Author Archives: admin

Thu., Sep. 8, 5 PM – Ramblin’ Dan Stevens


Ramblin’ Dan Stevens plays Best Video Film & Cultural Center outdoors Thurs., Sept. 8. The show starts at 5 PM.

“Ramblin” Dan Stevens performs an eclectic mix of traditional fingerstyle blues, popular songs and originals and has entertained audiences throughout the US, Germany, UK, Canada and Virgin Islands. Of special interest is his unique style of “bottleneck” slide playing popularized by early Mississippi delta bluesmen including his use of a homemade, three stringed “Cigar Box Guitar” and one stringed “Diddly Bow”, both primitive blues instruments.

There will be donation vases for the musicians and the venue. Please consider being generous in supporting musicians—opportunities to perform have been fewer the past couple of years. Suggested donation of $10.

The parking lot is closed off for seating. There is on-street parking on Thornton Street, as well as parking behind our building and across the street at Spring Glen Church.


Fri., Sep. 9, 7 PM – Chuck Koreiwo and Tracy Santa


Tracy Santa and Chuck Koriewo bring their band to Best Video Film & Cultural Center Fri., Sept. 9. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10.

This date re-unities four CT-bred musicians who began playing together over four decades ago: Chuck Koreiwo, Dana Place, Tracy Santa, and Joey Sullivan. Santa’s releases include an LP on France’s Lolita label with his San Francisco-based band 84 Rooms, solo offerings on Germany’s Exile imprint, and more recently, a double EP on 10” vinyl with the Wild Hares, described in Colorado Springs’ Independent as displaying “great examples of Santa’s gift for insistent melody, adorned with frayed, rootsy edges.” Koreiwo’s subtle, blues-shaded guitar has graced a number of CT bands—Blue Lucy, the Powernozzles, the Shedmen, the Gas House Gorillas, and the Bandeleros, many of which have featured Place and Sullivan’s rock steady rhythm section. More recently, Koreiwo’s heartfelt singing and songwriting have come to the fore care of the Oxford Baking Company’s monthly showcases. Also featured tonight: brief readings from Santa’s The Tompo of the Ringing: A Music Memoir (Rhyolite Press 2022), a narrative grounded in the CT music scene of Santa’s youth. Razorcake describes Tompo as “an engrossing, relatable tale, unconventional in its storytelling.”

As this is an indoor show, covid protocols are in place and masks are required.

Sat., Sep. 10, 7 PM – The Problem with Kids Today and Keep Off the Grass

The Problem With Kids Today and Keep Off the Grass play high energy rock ‘n’ roll at Best Video Film & Cultural Center Sat., Sept. 10. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10—pay what you can in that range (be generous to support the bands!).

The Problem with Kids Today is a hot trio of rock ‘n’ roll delinquents with Tate Brooks leading the charge on guitar/vox/mic head-butting, Stone-Cold-Silas Lourenco-Lang on low end bass/vox, and Reena Yu pounding on drums. TPWKT’s fun, wild shows and feverish, fashionable following evoke the Mercer Center Arts era of the New York Dolls. Fast, combustible, lewd and spontaneous – they have all the gems of a fantastic live act. With a debut album recorded at Sans Serif Studio in New Haven on the way this winter, teaser tracks like “You’re in Love With Junk” and “Fly Boy” can be found on the band’s Bandcamp site as well as major streaming platforms.

Keep Off the Grass are a new band who play a potent mix of rock ‘n’ roll and punk.

As this is an indoor show, masks are required.

New Releases – 09-06-22

Top Hits

Minions: The Rise of Gru (Animated comedy; Starring: Taraji P. Henson; Distr: Universal Studios) – avail. 09/06/22
“Packing their shtick into a speedy 87 minutes, returning director Kyle Balda delivers a perfectly painless romp that should enthrall kids, entertain adults and keep Minion cosplayers employed for many a birthday party to come.” Read more…

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (Dramedy; Starring: Lesley Manville, Isabelle Huppert; Distr: Universal Studios) – avail.09/06/22
“There’s been a sense of fun missing, something that usually defines the films released during this period but not something that a maverick, a T rex, a Thor or an Elvis could truly deliver. It’s therefore rather delicious that it would arrive courtesy of Lesley Manville, floating into cinemas with Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, a charming flight of fancy that rewards the long-time character actor with a much-deserved chance to finally play the lead, a Cinderella story both on and off screen.” Read more…

TV Series

Signora Volpe: Series 1 (British tv; Starring: Emilia Fox; Distr: Acorn)
“Though it’s hard to find a perfect show to compare it to, Signora Volpe has a lot of similarities to Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. It’s not a period drama and it’s not set in Australia, but it features a strong middle-aged woman with serious skills, a devastatingly handsome male detective for flirting and fighting, and interesting mysteries that are never too gruesome.” Read more…

New on 4K

Scarface -4K (1983; Action/Adventure; Starring: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer; Dir: Brian DePalma)
From Vincent Canby’s 1983 NYT’s review: “”SCARFACE,” Brian De Palma’s update of the 1932 classic directed by Howard Hawks and written by Ben Hecht, is the most stylish and provocative – and maybe the most vicious – serious film about the American underworld since Francis Ford Coppola’s ”Godfather.” Read more…

American Back Catalog (Pre-1960)

Damsel in Distress (1937; Starring: Fred Astaire, George Burns & Gracie Allen; Dir: George Stevens)
“A Damsel in Distress is far from being Fred Astaire’s greatest film – if only Ginger Rogers were in it it would be perfect – but it has considerable charm and, bolstered by a combination of Wodehouse’s comic verve and the Gershwins’ musical genius, it has stood the test of time better than most musical comedies of this era.” Read more…

American Back Catalog (Post-1960)

Girlfriends (1978; Starring Melanie Mayron; Dir: Claudia Weill; Distr. Criterion Collection)
From Richard Brody’s 2011 New Yorker video review “One of the wonders of Weill’s movie is in its intimate crystallization of the inchoate; it propels Susan Weinblatt and a city of young women into the future, and it’s terribly sad that Weill’s—and, for that matter, Mayron’s—own careers didn’t leap ahead in the same way.” Read more…


Faya Dayi (Ethiopia; Documentary; Dir: Jessica Beshir; Distr: Criterion Collection; NYT’s Critic’s Pick)
“Ritual objects and dramatic fragments — two kids bathing, a scuffle over emigrating, a madeleine-like musing on coffee — hold center stage more than bright narrative threads. The smoky texture of the images led me to think of her technique as a kind of sfumato: shading in and out of moods of presence, absence and longing.” Read more…

New Foreign

Anne at 13,000 Ft. (Canada; Starring: Deragh Campbell; Dir: Kazik Radwanski; Distr: Cinema Guild) – avail.09/06/22
“The film’s ambiguity is carefully crafted, the result of a collaboration between its director and star. Campbell, who improvised much of the dialogue over its two-year workshopping and production period, receives a writing credit alongside Radwanski, who created the role specifically for her. Together, the two generate a highly kinetic character study that refuses to settle on a certain mood or emotional atmosphere.” Read more…

The Cop (1970; France, Mystery/Suspense; Starring: Michel Bouquet; Distr: Kino Lorber Studio Classics) – avail.09/06/22
From Roger Greenspun’s 1971 NYT’s review: ” Bouquet (“The Bride Wore Black,” “La Femme Infidele”) is surely one of the ornaments of the current French cinema, and although the movie doesn’t really allow for a great performance, so long as he is on screen, “The Cop” seems almost good.” Read more…

Thur., Sep. 1, 7 PM – New Cardiff Giants and Kimono Draggin’

NEW CARDIFF GIANTS will be playing their special brand of Political Art-Punk at Best Video on September 1st, along with the undisputed Kings of Chopsocky Rock…. KIMONO DRAGGIN’!
NEW CARDIFF GIANTS were formed in 2022, the brainchild of Bill Saunders, co-founder of the notorious independent local arts Festival IDEAT VILLAGE, and former GUILTY PARTY CANDIDATE for the Mayor of New Haven. New Cardiff Giants are:
Rob Sponsor (AKA Doctor Dark, Little Miss Mess-Up) – Guitar, Vocals
John Colossal – (AKA Big Confetti, Crying Wolf) – Guitar, Horns
“Crow” Muldoon – (AKA Ned Ludd, Jr.) – Bass
Tawni Mush – (NKA- no known aliases) -Drums
KIMONO DRAGGIN’ are an American prog-punk band formed in 2003 from New Haven, Connecticut. The lineup consists of Joseph Nolan (Guitar, vocals), Yossi Hatton (Bass, vocals), and Chris Swirski (Drums, vocals). Their version of progressive rock is strongly influenced by bands of the 1970s and 1980s including The Stooges, The Mothers of Invention, Talking Heads and Minutemen.
As this is an indoor show, covid protocols are in place and masks are required.

Fri., Sep. 2, 5 PM – Joe Flood, Jerry Dugger and Mark Horn

Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joe Flood will be joined by friends and former bandmates Jerry Dugger and Mark Horn for an outside show at Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Fri., Sept. 2. The music starts at 5 PM.
Joe Flood has traveled a long musical road. He was a 2011 inductee of the Blues Hall of Fame. You will hear echoes of Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Taj Mahal, Keb’ Mo’ and other greats in his singing and playing.
Jerry’s playing is raw and emotional, his bass baritone voice is booming and at the same time evokes the sensitivities of classic blues crooners.
Multi-instrumentalist Mark Horn was raised in Toledo, Ohio. In the 1980s he headed to New York City and, as a member of roots rock pioneers The Blue Chieftains (Diesel Only Records), quickly became a fixture on the Lower East Side’s burgeoning alt-country scene. Mark is best known as the longtime drummer for Americana favorites The Derailers.
There will be donation vases for the musicians and the venue. Please consider being generous in supporting musicians—opportunities to perform have been fewer the past couple of years. Suggested donation of $10.
The parking lot is closed off for seating. There is on-street parking on Thornton Street, as well as parking behind our building and across the street at Spring Glen Church.

Sat., Sep. 3, 10:30 AM – Drum & Sing Jamboree Concert with Liz McNicholl

Join Liz McNicholl for her fun and interactive “Drum and Sing Jamboree family concert” at Best Video Film & Cultural Center in an outdoor concert (weather permitting) Sat., Sept. 3, at 10:30 AM.
During this fun interactive concert, Liz leads the audience in drumming & singing and also intertwines her wide range of musical instruments including guitar, ukulele, banjo, and even a traditional Irish drum called a Bódhran. Audiences will sing, jam along on drums & other instruments and are such an integral part of this fun show! Great for all ages.
Liz McNicholl, originally from Co. Meath Ireland, immigrated to the United States in 1985. She is a well known performer in CT and around the United States. Liz has owned Musical Folk, offering the Music Together program, in New Haven County since 2008 with thousands of families sharing the joy of music over the years.
Suggested donation is $5-10 per family but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds.
The parking lot is closed off for seating. There is on-street parking on Thornton Street, as well as parking behind our building and across the street at Spring Glen Church.

Saturday, Sep. 3, 7 PM – Dani Zanuttini-Frank & Jeff Fuller

Dani Zanuttini-Frank plays jazz guitar at Best Video Film & Cultural Center Sat., Sept. 3. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10.
Dani Zanuttini-Frank is a student at Yale University where he is pursing a Masters in guitar performance. He studies classical guitar with Ben Verdery and performs frequently as a soloist and chamber musician, playing music from the 19th to 21st centuries. Dani is an active jazz performer, appearing frequently in performances at Yale with the Yale Undergraduate Jazz Collective.
Bassist and composer Jeff Fuller, recipient of the 2014 Jazz Haven Award, 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.
As this is an indoor show, covid protocols are in place and masks are required.

New Releases – 08/30/22

Top Hits

Mr. Malcolm’s List (comedy, Starring: Freida Pinto, Sope Dirisu)
“The screenplay, by Suzanne Allain, adapting her own novel of the same name, seems to suggest that a marriage-minded society breeds shallow, superficial girls. Emma Holly Jones, the director, apparently agrees, layering images of pretty birds in cages next to shots of desperate debutantes in pink-plumed hats.” Read more…

New Foreign

Brian and Charles (British, comedy; Starring: David Earl) – avail. 8/30/22, Blu-Ray
“The pseudo-documentary “Brian and Charles,” an unevenly sentimental heart-tugger directed by Jim Archer, finds Brian in a corner of rural Wales feeling depressed and solitary despite the implied presence of documentarians, whom he addresses directly while facing the camera. There’s no evident reason for the mockumentary element, although it gives Earl a chance to mug for the lens.” Read more…

Hotel du Nord (1932, France; drama; Dir: Marcel Carné; Distr.: Criterion Collection)
“Yet, for all their sceptical, largely unsentimental empathy towards human behaviour, these newer postwar films that nail “realism” to their ideological and aesthetic mast lack the countervailing forces of seedy realism and sublimely heightened poetry, injected into theatrical melodrama, that make a film like Hôtel du Nord grow in stature as the years pass. A critical reappraisal is as long overdue as a new and sympathetic audience is deserved.” Read more…

Lux Aeterna (France; horror; Dir: Gaspar Noe; Starring: Charlotte Gainsborough & Beatrice Dalle) – avail. 8/30/22
“To put this demented doodle in context: In medieval times, the greatest art was commissioned by the Catholic Church, and the subjects were suitably devout. Today, the money flows from corporate pockets, and a psychotronic fashion show is just what the client ordered, audiences be damned.” Read more…

The Phantom of the Open (British, comedy; Starring: Mark Rylance,Sally Hawkins & Rhys Ifans) – avail. 8/30/22
“Inspired by Maurice Flitcroft’s attempts to qualify for the British Open in 1976, this comedy is also the sort of good-hearted movie the director Frank Capra would have liked to have taken a swing at.” Read more…

Relic (Australia, Horror; Dir: Natalie Erika James, Starring: Emily Mortimer)
“Described by James as a film about “the true terrors” of “grieving for the loss of someone while they’re still alive”, Relic (like its Australian stablemate The Babadook) is a horror movie with a heart, a film that uses a surreal narrative to tell a story absolutely rooted in reality. There’s a touch of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher in the psychogeography that James evokes, slipping subtly from the classic, naturalistic tones of early scenes into more expressionist darkness as we venture deeper into the lonely carnivals of Edna’s mind.” Read more…

The Sower (France, drama; Dir: Marine Francen, winner of the prestigious New Director competition at the San Sebastian Film Festival)
“The Beguiled meets Black Narcissus in debutante writer-director Marine Francen’s The Sower (Le semeur), a finely etched miniature of quietly cumulative emotional impact. Relating a fable-like but apparently true story of isolated farming women and the virile blacksmith who stumbles into their midst…” Read more…

                                                                                                The Spy (Norway, drama; Starring: Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) – avail. 8/30/22
“Directed by a Swede, Jens Jonsson, and scripted by two Norwegians, Harald Rosenlow-Eeg and Jan Trygve Royneland, it turns the (mostly) true adventures of Norwegian-Swedish actress Sonja Wigert (Ingrid Bolso Berdal), into a rollicking, border-hopping espionage thriller.” Read more

TV Series

Ghosts (British tv, comedy; Distr: BBC)
“In making us giggle at the supernatural, Ghosts is very British – a mashup of Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), not to mention the manifold sillinesses of Hammer horrors. But it is American in the sense of having a gag-to-airtime ratio much higher than British sitcoms normally manage these days.” Read more…

The Office: Season Nine. The Farewell Season (2012, comedy)
“The final season of The Office saw the show’s nine seasons long run come to an end in 2013. After Steve Carell left two seasons earlier, the ratings of the show kept fluctuating; however, season 9 of The Office mostly got good reviews from the critics and the audience alike. The season finale was extremely satisfying, especially for the fans of the show.” Read more…

Too Close: Series 1 (British tv, crime; Starring: Emily Watson & Denise Gough; Distr: Amc)
“…Too Close feels like the most woman-centred, woman-driven mainstream production we’ve yet seen. That’s a bonus. Too Close is a fantastically compelling, brilliantly scripted whydunnit that is unquantifiably better than it needs to be.” Read more…

New Blu-Ray

Belle (Japan, Anime; Dir: Mamoru Hosoda)
“Hosoda doesn’t offer a wholly new take on either the teenage romance format or online culture, and it’s sometimes grating that Suzu must learn to embrace her sense of agency while making room for a love interest that equally believes in her fragility. But the captivating animation and the potent meditations on emotional and physical trauma give “Belle” an aching, gentle spirit worth experiencing.” Read more…

New Cult

The Funhouse (Collector’s Edition) (1978, cult horror; Dir: Tobe Hooper)
From John Corry’s 1981 NYT review: “At times, in fact, Mr. Hooper almost persuades us that he is up to more than just gore, creepiness and trauma. He has photographed a carnival – freak show, girly show, grifters and geeks -with a sense of style. The carnival is a small vision of middle-America gone sour, reveling in mean gaiety, and it is not bad while it lasts. Then the monster comes in and drools.” Read more…

Miami Connection (1987, Action, Adventure, Cult, Martial Arts; Distr: Vinegar Syndrome) – avail. 8/30/22
” Throw in a drug deal gone wrong, a forbidden-romance subplot, and one character’s quest to find his father, and there’s just enough material to justify the onslaught of ass-kicking absurdity, which culminates in an intensely melodramatic climax too silly to take at face value yet too heartfelt to dismiss outright. Love it or hate it, it’s doubtful you’ll ever forget it, and it may just force you to redefine your definition of what constitutes “good” cinema.” Read more…

New Documentaries

Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story (documentary, music)
“The movie’s opening montage, featuring familiar famous faces ranging from Tom Jones to Pitbull, is — happily — a bit of a fake out. These big names and others get some play (and in what some might consider an unfortunate feature, Jimmy Buffett gets a lot of play) but the movie is conscientiously attentive to the festival’s homegrown eclecticism.” Read more…

American Back Catalog (Post – 1960)

Mikey & Nicky (1976; Action/Adventure; Dir: Elaine May; Starring: Peter Falk & John Cassavetes; Distr: Criterion)
“May’s great theme is the abjectness of women and the idiocy of men. Unique among buddy movies, “Mikey and Nicky” shows bromance from the point of view of its victims.” Read more…

Bronson Rock and Dan Soto’s Artificial Energy Band – Thu., Aug. 25, 7 PM

Bronson Rock and Dan Soto’s Artificial Energy Band share the bill at Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Thurs., Aug. 25. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10.

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 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.

The point of music is really what? Nobody for sure can say, but many have speculated. Some might say it involves the transfer of what others might refer to as “energy.” Some may say nothing at all. And others might not even care to think about it. But the truth is somewhere. And if nothing else, through the use of guitars, Dan Soto’s Artificial Energy Band aims to find out where. The current line-up features Dan Soto up front with Silas from The Problem with Kids Today, Kurt from Vertico, and Gillian on drums.

As this is an indoor show, covid protocols are in place and masks are required.