RESCHEDULED! The Sawtelles play the Best Video deck Sun., Apr. 25, rather than Apr. 16 due to rain/cold forecast

UPDATE: The Sawtelles will play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Sunday, Apr. 25, at 5 PM. This show was rescheduled due to predicted rain and cold for the original date of Friday, Apr. 16.

The Sawtelles play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Friday, Apr. 16, starting at 5 PM.

Husband and wife duo Pete and Julie Riccio are the foundation of the Sawtelles. They have added a new texture to their palette in recent years with the addition of guitarist and saxophonist Richard Brown but will play this show as a duo. Their music is a balance of four elements: alternate-tuned guitar, stand-up drum kit (ala Velvet Underground’s Mo Tucker) and two voices. Peter plays guitar and Julie plays drums; they both sing. Their sparse but intricately arranged pop is as lush as it is captivatingly unique; what is played as important as what isn’t.

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

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks are mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up.

Click here for a complete listing of upcoming events.

Save the dates! The 2021 Great Give® is May 4-5; advance giving begins Fri., Apr. 23

Save the dates! The Great Give® 2021 takes place from 8 AM, May 4, through 8 PM, May 5. (Advance giving begins Apr. 23.)

The Great Give®, a 36-hour fundraising marathon coordinated by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, is a financial lifeline for hundreds of cultural and social action non-profits in the greater New Haven area. And BVFCC is no exception.

Last year, we raised some $50,000 in The Great Give®, almost doubling our previous best performance. (The Great Give® overall saw an outpouring of generosity in 2020.)

Those funds were crucial to sustaining us through the (still ongoing) lean pandemic months. They enabled us to:

• invest in a beautiful outdoor deck so we could present music shows safely last fall; the shows begin again in mid-April;

• help organize this past fall’s Hamden Black Film Mini-Series;

• and to continue to expand our renowned movie library.

Planning on supporting Best Video and like for your support to go even further? Please consider becoming one of our Best Video Great Give® “fundraisers.” There are thousands of dollars in additional prizes for the organizations with the most fundraisers raising $200 or more. Last year, BVFCC won $4,000 for second place in The Great Give®’s “You’ve Got Friends” prize by having over 60 fundraisers who brought in $200 or more. This year, we would like to get that number up to 100 fundraisers. Please contact us at info [AT] bestvideo.com for information on being one of our friendly fundraisers!

And please join us on our deck—paid for by the 2020 Great Give®—for Great Give® Happy Hours on Tuesdays, Apr. 27 and May 4!

We look forward to continue to work on our mission of bringing people, film, and music together and it’s your support in The Great Give® that makes that possible.

RESCHEDULED! Shawn Taylor plays Wed., Apr. 28, instead of Apr. 15 due to rain forecast

Shawn Taylor.

UPDATE: Due to the strong expectation of rain on the originally scheduled date of Thursday, Apr. 15, the show by singer-songwriter Shawn Taylor on the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck has been rescheduled to Wednesday, Apr. 28, starting at 5:30 PM.

Singer-songwriter Shawn Taylor plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Thursday, Apr.15, starting at 5:30 PM.

With a thumping thumb, dancing fingers, wailing harp, deep, gritty, soul stirring vocals and poetic blue collar lyrics, Shawn Taylor’s songs ooze American roots; wandering roots. He’s drawn comparisons from Tom Waites to Ray Lamontagne, Bruce Springsteen to Chris Smither, but his original songs are colored by the experiences of his own working class, wandering roots. He’s been an oysterman, carpenter, hitchhiker, homeowner, familly man, Appalachian Trail ‘thru-hiker’ and a performing musician and song writer, for over twenty years.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks are mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Click here for a complete list of upcoming shows.

S.G. Carlson, Patrick Dalton, Alex Burnet share bill Sat., Apr. 24, on Best Video deck

S.G. Carlson, Patrick Dalton, and Alex Burnet play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Sat., Apr. 24, starting at 4:45 PM.

New Haven Connecticut’s S.G. Carlson writes with an acerbic punch. With incisive and often satirical lyrics he explores a fascination with the mundane, good and bad uses of time, and a fist full of bummers. He has worked in different capacities with a variety of bands including but not limited to: Ports of Spain, Laundry Day, The Proud Flesh, 10K Blades, Rob Carlson and Benefit Street, and Winter White.

According to a New Haven Independent writer, “(Carlson’s) unassuming demeanor masks a rich musical background and artistic presence.”

Patrick Dalton doesn’t simply play guitar or write songs, he absorbs music, breathes it in, digests it and assimilates it.

Dalton’s own music, while strikingly original and nuanced, has a familiarity to it—there’s Delta blues in his studied finger picking, folk and hip hop in his storied lyrics and powerful, breathy voice, big band in his trumpet playing, and classic American songwriting in his melodies. His songs come to terms with everything from death to macro-politics to economics, and while his subject matter may be heavy at times, Dalton’s songs leave you pensive rather than downtrodden, interested rather than pessimistic.

Dalton has lent his talents as both musician and sound engineer to many musical projects, including The Proud Flesh, Sidewalk Dave, Elison Jackson, Ports of Spain, and Ceschi.

Carlson and Dalton are co-owners of Sans Serif Recording Studio in New Haven.

Alex Burnet is a song writer from New Haven CT. Her work with The Proud Flesh and Laundry Day has gathered regional and nation eyes. Coming off quarantine with new songs and the owner of Free As Birds Records she is ready to stretch her legs; see faces; and play music.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks are mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

New releases 4/13/21

Top Hits
Willy’s Wonderland (horror/action, Nicolas Cage. Rotten Tomatoes: 65%. Metacritic: 44. From Owen Gleiberman’s Variety review: “If Rob Zombie made a slasher movie that was also an ‘attack of the killer Muppets’ movie, it might look like ‘Willy’s Wonderland.’ Directed by Kevin Lewis, from a script by G.O. Parsons, this defiantly out-of-the-box and in some ways rather cunning grunge horror film, set from dusk till dawn inside a run-down family fun center, is a tongue-in-cheek thriller that knows how preposterous it is.” Read more…)

I Blame Society (comedy, Gillian Wallace Horvat. Rotten Tomatoes: 89%. Metacritic: 66. From Liz Whittemore’s Reel News Daily review: “There is no female equivalent for the phrase ‘Balls.’ What would that even look like? Lippy? ‘I Blame Society’ is extra lippy. Starring as a version of herself, filmmaker Gillian Wallace Horvat says all the quiet parts out loud. Then she acts on them just to make a point. And goddamnit, virtual high five from me. This script is unapologetic, bold, and genuinely hilarious.” Read more…)

Rams (comedy remake of Icelandic movie, Sam Neill. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 62. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “The rough, dirty life of Australian sheep farmers would seem an unlikely topic to yield much in the way of cinematic lyricism. Especially in a narrative involving sheep actually dying of a devastating disease. Nevertheless, ‘Rams,’ rooted in a 2016 Icelandic movie of the same name, has its pastoral moments [mostly in its breathtaking views of Western Australian landscapes], not to mention raucous comedy.” Read more…)

New Foreign
My Little Sister (Germany/Switzerland, drama, Nina Hoss. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 78. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “‘My Little Sister,’ a tender domestic drama from the Swiss writers and directors Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond, faces terminal illness with a refreshing emotional candor. Lisa [Nina Hoss], a gifted Berlin playwright, stopped writing on the day that her beloved twin brother, Sven [Lars Eidinger], a celebrated theater actor, received his leukemia diagnosis. Since then, she’s been living in artistic limbo in Switzerland, where her husband [Jens Albinus] teaches at a prestigious boarding school. But the demands of Sven’s illness, and Lisa’s inability to accept his decline, only tug her closer to her brother and further from her fracturing marriage.” Read more…)

Fire Will Come (Spain, drama, Amador Arias. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 73. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “The opening shots of this new film from the French-born Spanish director Oliver Laxe constitute a kind of declaration of aesthetic principles. Deep in a dark forest, the cinematographer Mauro Herce’s camera descends from a height, then glides ahead, slowly. In unobtrusive cuts, the frame reveals more detail, accentuating the bareness of the trees. The images evoke curiosity and awe without being pompous about it. And soon we see a bulldozer, piling into the wood.” Read more…)

Women Without Men (Iran, drama, Orsi Toth. Rotten Tomatoes: 73%. Metacritic: 68. From Stephen Holden’s 2010 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Every frame of ‘Women Without Men’ and every image within those frames attest to the background of its first-time director, Shirin Neshat, as a photographer celebrated for her explorations of Islamic gender issues. This visually transfixing film, which originated as a video installation, has the feel of an exhibition of Ms. Neshat’s work whose figures have stirred to life to play out a tragic feminist allegory. With its intense chiaroscuro and meticulous manipulation of color that ranges from stark black and white to richer, shifting hues in scenes set in a metaphorical orchard, the film surpasses even Michael Haneke’s ‘White Ribbon’ in the fierce beauty and precision of its cinematography [by Martin Gschlacht].” Read more…)

The Mole Agent (Chile, documentary/drama on elder abuse. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 69. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “The movie’s straddling of the dramatic and the documentary forms is unsettling. Unless you unquestioningly accept its method, this chronicle can look like a glaring invasion of privacy. But the film’s people are moving, and the payoff is compassionate, humane and worth heeding.” Read more…)

New British DVDs
The Captive Heart (1946, war drama, Michael Redgrave. From A.W.’s 1946 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “The English film makers take a good look at what happened to their prisoners of war in Germany during the late conflict. That examination is unbiased and compassionate to both captive and captor, and despite a somewhat complex story line, which snags the action, this topical and discerning drama emerges as one of the season’s finest importations.” Read more…)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
The Farmer’s Daughter (1947, comedy/romance, Loretta Young. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From Bosley Crowther’s 1947 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “It is a thoroughly pure and pristine examination of the vagaries of romance, mixed in with some healthy observations upon the chicane of politics. And it is also a cheerful comedy-drama of the sort that the movies handle well when they get on the subject of American character without too much sugar in their spoon.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
September 30, 1955 (1978, drama, Richard Thomas. From Vincent Canby’s 1978 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “We seem to be in the grip of a whole new batch of movies that are as much meditations on the meaning of various aspects of American popular culture as they are demonstrations of that culture—‘Saturday Night Fever,’ ‘American Hot Wax,’ ‘Handle With Care’ now James Bridges’s funny, solemn, dead-on-accurate ‘September 30, 1955.’ The film, which opens today at the Cinema II, is all about the sturm und drang precipitated on that day, nearly 23 years ago, in one small Arkansas college town when word is received that James Dean has been killed in a car crash in California.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life (bio, brain science, writing, Oliver Sacks. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 83. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Glenn Kenny’s Times review: “The neurologist and author recounts anguish, alienation and drug addiction in the book ‘On The Move,’ which this documentary, directed by Ric Burns, shows Sacks seeing to publication in the months before his death. A deftly edited mix of archival footage, still imagery, talking-head interviews and in-the-moment narrative, ‘His Own Life’ — which in a perfect world would be a companion piece to Sacks’s book, not the substitute some might make it — illuminates details of what can only be called an extraordinary existence.“ Read more…)

New Music DVDs
Urgh! A Music War (1981, concert video, The Police, Devo, Joan Jett, more. From Robert Palmer’s 1983 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “‘Urgh! A Music War’ consists of 25 songs or song fragments performed by 24 bands. The opening and closing songs are played by The Police, the most commercially successful group involved. Apparently, the idea behind the format was that the film be ‘democratic’ and reflect the anti-elitist sentiments of the movement it documents. But few rock groups can communicate much of what they stand for or are capable of in one song.” Read more…)

Chet, David & Pete on the Best Video deck Fri., Apr. 23, at 5 PM

Chet, David, and Pete play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Friday, Apr. 23, 2021, starting at 5 PM.

Chet Duke, David Sasso, and Pete Kaufman are three multi-instrumentalists taking turns on guitar, mandolin, and banjo. They sing old country songs. They pick fiddle tunes. And they play original string band music in the acoustic folk tradition. They have previously played Best Video as members of Five ‘N Change, On the Trail, and the Wallace and Sasso Duo.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks are mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Dr. Caterwaul’s, Leg Up play Best Video deck Thurs., Apr. 22, at 5 PM

Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps and Leg Up share the bill on the Best video Film & Cultural Center deck on Thursday, Apr. 22. The music starts at 5 PM.

Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps plays music from around the world and uses it as a launching pad for improvisations that never lose their sense of groove—whether it’s Colombian cumbias, Ethiopian jazz, Romanian horas, Argentinian tangos, traditional music from the United States, or original songs by accordionist and singer Adam Matlock.

The members of Dr. Caterwaul’s are Adam Matlock, Brian Slattery, Chris Cretella, Mike Tepper, and Michael Paolucci.

Leo and Brian Slattery (Leg Up) are two musicians—son and father—who have used the quarantine as a chance to work up their swing repertoire with son on violin and father on guitar. Come hang for a happy hour of tunes ranging from Louis Armstrong and Cole Porter to Antonio Carlos Jobim and Django Reinhardt, in all likelihood punctuated by banter filled with outrageous puns.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks are mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Click here for a complete listing of upcoming events.

Songs + Stories 11 on the Best Video deck Sat., Apr. 17, at 4:30 PM

SONGS + STORIES returns to live performance (but outdoors, with masks + social distance), Saturday, April 17th from 4:30 to 6:00 PM. There is a suggested $5 donation to the tip jar for the performers.

The event is hosted by Saul Fussiner and this edition’s theme: is “Friendship Stories.” Paticipating storytellers are Laconia Therrio, Wendy Dalton Marans, Val McKee, and Saul Fussiner. Singer-songwriter Brian Larney will provide the songs this evening.

Beer, wine, and coffee are available at the Best Video Cafe Window.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks are mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Click here for a complete listing of upcoming events.

New releases 4/6/21

Top Hits
Baby Done (New Zealand, comedy, Rose Matafeo. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 64. From Luke Buckmaster’s Guardian review: “{actress Rose] Matafeo’s wonderful, compulsively affable performance is core to the film’s irresistible good naturedness: its spirit, pluck, bounce. You want to be her friend, and in a strange way you feel like you are her friend. She leans into you, invites you into her world, doing so in a way that seems almost able to read the audience’s responses in real time – like a chatty seatmate on a plane, who can judge the mood and is somebody you actually want to talk to.” Read more…)

Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar (comedy, Kristen Wiig. Rotten Tomatoes: 79%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 64. From Beatrice Loayza’s New York Times review: “With their 2011 hit movie, ‘Bridesmaids,’ the co-writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo accomplished a rare feat by weaving together a thoughtful portrait of female friendship and a bona fide gross-out comedy. Their long-awaited follow-up, ‘Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar,’ takes the duo’s gal pal humor in a new direction, muting the raunch and tossing out the emotional truths for a zanier, spoof-ier adventure complete with random musical numbers, an evil underground lair and a talking crab.” Read more…)

Shadow In the Cloud (horror/action, Chloë Grace Moretz. Rotten Tomatoes: 77%. Metacritic: 66. From Devika Girish’s New York Times review: “The twists come rapidly in the movie’s first half; in the second, the narrative dissolves into a zigzag of flying bodies and explosions that bend the laws of space-time. But the implausibility of it all is a perk: There’s never a moment in this rollicking film when you can tell what’s coming next.” Read more…)

Antigone (Canada, liberal adaptation of Sophocles drama, Nahéma Ricci. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%. From Jessica Kiang’s Variety review: “The very idea of a modern reworking of a classical text itself gets a modern reworking in Sophie Deraspe’s supple and impassioned ‘Antigone,’ a contemporary spin on the Greek tragedy that feels refreshingly liberated by the spirit of Sophocles’ original material, rather than slavishly devoted to its letter. Further electrified by a performance of immense self-possession and dignity from revelatory new star Nahéma Ricci, the clever screenplay [the film is also written and crisply shot by Deraspe] injects these ancient archetypes directly into the bloodstream of the modern-day immigration debate.” Read more…)

Earwig and The Witch (Studio Ghibli animated feature, Richard E. Grant [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 34%. Metacritic: 45. From Maya Phillips’ New York Times review: “A strong-willed young heroine, a witch, a talking cat, cute magical minions: ‘Earwig and the Witch’ has many of the familiar qualities of a Studio Ghibli film. And yet Ghibli’s latest, directed by Goro Miyazaki, the son of the famed animator Hayao Miyazaki, uses ingredients from the tried-and-true Ghibli recipe while serving a film that lacks the heart the studio has always brought to its best.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Audition (Japan, 1999, horror/cult, Ryo Ishibashi. Rotten Tomatoes: 82%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 69. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Elvis Mitchell’s 2001 Times review [requires log-in]: “The Japanese psychological horror film ‘Audition’ has been responsible for throngs of shaken filmgoers staggering out of theaters for the last year or so; it’s ‘Fatal Attraction’ with a sense of morality instead of a need to pander—specifically, the movie’s theme is the objectification of women in Japanese society and the mirror-image horror of retribution it could create. Patronizing audiences may be a sure way to make money, but the resulting pictures are like writing on sand; ‘Audition,’ now at the Film Forum, has no such impermanence.” Read more…)

Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar

New Foreign
Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time (Hungary, drama, Natasa Stork. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 70. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Beatrice Loayza’s Times review: “‘Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time,’ the second feature by the Hungarian writer-director Lili Horvat, considers the slippery relationship between consciousness and desire with a poignant hypothetical: what if you fall so hard for someone that you convince yourself they love you back? At the shattering of such an illusion is where we meet Marta [Natasa Stork], an accomplished, 40-year-old neurosurgeon who hastily leaves behind her life and career in the U.S. to reunite with the man she loves. Yet when she arrives at their agreed-upon meeting point — the Pest end of Budapest’s Liberty Bridge — Janos [Viktor Bodo] is nowhere to be found.” Read more…)

Acasă, My Home (Romania, documentary, social change & its discontents. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 82. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “The film is not static. It’s dialectical — constructing its narrative as an argument between two opposed positions, neither of which is fully embraced. There is a nobility to Niculina and Gica as they try to resist the power of a state convinced of its own benevolence. And the actions of the state are not entirely unreasonable. It’s not as simple as taking the side of individualism against government, or for that matter of being in favor of parks, schools and a decent social order. That’s all fairly abstract, but ‘Acasă’ is full of ideas because it contains so much life.” Read more…)

A Snake of June (Japan, 2005, mystery/suspense, Asuka Kurosawa. Rotten Tomatoes: 60%. From Donald Richie’s New York Times review: “The director of the cult-favorite Tetsuo’ films, Shinya Tsukamoto has now gotten himself a larger budget, wider distribution and a special jury award at Venice. He has retained in this tale of a lady stalked and her revenge much of the little-boy nastiness that made his earlier pictures such adolescent favorites.” Read more…)

New British DVDs
Secrets & Lies (1996, drama dir. by Mike Leigh, Criterion Collection, Brenda Blethyn. Rotten Tomatoes: 95%. Metacritic: 91. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Janet Maslin’s Times review [requires log-in]: “The secrets that bring such immediacy to Mike Leigh’s tender and wrenching new film are not confined to the screen. Mr. Leigh, celebrated for his patient, Olympian methods with actors, deliberately keeps those players in the dark as a way of capturing an essential inner light. That light shines radiantly through the revelations of ‘Secrets and Lies,’ which won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival and will now establish this once insular English film maker on a much broader commercial footing.” Read more…)

The South Westerlies (drama, Orla Brady. Rotten Tomatoes: 67%. From Joel Keller’s Decider review: “Created and written by Catherine Maher, ‘The South Westerlies’ is one of those shows that’s light and fun to watch, and is fully dependent on the characters that populate the town depicted on the show. From the first moments Kate and Conor roll into Carigeen, you know that this quaint town in West Cork isn’t going to be boring by any means.” Read more…)

Mystery Road (Australia, 2013, crime/mystery that has since been followed up by a TV series, Aaron Pedersen. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 72. From Eddie Cockrell’s Variety review: “Writer-director-lenser-editor-composer Ivan Sen’s ‘Mystery Road’ is an impressively crafted, immensely satisfying contempo thriller that astutely grafts Western and film-noir elements onto the hot-button issue of tensions between indigenous and European Australians.” Read more…)

Van der Valk (mystery series set in Amsterdam, Marc Warren. Rotten Tomatoes: 77%. Metacritic: 70.)

The Good Karma Hospital Season 2 (drama series, Amanda Redman)

New TV
The Comey Rule (HBO docu-drama, Jeff Daniels. Rotten Tomatoes: 68%. Metacritic: 58. From James Poniewozik’s New York Times review: “In his book ‘A Higher Loyalty,’ [former FBI Director James Comey] appears to see his decisions, which very possibly swung the 2016 election and failed to keep the president from interfering in investigations, as noble if tragic acts of principle. As translated by the director and screenwriter Billy Ray, this is instead a slo-mo horror story, in which the worst lack all inhibition while the best are full of fatuous integrity.” Read more…)

Scarlett (1994, TV mini-series, Joanne Whalley. From John J. O’Connor’s 1994 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “With ‘Scarlett,’ it’s not a question of disappointment. [Author Alexandra] Ripley’s [‘Gone With the Wind’] sequel was almost universally loathed by book critics. With expectations for the mini-series starting from that unpromising level, viewers may instead be at least mildly surprised to find the $45 million production isn’t all that bad, after all.” Read more…)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
Odd Man Out (1947, suspense, Criterion Collection, James Mason. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From Bosley Crowther’s 1947 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “The creative combination of James Mason, popular British star, and Carol Reed, the brilliant director of such films as ‘Night Train’ and ‘The Stars Look Down,’ is sure to attract wide attention to the new British picture, ‘Odd Man Out,’ which had its American première at Loew’s Criterion yesterday. And the further fact that it is fashioned from a novel by F. L. Green which is current catnip for thriller readers will not hurt the film’s draw one bit—all of which is peculiarly propitious, for ‘Odd Man Out’ is a picture to see, to absorb in the darkness of the theatre and then go home and talk about.” Read more…)

We reopen for safe browsing (barring a serious covid surge) Fri., Apr. 9

Keeping our fingers crossed that covid rates don’t surge in Connecticut, we will be opening the Best Video premises for browsing Friday, Apr. 9!

Along with allowing browsing, we will expand the video hours from the current 3-7 PM to 1-7 PM. Cafe hours will expand from the current 8 AM-1 PM to 8 AM-4 PM (Sundays-Wednesdays) and 8 AM-5 PM (Thursday/Friday/Saturday). As our music programming begins again on Thursday, April 15, the Thursday-Saturday cafe hours will effectively be 8 AM-7 PM (or whenever the music show ends). Cafe service, however, will remain curbside for now with outdoor seating only.

We know that perusing the shelves at BVFCC is one of the signal pleasures of being a member. We will spend the next two weeks cleaning up, putting up signage about social distancing, and installing some barriers and equipment to improve safety for members and staff (there’s already a new touchless faucet in our restroom).

Guidance to make this reopening to browsing smooth and safe for all concerned:

• Social distancing will remain a must.

• Masks are 100% required, no exceptions.

• Only five members (couples or family units will count as one) will be allowed in at one time.

• We request that browsers limit the time they spend, particularly if there are other members waiting to get inside. We recognize that many of you just look forward to getting lost in looking around after being away so long but we want to accommodate as many people as safely as possible.

A cabinet displaying part of the expanded directors section. How many of these directors are YOU familiar with?!

And you can use the time leading up to April 9 to bone up on your directors! Staffers Rob Harmon and Teo Hernandez have spent the lockdown time expanding our directors sections and rearranging where other sections are. Over 80 directors have had their oeuvre added, with an emphasis on including previously overlooked women directors, directors of color, and international film directors.

If you want to know where a specific DVD or a section is, please ask a Best Video staffer.