Love a movie you rented? Hate a movie? Let us & your fellow BVFCC members know!

Have you ever rented a movie you just loved and wanted to let the world know? Or, conversely, have you ever borrowed a movie from Best Video Film & Cultural Center and just loathed it? Disliked it so much that you hoped the filmmaker went into another line of work and never again created flickering images to be projected on a screen?

One BVFCC member rented director Darren Aronofsky’s recent film “Mother!”, which stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem. To put it mildly, this member did not enjoy it. And she let us know in a handwritten note that provoked a boisterous discussion on our Best Video Film & Cultural Center Facebook page.

“Mother!”’s Rotten Tomatoes‘ rating is 69%—not “certified fresh” but certainly creditable. New York Times critic A.O. Scott didn’t deem the flick a “Critic’s Pick” but he did enthuse, “Don’t listen to anyone who natters on about how intense or disturbing it is; it’s a hoot!”

Scott also wrote:

[Actress Jennifer] Lawrence, for her part, bears an impossible burden. In dramatic terms, she is a passive, reactive protagonist, a cipher and, in the strict sense of the word, an icon. Called upon to embody all of womankind — and a lot else besides — she is denied the chance to be human, and her blankness empties the film of emotional power.

What it has, instead, is extravagant sensation and churning intellectual energy. Mr. Aronofsky is a virtuoso of mood and timing, a devoted student of form and technique straining to be a credible visionary. But as wild and provocative as his images can be, there is something missing — an element of strangeness, of difficulty, of the kind of inspiration that overrides mere cleverness.

On the other hand, “Mother!” made me laugh harder and more frequently than just about any other movie I’ve seen this year. I don’t say this derisively. Mr. Aronofsky’s visual wit and dexterous, disciplined camera movements create frissons of comic terror. His gift for escalation — evident in the marvelous crescendo of frenzied action that occupies most of the movie’s second half — may be unmatched in his generation of filmmakers.

On New Year’s Eve, the BVFCC member dissented, writing:

“Mother!” is the worst movie I have ever taken out of Best Video. The director, Darren Aronofsky, is a misogynist. Women should boycott this horrible movie and should ruin Aronofsky’s chances of ever making another film. The critics who called this movie “brilliant” belong on a trash heap with him.

Numerous commenters weighed in pro and con on “Mother!” And one BVFCC member urged us to “please feature more handwritten reviews from BV customers!”

We would love to! So feel free to let us know what YOU think when you have a powerful emotional and/or intellectual reaction to a film. The Best Video world wants to know!

Second Wednesday Open Mic returns Wed., Jan. 10, at 7 PM, with host Karen Ponzio—music, comedy, poetry & more

Musicians! Comedians! Poets! Magicians! Spoken word artists! The Second Wednesday Open Mic takes place Wednesday, Dec. 13, starting at 7 PM. Admission is a Suggested Donation of $3-5 to support BVFCC.

Poet Karen Ponzio — who writes for the New Haven Independent (read her article on our first open mic here) and has a show on Cygnus RADIO — is the host for this show!

We put out a sign-up sheet for designated slots at 6:30 PM and performers can choose their slot on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each slot is 10 minutes or two songs (whichever is shorter) with a 5-minute break between each performer. We have a total of 10 slots from 7-9:30 PM if people use their maximum time.

We will play it by ear after that with any “extra” performers getting time as available in order of signing the sheet. While 9:30 PM is the official cut-off time, we may at our discretion continue with performers up to 10 PM.

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

• Wednesday, Jan. 3. ROCK: THE WYRD BROTHERS; SINGER-SONGWRITER: ROB NELSON

• 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)

• Wednesday, Jan. 17. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: ALEXANDER; AVANT-GARDE: DONKEY NO NO, ZACH ROWDEN & WENDY EISENBERG

• Thursday, Jan. 18. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: BIG FAT COMBO

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

• Thursday, Jan. 25, 6:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: BONZO, BILGE RAT, PINFINGER, SHORT MONTH

• Friday, Jan. 26. BLUES ROCK: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Saturday, Jan. 27. AVANT-GARDE/PSYCH: RIVENER

• Tuesday, Jan. 30, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Thursday, Feb. 1. BLUES/FOLK: MATTHEW BENNETT

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

• Tuesday, Feb. 6, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION: “LIFE ON PAROLE”

• 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

BVFCC New Year’s holiday weekend hours

Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s holiday weekend hours:

Café: Saturday, 8 AM-6 PM; Sunday 8 AM-6 PM; Monday 8 AM-5 PM.

Video archive: Saturday 9 AM-10 PM; Sunday 9 AM-9 PM; Monday 9 AM-7 PM.

Have a Happy New Year’s, a great 2018, and please stay safe!

Support BVFCC—purchase memberships, share holiday cheer with friends at the café, get special order DVDs & Blu-Rays, gift certificates

To our members, friends and neighbors: December is upon us, the end of another year and a time for giving. We appreciate and thank all for another year of support, exciting events and relative stability. We could not have done it without your interest and participation.

This holiday season please keep us in your holiday gift-giving plans, every little bit helps. Customer activity can get a bit lean during the dead of winter so here is how you can help maintain BVFCC’s success:

• Come out for a coffee, a show, a beer or wine and meet up with a friend;

• Make your holiday special orders of movies of TV series;

• Renew a soon-expiring membership;

• Purchase a gift membership for friends—for video rentals or the cultural membership plan for BVFCC music and film events, or for both;

• Buy BVFCC gift certificates, good for both the video and cafe sides of BVFCC;

• Please consider a donation as well as year end nears. Remember, we are a not-for-profit charitable cultural organization and any donation to Best Video is completely tax deductible. Your accountant will be proud of you! And we’ll be as happy as Rudolph leading the way!

We wish all a safe, happy and healthy holiday season and hope to see you at BVFCC sometime soon. And thanks again for your continued support. We’ll give it all back to you in the coming year, adding more films to our vast library, more live music, beautifying our space, and having a place for you, your families and neighbors to meet and feel the sense of community that is yours and ours. Here at Best Video Film and Cultural Center.

Second Wednesday Open Mic returns Wed., Dec. 13, at 7 PM, with host Karen Ponzio—music, comedy, poetry & more

Musicians! Comedians! Poets! Magicians! Spoken word artists! The Second Wednesday Open Mic takes place Wednesday, Dec. 13, starting at 7 PM. Admission is a Suggested Donation of $3-5 to support BVFCC.

Poet Karen Ponzio — who writes for the New Haven Independent (read her article on our first open mic here) and has a show on Cygnus RADIO — is the host for this show!

We put out a sign-up sheet for designated slots at 6:30 PM and performers can choose their slot on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each slot is 10 minutes or two songs (whichever is shorter) with a 5-minute break between each performer. We have a total of 10 slots from 7-9:30 PM if people use their maximum time.

We will play it by ear after that with any “extra” performers getting time as available in order of signing the sheet. While 9:30 PM is the official cut-off time, we may at our discretion continue with performers up to 10 PM.

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

• 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

• Wednesday, Dec. 20. INDIE ROCK: WAR WAR WAR, REDUCTION PLAN, ROSS MENZE

• 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, BILGE RAT, PINFINGER, SHORT MONTH

• 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

 

Book? Movie? Why not both? Bundled gifts available at BVFCC

Read the book? Watch the movie? Both experiences are valid and your holiday gift recipients can choose in which order they want to go with the classic book-and-movie gift bundles now on sale at BVFCC.

Available as attractively packaged book-and-movie bundles are:

• “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Truman Capote

• “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White

• “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” by Robert C. O’Brien (movie title: “The Secret of Nimh”)

• “The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs

• “The Zookeepper’s Wife” by Diane Ackerman

A message from BVFCC on this #GivingTuesday

To our members, friends and neighbors: December is upon us, the end of another year and a time for giving. We appreciate and thank all for another year of support, exciting events and relative stability. We could not have done it without your interest and participation.

This holiday season please keep us in your holiday gift giving plans, every little bit helps. Customer activity can get a bit lean during the dead of winter so coming out now for a coffee, a show, a beer or wine and meet up with a friend, a holiday special order or purchase can all add up to a happy and sustaining season for Best Video Film and Cultural Center.

Consider, too, renewing a soon-expiring membership, purchasing a gift membership for a friend and buying a gift certificate for anything and all we offer. Please consider a donation as well as year end nears. Remember, we are a not-for-profit charitable cultural organization and any donation to Best Video is completely tax deductible. Your accountant will be proud of you! And we’ll be as happy as Rudolph leading the way!

We wish all a safe, happy and healthy holiday season and hope to see you at BVFCC sometime soon. And thanks again for your continued support. We’ll give it all back to you in the coming year, adding more films to our vast library, more live music, beautifying our space, and having a place for you, your families and neighbors to meet and feel the sense of community that is yours and ours. Here at Best Video Film and Cultural Center.

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.

Artists Audrey Nefores, Nick Hurwitz-Goodman create BVFCC-themed art show/benefit to show at Ordinary tavern in New Haven; opening Sat., Nov. 11, 7-10 PM

Local artists—and Best Video Film & Cultural Center members—Audrey Nefores and Nick Hurwitz-Goodman are creating “Creepshow,” an art show and benefit for BVFCC that opens at Ordinary on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 7-10 PM. Ordinary—a tavern from the guys that brought you Mikro, Caseus Fromagerie Bistro, and The Cheese Truck—offers craft cocktails & delicious, locally sourced ingredients in one of New Haven’s oldest bars, located at 990 Chapel St.

Taking cues from cinematic moments and technique, CREEPSHOW is a collection of relics that explore the beauty of film through paint, sculpture and mixed media. The artists hope this work will inspire others to experience the uniquely tactile and sensory experiences found in places like Best Video Film & Cultural Center, the last video rental store in Connecticut.

Join Nefores and Hurwitz-Goodman for a video-drenched night with wild art, food specials, spaghetti western music, and a chance to get a rental membership at the best nonprofit video archive and performance venue on the east coast.

Nick Hurwitz-Goodman work in progress inspired by “The Brood” (1979, directed by David Cronenberg. This masterpiece flick is available to rent at BVFCC.

Brooklyn-based musician Simon Hanes is a special guest. Four years ago, Compformanger (composer, arranger and performer) Simon Hanes founded Tredici Bacci, a 14 piece chamber-rock orchestra, as a vehicle by which to explore his near-manic obsession with music from Italian films of the 1960s and 70s. Since then, the NY-based group has been smacking audiences right in the face with their celebratory and transgressive approach to a largely overlooked musical lineage. Hanes’ original compositions approach the work of maestros like Ennio Morricone and Armando Trovajoli from a underground music perspective, resulting in fiery, high-energy performances.