BVFCC closed Thanksgiving Day—have a wonderful holiday!

In 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.

And thanks to all for the tremendous support BVFCC has received throughout this year. We are truly grateful and humbled by your generosity and your continuing patronage.

Thanks for making our 2nd Anniversary Gala a success! Show our Program Book sponsors some love!

Olive Tiger performs at Best video Film & Cultural Center’s 2nd Anniversary Gala on Nov. 18, 2017.

Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s 2nd Anniversary Gala was held this past weekend at The Ballroom at The Outer Space and was a great success. A fine turnout, great music, short films, food and community. Thanks to all who attended.

We want to thank Steve Rodgers and The Ballroom at The Outer Space for donating the use of the room and for their fine hospitality.

Thanks also to the superb musicians who donated their talents: Five In the Chamber, Olive Tiger, The Tet Offensive and Nu Haven Kapelye. Thanks to the filmmakers who offered their work to be screened: Nasty Women Connecticut (specifically, the film “Segmented Sleep” by Mira Steinzor, Rie Ito-Haraki, Christina Schnabel), Mike Franzman (whose two films, alas, could not be shone due to technical difficulties), and the Mindplow collective.

Thanks to the sponsors who purchased ads in our Program Book: (Full Page) Adler Travel, Cork & Barrel, Presence CT: Led Zeppelin Tribute, Wave Gallery, (Half Page) Advance Paper Co., Art Nails, Paul & Eddy’s Pizza, Spring Glen Hardware, (Quarter Page) Holly A. Bryk, Cherry On Top, Garden House, Tim Moran Woodwinds, Richard Penna Salon, Spring Glen Cleaners.

Support our sponsors! Thank them for buying ads in the Anniversary Gala Program Book.

New releases 11/21/17

Top Hits
Brigsby Bear (comedy, Kyle Mooney. Rotten Tomatoes: 80%. Metacritic: 68. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “The absurd and absurdly charming ‘Brigsby Bear’ sounds, well, unbearable. It’s the story of a young man who, after decades of being shut away from the world, splashes down in it like a space alien. There are reasons for his re-entry, though that’s getting ahead of the story, which uses a queasy crime as a jumping-off point to spin a largely sweet, often very funny fairy tale about the perils and the sustaining pleasures of obsessive fandom. Mostly, it is an account of one man’s great, mad love, one that’s mocked, tested and deemed near-pathological — a familiar plight for many superfans.” Read more…)

Beach Rats (drama, Gay & lesbian, Harris Dickinson. Rotten Tomatoes: 82%. Metacritic: 78. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Ben Kenigsberg’s Times review: “‘I don’t really know what I like,’ Frankie [Harris Dickinson] says to a man he meets on a gay hookup site in ‘Beach Rats.’ He repeats variations on that phrase throughout the film, and part of what’s refreshing about Eliza Hittman’s sophomore feature is that the character’s confusion isn’t limited to coming out.” Read more…)

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (action, Samuel L. Jackson. Rotten Tomatoes: 39%. Metacritic: 47. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard,’ directed by Patrick Hughes [‘The Expendables 3’] and written by Tom O’Connor, is not a good movie, but, in fairness, it doesn’t try to be. It occupies its genre niche — the exuberantly violent Euro-action movie-star-paycheck action comedy — without excessive cynicism or annoying pretension. The stars banter and bicker and wax sentimental about the badass women in their lives [Salma Hayek and Élodie Yung] until the time arrives for the next shootout or car chase or suite of explosions.” Read more…)

Good Time (crime thriller, Robert Pattinson. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 80. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “Nick and Connie Nikas are brothers, like Josh and Benny Safdie, the directors of ‘Good Time.’ Nick — played by Benny Safdie — is mentally disabled, while Connie [Robert Pattinson] might charitably be described as an idiot. Motivated by a volatile mix of desperation and bravado, he involves Nick in a poorly planned, haphazardly executed bank robbery. You can bet money on a disastrous outcome, though you might not foresee the precise sequence of mayhem and farce that unfolds on the streets of Queens over a single freezing night. The caper includes an after-hours visit to an amusement park, a soda bottle full of LSD, a case of mistaken identity and plenty of chases, beatings and narrow escapes.” Read more…)

Valerian & the City of a Thousand Planets (sci-fi action, Dane DeHaan. Rotten Tomatoes: 49%. Metacritic: 51. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,’ [actor Dane] DeHaan’s latest eyebrow-raiser — speaking of which, it also stars Cara Delevingne, perhaps the supreme superciliary celebrity of our time — is a bit harder to describe. It was written and directed by Luc Besson [‘The Fifth Element,’ ‘Arthur and the Invisibles’] a fact that promises greater emphasis on visual panache than on feeling or coherence. That promise is faithfully kept, but there is so much more going on. To say that ‘Valerian’ is a science-fiction epic doesn’t quite do it justice. Imagine crushing a DVD of ‘The Phantom Menace’ into a fine powder, tossing in some Adderall and Ecstasy and a pinch of cayenne pepper and snorting the resulting mixture while wearing a virtual reality helmet in a Las Vegas karaoke bar.” Read more…)

Birth of the Dragon (martial arts/bio-pic, Philip Wan-Lung. Rotten Tomatoes: 23%. Metacritic: 35. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “The milieu from which Bruce Lee emerged to become the world’s first martial-arts superstar — both as a film performer and a proponent-teacher — was probably as fascinating as the man himself. The screenwriters Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson and the director George Nolfi only intermittently manage to breathe credible cinematic life into that milieu in ‘Birth of the Dragon,’ which is set in late ’60s San Francisco, where, the movie tells us, Lee taught kung fu. [It was actually Oakland.]” Read more…)

New Foreign DVDs
After Love (Belgium, drama, Cédric Kahn. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 66. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “The Belgian director Joachim Lafosse’s ‘After Love’ is an irritating movie about irritating people. The married Boris and Marie are breaking up but for economic reasons are still sharing the same living space [to which the entire movie is confined; good thing there’s an outdoor patio]. They have lovely twin daughters in front of whom they mostly argue — vehemently and with little regard for how these displays will affect the girls.” Read more…)

Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe (Germany, historic drama, Josef Hader. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 75. From Glenn Kenny’s New York times review: “‘Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe,’ a handsome, scrupulously serious film directed by Maria Schrader from a script she wrote with Jan Schomburg, hardly deals at all with Zweig’s writing. But the movie does grapple with his thought, particularly his position on a writer’s proper place in tumultuous times. The movie begins at a PEN conference in Buenos Aires, where a fellow writer confronts Zweig about his refusal to condemn Hitler and Germany. ‘Every gesture of resistance which is void of either risk or impact is nothing but a cry for recognition,’ Zweig insists.” Read more…)

My Journey Through French Cinema (France, documentary, Bertrand Tavernier. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 87. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “Bertrand Tavernier’s ‘My Journey Through French Cinema’ delivers what it promises. Even so, its explanatory title doesn’t begin to convey just how exhilarating or inspiring a documentary this truly is, and how excellent a trip this well-respected French director takes you on. Deep, thoughtful, immersive, specific yet also wide-reaching, it is an exploration of French cinema by one of its own, a cinephile whose formative movie love evolved into a directing career that includes titles like ‘Coup de Torchon,’ ‘Life and Nothing But’ and ‘Captain Conan.'” Read more…)

Harmonium (Japan, drama, Kanji Furutachi. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 84. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “‘For me, family is an absurdity,’ the director Koji Fukada says in the publicity materials for ‘Harmonium,’ a rigorously grim drama that glides, slowly and inexorably, toward proving his point. Yet the atmosphere of dread that Mr. Fukada tends with such ruthless precision — and more than a little sadism — depends not on creepy camera moves or other visual trickery. Instead, this chilly tale of violent secrets and unvoiced misery relies heavily on the skill of actors who seem to know that one false move could tip the whole enterprise into comedy.” Read more…)

The Villainess (Republic of Korea, action, Kim Ok-Vin. Rotten Tomatoes: 82%. Metacritic: 64. From Teo Bugbee’s New York Times review: “As directed by Jung Byung-gil, a former stuntman, the film mirrors the experience of playing a video game. The camera whips to each new target with the assurance of someone who knows all the combinations, and has instinctive, practiced access to every code and cheat. The only sign of conscious, unautomated humanity is the sound of the protagonist’s ragged breathing — an acknowledgment of the exhaustion that comes when a human being is pushed to become an action avatar.” Read more…)

New British
The Fall: Series 3

New Documentaries
In Pursuit of Silence (contemporary life. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 70. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “‘In Pursuit of Silence’ isn’t what you would call a well-rounded or intellectually rigorous documentary — it’s too messianic for that — but it is an interesting one. Partly inspired by George Prochnik’s 2010 book of the same title, this elegant sermon by Patrick Shen on why we should dial down the racket of our daily lives will make you consider turning off and tuning out.” Read more…)

My Journey Through French Cinema (France, documentary, Bertrand Tavernier. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 87. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “Bertrand Tavernier’s ‘My Journey Through French Cinema’ delivers what it promises. Even so, its explanatory title doesn’t begin to convey just how exhilarating or inspiring a documentary this truly is, and how excellent a trip this well-respected French director takes you on. Deep, thoughtful, immersive, specific yet also wide-reaching, it is an exploration of French cinema by one of its own, a cinephile whose formative movie love evolved into a directing career that includes titles like ‘Coup de Torchon,’ ‘Life and Nothing But’ and ‘Captain Conan.'” Read more…)

Music: The Birdmen fly into Best Video Fri., Nov. 24, with set full of songs by the late James Velvet

The Birdmen return to play Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Nov. 24. The show starts at 8 PM and cover is $5.

The Birdmen are Johnny Java (bass), John Lindberg (electric guitar), Johnny Memphis (vocals/guitar/fiddle), and Dick Neal (vocals/guitar/mandolin/banjo). All four are longtime musical collaborators of James Velvet, a beloved figure on the New Haven music scene who passed away April of 2015. They will carry on performing music either composed by James or associated with his many musical personas.

Johnny Java and Dick Neal performed with Velvet in his bands The Mockingbirds and The Lonesome Sparrows. John Lindberg played guitar with Velvet in the Ivory Bills; Java played drums in that group. Johnny Memphis, who played guitar and fiddle in The Lonesome Sparrows was a longtime collaborator with James Velvet.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN (SOLD OUT!)

• Friday, Nov. 17. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING, SINGER-SONGWRITER: GREGORY SOMMERVILLE

• Saturday, Nov. 18. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY GALA AT THE BALLROOM AT THE OUTER SPACE: 5 IN THE CHAMBER, OLIVE TIGER, NU HAVEN KAPELYE, THE TET OFFENSIVE; SHORT FILMS BY MIKE FRANZMAN, MINDPLOW, NASTY WOMEN CONNECTICUT

• Sunday, Nov. 19, 3 PM. JAZZ: TRIO 149

• Monday, Nov. 20, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING: “SON OF SAUL” (WITH TALK BY PROF. CHRISTOPHER SHARRETT)

• Friday, Nov. 24. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN

• Thursday, Nov. 30. BLUEGRASS: EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

• Friday, Dec. 1. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & TONY PURRONE

• Sunday, Dec. 3, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Dec. 6, 7 PM. ANNIE LISA: PSYCH-K

• Thursday, Dec. 7.ART SONG/SINGER-SONGWRITERS: OLIVE TIGER (SOLO), AN HISTORIC

• Friday, Dec. 8. BLUEGRASS: TWISTED PINE (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Dec. 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER/FUTURE SOUL: PAUL BRYANT HUDSON; WORLD MUSIC/FOLK: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Dec. 14, 8 PM. JAZZ: PAUL SHANLEY

• Friday, Dec. 15. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE FURORS (CD RELEASE!); SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

• Thursday, Dec. 21. SURF MUSIC: THE CLAMS

• Friday, Dec. 22. HOLIDAY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL SHOW: DUST HAT, BRONSON ROCK

• Friday, Dec. 29. INDIE ROCK: WALLY

• Friday, Jan. 5. AFRO-FUNK/ELECTRONICS: ENERGY

• Wednesday, Jan. 10, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Jan. 11. ROCK: TINY OCEAN

• Friday, Jan. 12, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: BEPPE GAMBETTA (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Jan. 19. BLUES ROCK: VANGE DURST

• Thursday, Jan. 25, 6:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: BONZO

• Friday, Feb. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Thursday, Feb. 8. BLUEGRASS: JOE K. WALSH & CELIA WOODSMITH, feat. BOBBY BRITT & ZOE GUIGUENO

• Wednesday, Feb. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, Feb. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER/FUTURE SOUL: PAUL BRYANT HUDSON

• Friday, Mar. 16. BLUEGRASS: ZOE & CLOYD (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

 

New releases 11/14/17

Top Hits
Wind River (thriller, Jeremy Renner. Rotten Tomatoes: 87%. Metacritic: 73. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn Kenny’s Times review: “Taylor Sheridan, the screenwriter of last year’s socially conscious crime drama ‘Hell or High Water,’ proves an undeniably strong director with his second effort in that job, ‘Wind River.’ The movie opens on a breathtaking night sky and snow-capped mountains, with a young woman running over a long stretch of open land. ‘There’s a meadow in my perfect world,’ a female voice says. The juxtaposition of the imagery and the poetics make for a peculiar opening. Eventually it all makes tragic sense.” Read more…)

Atomic Blonde (action, Charlize Theron. Rotten Tomatoes: 76%. Metacritic: 63. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “‘Atomic Blonde’ is going to make an excellent highlight reel. It already is one, in a manner of speaking, given that its strengths are lavishly violent, inventively choreographed fights that have been glued together by nonsense and Charlize Theron. The nonsense involves spies chasing secrets in Berlin just before the fall of the wall, which may suggest John le Carré but plays closer to a dumb and dumber take on Boris and Natasha. Mostly, the movie is an excuse to watch a beautiful, deviously clever female avatar as she is stripped naked, dolled up and repeatedly beaten down only to rise again.” Read more…)

The Secret Scripture (drama, Vanessa Redgrave, Rooney Mara. Rotten Tomatoes: 29%. Metacritic: 37.)

New Foreign DVDs
Aquarius (Brazil, drama, Sonia Braga. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 88. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “‘Aquarius’ is a marvelous and surprising act of portraiture, a long, unhurried encounter with a single, complicated person. And that is enough to make it a captivating film, an experience well worth seeking out. But there is also, as I’ve suggested, more going on than the everyday experiences of a modern matriarch. Clara’s particularity is precisely what makes her such a resonant and representative figure, because it’s her idiosyncratic spirit that is threatened by the sterility and greed represented by her mercenary antagonists.” Read more…)

Zoology (Russia, fantasy/drama, Natalya Plavenkova. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%.)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
Universal Cult Horror Collection: House of Horrors, Murders In the Zoo, The Mad Doctor of Market Street, The Mad Ghoul, The Strange Case of Doctor RX
The Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection Vol. 2: Dr. Cyclops, Cult of the Cobra, The Land Unknown, The Deadly Mantis, The Leech Woman

New British
Churchill (biopic, Brian Cox. Rotten Tomatoes: 49%. Metacritic: 44. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “Winston Churchill the character has appeared in dozens of films, TV movies and mini-series over the years, and the portraits always hew to the gruff British bulldog conception of this 20th-century leader. ‘Churchill,’ a new movie directed by Jonathan Teplitzky from a script by Alex von Tunzelmann, is laudable in its effort to shine a light on the Churchill who struggled in private with crippling depression — ‘the black dog,’ he called it. His accuracy-in-metaphor was such that sufferers of subsequent generations have frequently adopted the term. The movie’s ambition is the good news. The bad news is that it is a hash, choosing to jumble the historical record and frame a Churchill bout with depression against the D-Day invasion of France by Allied forces.” Read more…)

Murder On the Orient Express (Agatha Christie mystery, David Suchet)

New Television
Billions: Season 2

New Documentaries
Kedi (street cats of Istanbul. Rotten Tomatoes: 98%. Metacritic: 78. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn Kenny’s Times review: “‘Kedi’ [‘Feline’], a frequently enchanting documentary directed by Ceyda Torun, showcases some of these feline personalities and the humans who look after them. There’s a good deal of projection in the verbal accounts of the animals’ lives, but the movie, with its mobile camera low to the ground or looking down at cat-navigated rooftops, doesn’t do much to contradict the indirect anthropomorphizing. There’s a lot of action at piers and fish markets.” Read more…)

Whose Streets (activism, racism, Ferguson, militarized policing. Rotten Tomatoes: 99%. Metacritic: 81. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times revciew: “‘Whose Streets?,’ a documentary about the unrest and activism in Ferguson, Mo., in the wake of the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, is choppy, sometimes unfocused, and in every respect the opposite of slick. Its directors, Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis, are novice filmmakers, true; but I also suspect this movie’s form is deliberate, part of its message. This is direct and frequently powerful filmmaking that doesn’t much care about meeting my aesthetic standards.” Read more…)

Spy In the Wild (nature, animal behavior. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%.)
Hamilton: Building America (American history, Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow)

Film screening: “Son of Saul,” Best Foreign Film Oscar winner, screens Mon., Nov. 20; film Prof. Chris Sharrett presents

Best Video Performance Space will screen “Son of Saul” on Monday, Nov. 20. The program starts at 7 PM and the cover is $7. Christopher Sharrett, a Professor of Film Studies at Seton Hall University will introduce and discuss the film.

Christopher Sharrett is Professor of Film Studies at Seton Hall University. He has published several books on film, including Mythologies of Violence in Postmodern Media, and The Rifleman. He is a Contributing Writer for Cineaste and Film International. He is on the editorial board of Quarterly Review of Film and Video. He has lived in Hamden for 28 years, and is a Best Video loyalist!

Hungarian director Laszlo Nemes’s first feature won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. Saul Auslander (Hungarian poet Geza Rohring) is a prisoner in Crematorium II of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1943. Designated a Sonderkommando, Saul must assist the murder process in the most hellish locus of the Holocaust. When Saul finds a boy alive in the gas chamber after a mass killing, he takes the child as his son, determined to give him a proper Jewish funeral after watching a Nazi doctor suffoctate the child. Meanwhile, fellow inmates plan an uprising. A staggering portrayal of personal need versus the common good.

From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review:

The shape of the screen is unusually narrow in “Son of Saul,” the 38-year-old Hungarian filmmaker Laszlo Nemes’s debut feature. Nearly square, it evokes an earlier era, when all movies looked this way, and also emphasizes the claustrophobia of the story and the setting. We are in a Nazi death camp, and really in it, to a degree that few fictional films have had the nerve to attempt. The camera doesn’t just survey the barracks and the guard towers, the haggard prisoners and brutal guards. It takes us to the very door of the gas chambers, in the close company of Saul Auslander (Geza Rohrig), a Jewish inmate who is a member of the camp’s Sonderkommando (special commando) unit.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Wednesday, Nov. 8, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Nov. 9. GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK: RICH MORAN

• Friday, Nov. 10. MODERN ROCK: NALANI & SARINA, CHASER EIGHT NAKED (PRESENTED BY AIM PRODUCTIONS)

• Saturday, Nov. 11, 7-10 PM (at ORDINARY tavern in New Haven): ART OPENING: “CREEPSHOW”—A BENEFIT FOR BEST VIDEO FILM & CULTURAL CENTER with art by AUDREY NEFORES & NICK HURWITZ-GOODMAN

• Sunday, Nov. 12, 7 PM. CELTIC & QUEBECOIS FOLK: MINK, SOCK & LUTIE

• Wednesday, Nov. 15, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN (SOLD OUT!)

• Friday, Nov. 17. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Saturday, Nov. 18. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY GALA AT THE BALLROOM AT THE OUTER SPACE: 5 IN THE CHAMBER, OLIVE TIGER, NU HAVEN KAPELYE, THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Sunday, Nov. 19, 3 PM. JAZZ: TRIO 149

• Monday, Nov. 20, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING: “SON OF SAUL” (WITH TALK BY PROF. CHRISTOPHER SHARRETT)

• Friday, Nov. 24. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN

• Thursday, Nov. 30. BLUEGRASS: EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

• Friday, Dec. 1. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & TONY PURRONE

• Sunday, Dec. 3, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Dec. 6, 7 PM. ANNIE LISA: PSYCH-K

• Thursday, Dec. 7.ART SONG/SINGER-SONGWRITERS: OLIVE TIGER (SOLO), AN HISTORIC

• Friday, Dec. 8. BLUEGRASS: TWISTED PINE (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Dec. 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER/FUTURE SOUL: PAUL BRYANT HUDSON; WORLD MUSIC/FOLK: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Dec. 14, 8 PM. JAZZ: PAUL SHANLEY

• Friday, Dec. 15. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE FURORS (CD RELEASE!); SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

• Thursday, Dec. 21. SURF MUSIC: THE CLAMS

• Friday, Dec. 22. HOLIDAY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL SHOW: DUST HAT, BRONSON ROCK

• Friday, Dec. 29. INDIE ROCK: WALLY

• Friday, Jan. 5. AFRO-FUNK/ELECTRONICS: ENERGY

• Wednesday, Jan. 10, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Jan. 11. ROCK: TINY OCEAN

• Friday, Jan. 12, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: BEPPE GAMBETTA (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Jan. 19. BLUES ROCK: VANGE DURST

• Thursday, Jan. 25, 6:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: BONZO

• Friday, Feb. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Thursday, Feb. 8. BLUEGRASS: JOE WALSH & SWEET LOAM

• Wednesday, Feb. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, Feb. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER/FUTURE SOUL: PAUL BRYANT HUDSON

• Friday, Mar. 16. BLUEGRASS: ZOE & CLOYD (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

 

Music: Trio 149, featuring Noah Baerman, plays Sun. afternoon show, Nov. 19, at 3 PM

Jazz group Trio 149 plays Best Video Performance Space Sunday afternoon, Nov. 19, at 3 PM. The cover is $5.

Trio 149 features Jen Allen on piano, Noah Baerman on organ and synthesizer, and Johnathan Blake on drums. The performance will offer a preview of the music from forthcoming album “Raise Up,” to be recorded the following day. Original music by Jen and Noah and compositions by John Blake, Jr., Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Sting.

Jazz pianist and composer Noah Baerman’s tenacity and his cutting edge yet soulful music have made him an inspiring figure to a growing legion of admirers. Over ten years after nearly walking away from the piano due to his struggles with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), an incurable connective tissue disorder with which he was born, Noah is playing and composing with more authority than ever. These challenges and his experiences as a foster parent have deepened his already fierce commitment to “message music,” as evidenced by his powerful 2014 release Ripples (“With its heady mix of transcendence, activism, deep lyrical expression and soulful sense of swing, pianist/composer Noah Baerman’s triumphant new CD, Ripples, is one of the best and the brightest releases to grace our region in quite some time.” – Owen McNally, WNPR Jazz Corridor) and his position as founder and Artistic Director of the non-profit Resonant Motion.

Jen Allen is a musician who never shies away from honest self-revelation. Her compositional output reads like an intimate diary of life experiences and relationships, offered with subtle and surprising narrative power. Jen’s patient, searching piano and writing style infuses many contemporary ensembles of all sizes and stripes with sweetness and gravity.

Johnathan Blake, one of the most accomplished drummers of his generation, has also proven himself a complete and endlessly versatile musician — “the ultimate modernist,” as John Murph of NPR has dubbed him. Blake’s gift for composition and band leading, so ably demonstrated on his 2012 recording debut The Eleventh Hour, reflects years of live and studio experience across the aesthetic spectrum.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Wednesday, Nov. 8, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Nov. 9. GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK: RICH MORAN

• Friday, Nov. 10. MODERN ROCK: NALANI & SARINA, CHASER EIGHT NAKED (PRESENTED BY AIM PRODUCTIONS)

• Saturday, Nov. 11, 7-10 PM (at ORDINARY tavern in New Haven): ART OPENING: “CREEPSHOW”—A BENEFIT FOR BEST VIDEO FILM & CULTURAL CENTER with art by AUDREY NEFORES & NICK HURWITZ-GOODMAN

• Sunday, Nov. 12, 7 PM. CELTIC & QUEBECOIS FOLK: MINK, SOCK & LUTIE

• Wednesday, Nov. 15, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN (SOLD OUT!)

• Friday, Nov. 17. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Saturday, Nov. 18. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY GALA AT THE BALLROOM AT THE OUTER SPACE: 5 IN THE CHAMBER, OLIVE TIGER, NU HAVEN KAPELYE, THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Sunday, Nov. 19, 3 PM. JAZZ: TRIO 149

• Monday, Nov. 20, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING: “SON OF SAUL” (WITH TALK BY PROF. CHRISTOPHER SHARRETT)

• Friday, Nov. 24. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN

• Thursday, Nov. 30. BLUEGRASS: EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

• Friday, Dec. 1. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & TONY PURRONE

• Sunday, Dec. 3, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Dec. 6, 7 PM. ANNIE LISA: PSYCH-K

• Thursday, Dec. 7.ART SONG/SINGER-SONGWRITERS: OLIVE TIGER (SOLO), AN HISTORIC

• Friday, Dec. 8. BLUEGRASS: TWISTED PINE (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Dec. 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER/FUTURE SOUL: PAUL BRYANT HUDSON; WORLD MUSIC/FOLK: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Dec. 14, 8 PM. JAZZ: PAUL SHANLEY

• Friday, Dec. 15. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE FURORS (CD RELEASE!); SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

• Thursday, Dec. 21. SURF MUSIC: THE CLAMS

• Friday, Dec. 22. HOLIDAY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL SHOW: DUST HAT, BRONSON ROCK

• Friday, Dec. 29. INDIE ROCK: WALLY

• Friday, Jan. 5. AFRO-FUNK/ELECTRONICS: ENERGY

• Wednesday, Jan. 10, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Jan. 11. ROCK: TINY OCEAN

• Friday, Jan. 12, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: BEPPE GAMBETTA (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Jan. 19. BLUES ROCK: VANGE DURST

• Thursday, Jan. 25, 6:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: BONZO

• Friday, Feb. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Thursday, Feb. 8. BLUEGRASS: JOE WALSH & SWEET LOAM

• Wednesday, Feb. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, Feb. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER/FUTURE SOUL: PAUL BRYANT HUDSON

• Friday, Mar. 16. BLUEGRASS: ZOE & CLOYD (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

 

Music: Happy Ending (Featuring BVFCC’s Richard Brown & Hank Hoffman), Gregory Sommerville play Fri., Nov. 17

Rock band Happy Ending—which features BVFCC staffers Hank Hoffman and Richard Brown—plays Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Nov. 17. Gregory Sommerville opens. The cover is $5 and the show starts at 8 PM.

Happy Ending.

Happy Ending has released three albums. The most recent, “Electricity for the Youth of Today,” was recorded live at Best Video Performance Space in December of 2013. The vinyl LP and 45 “Have A Nice Day” came out in 1984 and the compact disc “Smile for the Camera” in 1996. John Foster, editor of Op Magazine, described “Have A Nice Day” as a “future cult item for the collectors.” Hank Hoffman sings and plays guitar; Richard Brown plays guitar and alto saxophone. Tom Smith is on drums and Randy Stone plays bass. Happy Ending’s music is influenced by 1960s pop, garage rock and psychedelia as well as punk and free jazz.

Gregory Sommerville.

 

Gregory Sommerville is a New Haven-based singer-songwriter, using only an acoustic guitar to share his heartfelt introspective musings. After struggling with addiction issues over the past ten years and coming into his own with recent soberity, he has moved to New Haven to cultivate happiness in his life and unabashedly follow his passions.Major influences include Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Mangum, Saves the Day and the Beach Boys. His songs include themes of isolation, loss and complications of active addiction packaged and polished as two minute pop songs.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Wednesday, Nov. 15, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN (SOLD OUT!)

• Friday, Nov. 17. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Saturday, Nov. 18. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY GALA AT THE BALLROOM AT THE OUTER SPACE: 5 IN THE CHAMBER, OLIVE TIGER, NU HAVEN KAPELYE, THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Sunday, Nov. 19, 3 PM. JAZZ: TRIO 149

• Monday, Nov. 20, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING: “SON OF SAUL” (WITH TALK BY PROF. CHRISTOPHER SHARRETT)

• Friday, Nov. 24. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN

• Thursday, Nov. 30. BLUEGRASS: EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

• Friday, Dec. 1. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & TONY PURRONE

• Sunday, Dec. 3, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Dec. 6, 7 PM. ANNIE LISA: PSYCH-K

• Thursday, Dec. 7.ART SONG/SINGER-SONGWRITERS: OLIVE TIGER (SOLO), AN HISTORIC

• Friday, Dec. 8. BLUEGRASS: TWISTED PINE (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Dec. 9. SINGER-SONGWRITER/FUTURE SOUL: PAUL BRYANT HUDSON; WORLD MUSIC/FOLK: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Dec. 14, 8 PM. JAZZ: PAUL SHANLEY

• Friday, Dec. 15. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE FURORS (CD RELEASE!); SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

• Thursday, Dec. 21. SURF MUSIC: THE CLAMS

• Friday, Dec. 22. HOLIDAY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL SHOW: DUST HAT, BRONSON ROCK

• Friday, Dec. 29. INDIE ROCK: WALLY

• Friday, Jan. 5. AFRO-FUNK/ELECTRONICS: ENERGY

• Wednesday, Jan. 10, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Jan. 11. ROCK: TINY OCEAN

• Friday, Jan. 12, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: BEPPE GAMBETTA (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Jan. 19. BLUES ROCK: VANGE DURST

• Thursday, Jan. 25, 6:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: BONZO

• Friday, Feb. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Thursday, Feb. 8. BLUEGRASS: JOE WALSH & SWEET LOAM

• Wednesday, Feb. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Friday, Feb. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER/FUTURE SOUL: PAUL BRYANT HUDSON

• Friday, Mar. 16. BLUEGRASS: ZOE & CLOYD (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

 

Music: Bluegrass guitar whiz Tim O’Brien to play two sold-out shows Wed. & Thurs.

GuitarTownCT Concert Series presents bluegrass guitar star Tim O’Brien for two sold-out shows at Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 15-16. The shows start at 7 PM.

Born in Wheeling, West Virginia on March 16, 1954, Tim O’Brien grew up singing in church and in school, and started playing folk and rock music on guitar at age 12. After seeing Doc Watson on TV, he became a lifelong devotee of old time and bluegrass music.

He started making his living as a musician at age 19 in Chicago and in Jackson, Wyoming, eventually relocating to Boulder, Colorado in the fall of 1974. O’Brien found work there as a fiddler with local bluegrass bands and as a member of the Ophelia Swing, recording with them and with Pete Wernick in 1977. In those early Colorado years, he started playing the mandolin, and studied guitar and music theory with local jazz great Dale Bruning.

In 1978, Tim co-founded the bluegrass group Hot Rize with Pete Wernick, Charles Sawtelle, and Nick Forster. Hot Rize and Western Swing alter-egos Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers eventually recorded ten albums and toured the US, Europe, Japan, and Australia. The group was named Entertainer of the Year 1990 by the International Bluegrass Music Association, and their “Colleen Malone” was named IBMA’s Song of the Year in 1991. He won IBMA’s Male Vocalist of the year in 1993, and again in 2005, when he also won song of the year for “Look Down That Lonesome Road”.

Solo recordings started with 1982’s “Hard Year Blues”, and other projects included three duet albums with his sister Mollie O’Brien. Folks in Nashville started noticing Tim’s songs, and he had top ten country hits in 1989 and 1990 with Kathy Mattea’s versions of Hot Rize songs “Walk The Way The Wind Blows” and “Untold Stories”. Other notable covers by New Grass Revival, Nickel Creek, Garth Brooks, and the Dixie Chicks followed. Hot Rize went dormant in the spring of 1990, after which O’Brien performed and recorded on his own, eventually releasing fourteen solo recordings, as well as collaborations with Dirk Powell (“Songs From The Mountain”) and with Darrell Scott (“Real Time”). Landmarks solo releases include a Grammy nominated set of bluegrass Dylan covers – “Red On Blonde”, the Celtic/Appalachian fusion of “The Crossing”, and 2005’s Grammy winning “Fiddler’s Green”.

Tim toured and recorded with Steve Earle’s Bluegrass Dukes in the early 2000’s, and with Mark Knopfler in 2009 and 2010. Other recent collaborations include another CD with Darrell Scott (“Memories and Moments”), a track with Steve Martin (“Daddy Played The Banjo”), a family band set of Roger Miller songs (“Reincarnation”), and the reunited Hot Rize’s “When I’m Free”. A collaboration with Jerry Douglas, Shawn Camp and others -“The Earls Of Leicester” – won a Grammy as well as IBMA’s Record of the Year in 2015.

Tim has produced recordings for Laurie Lewis, the Yonder Mountain String Band, the Infamous Stringdusters, Old Man Luedecke, and early mentor J.D. Hutchison. He has recorded and performed with The Chieftains, Joan Baez, Dierks Bentley, Bill Frisell, and the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. He contributed to the movie soundtrack of “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” as well as those of “Cold Mountain”, and “The Blob”. He is a former president of the International Bluegrass Music Association, and currently serves on the board of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame. O’Brien formed his own record label, Howdy Skies Records, in 1999, and in 2015 launched the digital download label Short Order Sessions (SOS) with his partner Jan Fabricius. SOS releases a new track every month. He has two sons, Jackson (34) and Joel (26), and has lived in Nashville since 1996. Hobbies include cooking, skiing, and playing traditional Irish music.

Tim’s latest release, 2017’s “Where the River Meets the Road, is O’Brien’s 16th solo recording. Focusing on the music of his native West Virginia, it features songs by Billy Edd Wheeler, Bill Withers, Hazel Dickens, and two O’Brien originals, as well as traditional material by the Lilly Brothers, the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers, and Doc Williams. Guests include Stuart Duncan, Kathy Mattea, Chris Stapleton, Bryan Sutton, and Jan Fabricius.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Saturday, Nov. 11, 7-10 PM (at ORDINARY tavern in New Haven): ART OPENING: “CREEPSHOW”—A BENEFIT FOR BEST VIDEO FILM & CULTURAL CENTER with art by AUDREY NEFORES & NICK HURWITZ-GOODMAN

• Sunday, Nov. 12, 7 PM. CELTIC & QUEBECOIS FOLK: MINK, SOCK & LUTIE

• Wednesday, Nov. 15, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN

• Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 PM. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN (SOLD OUT!)

• Friday, Nov. 17. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Saturday, Nov. 18. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY GALA AT THE BALLROOM AT THE OUTER SPACE: 5 IN THE CHAMBER, OLIVE TIGER, NU HAVEN KAPELYE, THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Sunday, Nov. 19, 3 PM. JAZZ: TRIO 149

• Monday, Nov. 20, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING: “SON OF SAUL” (WITH TALK BY PROF. CHRISTOPHER SHARRETT)

• Friday, Nov. 24. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN

• Thursday, Nov. 30. BLUEGRASS: EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

• Friday, Dec. 1. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & TONY PURRONE

• Sunday, Dec. 3, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Thursday, Dec. 7.ART SONG/SINGER-SONGWRITERS: OLIVE TIGER (SOLO), AN HISTORIC

• Friday, Dec. 8. BLUEGRASS: TWISTED PINE (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Dec. 9. JAZZ/AVANT-GARDE: KLEPTOKRAT; WORLD MUSIC/FOLK: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY BEST VIDEO OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Dec. 14, 8 PM. JAZZ: PAUL SHANLEY

• Friday, Dec. 15. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE FURORS (CD RELEASE!)

• Thursday, Dec. 21. SURF MUSIC: THE CLAMS

• Friday, Dec. 22. HOLIDAY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL SHOW: DUST HAT, BRONSON ROCK

• Friday, Jan. 5. AFRO-FUNK/ELECTRONICS: ENERGY

• Friday, Jan. 12, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: BEPPE GAMBETTA (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Jan. 19. BLUES ROCK: VANGE DURST

• Thursday, Jan. 25, 6:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: BONZO

• Friday, Feb. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Thursday, Feb. 8. BLUEGRASS: JOE WALSH & SWEET LOAM

• Friday, Mar. 16. BLUEGRASS: ZOE & CLOYD (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

New releases 11/7/17

Top Hits
Cars 3 (animated Pixar feature, Owen Wilson. Rotten Tomatoes: 68%. Metacritic: 59. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn Kenny’s Times review: “The conventional reviewers’ wisdom about Pixar’s ‘Cars’ movies is that they are colorful and engaging but hardly as breathtaking as much of the other output from that animation studio. There are some who think Pixar should aim for awe-inspiring every time, because why not? Then there are crankier critics who will point out that driverless talking cars just aren’t terribly interesting, and can be a little goofy. ‘Cars 3,’ directed by Brian Fee from a script by Kiel Murray, Bob Peterson and Mike Rich [the story is credited to a whole other pit crew that includes Mr. Fee], isn’t going to win any converts among those with an animus toward talking cars. But if you can roll with it, the movie is both breezy fun and a pain-free life lesson delivery vehicle.” Read more…)

Your Name (anime animated feature, Michael Sinterniklaas [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 79. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “It isn’t until well into “Your Name,” a wistfully lovely Japanese tale about fate and time, that its two teenage characters meet. By that point, Mitsuha (a girl yearning to leave her small town) and Taki (a boy in Tokyo) have come to know each other as well as two people can. For reasons they don’t understand, each’s consciousness has been temporarily jumping into the other’s physical shell, only to jump back. This happens at night, which means that Mitsuha regularly wakes up in Taki’s body, and he wakes up in hers, a swap that he likes to confirm by fondling his (her) breasts.” Read more…)

Ingrid Goes West (comedy, Aubrey Plaza. Rotten Tomatoes: 86%. Metacritic: 71. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “‘Ingrid Goes West’ comes close to saying something sharp about how social media promotes envy and the illusion of connectivity, but when a comedy chooses such an obvious target, it should have the courtesy to aim from an oblique angle.” Read more…)

Killing Ground (action thriller,Hariet Dyer. Rotten Tomatoes: 76%. Metacritic: 59. From Ken Jaworowski’s New York Times review; “‘Killing Ground’ features a man and a woman who make head-slappingly dumb choices as they flee from a pair of killers who are just as inept. Yet in the end, the most regrettable decision may be that of audience members who fork over money to see the movie.” Read more…)

The Journey (drama, Timothy Spall. Rotten Tomatoes: 68%. Metacritic: 53. From Andy Webster’s New York Times review: “Wishful thinking predominates in Nick Hamm’s drama ‘The Journey,’ an imaginary account of a conversation between former giants in Northern Ireland’s Troubles: the Rev. Ian Paisley, who spearheaded the Democratic Unionist Party [he died in 2014], and Martin McGuinness, a Sinn Fein leader [who died in March]… Though the script tilts to the didactic, the performances are absolutely delicious, with Mr. Meaney droll and understated and Mr. Spall fiery and derisive, yet not above a joke.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Willard (1971, horror, Bruce Davison)

New Foreign DVDs
The Tower: Tales from a Vanished Land (Germany, mini-series drama, Jan Josef Leifers)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
The Philadelphia Story (1940, Criterion edition, romantic comedy classic, Katharine Hepburn. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From Bosley Crowther’s 1940 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “All those folks who wrote Santa Claus asking him to send them a sleek new custom-built comedy with fast lines and the very finest in Hollywood fittings got their wish just one day late with the opening of ‘The Philadelphia Story’ yesterday at the Music Hall. For this present, which really comes via Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, has just about everything that a blue-chip comedy should have—a witty, romantic script derived by Donald Ogden Stewart out of Philip Barry’s successful play; the flavor of high-society elegance, in which the patrons invariably luxuriate, and a splendid cast of performers headed by Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart and Cary Grant. If it doesn’t play out this year and well along into next they should turn the Music Hall into a shooting gallery.” Read more…)

Strange Illusion (1945, Edgar Ulmer-directed drama, James Lydon)

New American Back Catalog (post-1960)
Willard (1971, horror, Bruce Davison. From Vincent Canby’s 1971 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “‘Willard,’ which opened yesterday at the Penthouse Theater, attempts to be the kind of horror film that allows us to share the satisfaction of Willard’s revenge, as he goes around the neighborhood letting his rats run opportunely loose, while simultaneously sharing—with pleasure—the terror of his victims. The movie, however, persists in crossing its lines of stimulation, resulting in a series of little short-circuits that effectively limit pleasure to an occasional line or bit of business.” Read more…)

Girlfriends (1978, drama, Melane Mayron)

New British
Dreamchild (1985, historic Alice in Wonderland drama, Nicola Cowper. From Stephen Holden’s 1985 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “The collision of fading Victorianism with the rough-and-tumble world of American enterprise is a running theme throughout Gavin Millar’s ‘Dreamchild,’ a small sentimental gem of a movie that is at heart a cinematic memory play.” Read more…)

Poldark: Season 3 (costume drama, Aidan Turner. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%.)
The Crown: Season 1 (drama, Claire Foy. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%. Metacritic: 81.)

New Television
Westworld: Season 1 (HBO sci-fi series based on Michael Crichton book, Anthony Hopkins. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. Metacritic: 74.)

New Gay & Lesbian
A Date for Mad Mary (drama/romance, Charleigh Bailey. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%.)

New Children DVDs
Cars 3 (animated Pixar feature, Owen Wilson [voice])