Author Archives: admin

October Screening Series: SCARY FUN

Mon., Oct. 3rd @ 7PM – Screening: GET OUT

Join us for the opening film of October’s Screening Series: SCARY FUN with the 2017 blockbuster hit, GET OUT, directed by Jordan Peele.

From Manhola Dargis’ 2017 NYT’s review: “In “Get Out,” an exhilaratingly smart and scary freakout about a black man in a white nightmare, the laughs come easily and then go in for the kill. The writer and director, Jordan Peele (of the comedy sketch show “Key & Peele”), knows how to make shadowy streets into menacing ones and turn silences into warnings from the abyss. His greatest stroke in “Get Out,” though, is to have hitched these genre elements to an evil that isn’t obscured by a hockey mask, but instead throws open its arms with a warm smile while enthusiastically (and strangely) expressing its love for President Obama.”  Read more…

All films begin at 7pm. There is a suggested donation of $7. Coffee, wine, beer, and soft drinks will be available for purchase at the Best Video Cafe.

This program is made possible through a generous grant from the CT Humanities organization, an independent, non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. CTH connects people to the humanities through grants, partnerships, and collaborative programs.

For more information, please call (203) 287-9286. Best Video Film and Cultural Center is located at 1842 Whitney Ave, Hamden, CT 06517. There are parking lots both in front and back of the Best Video building, as well as across the street at Spring Glen Church.

Thurs., Oct. 6th, 5 -9 PM: LOUNGE NIGHT w/Ambient DJs Cam & Simply T

Enjoy a glass of wine, beer, or cafe drink during a relaxed evening at Best Video Film& Cultural Center with a curated mix of lounge music by DJ’s Tyler and Cameron who will start spinning at 7pm.  Special small taste plates make for a perfect evening atmosphere to welcome October.

Fri., Oct. 7th @ 7pm – Improvise Music: GoBruCcio and Vance Provey

The free improvisation trio GoBruCcio presents trumpeter Vance Provey in a show at Best Video Film & Cultural Center Fri., Oct. 7. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10.
GoBruCcio will do an opening set followed by an extended quartet performance with Vance Provey.
The trio of guitarist Bob Gorry, bassist Pete Brunelli, and drummer Peter Riccio create dynamic and consistently intriguing free improvisations as GoBruCcio.  Their debut album, GoBruCcio, was released to positive reviews in the worldwide music press.
Provey considers himself as trumpet Soloist. With a long history as a composer and leader, his approach is rooted in the jazz idiom. Some may call his playing “free” or avant-garde. Trumpeter and educator Bill Dixon was a major influence, giving Provey the opportunity to work at Bennington College in The Black Music Division.
As this is an indoor show, masks are strongly recommended.

Sat., Oct. 8th, 10:30 AM – Robert Messore Toddler Tunes

Robert Messore brings his Toddler Tunes kids’ music show to Best Video Film & Cultural Center Sat., Oct. 8. The event starts at 10:30 AM. This will be an outside show, weather permitting.
Robert Messore puts on a high-energy sing-and-dance-along program for young children and their parents.
Voted “Best Entertainer for Toddlers” in the 2011 Kidhaven.com readers poll, Messore’s public “Toddler Tunes” program at St. John’s Episcopal Church in New Haven is the place to be every week! The songs are a mix of the classics and some newer songs that folks love. He recognizes that these programs are a place for parents to get together as much as anything, so he encourages folks with newborns through 6-yr-old children to attend.
Suggested donation is $5-10 per family but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.  Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Sat., Oct. 8th @ 7pm – Brian Jarawa Gray – The Healing Drum

Brian Jarawa Gray—better known as Jarawa—presents “The Healing Drum” on Saturday, October 8th, at Best Video Film & Cultural Center.
The show starts at 7 PM and there is a $10 cover.
A native New Havener, Jarawa has more than 30 years of experience as a percussionist, songwriter, band leader, and performing artist. He has taught world music in public and private schools and universities in Connecticut and New York. Jarawa performs Natural Centric Drumming and the music of the African Diaspora.  Jarawa has also released his own CDs titled “Berdisha Pertasha,” “You’re So Special” and “Stories of Life.” Jarawa has Performed at Lincoln Center with vibraphonist Jay Hoggard, SOBs with drummer Pheeroan akLaff, Seventh Avenue Theater with Joseph Jarman, Brooklyn Academy of Music with Chuck Davis Dance Company, and many more venues across the country.
As this is an indoor show, masks are strongly recommended.

New Releases – 10-04-22

Top Hits

DC League of Superpets (animated action; Starring: Dwayne Johnson (voice), Kevin Hart (voice), Kate McKinnon (voice))- avail.10/04/22
Dwayne Johnson, as Superman’s dog, leads a team of critters doing CGI magic tricks — no, not the Justice League, though they’re in it too — in an animated romp that has a cheeky light brashness. Read more…

Sound of Metal (2019, Music drama; Dir: Darius Marder; Starring: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci; 2021 Oscar Winner for Best Sound & Best Achievement in Film Editing; NYT’s Critic’s Pick; Distr: Criterion Collection)
“Propelled by a distinctive style and a potent lead performance, Darius Marder’s “Sound of Metal” builds a singular tension between silence and noise.” Read more…

New Foreign

Girl Picture (Finland, Drama; Dir: Alli Haapasalo; Starring: Aamu Milonoff, Eleonoora Kauhanen, Linnea Leino; 2022 Sundance World Cinema Audience Award, NYT’s Critic’s Pick)
““Girl Picture,” directed by Alli Haapasalo, is a giddy, high-strung comedy about three Finnish high schoolers anxious to capitalize on that sliver of teenagedom when life is all possibilities — a period that races by so fast that the film, written by Ilona Ahti and Daniela Hakulinen, is able to cram a smorgasbord of joy and humiliation into just three weekends.” Read more…

My Donkey, My Lover & I (France, Adventure/Comedy; Dir: Caroline Vignal; Starring: Laure Calamy, Benjamin Laverne, Olivia Côte; 2021 Cesar Winner Best Actress – Laure Calamy) – avail.10/04/22
““My Donkey, My Lover & I” is yet another story about a woman who ventures out into the wild and finds herself. But to the writer and director Caroline Vignal’s credit, this low-key romantic French comedy proves friskier and more idiosyncratic than its reliance on this trope of feminist empowerment would suggest. For one, there’s a donkey who is a kind of life coach, bellowing every time one particularly toxic man comes near.” Read more…

New Documentary

Beba (Documentary; Writer/Dir: Rebeca Huntt; Starring: Rebeca Huntt)
““Beba,” which refers to Huntt’s childhood nickname, is not a glossed-over immigrant redemption story. Through poetry, narration — featuring the voices of writers like James Baldwin and Audre Lorde — and interviews with family and friends, Huntt, the daughter of a Black Dominican father and a Venezuelan mother, pieces together painful parts of her family and social history, extracting her own identity out of the remnants of her trauma.” Read more…

Til Kingdom Come (Documentary; Dir: Maya Zinshtein; Distr: Kino Lorber) – avail.10/04/22
“’Til Kingdom Come,” the new documentary by Maya Zinshtein, probes the entanglements of politics and prophecy that bind two strange bedfellows: American evangelical Christians and Israeli Jews.” Read more…

The US and the Holocaust (PBS documentary; Dir: Ken Burns) – avail.10/04/22
“The U.S. and the Holocaust,” examines the reasons behind the country’s inadequate response to Germany’s persecution of Jews. Read more…

New on Blu-Ray
do we sense a theme this week…

The Craft (1996, Horror; Dir: Andrew Fleming; Starring: Robin Tunney, Fairuza Blak, Neve Campbell; 1997 MTV Movie Awards for Best Fight)
“25 years ago, negative reviews of ‘The Craft’ dismissed it as ‘unimaginative.’ Today, it’s a cult classic”. Read more…

The Descent– Original Unrated Cut (2006, Horror; Dir: Neil Marshall; Starring: Shauna MacDonald, Natalie Mendoza)
“The babes are buff and the scares bountiful in “The Descent,” a full-throttle horror freakout about six women on a caving expedition.” Read more…

The Ring (2002, Horror; Dir: Gore Verbinski; Starring: Naomi Watts,Martin Henderson, Brian Cox; 2003 Winner Best Wide-Release Film Fangoria Chainsaw Awards)
“There are few movies that are held in such high regard as The Ring, which has everything to do with it’s ability to resonate eerie terror to all those who watch it.” Read more…

Scream (1996, Horror; Dir: Wes Craven: Starring: David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Neve Campbell)
“The film is viciously bloody and nasty, yet remarkably somehow still playful, and it’s incredibly funny, almost non-stop to be honest, with pop-culture jokes and sly references that were totally in-the-moment over 20 years ago yet still work and zing today.” Read more…

Shaun of the Dead (2004; Horror comedy; Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield; 2005 Winner Best Wide-Release Film Fangoria Chainsaw Awards)
“Shaun of the Dead,” written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright and directed by Wright, is a send-up of zombie movies, but in an unexpected way: Instead of focusing on the Undead and trying to get the laughs there, it treats the living characters as sitcom regulars whose conflicts and arguments keep getting interrupted by annoying flesh-eaters.” Read more…

American Back Catalog (Pre-1960)

Forever Amber (1947; Dir: Otto Preminger; Starring: Linda Darnell, Cornel Wilde, Richard Greene & George Sanders)
In seventeenth-century England, Amber St. Clair aims to raise herself from country girl to nobility, and succeeds, but loses her true love in the process. Read more…

New TV Series

Balthazar: Series 4 (France, TV Crime Series; Starring: Tomer Sisley, Yannig Samot, Philypa Phoenix: Distr: Acorn)
“Balthazar focuses on Parisian Raphaël Balthazar (Tomer Sisley), a brilliant but tortured forensic pathologist who frequently collaborates with Chief Inspector Hélène Bach (Hélène de Fougerolles).” Read more…

Call the Midwife: Season 11 (BBC Series, Drama; Starring: Helen George, Laura Main, Leonie Elliott) – avail.10/04/22
“The BBC period drama, which is loosely based on real events, follows a group of midwives working in the East End of London in the late 1950s as they cope with the pressures of their everyday lives as well as the changing times they are living through.” Read more…

Hidden: Series 3 (UK, TV Crime Series: Starring: Sian Reese-Williams, Sion Alun Davies, Victoria Pugh; Distr: Acorn)
“The Welsh crime show Hidden is aptly named because it truly is one of the hidden gems of British television. Set among the rugged hills and slate mountains of North Wales, the programme exudes a creepy, haunting atmosphere.” Read more…

Star Trek: Picard: Season Two (TV Series, Action/Adventure; Starring: Patrick Stewart, Alison Pill, Michelle Hurd) – avail.10/04/22
‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 2 Review: Finally, this Show Is What We Hoped It Would Be

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty: The Complete First Season (HBO series, Drama; Creators: Max Borenstein, Jim Hecht; Starring: John C. Reilly, Quincy Isaiah, Jason Clarke) avail.10/04/22
“…involve the rise and rise, in the 1980s, of the LA Lakers and its star players, who came to define not just basketball but an entire cultural epoch. It is big and showy, though its garish style is not yet matched by the substance it needs to balance out its exhibitionistic streak.” Read more…

Wisting: Season 2 & 3 (Norway, BBC Series, Crime Drama; Starring: Sven Nordin, Thea Green Lundberg, Mads Ousdal)
Homicide detective William Wisting (Sven Nordin, Valkyrien) is tracking an American serial killer with the help of an FBI agent (Carrie-Anne Moss, The Matrix). When an old case comes back to haunt him he finds himself suspended and fighting for his reputation, career, and life. “The best Nord noir ever” (The Observer) Norwegian with English subtitles. 6 hrs, 2 DVDs. Read more…

American Back Catalog  (Post-1960)

Old Boyfriends (1979, Drama; Dir: Joan Tewkesbury; Starring: Talia Shire, Richard Jordan, John Belushi; Distr: KL Studio Classics)
“Joan Tewkesbury’s Old Boyfriends seems conventional enough on the surface, a road movie about a clinical psychiatrist in crisis, Dianne Cruise (Talia Shire), who sets off on a cross-country quest to track down her past paramours in order to better understand the woman she’s become.” Read more…

New Cult

The Love Witch (2017, Horror; Writer/Dir: Anna Biller; Starring: Samantha Robinson, Jeffrey Vincent Paris, Laura Waddell; 2017 Dublin Int’l. Film Festival Best Cinematography)
“The Love Witch is lit and shot to look like a 1960s Technicolor film, with costumes and sets designed by Biller to evoke a vaguely psychedelic fairy tale, slash lighthearted self-aware horror story, slash queasy feminist psychosexual dramedy.” Read more…

Thu., Sept. 29 @ 7 PM – Dave Scanlon and Mother Juniper

Dave Scanlon and Mother Juniper share a bill at Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Thurs., Sept. 29. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10.
Dave Scanlon pursues a practice of writing austere songs and continues a series of “counting” compositions focusing on intonation, numerology, and measurement. He is also a member of the experimental rock band JOBS and the pop group Leverage Models.
Scanlon has released music on Ramp Local, New Amsterdam Records, Tzadik Records, Hometapes, Clean Feed Records, New Atlantis Records, and Whatever’s Clever. He has performed at Issue Project Room (NYC), Roulette (NYC), The Stone (NYC), Shinjuku Pit Inn (Tokyo, Japan), Yokohama Airegin (Yokohama, Japan), Boston Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, MA), Casa Del Popolo (Montreal, Canada), and many more.
Mother Juniper is made up of dream story weavers, many myths, and a three-stringed street banjo.
As this is an indoor show, masks are strongly recommended.

Fri., Sept. 30 @ 7 PM – Love N’ Co and Lars

Love n’ Co plays Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Fri., Sept 30. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10. Lars opens the show.
Emerging from New Haven in 2019, Love n’ Co delivers powerful sonic waves that caress the soul, aiding in the journey of self-discovery and raw expression.
The core duo of the band consists of Lovelind Richards and Lamar Smith, the former born and raised in Florida while the latter grew up in Hamden, Connecticut. The band’s sound has been described to have a range, “from high-energy funk to surging pop.”
Lars is a queer musician and singer sharing their love for ukulele. They have been playing for 7 years and are featured in the band uncis with two published albums which can be found on all streaming platforms.
This is an inside show, these are our covid protocols: masks are strongly encouraged.

New Releases – 09-27-22

Top Hits

The Munsters (Comedy; Dir: Rob Zombie; Starring: Cassandra Peterson, Richard Brake, Sheri Moon Zombie; Distr: Universal Studios) – avail. 9/27/22
“The Munsters is a really well-done adaptation of the 1960s TV show and deserves a watch if you enjoyed that era of TV shows.” Read more…

Thor: Love and Thunder (Action/Adventure; Dir: Taika Waititi; Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale) – avail. 9/27/22
“…because the series has jettisoned many of its earlier components — its Shakespearean pretensions, meddlesome relatives and, crucially, Thor’s godly grandeur — the new movie more or less plays like a rescue mission with jokes, tears and smackdowns.” Read more…

New Foreign

After Blue (Paradis Sale) (France, Sci-fi; Dir: Bertrand Mandico; Starring: Elina Löwensohn, Paula Luna, Vimala Pons; 2021 Sitges – Catalonian Int’l. Film Festival Winner Best Film) – avail. 9/27/22
“It’s unclear what Mandico is trying to say, if anything, and the film overstays its welcome — even the wildest visuals lose their power to stun after a while — but “After Blue” certainly is sui generis.” Read more…

Memoria (Columbia, Drama; Dir: Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2021 Winner Jury Prize at Cannes; Starring: Tilda Swinton, Agnes Brekke)
“Weerasethakul’s new movie is called Memoria, and while it’s as marvelously strange as anything he’s ever made, it’s also a bit of a departure. It’s his first feature shot entirely outside Thailand, and it also marks his first time working with a movie star, in this case, the great Tilda Swinton.” Read more…

New on Blu-Ray

Dawn of the Dead (2004, Horror; Dir: Zack Snyder; Starring: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Mekhi Phifer)
“Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead is purely an entertainment piece, full of outrageous set pieces, scary moments, and extravagant dialogue.” Read more…

Donnie Darko (2001, Drama/Mystery; Dir: Richard Kelly; Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary MCDonnell)
Donnie Darko at 20: the soulful student favourite comes of age

Mean Girls (2004, Comedy; Dir: Mark Waters; Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Tina Fey, Rachel McAdams)
Fetch happens: why Mean Girls is the perfect teen movie

The Wicker Man (1973, horror; Dir: Robin Hardy; Starring: Edward Woodward, Christoper Lee, Diane Cilento, Britt Ekland)
“What transpires over the course of the film is unsettling and often bizarre, but also poses salient questions about tradition, judgment and moral relativism. And it does it all in a breezy, evenly paced 88 minutes. Although sometimes arcane in its references, I cannot express how bracing, exciting and downright funny a first watch of The Wicker Man is.” Read more…

American Back Catalog (Post-1960)

Exotica (1994, Drama; Dir: Atom Egoyan, 1994 Winner FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes; Starring: Bruce Greenwood, Elias Koteas, Don McKellar; Distr: Criterion Collection)
From Caryn James’ 1994 NYT’s review: “Despite its lurid-sounding subject, “Exotica” turns out to be less erotic than eerie. It raises moral questions of guilt and responsibility, plays with post-modern ideas about perception and, by the end, even involves blackmail and murder.” Read more…

Less Than Zero (1987, Drama; Dir: Marek Kanievska; Starring: Andrew McCarthy, Jami Gertz, Robert Downey, Jr.)
From Janet Maslin’s 1987 NYT’s review: “…Mr. Kanievska gives it a superficial stylishness that is quite spectacular; every scene revolves around one ingeniously bizarre touch or another (the lighting effects are especially dazzling), and the cumulative effect is as striking as it means to be.” Read more…

New Documentary

The Automat (Documentary; Dir: Lisa Hurwitz; Featuring: Mel Brooks, Elliott Gould)
“The movie unfurls the history of Horn & Hardart, the Manhattan-and-Philadelphia-based chain of restaurants the Automat was synonymous with. It’s an engrossing tale of commercial expansion, industrial innovation and cultural harmony even in times, like the Civil Rights era, when that kind of unison seems tough to fathom.” Read more…

NOVA: Ultimate Space Telescope (Documentary; Distr: PBS) – avail. 9/27/22
“ULTIMATE SPACE TELESCOPE introduces viewers to the engineers responsible for building, launching, and deploying the most ambitious telescope of all time, chronicling the ups and downs of the events leading to its launch. The film gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the nerve-wracking, step-by-step process of each critical deployment, leading up to a thrilling success: JWST’s first image: A picture of a single star that turned out to be much more—an image revealing never-before-seen galaxies.” Read more…

Three Minutes: A Lengthening (Netherlands, Documentary; Dir: Bianca Stigter; Narr: Helena Bonham Carter; 2022 Winner Best Documentary at Dublin Int’l. Film Festival, NYT’s Critic’s Pick)
“Three Minutes” is more than a documentary about the Holocaust — it is an investigative drama, a meditation on the ethics of moving images and a ghost story about people who might be forgotten should we take those images for granted.” Read more…

New TV Series

Mayor of Kingstown (TV Series, Crime Thriller; Creator: Taylor Sheridan; Starring: Jeremy Renner, Dianne Wiest) – avail. 9/27/22
“Scripts are full of the musingly fatalistic dialogue that Sheridan favors, but to Renner’s credit, he’s built up a steady filmography of tough guys who feel betrayed by their own capacity for savagery, and he fits right in here.” Read more…

Ultra City Smiths (TV Series; Voice Actors: Julian Barratt, Kristen Bell, Chris Conrad; Distr: AMC)
“It’s hard to call a series that resembles Robot Chicken by way of Team America: World Police by way of Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa wholly original, nor after three episodes do I know if the insidious hard-boiled narrative is going to come together as anything other than a whimsically warped amusement, but the blending of elements has already resulted in a series that doesn’t feel like anything else on TV.” Read more…