Holiday show with Dust Hat, Bronson Rock returns Sat., Dec. 18

Party rock ‘n’ roll band Dust Hat and roots quartet Bronson Rock will power up some holiday spirit on Sat., Dec. 18, at Best Video Film & Cultural Center. The shindig starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10.

This being an inside show, these are our covid protocols: attendance of 30 max, masks and proof of vaccination required.

Garage-y rock ‘n’ roll party band Dust Hat dubs itself a rock ‘n’ roll affront for modern times on its Bandcamp page. The group features Brendan Toller (Vox, Guitar, Tambourine Man); Jeff Slocum (Guitar, Fire Extinguisher); Dan Soto (Thunderstick); and Rob Ruby (Beat of The Traps).

Bronson Rock is a four piece rock and soul band featuring Buzz Gordo (aka Gary Mezzi) on guitar and lead vocals, Eric Bloomquist on bass, Lou St. John on organ, and Tom Smith on drums. Individually, the seasoned musicians in Bronson Rock have performed with a “who’s-who” of Connecticut artists, and continue to maintain busy schedules as players.

The band featured the songwriting talents of Gordo, who was the main songwriter for New Haven’s illustrious Big Bad Johns. Two of his songs from those days have been featured in a recent season of HBO’s True Blood.

The band plays a tight, danceable mix of original garage soul sounds, with some choice obscure covers thrown in, owing a debt to groups like the Rascals and Booker T. and the MG’s.

Jeff Fuller & Friends play jazz at Best Video Fri., Dec. 17

Jeff Fuller & Friends play Best Video Film & Cultural Center Fri., Dec. 17. The show starts at 7 PM. The cover is $10.

This being an inside show, these are our covid protocols: attendance of 30 max, masks and proof of vaccination required.

Bassist and composer Jeff Fuller, recipient of the 2014 Jazz Haven Award, has been has long been an integral part of the Connecticut, New York and international jazz scenes. He toured worldwide and recorded with saxophonists Lou Donaldson and Paquito D’Rivera, and has played with jazz masters from all styles and eras. Co-leader of the popular Brazilian group Sambeleza, he has received commissions from the New Haven and the Hartford Symphony Orchestras and has received project grants from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts.

Pianist/composer Darren Litzie studied jazz piano with Dr. Rex Cadwallader, jazz theory, improvisation, and composition with Jim McNeely, Mike Holober, Jimmy Greene and Jamie Begian. Darren has performed with such artists as Dave Scott, Andrew Beals, Chris Morrison, Thierry Arpino, Nick Biello, and Harvie S. Darren completed a three-year stint with the prestigious BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, where he had several of his works premiered in concert by the BMI Jazz Orchestra.

Ben Bilello received his Bachelors Degree in Jazz Studies at the Hartt School of Music. He has performed and recorded with Mulgrew Miller, Eddie Henderson, Branford Marsalis, Curtis Fuller, Javon Jackson, George Cables, Joe Wilder, Anthony Braxton, Steve Davis, Jimmy Greene, and Wayne Escoffery, among many others. In addition to performing with noted jazz musicians, Ben has toured with the South American folk groups Viva Quetzal and Markamusic.

Perennial, Window seat play indie rock/punk Thurs., Dec. 16

Perennial and Window Seat play Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Thurs., Dec. 16. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10.

This is an indoor show so attendance is 30 max. Proof of vaccination is required to enter and masks are required.

Perennial makes loud sounds at oblique angles. Perennial makes punk for the mods. They are a noise-art 3-piece band from New England. Perennial is an effort to make something both visceral and thoughtful. Perennial is Chelsey Hahn (Organ and Vocals), Chad Jewett (Guitar and Vocals) and Wil Mulhern (Drums).

Window Seat is an indie/pop-punk three piece from New Haven. They started in 2019 as a college band, playing as many dorm room and DIY basement shows as they could. They released their debut album, Call Me in the Morning, at the beginning of the pandemic, and are itching to get back into live shows.


Thanks for your GivingTuesday support!

Thanks to all our friends who supported us on this past GivingTuesday! Your generosity is essential to our continued vitality.

If you missed donating to Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Tuesday, you can still make an end of year gift through our Web site or in person at Best Video.

Consider 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. You can join as a member or donate at or in person at BVFCC.

We appreciate and thank all for another year of support as we all try to climb our way out of this pandemic. We could not be making it without your interest and participation.

Because of your support we were able to present almost 100 music shows this year, outside until the end of October and now inside (with safety precautions). As the situation has improved, we have been able to start staging indoor events, including four How to Read a Film lectures by Mark Schenker.

This holiday season please keep us in your holiday gift giving plans. Every little bit helps. Attending our shows, patronizing our cafe, a holiday special order or purchase can all add up to a happy and sustaining season for Best Video Film and Cultural Center. Best Video t-shirts make for great gifts—we will be restocked next week AND have a great new retro design by sign maker Joel Evans! Also coming soon—Best Video caps!

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 as circumstances permit, beautifying our space, and having a place for you, your families and neighbors to meet (safely!) and feel the sense of community that is yours and ours. Here at Best Video Film and Cultural Center.

Lys Guillorn & Her Band, Elisa Flynn perform Sat., Dec. 11

Lys Guillorn and Her Band shares the bill with Elisa Flynn at Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Sat., Dec. 11. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10.

This being an inside show, these are our covid protocols: attendance of 30 max, masks and proof of vaccination required.

Lys Guillorn is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, and discipline-hopping artist from Shelton, Connecticut. A stylistic shape-shifter, Guillorn dips her pointy boots in folk and psych-rock.

In 2018, Guillorn won CT Now’s Best of Hartford Readers Poll for Best Singer-Songwriter. She has two full-length studio records of original material, a collection of covers and compilation tracks, and a couple of EPs and singles on her own label Little Cowgirl Records. Her most recent single is called “Dolores & I,” released on the 2020 compilation Waiting on a Sunrise Vol. 1. Guillorn will be playing electric guitar, and will be joined by Lys Guillorn & Her Band’s bassist, Eric Bloomquist (also of Bronson Rock, Chica Non Grata.)

Elisa Flynn is a musical and visual artist, known for her literary, historical and supernatural references and powerful vocals. Her sound, which has evolved and changed over the years, now take indie rock and folk elements and add more electronic-based rhythms and sounds. Her use of layered vocals, guitars, electric banjo, synth loops and electronic drums create her own dark folktronica sound. Her most recent EP “Eighty-three” was released in the summer of 2020.

New releases 11/30/21

Top Hits
Climate of the Hunter (mystery/suspense, Ben Hall. Rotten Tomatoes: 84%. Metacritic: 68. From Simon Abrams’ review: “The most exciting thing about the soapy, psychedelic American vampire psychodrama ‘Climate of the Hunter’ is how weirdly poised it is even during its strangest and/or most crass moments. You will see things in writer/director Mickey Reece’s cult-friendly oddity that will make you question your sanity, and not because they’re so wild, but because they seem to be of a piece with a story that’s both familiar enough and utterly alien.” Read more…)

Malignant (horror, Annabelle Wallis. Rotten Tomatoes: 76%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 51. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “The acting in ‘Malignant’ might be on the hokey side, but who goes to a James Wan movie for the performances? What we want is gore and goose bumps, and in that regard, ‘Malignant’ doesn’t entirely disappoint. Even if we have to wait until roughly 17 minutes before the finale to experience peak splatter.” Read more…)

Saint Maud (horror, Morfydd Clark. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 83. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “Folding sexual arousal and religious ecstasy into a single, gasping sensation, ‘Saint Maud,’ the feature debut of the director Rose Glass, burrows into the mind of a lonely young woman and finds psycho-horror gold.” Read more…)

New Foreign DVDs
Romeos (Germany, LGBTQ romance, Rick Okon)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
Freud (1962, bio-pic, Montgomery Clift. Rotten Tomatoes: 71%. New York Times critic Bosley Crowther named “Freud” one of his 10 best movies of 1962, writing, “John Huston’s stark, intense and penetrating biographical film, simply called “Freud,” in which Montgomery Clift gives an eerily illuminating performance in the title role.” Read more…)

Dark of the Sun (1968, action/adventure, Rod Taylor. Rotten Tomatoes: 67%. From Renata Adler’s 1968 New York Times review requires log-in]: “‘Dark of the Sun’ is a kind of cross between ‘The Dirty Dozen’ and ‘The Comedians,’ which stars Jim Brown and Rod Taylor in a kind of “I Spy” duet. The movie, which was filmed in Jamaica, is about mercenaries in the Congo who go by train to rescue some diamonds, refugees and Yvette Mimieux from the rebel Simba. It did not seem to me very plausible.” Read more…)

New Documentaries
Keyboard Fantasies (music, bio, LGBTQ, Glenn Copeland. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 81. From Cath Clarke’s Guardian review: “Here’s a spirit-lifting documentary about black transgender electronic music pioneer Glenn Copeland. It begins with the story of how he was ‘discovered’ a few years ago, aged 72. At home in Canada, Copeland reads the email he got in 2015 from a record shop owner in Japan: the guy offered to buy any spare copies of Keyboard Fantasies, an album Copeland self-released in 1986 on cassette. At the time he was known as Beverly Glenn-Copeland, and the album is a trippy mix of electronica, folk and new age, overlaid with Copeland’s sumptuous contralto tenor; it’s now seen as his masterpiece.” Read more…)

The Great Buster: A Celebration (bio, cinema history, Buster Keaton. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 71. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “In his 1949 essay ‘Comedy’s Greatest Era,’ James Agee suggested that ‘Keaton’s face ranked almost with Lincoln’s as an early American archetype; it was haunting, handsome, almost beautiful, yet it was also irreducibly funny.’ To watch ‘The Great Buster: A Celebration’ — Peter Bogdanovich’s affectionate and informative new documentary — is to appreciate Agee’s insight, and also to marvel anew at some of Keaton’s cinematic feats. The film presents a compact, tactful biography and also a valuable explication of the Keatonesque in its most sublime varieties.” Read more…)

Ernie Mazza & Friends play jazz at Best Video Dec. 10

Ernie Mazza & Friends play Best Video Film & Cultural Center Fri., Dec. 10. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10.

This is an indoor show so attendance is 30 max. Proof of vaccination is required to enter and masks are required.

Veteran pianist Ernie Mazza hosts an evening of cookin’ jazz at the performance space. He’ll be joined by wife, Mary, on vocals (They met on a gig, ya know!); son, Dave, on guitar; Mark Kaplan on sax, and the tasty rhythm section of Art Principe and John Rispoli on bass and drums, respectively. They’ll be playing some of their favorites from the jazz repertoire including standards, be-bop, Latin, and a couple of surprises along the way.

A New Haven native, and a regular on the local music scene for decades, Ernie has assembled a fine ensemble of versatile and seasoned pros to join him for what is sure to be a fun evening of jazz music with friends and family.

The David Chevan Klezmer Quartet debuts at Best Video Thurs., Dec. 9

The David Chevan Klezmer Quartet plays Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Thurs., Dec. 9. The show starts at 7 PM. The cover is $10.

This being an inside show, these are our covid protocols: attendance of 30 max, masks and proof of vaccination required.

Bassist David Chevan arrives at Best Video with a Klezmer quartet featuring Dana Astmann on accordion, Will Bartlett on clarinet (and occasionally sax) and David Sasso on mandolin. The repertoire pulls very heavily from Klezmer and early swing.

This is the first time this group will be playing in public, though David has been getting together on and off since early this summer with Dana, Will and David and they’re beginning to put their own stamp on this material. Sometimes things are coming out straight Klezmer and sometimes it swings like crazy, and it never sounds the same twice—in a good way. Come raise a ruckus and shake your tuchus!!! Who knows? There may even be some special guests who pop in to join the group for a tune or two.

BVFCC will be closed for Thanksgiving—have a wonderful holiday

To allow our staff to enjoy the holiday, Best Video Film & Cultural Center will be closed on Thanksgiving. We will reopen with regular hours on Friday—8 AM-5 PM for the cafe and 11 AM-7 PM for the video archive.
Make sure to rent your movies for Thanksgiving Day on Wednesday. And come by on Friday from 11 AM-7 PM and order some movies, purchase gift certificates, Best Video t-shirts, or annual memberships as gifts!
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.

Washboard Slim & The Bluelights at Best Video Sat., Dec. 4

Washboard Slim & The Bluelights play Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Sat., Dec. 4, starting at 6:30 PM. The cover is $15.

This is an indoor show so attendance is 30 max. Proof of vaccination is required to enter and masks are required.

After 40 years of playing together, Washboard Slim and the Bluelights has evolved into one of the country’s most versatile and original of jug bands incorporating pure Americana instruments like tub bass, washboard, jug, banjo, harmonica, and fiddle.

Adding drums and powerful vocal harmonies, this band rocks sold-out concerts, dance halls and family shows. Playing their own compositions as well as original arrangements of traditional gospel, blues, country and early rock n’ roll, their music is by turns playful, haunted and uplifting.

The band for this show is Peter Menta (aka Washboard Slim), Howie Horn, John Pendergast, Brooks Barnett, and Mat Kastner.