Black Film Mini-Series continues Fri., Sept. 25, at 6:30 PM with “Brown Sugar”

Best Video Film and Cultural Center, Ignite the Light, and Spring Glen Church in collaboration with the Hamden Dept. of Arts and Culture are excited to host the Hamden Black Film Mini-Series and Discussion event. The series consists of three, Black-centered movies with universal themes of love, heroes, loss, immigration and more followed by community discussion with keynote speakers relating each movie to the issues, experiences, joys, struggles and achievements of the Black community in Hamden. Attendees are invited to come for the movies and stay for discussion if interested, otherwise, come out and enjoy films together in the company of community.

The first screening, of “42: The Jackie Robinson Story,” took place on Sept. 17.

All movies will be presented outdoors with social distancing on the lawn at Spring Glen Church, 1825 Whitney Avenue. NOTE that the time has changed: The program for the final two films will start at 6:30 PM, which is moved up from the 7:30 start time for “42: The Jackie Robinson Story.” The remaining movie line-up is as follows:

Friday, September 25th: Brown Sugar
Saturday, October 3rd: Do the Right Thing

Dr. Siobhan Carter-David from Southern Connecticut State University will lead the discussion for “Brown Sugar.”

Dr. Carter-David is an Assistant Professor in History, teaching in the areas of fashion/beauty studies, American culture and identity politics, and African American, urban, and recent United States history. Her research explores the “new” politics of racial uplift as represented in the fashion instruction of post-Civil Rights African American print media, as well as more broadly, American fashion, beauty culture, and the politics of presentation. She has written and given numerous talks on hip-hop music, black nationalism, youth culture, culture and clothing, and urban style. She also curated an exhibit, “Strong Shoulder: Revisiting the Women’s Power Suit,” which explored the meaning of “power dressing,” its position within third-wave feminism and corporate culture, and the evolution of women’s professional fashions in the 1980s.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required but an RSVP to the Facebook event is appreciated. Please RSVP to this invitation so we may estimate the number of potential attendees (and calculate available lawn space).

Prof. William Foster addressing the audience at the Sept. 17 screening of “Brown Sugar.”

Weather permitting, music already booked on the BVFCC deck Thursdays-Saturdays through Oct. 10

Anne Marie Menta and Richard Neal playing the Best Video deck to a safely socially distanced crowd Sept. 12, 2020.

Best Video Film & Cultural Center has gotten a great response from the community of local musicians to the use of our new deck as a venue. While weather permits, we will be hosting shows Thursday-Saturday during happy hour time with music usually occurring between 5 and 7 PM (but exact time varies according to the act).

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.

This is what is booked as of Sept. 16, 2020:

Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 17-19:

Thursday, Sept. 17, 5-7 PM. Singer-Songwriter: The Bargain (featuring Frank Critelli, Shandy Lawson, & Muddy Rivers)

Friday, Sept. 18, 4:30-6:30 PM. Roots Singer-Songwriter: Buzz Gordo

Saturday, Sept. 19, 5-7 PM. Singer-Songwriter: Shawn Taylor

Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 24-26:

Thursday, Sept. 24, 5-7 PM. Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar: Glenn Roth

Friday, Sept. 25, 6 PM. Harmony Pop: Pigeon English

Saturday, Sept. 26, 5:30 PM. Singer-Songwriter Pop: Shellye Valauskas & Dean Falcone

Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 1-3:

Thursday, Oct. 1, 4:30-6:30 PM. Swing Music: Leg Up feat. Leo & Brian Slattery

Friday, Oct. 2, 4:30-6:30 PM. Jug Band: Washboard Slim Trio

Saturday, Oct. 3, 4:30-6:30 PM. Jazz: Warren Byrd & David Chevan

Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 8-10:

Thursday, Oct. 8, 5-6:30 PM. Singer-Songwriter: Seth Adam

Friday, Oct. 9, 4:30-6:30 PM. Swing: The Red Hots

Saturday, Oct. 10, 5 PM. Afro-Soul: Thabisa

Also on the schedule:

Saturday, Oct. 17, 4:30 PM. Songs + Stories, Hosted by Saul Fussiner

Also on the BVFCC schedule, being held across the street at the Spring Glen Church: (in collaboration with Hamden Department of Arts and Culture, Spring Glen Church, Ignite the Light):

Thursday, Sept. 17, 7:30 PM. Film Screening at Spring Glen Church: “42: The Jackie Robinson Story” (1st in the Black Film Mini-Series sponsored by BVFCC, Hamden Department of Art & Culture, Spring Glen Church, and Ignite the Light)

Friday, Sept. 25, 7:30 PM. Film Screening at Spring Glen Church: “Brown Sugar” (2nd in the Black Film Mini-Series sponsored by BVFCC, Hamden Department of Art & Culture, Spring Glen Church, and Ignite the Light)

Saturday, Oct. 3, 7:30 PM. Film Screening: “Do the Right Thing” at Spring Glen Church (3rd in the Black Film Mini-Series sponsored by BVFCC, Hamden Department of Art & Culture, Spring Glen Church, and Ignite the Light)

 

Upcoming music on the Best Video deck

Once we got over the hiccup of the rainout of a our scheduled first night, the launch of our new series of music on the Best Video Film & Cultural deck went great. Thanks to the musicians David Sasso and Pete Kaufman (Friday night) and Anne Marie Menta and Richard Neal (Saturday night) for great sets. And thanks, also, to everybody who came out and for responsibly wearing your masks!

Here is a list of our currently scheduled shows:

Thursday, Sept. 17, 5-7 PM. Singer-Songwriter: The Bargain (featuring Frank Critelli, Shandy Lawson, & Muddy Rivers)

Saturday, Sept. 19, 5-7 PM. Singer-Songwriter: Shawn Taylor

Thursday, Sept. 24, 5-7 PM. Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitarist: Glenn Roth (rescheduled from 9/10)

Friday, Sept. 25, 6 PM. Harmony Pop: Pigeon English

Saturday, Sept. 26, 5:30 PM. Singer-Songwriter Pop: Shellye Valauskas & Dean Falcone

Fri., Oct. 2, 5 PM. Jug Band: Washboard Slim & The Blue Lights Trio

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks 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.

Due to the rain, this evening’s scheduled Glenn Roth performance on the deck has been postponed to Sept. 24

Mother Nature has intervened and our first music on the deck happy hour has been cancelled. Guitarist Glenn Roth will instead perform (weather permitting!) on Thursday, Sept. 24, from 5-7:30 PM.

But forecast is looking good for tomorrow’s music with David Sasso and Pete Kaufman. Sasso and Kaufman are bandmates in the bluegrass quintet Five N’ Change and they will be playing as a duo from 4:30-7 PM (with some breaks.

The Best Video Film & Cultural Center cafe will be open for coffee drinks, beer and wine. Respect social distancing and wear masks. (Yes, you can pull them down to take a drink—but pull them back up again!)

Black Film Mini-Series begins Thurs., Sept. 17, with “42” at Spring Glen Church

Best Video Film and Cultural Center, Ignite the Light, and Spring Glen Church in collaboration with the Hamden Dept. of Arts and Culture are excited to host the Hamden Black Film Mini-Series and Discussion event. The series consists of three, Black-centered movies with universal themes of love, heroes, loss, immigration and more followed by community discussion with keynote speakers relating each movie to the issues, experiences, joys, struggles and achievements of the Black community in Hamden. Attendees are invited to come for the movies and stay for discussion if interested, otherwise, come out and enjoy films together in the company of community.

All movies will be presented outdoors with social distancing on the lawn at Spring Glen Church, 1825 Whitney Avenue. All movies start promptly at 7:30pm with discussion to follow directly after. Movie line-up is as follows:

Thursday, September 17th: 42 – The Jackie Robinson Story
Friday, September 25th: Brown Sugar
Saturday, October 3rd: Do the Right Thing

Prof. Bill Foster is a long time Comic Book and Film Historian, who specializes in the “Changing Image of African Americans.” He has presented to audiences both nationally and internationally on these topics.

He is the author of 15 books and 10 plays. He will provide a historical context for the movie “42”, a biopic about sports legend, Jackie Robinson.

Future keynote speakers TBA.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required but an RSVP to the Facebook event is appreciated. Please RSVP to this invitation so we may estimate the number of potential attendees (and calculate available lawn space).

Music returns to Best Video, socially distanced, on the deck

Making the best of the situation, Best Video Film & Cultural Center will restart its music programming on the new outdoor deck, weather permitting. The Best Video cafe will expand its curbside hours to 4-8 PM Thursdays through Saturday and we will try to schedule acoustic music on the deck for as many of those evenings as possible.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks 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.

The schedule so far is:

Thursday, Sept. 10, 5-7:30. Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar: Glenn Roth

Friday, Sept. 11, 4:30-7:30 PM. Bluegrass/Roots: David Sasso & Pete Kaufman (members of Five N’ Change)

Saturday, Sept. 12, 5:30 PM. Singer-Songwriter: Anne Marie Menta & Richard Neal

Thursday, Sept. 17, 5-7 PM. Singer-Songwriter: The Bargain (featuring Frank Critelli, Shandy Lawson, & Muddy Rivers)

Saturday, Sept. 19, 5-7 PM. Singer-Songwriter: Shawn Taylor

Friday, Sept. 25, 6 PM. Harmony Pop: Pigeon English

Saturday, Sept. 26, 5:30 PM. Singer-Songwriter Pop: Shellye Valauskas & Dean Falcone

New releases 9/1/20

Top Hits
Irresistible (comedy, Steve Carell. Rotten Tomatoes: 40%. Metacritic: 47. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “East Coast slickness meets heartland folksiness in Irresistible,’ a political satire so broad and blunt that it flattens every joke and deflates every setup. Movies like this should skip and jab; instead, this second feature from the writer and director Jon Stewart [after his impressively accomplished prison drama, ‘Rosewater,’ in 2014] lumbers and flails.” Read more…)

Z (horror, Keegan Connor Tracy. Rotten Tomatoes: 96%. Metacritic: 63. From Brian Tallerico’s rogerebert.com review: “Brandon Christensen’s ‘Z’ … is a vicious little movie that recalls ‘Poltergeist’ and ‘The Babadook’ with its story of a possessive force that destroys a family. It’s a little rough around the edges in terms of an obviously thin effects budget and even simple things like its overcooked score but there’s a lot to like here in terms of storytelling within the risky screenplay by Christensen and Colin Minahan.” Read more…)

New Foreign DVDs
Right Now, Wrong Then (South Korea, romantic comedy, Jae-yeong Jeong. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Metacritic: 81. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “A story is a series of choices, which in retrospect take on an aura of inevitability. With a handful of notable exceptions, most movies take narrative linearity for granted, proceeding from one thing to the next in what seems to be an almost mathematically necessary sequence. The exceptions — ‘Rashomon,’ say, or ‘Pulp Fiction’ — tend to make a big deal of defying the rules of chronological order and cause-and-effect logic. The prolific South Korean director Hong Sang-soo practices a quieter, more radical mischief.” Read more…)

Black Gravel (West Germany, 1961, Cold War noir, Helmut Wildt. From Nick Pinkerton’s essay on the 2017 Berlin Film Festival at Film Comment: “What’s immediately striking about ‘Schwarzer Kies’ [the German title of ‘Black Gravel’], particularly in contrast to the majority of films that Hollywood was producing at the same time, is its wholly unglamorous naturalism—there’s lots o’ listless and loveless screwing, destructive binge-drinking, and puking bar girls—and its palpable proximity to the underbelly of German society. [Director Helmut] Käutner was shooting on location in Lautzenhausen, home of the Hahn Air Base, and he recruited real American G.I.s for the film and shot in the real red-light district, where the jukebox is heard blaring rockabilly for the troops and Volkstümliche marches for a local peasant who drinks for free in exchange for leasing his barn to be used as a cabaret until he blurts anti-Semitic slurs at a proprietor who bears a concentration camp tattoo on his forearm.” Read more…)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
Slightly Scarlet (1956, rare Technicolor film noir, John Payne. From Bosley Crowther’s 1956 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Two red-headed women and one fat-headed man are the principal characters in ‘Slightly Scarlet,’ which came to the Criterion yesterday. The women, played by Rhonda Fleming and a laughably kittenish Arlene Dahl, are a couple of on-the-make sisters, and the fellow, played by John Payne, is an on-the-make big-time gangster. In the end all their faces are red.So, we say, should be the faces of the people responsible for this film.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
Five Easy Pieces (1970, drama, Criterion Collection, Jack Nicholson. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. Metacritic: 85. Roger Ebert,writing in 2003, on first seeing “Five Easy Pieces” when it was released in 1970: “We’d had a revelation. This was the direction American movies should take: Into idiosyncratic characters, into dialogue with an ear for the vulgar and the literate, into a plot free to surprise us about the characters, into an existential ending not required to be happy. ‘Five Easy Pieces’ was a fusion of the personal cinema of John Cassavetes and the new indie movement that was tentatively emerging. It was, you could say, the first Sundance film.” Read more…)

New Documentary DVDs
The Booksellers (book lovers, rare book dealers & collectors, Fran Lebowitz. Rotten Tomatoes: 90%. Metacritic: 72. From Jennifer Szalai’s New York Times review: “There’s a lot of tweed, a couple of pocket squares and an old-fashioned waxed mustache in ‘The Booksellers,’ D.W. Young’s charming documentary about the book world — or more specifically the book-as-object world, with antiquarian booksellers trying to reinvent themselves and their industry in a digital era. Anybody curious about the inner workings of unglamorous behemoths like Amazon or the ailing Barnes & Noble will have to look elsewhere. Young made the aesthetically wise choice to focus mainly on purveyors specializing in rare books or niche subjects.” Read more…)

New releases 8/25/20

Top Hits
The Trip to Greece (comedy/culinary, Steve Coogan. Rotten Tomatoes: 87%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 69. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “It’s too bad then that ‘The Trip to Greece’ never takes off. Like its predecessors, it hangs on the slimmest of premises: Coogan and Brydon journey to alluring destinations while trading quips, imitating the famous (Sean Connery, etc.), eating stylish chow and meta-riffing on their personas. Coogan is the self-serious performer with grand ambitions, or at least pretensions; Brydon is the somewhat more chill Everyman who goes for easy laughs.” Read more…)

The Burnt Orange Heresy (action/drama, Elizabeth Debicki. Rotten Tomatoes: 65%. Metacritic: 57. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “The novel on which this movie is based, a slim thriller by the great American writer Charles Willeford, is in many ways typical of the author. It examines misogyny and murderous psychosis from so seemingly close a perspective as to make the reader queasy, if not downright upset. But the 1971 book contains something extra: an erudite satire of contemporary art, often expounded upon by an insufferable mansplainer. The mansplainer, in the book and this movie adaptation directed by Giuseppe Capotondi, is James Figueras, played as a looming, imposing figure by Claes Bang.” Read more…)

Yes, God, Yes (coming-of-age drama/comedy, Natalia Dyer. Rotten Tomatoes: 93%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 71. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “Burdened by a silly R rating that may deter the very youngsters who are likely to enjoy it most, ‘Yes, God, Yes’ [written and directed by Karen Maine] fights back with an appealing lead and an overwhelmingly innocent tone. In its hands, the pleasures of self-pleasuring might be elusive, but they’re never, ever shameful.” Read more…)

Benjamin (comedy/romance, Colin Morgan. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%. Metacritic: 70. From Guy Lodge’s Variety review: “‘Benjamin’ opens on a film within a film, the long-awaited sophomore feature by thirtysomething Irish director Benjamin Oliver [Colin Morgan], whose once-clamorous career buzz has slowed to a murmur. The scene we’re shown looks promising enough: a tartly worded lovers’ argument between two men, one played by Benjamin himself, diffidently explaining his existential struggles with the very concept of romance. The film, titled ‘No Self,’ turns out to be semi-autobiographical account of the director’s gay dating troubles in modern London; the same is true of ‘Benjamin,’ which is self-effacingly written and directed by gifted British comedian Simon Amstell.” Read more…)

The King of Staten Island (comedy, Pete Davidson. Rotten Tomatoes: 73%. Metacritic: 67. From Wesley Morris’ New York Times review: “At this length, ‘Staten Island’ should be a meatier Oedipal comedy — about Scott and Margie’s grief, stagnation and codependency; about Claire’s resentment of their bond — the kind of funny movie that’s a raw moment away from the tragedy just below its surface. Apatow was straining for that kind of feeling with ‘Funny People,’ from 2009. But he hasn’t gotten his comedy near true pathos since ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin.’” Read more…)

VHYes (comedy, Jake McNulty. Rotten Tomatoes: 81%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 52. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review, which diverges from the Rotten Tomatoes consensus: “‘VHYes’ is barely 72 minutes long, but that’s just one reason this outlandish picture barely qualifies as a feature. For one thing, it’s almost halfway through before anything approximating a story emerges; even then, it’s such a pale, sickly thing you’d be forgiven for thinking you had imagined it.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray
Marriage Story Blu-Ray (comedy/drama, Adam Driver. Rotten Tomatoes: 94%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 94. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “Traditionally, a story that ends in matrimony is classified as a comedy. But what about a story that begins with the end of a marriage? Noah Baumbach’s tender and stinging new film, ‘Marriage Story,’ doesn’t quite answer the question. It’s funny and sad, sometimes within a single scene, and it weaves a plot out of the messy collapse of a shared reality, trying to make music out of disharmony. The melody is full of heartbreak, loss and regret, but the song is too beautiful to be entirely melancholy.” Read more…)

New Foreign DVDs
Toni (France, 1935, Jean Renoir-directed drama, Charles Blavette. Rotten Tomatoes:100%. From Renata Adler’s 1968 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “‘Toni,’ which was shown last night at the New York Film Festival, is such a little classic that film descendants of Renoir—Rossellini, for example, and through him Truffaut and Godard, who worked with him—sometimes refer to themselves as the Children of Toni. François Truffaut, in reviewing a movie by Claude Berri, once wrote, ‘Tout les enfants de Toni s’y reconnaitront’ [‘All “Toni”’s children will recognize themselves in it’).” Read more…)

The Best Intentions (1992, Sweden, bio/drama written by Ingmar Bergman, Samuel Fröler. Rotten Tomatoes: 81%. From Janet Maslin’s 1992 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “‘The Best Intentions,’ the epic-length story of a Swedish couple’s courtship and marriage, is dominated by an unborn child. The baby whose arrival is imminent as the film concludes will be Ingmar Bergman, whose screenplay looks back at the social, economic and personal forces that turned his parents’ early years together into a tug of war. Mr. Bergman’s long shadow must be reckoned with in every frame of ‘The Best Intentions,’ sometimes because his style exerts so strong an influence over Bille August [‘Pelle the Conqueror’], the film’s Danish director.” Read more…)

New British
Endeavour: Season 7 (mystery series, Shaun Evans. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%.)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
The Great Impostor (1960, comedy/drama, Tony Curtis. From A.H. Weiler’s 1961 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Leaning on the oldest saw of them all—the one having to do with truth being stranger than fiction—a dedicated team working for Universal-International has turned out an amusing, and occasionally fascinating, comedy-drama about the career of one of the most amazing—and likable—contemporary charlatans, Ferdinand W. Demara Jr.” Read more…)

Enter the Ninja (1981, martial arts/action, Franco Nero)

New Documentary DVDs
Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind (bio, music. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. Metacritic: 74. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “The critic Robert Christgau once called him ‘a weird new kind of purist: uncompromising proponent of commercial folk music.’ Early in the movie, a montage of artists as disparate as the British rocker Paul Weller and Lightfoot’s Canadian contemporary Neil Young singing the great ‘Early Morning Rain’ demonstrates the durability of Lightfoot’s work.” Read more…)

New releases 8/18/20

Top Hits
Prevenge (horror, Kate Dickie. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 71. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “Rocking a dirty mind and a sick sensibility, the British import ‘Prevenge’ sends a pregnant serial killer on a darkly comedic odyssey dictated by her malicious fetus. Yet what hoists this bloody battiness above much of the scrappily low-budget horror pack is the smartness of its execution and the strength of the movie’s central performance.” Read more…)

The Outpost (war film set in Afghanistan, Orlando Bloom. Rotten Tomatoes: 92%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 71. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “Adapted from a nonfiction book by Jake Tapper and directed by Rod Lurie, ‘The Outpost’ evolves from what initially feels like a collection of war-movie commonplaces, highlighting crude-talking soldiers in a bad situation, into something more complex and illuminating.” Read more…)

Guest of Honour (drama, David Thewlis. Rotten Tomatoes: 38%. Metacritic: 53. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “This latest movie, which finds [director Atom] Egoyan writing again, falls somewhere between those extremes. It returns him to his key obsessions [repressed trauma, the consuming effects of guilt, ambiguities of evidence] and an elegant, time-bending structure [layered flashbacks that tiptoe around big secrets]. But the core revelations are pretty silly, failing crucial tests of motivation.” Read more…)

Mr. Jones (historical drama set in pre-WWII, James Norton. Rotten Tomatoes: 84%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 68. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “Based on a real Welsh journalist, [Gareth Jones] is the unassuming hero of this grim, quietly furious movie, which revisits Jones’s 1933 trip to Ukraine, then in the grip of a catastrophic famine. There, the world is barren and the grain — ‘Stalin’s gold,’ as someone casually calls it — is gone. A political thriller with an insistent, steady pulse [the script is by Andrea Chalupa], ‘Mr. Jones’ dramatizes a harrowing chapter in the life of a man long overlooked by history.” Read more…)

Judy & Punch (drama, Mia Wasikowska. Rotten Tomatoes: 78%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 59. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “Presenting violence as a contagion and mob mentality as its superspreader, ‘Judy & Punch’ courts equilibrium between domestic-abuse comedy and vicious morality tale. Dancing from brutal to wacky — in scenes that recall the dash and whimsy of ABC’s ditsy series ‘Galavant’[2015] — and from silly gallows jokes to grotesque seriousness, the movie intertwines humor and tragedy in imaginative, sometimes disturbing ways.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
Cane River (1982, drama/race, dir. by Horace B. Jenkins. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 80. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “The warmth of the film can feel like a political stance, an assertion of humanist ethical values that has a subtle but radical power. You can intuit something similar — an unstinting, sympathetic attention to the intimate matter of black lives — in Charles Burnett’s ‘Killer of Sheep’ and in Kathleen Collins’s ‘Losing Ground,’ another almost-lost jewel of early-‘80s African-American cinema. Like those films, ‘Cane River’ invites a rethinking of American film history, and also, in its disarmingly offhand, uniquely charming manner — of other aspects of American history as well.” Read more…)

Bebe’s Kids (1992, animated feature/race, Robin Harris [voice]. Rotten Tomatoes: 30%. From Maya Phillips’ Critic’s Notebook in the New York Times: “‘The Boondocks,’ ‘Atlanta,’ ‘black-ish,’ ‘Dear White People,’ ‘Sorry to Bother You’ — there are a few shows and movies that have dared to use comedy to address the grim state of Black people in America. But lately, I’ve been thinking about a movie I hadn’t seen in more than 20 years: ‘Bébé’s Kids.’ This animated Black comedy explicitly spoke about police brutality and our broken judicial system years before the first utterance of “Black Lives Matter.” Read more…)

New Documentary DVDs
Town Bloody Hall (feminism, literature, Norman Mailer, Germaine Greer. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. From Melissa Anderson’s essay on the Criterion Collection Web site: “But nearly fifty years after the event it documents, Town Bloody Hall has lost none of its power to entrance—and enrage—with its manic, stimulating, polyvocal energy. Starting in the mid-2010s, the documentary became popular on the repertory circuit; those who had grown weary of a feminism articulated via hashtag or hot take surely found ‘Town Bloody Hall’s bracing IRL discourse a tonic. “ Read more…)

Creating A Character: Moni Yakim Legacy (cinema history, acting techniques, bio. Rotten Tomatoes: 89%. From Alexis Soloski’s New York Times article on the release of the film: “‘Creating a Character: The Moni Yakim Legacy,’ a new documentary available for streaming, goes inside his classroom as students run, leap, stretch and scream. It interviews some of Juilliard’s more famous graduates and uses archival footage to describe Yakim’s childhood in Jerusalem, his years studying mime with Étienne Decroux and Marcel Marceau, his time running the New York Pantomime Theater with his wife, Mina Yakin.” Read more…)

 

BVFCC building new deck as comfortable, attractive, & safe cafe option

With concerns over the pandemic currently precluding welcoming patrons back inside at the Best Video Film & Cultural Center cafe, BVFCC is building a deck for safe, comfortable, and attractive outdoor service. The deck will have an ADA-compliant ramp and socially distanced tables with umbrellas.

Sociability and community is at the heart of BVFCC’s mission. With tremendous support from our community in this past May’s Great Give, BVFCC is investing some of the funds we raised in a capital improvement that both beautifies the seating options and enhances safety.

We hope that the project will be finished and ready to enjoy early-mid next week.