Film screening: “Moonlight” concludes Oscar series Mon., Mar. 13

Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s next film series—showcasing Oscar-contending films—continues on Monday, Mar. 13, with a screening of Barry Jenkins’ Oscar-winning coming of age story “Moonlight.” “Moonlight” took Oscars for Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali) and Best Adapted Screenplay as well as Best Picture.

The screening starts at 7:15 PM. Admission to individual movies is $7—free for members of Temple Beth Sholom.

“The Oscar Race—The Main Contenders” is co-sponsored by Temple Beth Sholom Adult Education. The films will be introduced by either Best Video founder Hank Paper or Temple Beth Sholom Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic, a knowledgeable longtime film maven. As always, feel free to stick around for the optional post-film conversations.

In “Moonlight,” a young man deals with his dysfunctional home life as he comes of age in Miami during the “War on Drugs” era, struggling to find himself as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love while grappling with his own sexuality.

A New York Times Critic’s Pick, critic A.O. Scott had it pegged as a potential Best Picture winner when it first came out. He wrote:

 

To describe “Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins’s second feature, as a movie about growing up poor, black and gay would be accurate enough. It would also not be wrong to call it a movie about drug abuse, mass incarceration and school violence. But those classifications are also inadequate, so much as to be downright misleading. It would be truer to the mood and spirit of this breathtaking film to say that it’s about teaching a child to swim, about cooking a meal for an old friend, about the feeling of sand on skin and the sound of waves on a darkened beach, about first kisses and lingering regrets. Based on the play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” by Tarell Alvin McCraney [recently named head of Yale University’s Playwrighting Program], “Moonlight” is both a disarmingly, at times almost unbearably personal film and an urgent social document, a hard look at American reality and a poem written in light, music and vivid human faces.

View the trailer:

We are very excited about this series, which features a lineup of films sure to spark some invigorating discussions.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Monday, Mar. 6. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “MANCHESTER BY THE SEA”

• Tuesday, Mar. 7 ORCHESTRAL EXPERIMENTAL ROCK: FAUN AND A PAN FLUTE (from Atlanta, Georgia); EXPERIMENTAL: LARGE OBJECTS

• Wednesday, Mar. 8. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Friday, Mar. 10. JAZZ GUITAR: THE COPPOLA JAZZ GUITAR DUO

• Saturday, Mar. 11. JAZZ: THE FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE PLAYS “BLACK, BROWN AND BEIGE; YELLOW, TRANS AND QUEER: MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THIS (A PROTEST SUITE COMPOSED BY ALLEN LOWE)

• Monday, Mar. 13. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “MOONLIGHT”

• Wednesday,  Mar. 15. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SHULA WEINSTEIN & BEN ROSS

• Thursday, Mar. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SETH ADAM, KATHY MUIR

• Friday, Mar. 17. INDIE ROCK: DISCO TEEN 66

• Saturday, Mar. 18. INDIE FOLK: JAMES AM DOWNES, BROOMS, GABE MORTALI

• Wednesday, Mar. 22. CLASSICAL: 4-3-2-1: A EUPHONIUM AND FRIENDS PRODUCTION

• Friday, Mar. 24. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH; SINGER-SONGWRITER: BELLE OF THE FALL

• Saturday, Mar. 25. JAZZ: : THE FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE PLAYS “BLACK, BROWN AND BEIGE; YELLOW, TRANS AND QUEER: MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THIS (A PROTEST SUITE COMPOSED BY ALLEN LOWE)

• Sunday, Mar. 26. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “REPO MAN”

• Wednesday, Mar. 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: LAMONT

• Thursday, Mar. 30. ALTERNATIVE/AMERICANA: THE WYRD BROTHERS; DANCY DREAM POP: FOVEA

• Saturday, Apr. 1. CULT FILM SCREENING: TBA

• Sunday, Apr. 2. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “WARGAMES”

• Thursday, Apr. 6. AVANT-GARDE: ELM FICTION

• Friday, Apr. 7. ROCK: GHOST RADIO, SONIA & SID

• Saturday, Apr. 8. CLASSICAL GUITAR: MAX LYMAN; AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: ALEXANDER

• Sunday, Apr. 9. REDSCROLL RECORDS SCREENING AND MUSIC

• Friday, Apr. 14. JAZZ: JOVAN ALEXANDRE

• Sunday, Apr. 16. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “BLUE VELVET”

• Sunday, Apr. 23. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “DO THE RIGHT THING”

• Friday, Apr. 28. BLUEGRASS: THE SLOCAN RAMBLERS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Sunday, Apr. 30. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “THELMA AND LOUISE”

• Sunday, May 7. GEN X FILM SERIES SCREENING: “MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDERETTE”

• Friday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SHAWN TAYLOR & WANDERING ROOTS (CD Release)

• Friday, May 5. SINGER-SONGWRITERS IN  THE ROUND: JENNIFER DAUPHINAIS, CHRISTOPHER BOUSQUET, FRANK CRITELLI

• Saturday, May 6. CULT FILM SCREENING: TBA

• Friday, June 2. JAZZ VOCAL: LINDA SATIN & JOE CARTER DUO

• Friday, June 16. BLUEGRASS: MILE TWELVE (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, June 23. CHAMBER ROCK: THE TET OFFENSIVE

• Friday, Aug. 4. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Friday, Sept. 15. BLUEGRASS: ROB ICKES & TREY HENSLEY (GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTIONS)

• Thursday, Nov. 16. BLUEGRASS: TIM O’BRIEN

New releases 2/28/16

Top Hits
Moonlight (coming-of-age drama, Trevante Rhodes. Rotten Tomatoes: 98%. Metacritic: 99. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “To describe ‘Moonlight,’ Barry Jenkins’s second feature, as a movie about growing up poor, black and gay would be accurate enough. It would also not be wrong to call it a movie about drug abuse, mass incarceration and school violence. But those classifications are also inadequate, so much as to be downright misleading. It would be truer to the mood and spirit of this breathtaking film to say that it’s about teaching a child to swim, about cooking a meal for an old friend, about the feeling of sand on skin and the sound of waves on a darkened beach, about first kisses and lingering regrets. Based on the play ‘In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue’ by Tarell Alvin McCraney, ‘Moonlight’ is both a disarmingly, at times almost unbearably personal film and an urgent social document, a hard look at American reality and a poem written in light, music and vivid human faces.” Read more…)

Allied (romantic thriller, Brad Pitt. Rotten Tomatoes: 62%. Metacritic: 60. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “[Director Robert] Zemeckis has made more ambitious, more dazzling films — as a dogmatic anti-Gumpian, my list of favorites would include ‘Back to the Future,’ ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ and ‘Cast Away’ — but this one may be the purest and most relaxed demonstration of his mastery. Like Steven Spielberg’s ‘Bridge of Spies,’ it infuses a venerable genre and a familiar period with new interest.” Read more…)

Rules Don’t Apply (1950s Hollywood period drama, Lily Collins. Rotten Tomatoes: 55%. Metacritic: 59. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Stephen Holden’s Times review: “In his 1998 comedy, ‘Bluworth,’ [actor/director Warren] Beatty reinvented himself as a truth-spouting politician disseminating his liberal message in the language of rap: a vocabulary that, as wielded by Mr. Beatty, rang as simultaneously ridiculous and pointedly articulate. And in the smart, hugely entertaining ‘Rules Don’t Apply,’ Mr. Beatty expands his absurdist vision of politics and show business to take in Hollywood, where he has reigned as an enigmatic glamour boy turned statesman with serious talent for nearly 60 years.” Read more…)

Chronic (drama, Tim Roth. Rotten Tomatoes: 76%. Metacritic: 69. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Stephen Holden’s Times review: “In the quietly devastating ‘Chronic,’ Tim Roth, never more impressive onscreen, plays David, a palliative care worker whose intimacy with death and dying both scares and shames family members who nervously peek in on loved ones they have more or less abandoned. The first English-language film by Michel Franco, the Mexican director of ‘After Lucia,’ a harrowing study of high school bullying, ‘Chronic’ stands back from its characters, which it views with a cold documentarylike detachment. Radically unsentimental, it portrays the end of life largely without the emotional concomitants of grief, suffering and solace. Its icy aura of inevitability befits a film whose central character goes from client to client like a polite, expressionless deputy of the Grim Reaper.” Read more…)

Shut In (psychological thriller, Naomi Watts. Rotten Tomatoes: 6%. Metacritic: 25. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “f you’re in any doubt as to the dearth of decent movie roles available to women of a certain age — certain never to see 40 again, at any rate — then buy a ticket for ‘Shut In.’ In this achingly inept thriller, you will see Naomi Watts do what she can to sell a plot of such preposterousness that the derisory laughter around me began barely 20 minutes in.” Read more…)

Doctor Strange (comic book action/fantasy, Benedict Cumberbatch. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%. Metacritic: 72. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “Most Marvel movies open like Robert Downey Jr.’s stand-up routine in ‘Iron Man’ before it goes south. They deliver quips and silky come-hither nonsense, only to end up like a big green monster stuck on rewind: “Hulk smash!” again and again, ad infinitum. In between start and finish, there are moments of levity and discovery in the machined product, but too often you can’t see the movie for Marvel’s action plan. Its latest, the giddily enjoyable ‘Doctor Strange,’ is part of Marvel’s strategy for world domination, yet it’s also so visually transfixing, so beautiful and nimble that you may even briefly forget the brand.” Read more…)

London Road (true crime, Olivia Colman. Rotten Tomatoes: 77%. Metacritic: 71. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “An ungainly yet strangely captivating oddity, ‘London Road’ snags your attention from the get-go in the manner of any razor-edge experiment: By making you wonder, what on earth? As soon as that question is answered, however, you’re hooked, and this unconventional examination of the ripple effect of real-life killings on a quiet English town has worked its curious magic.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Moonlight
Rules Don’t Apply
Doctor Strange

New Foreign
The Weissensee Saga: Season 1 (Germany, 1980s period drama, Uwe Kockisch)
Kiki: Love to Love (Spain, erotic comedy, Alex Garcia. Rotten Tomatoes: 80%.)

New British
A Place to Call Home: Season 4 (Australia drama series, Marta Dusseldorp)

New Documentaries
Kate Plays Christine (documentary/thriller, psychology, journalism, cinema, Kate Lyn Sheil. Rotten Tomatoes: 81%. Metacritic: 75. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review; “This all-but-forgotten story is dredged up in Robert Greene’s ‘Kate Plays Christine,’ a movie that provocatively blurs the line between documentary and fiction. It follows the New York actress Kate Lyn Sheil as she researches the life of Ms. Chubbuck before portraying her in this unsettling cinematic hybrid. The suicide is wrongly thought by some to have inspired Paddy Chayefsky’s screenplay for Sidney Lumet’s 1976 satire, ‘Network,’ whose protagonist, Howard Beale, a network anchorman, inveighing against the evils of television, creates a national sensation by threatening to kill himself while on the air.” Read more…)

Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story (jazz, drug abuse, Frank Morgan. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 75. From Jaworowski’s New York Times review:”In the 1950s, some jazz musicians believed they couldn’t get that Charlie Parker ‘happy-sad feeling without using drugs.’ So says a friend of the saxophonist Frank Morgan in ‘Sound of Redemption,’ a documentary that revels in the happy despite some seriously sad events.” Read more…)

Utopia (Australia race relations, racism, indigenous people, John Pilger. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%.)
Rachel Carson (bio, environmentalism, Rachel Carson)

New Music
Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story (jazz, drug abuse, Frank Morgan. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 75.)

New Children’s DVDs
Christmas All Over Again (holiday family comedy filmed in Connecticut last year, Amber Montana.)

New Oscar contenders film series starts Tues., Feb. 7, with interracial romance/historical drama “Loving”

Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s next film series—showcasing Oscar-contending films—begins on Tuesday, Feb. 7, with a screening of “Loving.” An historical drama, “Loving” tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial Virginia couple who went to the Supreme Court to affirm their right to be married and to overturn Virginia’s racist anti-miscegenation law.

While “Loving” screens on a Tuesday, the five remaining films will be shown on the next five successive Monday nights. All screenings start at 7:15 PM. Admission to individual movies is $7—free for members of Temple Beth Sholom—or the advance price for the entire series is $30. Purchasers of the full series pass are also entitled to $10 off the cost of attending BVFCC’s Feb. 26 Oscar Day Brunch and Fundraiser.

All attendees for the three films preceding the Academy Awards broadcast will be given an Oscar ballot to fill out and a prize will be given to the individual who picks the most correct winners.

“The Oscar Race—The Main Contenders” is co-sponsored by Temple Beth Sholom Adult Education. The films will be introduced by either Best Video founder Hank Paper or Temple Beth Sholom Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic. As always, feel free to stick around for the optional post-film conversations.

We are very excited about this series, which features a lineup of films sure to spark some invigorating discussions.

View the trailer for the first movie in the series. “Loving”:

The schedule:

Tues., Feb. 7: “Loving”: They loved; a segregated Virginia did not love them back. Loving revisits a Supreme Court civil-rights landmark case on interracial marriage. “It was the absolute ordinariness of their love that defined them and that made their fight for it into an indelible story of this country.” (Manohla Dargis, The New York Times) “A cinematic take on a familiar story that’s deeply relevant today.”(Clay Cone) “The precision of Nichols’ film makes every shot meaningful….For once, a cinematic history lesson doesn’t feel artificial and processed in every pore.” (Tasha Robinson)

Mon., Feb. 13: “Birth of a Nation”: This tour-de-force retelling of the 1831 slave rebellion led by slave-turned-preacher Nat Turner – written, produced, directed, and starring Nate Parker – could not be more timely. “An unapologetic, impassioned biopic, this film begins quietly but ends in a howl of rage. It might not be perfect, but it’s powerful enough to stay with you….soul-shakingly powerful.” (Phil De Semlyen, Empire)

Mon., Feb. 20: “Arrival”: When gigantic spaceships touch down around the world, linguistic professor (Amy Adams) races against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrials, taking a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind. “Epic and intimate.” (Christopher Orr, The Atlantic). “This deeply thoughtful, profoundly compassionate sci-fi movie beautifully mixes realism with a sense of wonder.” (Common Sense Media). “The best film of the year to date, ambitious in conception and extraordinary in execution, has arrived.” (Rotten Tomatoes)

Mon., Feb. 27: “Elle”: Isabelle Huppert delivers a stand-out performance as a ruthless, seemingly indestructible video game CEO, attacked in her home, who then turns the tables on her attacker. “A masterpiece of suave perversity, the movie leads its audience through a meticulously constructed maze of ambiguity, scrambling our assumptions and expectations at every turn.” (A.O. Scott, The New York Times)

Mon., Mar. 6: “Manchester By the Sea”: Following his brother’s death, a reclusive, depressive loner —working as a handyman in Boston — is summoned back to his coastal hometown where he reluctantly becomes guardian to his 16-year-old nephew and reunited with his divorced wife (Michelle Williams). “This beautifully textured, richly enveloping drama…succeeds because of its love for its characters, rather than for their misfortunes.” (David Sims, The Atlantic) “You can’t really prepare yourself for the emotional powerhouse that is ‘Manchester by the Sea.’ … No film this year has moved me more with its humor, heart and humanity.” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)

Mon., Mar. 13: “Moonlight”: A young man deals with his dysfunctional home life as he comes of age in Miami during the “War on Drugs” era, struggling to find himself as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love while grappling with his own sexuality. “’Moonlight’ is both a disarmingly, at times almost unbearably personal film and an urgent social document, a hard look at American reality and a poem written in light, music and vivid human faces.” (A.O. Scott, The New York Times) “‘Moonlight’ [is] a flat-out masterpiece.” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Jan. 26. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: THE BOSSA NOVA PROJECT

• Friday, Jan. 27. ROOTS ROCK: BRONSON ROCK

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

• Monday, Jan. 30. FILM SCREENING: SEAN KERNAN’S “CROW STORIES”

• Wednesday, Feb. 1. JAZZ OF OUR GENERATION: JEFF FULLER & TONY LOMBARDOZZI & BARRY REIS

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

• Sunday, Feb. 5. FREE FIRST SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM HOSTED BY GUITARTOWNCT

• Tuesday, Feb. 7. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “LOVING”

• Wednesday, Feb. 8. BLUEGRASS: BAIT AND SWITCH

• Thursday, Feb. 9. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, Feb. 10. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING, MERCY CHOIR (solo)

• Monday, Feb. 13. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “BIRTH OF A NATION”

• Thursday, Feb. 16. ALT-COUNTRY/ROCK: NO LINE NORTH

• Friday, Feb. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ALEX BLAIR

• Monday, Feb. 20. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “ARRIVAL”

• Wednesday, Feb. 22. JAZZ: THE PAUL SHANLEY QUARTET

• Thursday, Feb. 23. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

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

• Saturday, Feb. 25. PROTEST MUSIC CABARET: “SHALL WE TALK ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT?”

• Sunday, Feb. 26. “AND THE AWARD GOES TO…”: BVFCC OSCAR AWARDS BRUNCH/FUNDRAISER 4-6 PM

• Monday, Feb. 27. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “ELLE”

• Saturday, Mar. 4. CULT FILM SCREENING: TBA

• Monday, Mar. 6. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “MANCHESTER BY THE SEA”

• Saturday, Mar. 11. JAZZ: THE FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE PLAYS “BLACK, BROWN AND BEIGE; YELLOW, TRANS AND QUEER: MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THIS (A PROTEST SUITE COMPOSED BY ALLEN LOWE)

• Monday, Mar. 13. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “MOONLIGHT”

• Thursday, Mar. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SETH ADAM, KATHY MUIR

Friday, Mar. 17. INDIE ROCK: DISCO TEEN 66

• Wednesday, Mar. 22. CLASSICAL: 4-3-2-1: A EUPHONIUM AND FRIENDS PRODUCTION

• Friday, Mar. 24. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH; SINGER-SONGWRITER: BELLE OF THE FALL

• Saturday, Mar. 25. JAZZ: : THE FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE PLAYS “BLACK, BROWN AND BEIGE; YELLOW, TRANS AND QUEER: MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THIS (A PROTEST SUITE COMPOSED BY ALLEN LOWE)

• Wednesday, Mar. 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: LAMONT

• Saturday, Apr. 1. CULT FILM SCREENING: TBA

• Saturday, Apr. 8. CLASSICAL GUITAR: MAX LYMAN; AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: ALEXANDER

• Friday, Apr. 21. POP: THE DRESS-UPS

• Friday, Apr. 28. BLUEGRASS: THE SLOCAN RAMBLERS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SHAWN TAYLOR & WANDERING ROOTS (CD Release)

• Saturday, May 6. CULT FILM SCREENING: TBA