SEPHARDIC MUSIC: THE HERETICS OF CORDOBA

• Saturday, May 7. SOFT ACOUSTIC/ROCK: THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

 

BVFCC and The Institute Library present two “Books to Film” screenings; “The End of the Tour” Sun., Mar. 6, with Pulitzer Prize-winner Donald Margulies on hand for Q&A at BVFCC; “The Way” Sun., Apr. 3, at The Institute Library with Jack Hitt Q&A

Best Video Film & Cultural Center and The Institute Library are teaming up to present two special “Books to Film” screenings. “The End of the Tour” will be screened at Best Video Film & Cultural Center; “The Way” will be screened at The Institute Library. Tickets for each event are $15 in advance through Eventbrite (with a $1.82 service charge) or $20 at the door.

End_of_Tour_image_Web

On Sunday, Mar. 6, at 2 PM, BVFCC will present “The End of the Tour,” a 2016 movie adapted from journalist David Lipsky’s book “Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace.” Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Yale Theater professor Donald Margulies—who adapted Lipsky’s book for the screenplay—will be on hand after the film for a Q&A with the audience.

Purchase tickets to “The End of the Tour” through Eventbrite.

Thinking it might be grist for a new play, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies’ agent sent over a copy of journalist David Lipsky’s book about the time Lipsky spent interviewing novelist David Foster Wallace (“Infinite Jest”) on the last leg of Wallace’s book tour in 1996. Margulies was taken with the book but saw in it a movie rather than a stage production. “The End of the Tour,” which stars Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel, is a not-quite-buddies film and a modern literary road movie. A New York Times Critic’s Pick, reviewer A.O. Scott wrote, “There will always be films about writers and writing, and this one is just about as good as it gets.”

And on Sunday, Apr. 3, at The Institute Library, BVFCC and the Institute Library will screen “The Way,” starring Martin Sheen. Writer Jack Hitt—whose book “Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim’s Route into Spain” provided anecdotes used in the movie—will be on hand for a post-screening Q&A.

Purchase tickets to “The Way” through Eventbrite.

“The Way” stars Martin Sheen as Tom, a bereaved and irascible father whose son (played in flashbacks by Sheen’s real life son Emilio Estevez) has died in an accident while making a pilgrimage along “The Way of St. James” from France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Rather than just return home after retrieving his son’s body, Tom decides to complete the pilgrimage himself to honor—and mourn—his son.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• 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”

• Wednesday, Feb. 24. BLUEGRASS: THE EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

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

• Monday, Feb. 29. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO” (Rescheduled due to snow)

• Wednesday, Mar. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: BEN ERICKSON, STEPHEN HLADUN

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

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Sunday, Mar. 6. FILM SCREENING & Q&A WITH SCREENWRITER DONALD MARGULIES (Co-presented with The Institute Library): “THE END OF THE TOUR”

• Monday, Mar. 7. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE” (Rescheduled from 2/15 due to snow)

• Wednesday, Mar. 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER: PAT STONE with AMANDA BELITTO

• Thursday, Mar. 10. EXPERIMENTAL: HUMAN FLOURISHING, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER IS PRESTER JOHN

• Sunday, Mar. 13 FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Mar. 16. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Oct. 18. ALT-COUNTRY: NO LINES NORTH

• Wednesday, Mar. 23. EXPERIMENTAL: THE FOREST ROOM, NICK Di MARIA: ZERO DOLLAR SOLO

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

• Friday, Mar. 25. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DICK NEAL

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

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

• Wednesday, Apr. 6. INDIE ROCK presented by Redscroll Records: HEX INVERTER, DIRT DEVIL, NOTHING ISRAEL

• Friday. Apr. 8. FOLK: HUGH BIRDSALL & DANA TAKAKI

• Thursday, Apr. 14. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE

• Friday, Apr. 15. JAZZ: REBECCA ABBOTT, GARY GRIPPO & FRIENDS

• Wednesday, Apr. 20. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Thursday, Apr. 28. SEPHARDIC MUSIC: THE HERETICS OF CORDOBA

• Saturday, May 7. SOFT ACOUSTIC/ROCK: THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS

• Friday, May 13. THREE SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: ANNE MARIE MENTA, DICK NEAL, GLEN ROETHEL

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

 

Music: New bluegrass trio The East Rock Ramblers play Wed., Feb. 24, at 8 PM

The East Rock Ramblers bring their traditional approach to bluegrass and country to Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Feb. 24. The music starts at 8 PM and there is a $5 cover.

East_Rock_Ramblers_montage_Web

A traditional bluegrass and country music trio, the East Rock Ramblers feature David Sasso (mandolin, banjo, and vocals), Tessa Sacramone (fiddle and vocals) and Chris Wuerth (guitar and vocals). Chris Wuerth—who puts on the popular Guitartown Productions concerts in the area—has previously played Best Video as part of the bluegrass group Ragweed.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• 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”

• Wednesday, Feb. 24. BLUEGRASS: THE EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

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

• Monday, Feb. 29. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO” (Rescheduled due to snow)

• Wednesday, Mar. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: BEN ERICKSON, STEPHEN HLADUN

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

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Sunday, Mar. 6. FILM SCREENING & Q&A WITH SCREENWRITER DONALD MARGULIES (Co-presented with The Institute Library): “THE END OF THE TOUR”

• Monday, Mar. 7. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE” (Rescheduled from 2/15 due to snow)

• Thursday, Mar. 10. EXPERIMENTAL: HUMAN FLOURISHING, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER IS PRESTER JOHN

• Sunday, Mar. 13 FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

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

• Friday, Mar. 25. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DICK NEAL

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

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

• Wednesday, Apr. 6. INDIE ROCK presented by Redscroll Records: HEX INVERTER, DIRT DEVIL, NOTHING ISRAEL

• Friday. Apr. 8. FOLK: HUGH BIRDSALL & DANA TAKAKI

• Thursday, Apr. 14. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE

• Wednesday, Apr. 20. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Thursday, Apr. 28. SEPHARDIC MUSIC: THE HERETICS OF CORDOBA

• Saturday, May 7. SOFT ACOUSTIC/ROCK: THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

 

Film Screening: Scorching indie drama “99 Homes” on Mon., Feb. 22, at 7 PM

99Homes2_WebBest Video Film & Cultural Center’s Oscar-oriented film series continues on Monday, Feb. 22, as BVFCC screens the gripping indie drama “99 Homes,” which stars Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon. A New York Times Critic’s Pick, “99 Homes” takes place during the post-2008 crash foreclosure crisis in Florida. The screening starts at 7 PM and admission is $5.

Garfield plays Dennis Nash, a young construction worker economically devastated by the collapse of the home-building market following the 2008 crash. Along with his mother—played by Laura Dern—and his young son, Nash is evicted from their longtime family home by Rick Carver, a shark of a real estate broker played by Michael Shannon. Directed by Ramin Bahrani (“Chop Shop,” “Man Push Cart”), “99 Homes” becomes a morality play as Nash—desperate to regain his financial footing—is lured into Carver’s orbit.

Writing in The New York Times, A.O. Scott declared, “But if ’99 Homes’ is a scolding look at a society gone astray, it is also a minor masterpiece of suspense, as tightly wound as ‘Sicario,’ Denis Villeneuve’s white-knuckle drug-war thriller, and almost as brutal. Not that there’s much in the way of physical violence: fists are raised now and then, and weapons are sometimes brandished. But the threat of destruction is pervasive, and everything — the hand-held camerawork, the swift editing, the anxious music by Antony Partos and Matteo Zingales — contributes to an overpowering sense of danger.”

“99 Homes” is an exceptional film. But being exceptional—as an Entertainment Weekly article noted—earned it precisely zero Oscar nominations. Come see it for yourself and decide whether the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences got it wrong in overlooking this gem.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• 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”

• Wednesday, Feb. 24. BLUEGRASS: THE EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

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

• Monday, Feb. 29. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SICARIO” (Rescheduled due to snow)

• Wednesday, Mar. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: BEN ERICKSON, STEPHEN HLADUN

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

• Friday, Mar. 4. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Sunday, Mar. 6. FILM SCREENING & Q&A WITH SCREENWRITER DONALD MARGULIES (Co-presented with The Institute Library): “THE END OF THE TOUR”

• Monday, Mar. 7. OSCAR SERIES FILM SCREENING: “SUFFRAGETTE” (Rescheduled from 2/15 due to snow)

• Thursday, Mar. 10. EXPERIMENTAL: HUMAN FLOURISHING, LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Friday, Mar. 11. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: SHAWN PERSINGER IS PRESTER JOHN

• Sunday, Mar. 13 FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

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

• Friday, Mar. 25. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DICK NEAL

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

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

• Wednesday, Apr. 6. INDIE ROCK presented by Redscroll Records: HEX INVERTER, DIRT DEVIL, NOTHING ISRAEL

• Friday. Apr. 8. FOLK: HUGH BIRDSALL & DANA TAKAKI

• Thursday, Apr. 14. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE

• Wednesday, Apr. 20. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Thursday, Apr. 28. SEPHARDIC MUSIC: THE HERETICS OF CORDOBA

• Saturday, May 7. SOFT ACOUSTIC/ROCK: THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

 

New Releases 2/16/16

Top Hits
Trumbo (historical drama, Bryan Cranston. Rotten Tomatoes: 73%. Metacritic: 60. The New York Times critic Manohla Dargis was not a fan of “Trumbo,” writing, “It’s impossible to tell if the filmmakers don’t trust the audience or simply don’t have the chops, guts or heart to do this story justice. The blacklist remains vital and lamentably topical, and it’s clear why someone thought it was a good time to pull Trumbo back into the limelight. But the man who helped give us ‘Gun Crazy,’ an American masterpiece, among many other titles, deserves a smarter portrait.” Read more…)

Steve_JobsSteve Jobs (biopic, Michael Fassbender. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%. Metacritic: 82. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “The accuracy of this portrait is not my concern. Cinematic biographies of the famous are not documentaries. They are allegories: narrative vessels into which meanings and morals are packed like raisins in an oatmeal cookie; modern, secular equivalents of medieval lives of the saints; cautionary tales and beacons of aspiration. ‘Steve Jobs’ is a rich and potent document of the times, an expression of both the awe that attends sophisticated new consumer goods and the unease that trails in the wake of their arrival. The movie burnishes the image of this visionary C.E.O. even as it tries to peek behind the curtain at the gimcrack machinery of omnipotence. Mostly, though, it is a formally audacious, intellectually energized entertainment, a powerful challenge to the lazy conventions of Hollywood storytelling and a feast for connoisseurs of contemporary screen acting.” Read more…)

Criminal Activities (gangster drama, John Travolta. Rotten Tomatoes: 47%. Metacritic: 51. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Neil Genzlinger’s Times review: “It’s a film full of machismo [there is hardly a female character in sight], absurdist dialogue and hints of humor, and it owes as much to Quentin Tarantino as the four bunglers owe to Eddie. Yet it doesn’t feel like a mere imitation; it has too much wit and too many striking performances for that.” Read more…)

The 33 (rescue drama about Chilean miners, Antonio Banderas. Rotten Tomatoes: 43%. Metacritic: 55. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “But with the help of some solid performances and James Horner’s heart-squeezing, throat-constricting score [one of the last he composed before his death in June], ‘The 33’ holds your attention and pushes the required buttons. It starts above ground, at an outdoor party where miners eat, drink, dance, impersonate Elvis Presley and engage in some necessary preliminary exposition. By the time they pile into the bus for work the next morning, we are acquainted with the most important figures. Once the earth shifts and a giant rock seals them into a refuge hundreds of feet down, we know the function each one will play.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Trumbo
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

New Foreign
Death By Hanging (Japan, 1968, drama, Kei Sato. From Vincent Canby’s 1974 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “For about one-third of its running time Nagisa Oshima’s Japanese film ‘Death by Hanging’ is a surprisingly uproarious contemplation of the moral issues involved in capital punishment. The prison officials, prosecutors, chaplain and witnesses argue back and forth and pick at each other with a Lewis Carroll sort of purposeful, cross illogic. Everybody becomes nettled. Someone suggests that they call it a day. “This kind of work has its failures too,” he says, but they all stay on to straighten things out, sort of.” Read more…)

Jewish Luck (Russia/Yiddish, 1925, drama/comedy, Solomon Mikhoels)

New British
The Trials of Jimmy Rose (drama, Ray Winstone)

New Television
Togetherness: Season 1 (HBO comedy series, Mark Duplass. Rotten Tomatoes: 93%. Metacritic: 79.)
Girls: Season 4 (HBO comedy/drama, Lena Dunham. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%.)
Saints & Strangers (mini-series, first encounter between Pilgrims & Native Americans. Rotten Tomatoes: 80%. Metacritic: 90.)

New Documentaries
Black_PanthersThe Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (civil rights, American history, Black history. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 79. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “The beginning of ‘The Black Panthers,’ Stanley Nelson’s excellent new documentary, includes a television news report on tensions between black citizens and the police in American cities. If not for the fuzzy, monochrome images and the voice-over’s unironic use of the word ‘Negroes,’ the clip could have been broadcast last week, instead of almost 50 years ago. And if Mr. Nelson doesn’t strain to establish the present-day relevance of the story he has to tell, it’s partly because he doesn’t have to. The problems of poverty, police brutality and economic plunder that gave birth to the Panthers are with us still.” Read more…)