Music: Free first Sunday afternoon bluegrass jam this Sun., Dec. 4, 2-5 PM

The “First Sunday” Hamden Bluegrass Jam—hosted by GuitarTown CT Productions—takes place on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 4, from 2—5 PM in Best Video Performance Space. There is no cover so come on down—have a coffee, beer or glass of wine and enjoy the music. It’s all acoustic and mostly traditional. Any and all bluegrass players are welcome.

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Bring your instrument or just bring your ears. Come to pick or just to listen.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, Dec. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES CD RELEASE SHOW, HANK HOFFMAN (solo)

• Sunday, Dec. 4. FREE FIRST SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM (PRESENTED BY GUITARTOWNCT)

• Monday, Dec. 5. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID”

• Thursday, Dec. 8. AMERICANA: SEPIATONE

• Friday, Dec. 9. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY BAND (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Monday, Dec. 12. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “WINTER’S BONE”

• Thursday, Dec. 15. JAZZ: THE AFRO-SEMITIC DUO (DAVID CHEVAN & WARREN BYRD)

• Friday, Dec. 16. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Saturday, Dec. 17. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE GOONIES” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Dec. 19. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CONTACT”

• Friday, Jan. 6. ACOUSTIC FOLK BLUES & MORE: VANGE DURST

• Saturday, Jan. 7. MUSIC OF “THE SIMPSONS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Friday, Jan. 13. BLUEGRASS: FIVE IN THE CHAMBER

• Friday, Jan. 20. BLUEGRASS: THE PAGE TURNERS (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Friday, Jan. 27. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Saturday, Jan. 28. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Friday, Feb. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Feb. 10. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Friday, Feb. 24. INDIE POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

New releases 11/29/16

Top Hits
dont_breatheDon’t Breathe (horror, Jane Levy. Rotten Tomatoes: 87%. Metacritic: 71. From Anita Gates’ New York Times review: “People who go to see movies like ‘Don’t Breathe’ — some of them, anyway — tend to laugh when people are killed onscreen. And when people believed to be dead open their eyes. Even I laughed when the watchdog, which the three attractive young thieves had drugged into slumber, appeared in the hallway, growling. Ha! Guess he woke up, dudes.” Read more…)

Pete’s Dragon (family/fantasy, Bryce Dallas Howard. Rotten Tomatoes: 86%. Metacritic: 71. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “The director David Lowery’s independent film pedigree [his previous feature was the accomplished, although self-serious, outlaw romance ‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’] suggests that he would apply a singular perspective to this material. But “Pete’s Dragon” is largely as impersonal as it is fleet.” Read more…)

Soundbreaking (music production, Beatles. Metacritic: 78. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times television review: “The performer is often only the public face of a well-known song; its body is formed in the studio. That part of the creative process is explored in the richly detailed PBS series ‘Soundbreaking: Stories From the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music,’ an eight-parter that begins Monday, Nov. 14.” Read more…)

bfgThe BFG (Roald Dahl family/fantasy, Ruby Barnhill. Rotten Tomatoes: 75%. Metacritic: 646. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘The BFG’ — it stands for ‘big friendly giant’ — is a small, friendly movie, an attempt to reconcile the scale and dazzle of modern filmmaking with the quiet, mischievous charm of Roald Dahl’s book. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by his frequent collaborator Melissa Mathison [who died in November], it chronicles the relationship between the title character [Mark Rylance] and a young orphan named Sophie [Ruby Barnhill].” Read more…)

Dough (comedy, Jonathan Pryce. Rotten Tomatoes: 60%. Metacritic: 46. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “Take an aging white Jewish baker, add a young black Muslim immigrant, and what do you have? The ingredients for a pleasant but pat story in which bridges are built across religious, racial and generational divides in a way that happens far more often in feel-good movies than in real life.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Pete’s Dragon
The BFG

New British
Brief Encounters: Season 1 (British dramedy series, Penelope Wilton. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times television review: “It’s 1982, and times are hard in England. How does a woman help shore up the family finances? In the delicious British dramedy ‘Brief Encounters’ … the answer for several entrepreneurs is selling lingerie and sex toys to repressed women at Tupperware-like parties. The six-episode series may feel more 1950s than 1980s, but the results are often hilarious.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
Soundbreaking (music production, Beatles)
Alex de Renzy: Three Documentaries (drugs, sex industry, early 1970s cinema verite)

New Music
Soundbreaking (music production, Beatles)

New Children’s DVDs
Pete’s Dragon (family/fantasy, Bryce Dallas Howard)
The BFG (Roald Dahl family/fantasy, Ruby Barnhill)

Support BVFCC on #GivingTuesday—matching funds make YOUR gift go farther!

november29_copy_webThanks to the generous support of key Best Video Film & Cultural Center members, we have raised $15,000 in matching funds as an incentive for others to pitch in!

A great time to show your support with a tax-deductible donation is this Tuesday, Nov. 29, Giving Tuesday. #GivingTuesday is held the first Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgving. Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation.

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

Matching funds make your tax-deductible donation go farther. But they also are available to encourage BVFCC supporters who haven’t yet joined one of the new Movie Plans to do so. The plans, which are already being enjoyed by several hundred area families, allow members to pay a flat fee on either a monthly or annual basis rather than a charge per rental. Unlike the original Best Video rental plans, there are no late fees with the 1 Movie Plan ($10 per month, or $108 for a year), 2 Movie Plan ($20 per month, or $216 for a year) and 4 Movie Plans ($30 per month, or $324 for a year).

To make a tax-deductible donation to support Best Video Film & Cultural Center this #GivingTuesday, click here.

To support BVFCC by joining one of the plans, click here. (The monthly rental plans are NOT tax-deductible.)

Of course, you can also make a donation and/or join one of the plans by coming down to BVFCC at 1842 Whitney Ave.

Thanks for your support!

Music: The Sawtelles “Brown” CD release this Fri., Dec. 2, with Hank Hoffman opening

The Sawtelles play Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Dec. 2, a CD release show for their 11th self-produced CD, “Brown.” The disc is so named because it features prominent guitar and sax contributions by recent Sawtelles compatriot Richard Brown, also the general manager of Best Video Film & Cultural Center. BVFCC Program Director Hank Hoffman opens with a solo acoustic set. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

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The Sawtelles

The music of husband and wife duo the Sawtelles is a balance of four elements: alternate-tuned guitar, stand-up drum kit (ala Velvet Underground’s Mo Tucker) and two voices. Sparse but intricately arranged pop that is as lush as it is threadbare makes what is played as important as what isn’t. Peter plays guitar and Julie plays drums; they both sing. Their sparse but intricately arranged pop is as lush as it is captivatingly unique. Over the past year, they have added a new texture to their palette with the addition of guitarist and saxophonist Richard Brown.

Their self-produced DYI philosophy aligns them more with the hand painted Sun Ra LP’s of 1950’s and 60’s then it does with those striving for mainstream commercial success.

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Hank Hoffman

Hank Hoffman has been writing songs for and playing guitar and singing in the psychedelic and folk rock band Happy Ending—often with Richard Brown—since 1983. For this show, Hoffman will be playing solo acoustic guitar for his whole set with the exception of a final tune where he will be joined by Bronson Rock leader Gary Mezzi on guitar and harp.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Saturday, Nov. 26. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Nov. 28. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CHARADE”

• Wednesday, Nov. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM TRIO

• Thursday, Dec. 1. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: GLENN ROTH, SINGER-SONGWRITER: KRISTEN GRAVES

• Friday, Dec. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES CD RELEASE SHOW, HANK HOFFMAN (solo)

• Sunday, Dec. 4. FREE FIRST SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM (PRESENTED BY GUITARTOWNCT)

• Monday, Dec. 5. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID”

• Thursday, Dec. 8. AMERICANA: SEPIATONE

• Friday, Dec. 9. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY BAND (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Monday, Dec. 12. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “WINTER’S BONE”

• Thursday, Dec. 15. JAZZ: THE AFRO-SEMITIC DUO (DAVID CHEVAN & WARREN BYRD)

• Friday, Dec. 16. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Saturday, Dec. 17. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE GOONIES” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Dec. 19. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CONTACT”

• Friday, Jan. 6. ACOUSTIC FOLK BLUES & MORE: VANGE DURST

• Saturday, Jan. 7. MUSIC OF “THE SIMPSONS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Friday, Jan. 13. BLUEGRASS: FIVE IN THE CHAMBER

• Friday, Jan. 20. BLUEGRASS: THE PAGE TURNERS (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Friday, Jan. 27. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Saturday, Jan. 28. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Friday, Feb. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Feb. 10. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Friday, Feb. 24. INDIE POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

 

Music: Glenn Roth on solo guitar, singer-songwriter Kristen Graves Thurs., Dec. 1

Solo guitarist Glenn Roth plays Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Dec. 1. Singer-songwriter Kristen Graves opens. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

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Glenn Roth

Glenn Roth is a fingerstyle guitarist, his thumb riding the bassline and the melody driving all. His compositions suggest multiple guitars, but it’s really just one guy, ten flying fingers, one instrument. All instrumental, Roth’s songs suggest moods and narratives that compel the listener to fill in the details.

Roth has released four CDs to date: Innovations (2005), Busker (2006), Into the Unknown (2010), and Welcome Home (2015). His original compositions have been hailed as “sheer virtuosity” (20th Century Guitar magazine) and “delicate, accomplished solo acoustic guitar work” (PLAY: New Haven Arts & Entertainment Weekly). Roth released a new “Another Dimension EP” in April of 2014.

Kristen Graves

Kristen Graves

Kristen Graves is a folk/pop singer, songwriter and humanitarian. Mentioned by both Rolling Stone and the New York Times, and given her own day across the state of Connecticut by Governor Malloy for her musicianship and activism, she has shared stages with Pete Seeger, Peter Yarrow, Rusted Root, Holly Near, Dar Williams, Guy Davis, Dan Zanes, David Amram, Harry Belafonte and many more. Her latest album “Now Ain’t the Time for Tears” is available on iTunes.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Saturday, Nov. 26. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Nov. 28. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CHARADE”

• Wednesday, Nov. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM TRIO

• Thursday, Dec. 1. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: GLENN ROTH, SINGER-SONGWRITER: KRISTEN GRAVES

• Friday, Dec. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES CD RELEASE SHOW, HANK HOFFMAN (solo)

• Sunday, Dec. 4. FREE FIRST SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM (PRESENTED BY GUITARTOWNCT)

• Monday, Dec. 5. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID”

• Thursday, Dec. 8. AMERICANA: SEPIATONE

• Friday, Dec. 9. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY BAND (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Monday, Dec. 12. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “WINTER’S BONE”

• Thursday, Dec. 15. JAZZ: THE AFRO-SEMITIC DUO (DAVID CHEVAN & WARREN BYRD)

• Friday, Dec. 16. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Saturday, Dec. 17. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE GOONIES” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Dec. 19. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CONTACT”

• Friday, Jan. 6. ACOUSTIC FOLK BLUES & MORE: VANGE DURST

• Saturday, Jan. 7. MUSIC OF “THE SIMPSONS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Friday, Jan. 13. BLUEGRASS: FIVE IN THE CHAMBER

• Friday, Jan. 20. BLUEGRASS: THE PAGE TURNERS (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Friday, Jan. 27. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Saturday, Jan. 28. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Friday, Feb. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Feb. 10. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Friday, Feb. 24. INDIE POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

 

[UPDATED 11/29/16] Music: Jazz from the Uri Shaham and friends on Wed., Nov. 30

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[UPDATED 11/29/16 to reflect an expanded lineup for Wednesday night.]

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

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

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

Although the show was originally announced as a trio performance, Shaham will actually be joined by Paul Shanley (bass), Jerry Cambria (drums), Chris DePino (harmonica), Billy Cofrances (alto sax),  Mark Kaplan (tenor sax) and Gary Grippo (guitar).

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Saturday, Nov. 26. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Nov. 28. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CHARADE”

• Wednesday, Nov. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM TRIO

• Thursday, Dec. 1. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: GLENN ROTH, SINGER-SONGWRITER: KRISTEN GRAVES

• Friday, Dec. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES CD RELEASE SHOW, HANK HOFFMAN (solo)

• Sunday, Dec. 4. FREE FIRST SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM (PRESENTED BY GUITARTOWNCT)

• Monday, Dec. 5. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID”

• Thursday, Dec. 8. AMERICANA: SEPIATONE

• Friday, Dec. 9. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY BAND (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Monday, Dec. 12. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “WINTER’S BONE”

• Thursday, Dec. 15. JAZZ: THE AFRO-SEMITIC DUO (DAVID CHEVAN & WARREN BYRD)

• Friday, Dec. 16. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Saturday, Dec. 17. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE GOONIES” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Dec. 19. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CONTACT”

• Friday, Jan. 6. ACOUSTIC FOLK BLUES & MORE: VANGE DURST

• Saturday, Jan. 7. MUSIC OF “THE SIMPSONS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Friday, Jan. 13. BLUEGRASS: FIVE IN THE CHAMBER

• Friday, Jan. 20. BLUEGRASS: THE PAGE TURNERS (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Friday, Jan. 27. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Saturday, Jan. 28. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Friday, Feb. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Feb. 10. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Friday, Feb. 24. INDIE POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

 

BVFCC closed Thurs., Nov. 24, for Thanksgiving

thanksgiving_flyer_2016_webIn order to allow all our staff to enjoy the holidays with friends and family, Best Video Film & Cultural Center will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 24.

We wish all our members and friends a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

New releases 11/22/16

Top Hits
war_dogsWar Dogs (comedy, drama, Jonah Hill. Rotten Tomatoes 60%. Metacritic  57. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Neil Genzlinger’s Times review: “‘Based on a true story,’ the movie ‘War Dogs’ says, and indeed it is. Which proves conclusively that truth is stranger than fiction. The film, a comic drama, is about two school chums who are reacquainted in their 20s and, improbably, become arms suppliers to the United States military. One of them, David [Miles Teller], is a reluctant recruit into a business begun by the other, Efraim [Jonah Hill], who has discovered a world of Pentagon contracts just waiting for bids.” Read more…)

Kubo and the Two Strings (animated feature, Charlize Theron [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes 97%. Metacritic  84. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn Kenny’s Times review: “The action is gorgeously fluid, the idiosyncratic 3-D visual conceits [including floating eyeballs undersea] are startling, and the story and its metaphors resolve in unexpected and moving ways. The director, Travis Knight, has put together a picture that hits a lot of all-ages-entertainment sweet spots while avoiding hackneyed conventions, and ends up delivering what feels like a sincere family-friendly message. The movie’s blend of stop-motion animation for the main action with computer-generated backgrounds is seamless, creating what is the most visually intoxicating of all Laika’s movies.” Read more…)

hell_high_waterHell or High Water (crime drama, Chris Pine. Rotten Tomatoes 98%. Metacritic  88. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’s Times review: “If there’s such a thing as an easygoing thriller, then ‘Hell or High Water’ is it. The stakes may be steep, but the characters can seem more nonchalant than nervous. Maybe it’s as simple as the heat: In the roasted landscape of West Texas, where this cops-and-robbers tale plays out, nothing moves faster than it has to.” Read more…)

Mechanic: Resurrection (action, Jason Statham. Rotten Tomatoes 26%. Metacritic  38. From Andy Webster’s New York Times review: “The German director Dennis Gansel, making his Hollywood debut, lacks the glossy flair of earlier Statham directors like Mr. West and Louis Leterrier [‘The Transporter’]. If not for Mr. Jones, ‘Resurrection,’ while competently edited, would be devoid of humor, an area where Mr. Statham has shown promise in the past. [See: the Melissa McCarthy vehicle ‘Spy.’] \Mostly, the movie suggests the action equivalent of 1970s European soft-core, all diffuse sun-drenched exteriors populated by attractive stars on an exotic working vacation.” Read more…)

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (Werner Herzog doc, impact of digital technology. Rotten Tomatoes 92%. Metacritic  76. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World’ is Werner Herzog’s documentary about the internet. For some readers, that sentence will be sufficient. One of our most intellectually ambitious filmmakers — a self-professed seeker of ecstatic truths, a tireless foot soldier of cinema — tackles what he calls ‘one of the greatest revolutions’ humanity has experienced. The combination of Mr. Herzog’s doggedly curious sensibility and the mysteries of the digital universe seems both improbable and irresistible.” Read more…)

beatles_eight_days_a_weekThe Beatles: Eight Days a Week—The Touring Years (Ron Howard-directed concerts documentary. Rotten Tomatoes 95%. Metacritic  72. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “Sure, they were great, but it’s possible to get too much of the Beatles, isn’t it? Nah. Ron Howard’s new documentary, ‘The Breatles: Eight Days a Week—The Touring Years,’ is 90 percent familiar and a bit hagiographic as well, but just try watching it without smiling.” Read more…)

Hands of Stone (Roberto Duran boxing bio-pic, Edgar Ramirez. Rotten Tomatoes 45%. Metacritic  54. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “Robert De Niro redefined film acting by subjecting himself to a reported 60-pound weight gain to play a gone-to-seed version of Jake LaMotta, the middleweight boxer, in Martin Scorsese’s 1980 film, ‘Raging Bull.’ Mr. De Niro, lithe, lean and lethal as LaMotta in his prime, became a bloated, bulbous ball of hostility and confusion for LaMotta’s post-boxing life. [He won a best actor Oscar for his pains.] But as much as ‘Raging Bull’ is an exacting portrait of an athlete and his sport, it is not a “boxing movie.’ ‘Hands of Stone,” in which Mr. De Niro plays Ray Arcel, the American trainer who worked with the Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán in the 1970s and early ’80s, is absolutely a boxing movie. A corny and sometimes clumsy one, it scatters pleasures here and there, Mr. De Niro’s alert performance among them.” Read more…)

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies (action/comedy, Lily James. Rotten Tomatoes 42%. Metacritic  45. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “As it turns out, fighting zombies does nothing to improve on the original Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Austen’s heroine from ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ In ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,’ a character claiming to be Elizabeth Bennet [Lily James], wields swords and other deadly blades, fires guns and occasionally flashes a leg in order to stomp on a zombie head. Battling the undead keeps her, friends and family safe from the flesh-eating hordes, but the character has been so radically transformed from Austen’s that Elizabeth already feels like a goner.” Read more…)

The Childhood of a Leader (costume drama, Robert Pattinson. Rotten Tomatoes 89%. Metacritic  68. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Family and fascism march in lock step in ‘The Childhood of a Leader.’ A visually sumptuous, slow-boil freakout set in France in the aftermath of World War I, it hinges on an unruly boy, Prescott [Tom Sweet], who goes to battle with his authoritarian parents as his American father [Liam Cunningham] is helping negotiate the peace terms with Germany. Having arrived as part of President Woodrow Wilson’s political retinue, the unnamed father has moved into a sprawling, dilapidated farmhouse. There, he and his European wife [also nameless, and played by Bérénice Bejo] settle into their own uneasy peace, one increasingly disturbed by their eccentric son.” Read more…)

Unexpected (comedy, Cobie Smulders. Rotten Tomatoes 66%. Metacritic  65. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review: “There is barely a false note in Kris Swanberg’s intelligent, well-mannered drama ‘Unexpected,’ which tells parallel stories of two unforeseen pregnancies.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Mechanic: Resurrection
Hell Or High Water
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week—The Touring Years

New Foreign DVDs
Mia Madre (Italy, comedy/drama, John Turturro. Rotten Tomatoes 88%. Metacritic  70. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “Love, death, cinema — they’re all there in ‘Mia Madre,’ bumping up against one another beautifully. It’s the story of a movie director, Margherita [Margherita Buy], who, while shooting a difficult movie about labor strife, learns that her mother, Ada [Giulia Lazzarini], may be dying. Yet even as tragedy surges, flooding scenes and tear ducts, Margherita’s featured performer, an outsize American star named Barry [John Turturro], enters laughing, bellowing, acting. The Italian director Nanni Moretti knows how to turn on the waterworks, but he also knows about that burlesque called life.” Read more…)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
Red Dust (1932, drama/comedy, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From M.H.’s 1932 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “The dialogue is not especially bright or strong, but some of the lines spoken by Vantine, who is impersonated by Jean Harlow, aroused laughter from the audience. Miss Harlow’s presence in the picture apparently attracted a host of other platinum blondes, for on all sides there were in the seats girls with straw-colored hair. Miss Harlow’s performance suits the part. Mr. Gable is efficient in his rôle. Miss Astor offers a striking contrast to Miss Harlow. Tully Marshall makes the most of a minor rôle, as does Gene Raymond, who appears as Willis.” Read more…)

New British
Janet King: Series 2
Poldark: Season 2

New Documentaries
lo_and_beholdLo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (Werner Herzog doc, impact of digital technology. Rotten Tomatoes 92%. Metacritic  76. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World’ is Werner Herzog’s documentary about the internet. For some readers, that sentence will be sufficient. One of our most intellectually ambitious filmmakers — a self-professed seeker of ecstatic truths, a tireless foot soldier of cinema — tackles what he calls ‘one of the greatest revolutions’ humanity has experienced. The combination of Mr. Herzog’s doggedly curious sensibility and the mysteries of the digital universe seems both improbable and irresistible.” Read more…)

When Two Worlds Collide (economics, environment, indigenous activism. Rotten Tomatoes 90%. Metacritic  71. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “‘When Two Worlds Collide,’ a documentary directed by the first-time feature filmmakers Heidi Brandenburg and Matthew Orzel, chronicles a conflict that resulted in one particularly effective piece of civil disobedience — a move by indigenous protesters to cut off commercial trucking routes — before it deteriorated into violence and death.” Read more…)

Chicken People (chicken raising, competitions. Rotten Tomatoes 100%. Metacritic  81.A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Helen T. Verongos’ Times review: “They hold grudges. They have best friends. They aren’t big on foreplay, and you can revive them with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation if they choke during a shampoo. They are chickens: the ones with perfect combs, pedicured toes and gleaming feathers that compete on the show circuit. ‘Chicken People,’ directed by Nicole Lucas Haimes, looks at dozens of devotees of these fair fowl. The hens and roosters in this documentary are pampered royalty, and their caretakers find fulfillment in the pursuit of perfection.” Read more…)

New Music
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week—The Touring Years (Ron Howard-directed concerts documentary. Rotten Tomatoes 95%. Metacritic  72. From Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review: “Sure, they were great, but it’s possible to get too much of the Beatles, isn’t it? Nah. Ron Howard’s new documentary, ‘The Breatles: Eight Days a Week—The Touring Years,’ is 90 percent familiar and a bit hagiographic as well, but just try watching it without smiling.” Read more…)

New Children’s DVDs
Kubo and the Two Strings (animated feature, Charlize Theron [voice])
Call of the Wild (1992, Jack London adventure tale, Ricky Schroeder)

Members’ Choice Film Screening: A visit to Paris with Linda Lindroth & Ruth Koizim for “Charade,” Mon., Nov. 28

We asked for your input and we got a response! Starting on Monday, Nov. 21, and into December we present a new film series based on favorites chosen by Best Video Film & Cultural Center members. Each movie starts at 7 PM and admission is $7.

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On Monday, Nov. 28, Linda Lindroth and Ruth Koizim host an excursion to Paris as they present the dashing 1963 rom-com/adventure “Charade,” directed by Stanley Donen and starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. Linda Lindroth teaches courses in visual culture at Quinnipiac University and Ruth Koizim is Senior Lector & Language Program Director in French at Yale University. Their post screening discussion will include fashion, architecture and food through the lens of Stanley Donen.

From Bosley Crowther’s 1963 New York Times review:

I tell you, this light-hearted picture is full of such gruesome violence.

That much explained, however, there’s a lot to be said for it as a fast-moving, urbane entertainment in the comedy-mystery vein. Peter Stone, a new chap, has written a screenplay that is packed with sudden twists, shocking gags, eccentric arrangements and occasionally bright and brittle lines. And Stanley Donen has diligently directed in a style that is somewhere between that of the screwball comedy of the nineteen-thirties and that of Alfred Hitchcock on a “North by Northwest” course.

This is the remainder of the schedule with the members who proposed the films (some of these BVFCC members will be introducing and discussing their film).

Nov. 28: “CHARADE” (Linda Lindroth & Ruth Koizim)

Dec. 5: “PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID” (John McNamara)
Dec. 12: “WINTER’S BONE” (Marianna Ridley)
Dec. 19: “CONTACT” (Rochelle Stackhouse)

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Nov. 23. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: DANIEL BACHMAN, ALEXANDER

• Friday, Nov. 25. BLUEGRASS/TRADITIONAL COUNTRY: DAVE PETERSON (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Saturday, Nov. 26. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Nov. 28. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CHARADE”

• Wednesday, Nov. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM TRIO

• Thursday, Dec. 1. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: GLENN ROTH, SINGER-SONGWRITER: KRISTEN GRAVES

• Friday, Dec. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES CD RELEASE SHOW, HANK HOFFMAN (solo)

• Sunday, Dec. 4. FREE FIRST SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM (PRESENTED BY GUITARTOWNCT)

• Monday, Dec. 5. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID”

• Thursday, Sept. 8. AMERICANA: SEPIATONE

• Friday, Dec. 9. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY BAND (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Monday, Dec. 12. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “WINTER’S BONE”

• Friday, Dec. 16. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Saturday, Dec. 17. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE GOONIES” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Dec. 19. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CONTACT”

• Friday, Jan. 6. ACOUSTIC FOLK BLUES & MORE: VANGE DURST

• Saturday, Jan. 7. MUSIC OF “THE SIMPSONS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Friday, Jan. 13. BLUEGRASS: FIVE IN THE CHAMBER

• Friday, Jan. 20. BLUEGRASS: THE PAGE TURNERS (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Friday, Jan. 27. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Saturday, Jan. 28. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Friday, Feb. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Friday, Feb. 10. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Friday, Feb. 24. INDIE POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

Children’s Film Screening: “The Incredible Journey” on Sat., Nov. 26, at 3 PM, sponsored by Pediatrics Plus

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Pediatrics Plus of North Haven, Best Video Performance Space presents a screening of Disney’s live action adventure classic “The Incredible Journey” on Saturday, Nov. 26. The screening starts at 3 PM. It is free but donations to support Best Video Film & Cultural Center programming will be gratefully accepted.

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A wonderful family film from 1963, adults will remember it from their childhood and young children will enjoy it, too. “The Incredible Journey” is the story of three pets—two dogs and a cat—who get separated from their family during vacation. Will they be reunited? What adventures will they have along the way? The movie was filmed on location in the Canadian wilderness and is based on the book by Sheila Burnford.

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From the 1963 New York Times review (published the day before President Kennedy’s assassintion): “Leave it to the old master, Walt Disney, to provide an ideal live-action picture for the small fry — say about 3 to 10—with the holidays approaching. For ‘The Incredible Journey,’ arriving yesterday on the circuits, is about as gentle, warm and lovely a color movie as any pet owner could wish at least, for the kids.”

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Friday, Nov. 18. PARTY PUNK: TINY BOX BOOKING presents POSTURE & THE GRIZZLY, PRINCE DADDY & THE HYENA, MILKSHAKES, JUST FRIENDS (7 PM)

• Saturday, Nov. 19. JAZZ JAM with ALLEN LOWE, JEFF FULLER & ED CERCONE

• Monday, Nov. 21. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “RUNAWAY TRAIN”

• Wednesday, Nov. 23. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: DANIEL BACHMAN, ALEXANDER

• Friday, Nov. 25. BLUEGRASS/TRADITIONAL COUNTRY: DAVE PETERSON (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Saturday, Nov. 26. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Nov. 28. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CHARADE”

• Wednesday, Nov. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM TRIO

• Thursday, Dec. 1. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: GLENN ROTH, SINGER-SONGWRITER: KRISTEN GRAVES

• Friday, Dec. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES CD RELEASE SHOW, HANK HOFFMAN (solo)

• Sunday, Dec. 4. FREE FIRST SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM (PRESENTED BY GUITARTOWNCT)

• Monday, Dec. 5. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID”

• Thursday, Sept. 8. AMERICANA: SEPIATONE

• Friday, Dec. 9. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY BAND (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Monday, Dec. 12. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “WINTER’S BONE”

• Friday, Dec. 16. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Saturday, Dec. 17. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE GOONIES” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Dec. 19. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CONTACT”

• Friday, Jan. 6. ACOUSTIC FOLK BLUES & MORE: VANGE DURST

• Saturday, Jan. 7. MUSIC OF “THE SIMPSONS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Friday, Jan. 13. BLUEGRASS: FIVE IN THE CHAMBER

• Friday, Jan. 20. BLUEGRASS: THE PAGE TURNERS (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Friday, Jan. 27. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Saturday, Jan. 28. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)