Little Silver plays the Best Video deck Sat., June 18

Little Silver play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Sat., June 18, starting at 5 PM.

Little Silver, then based in Brooklyn (but now in Spring Glen in Hamden), released their debut album “Somewhere You Found My Name” July, 2017. Built around the ethereal vocals of married duo Erika Simonian and Steve Curtis, “Somewhere You Found My Name” is a gorgeous collection of original songs which confront the shifting landscape of gaining and losing loved ones, changes in perspective, and the uncertainty of life itself. Little Silver’s sparse arrangements and beautifully understated vocals bring these everyday truths to life.

Simonian and Curtis co-wrote all of the material on the new album. The experience of being partners in both life and music informs the themes of growth, loss, commitment, and the evolution of relationships that are woven throughout “Somewhere You Found My Name.” The beauty in Little Silver’s music is the way that they collaborate and create as a couple, working through life’s changes and encouraging the listener to process these experiences along with them.

Erika and Steve will be joined by Michael Paolucci on drums, Mike Tepper on bass, and Kevin Brady on keys.

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.

Big Fat Combo to rock ‘n’ roll outside Fri., June 17

One of the most popular bands to play Best Video, Big Fat Combo return on Fri., June 17, to play an outdoors show. The music starts at 5:30 PM.

The Big Fat Combo hail from Cheshire and offer their own, wry, well-crafted take on rock ‘n’ roll. The quartet is a classic rockabilly group: upright bass (Tom Murphy) and drums (John Murphy), rhythm (Tom Hearn) and lead guitar (Cary Pollick). Led by singer Hearn, the Big Fat Combo not only play their original tunes (“Tag Sale,” “Banned by Sam the Clam’s” and “Chicks Dig it,” among others) but also riff on classic rock ‘n’ roll, garage rock, punk, country and even some easy listening chestnuts (“Que Sera Sera,” “It was a Very Good Year”) that they make fully their own.

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.

New releases 6/7/22

Top Hits
The Northman (action/adventure, Alexander Skarsgård. Rotten Tomatoes: 89%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 82, Must See. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “[Director Robert] Eggers, who wrote the screenplay with the Icelandic novelist and playwright Sjon, has conjured this bloody saga out of the ancient Scandinavian narratives that supplied Shakespeare’s source material. His raw material, you might say, since ‘The Northman’ insists on the primal, brutal, atavistic dimensions of the tale.” Read more…)

The Contractor (action, Chris Pine. Rotten Tomatoes: 45%. Metacritic: 52. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “Written by J.P. Davis and directed by Tarik Saleh, ‘The Contractor’ finds its genre groove once James signs up with the company. As more pieces click into place, the filmmakers heat up the story and the atmosphere, creating a mounting sense of unease.” Read more…)

Marvelous and the Black Hole (comedy, Miya Cech. Rotten Tomatoes: 86%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 64. From Concepción de León’s New York Times review: “Sammy Ko [Miya Cech], the protagonist of this dark coming-of-age comedy, ticks all the boxes of adolescent angst. She smokes and acts out at school; secretly gives herself tattoos with a rudimentary rig in her bedroom; and lashes out at her father, Angus [Leonardo Nam], for dating so soon after the death of her mother.” Read more…)

Together (comedy, James McAvoy. Rotten Tomatoes: 71%. Metacritic: 59. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “Like an awful herald of what could lie in wait as future filmmakers grapple with our ongoing viral nightmare, Stephen Daldry’s ‘Together’ is an almost punishing watch. That it’s bearable at all is entirely because of the superlative acting skills of James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan as an unnamed couple forced to endure an extended London lockdown. In place of a plot, we get a setup: They can’t stand the sight of each other.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray & 4K Ultra HD Discs
Double Indemnity 4K (1944, film noir, Barbara Stanwyck. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 95, Must See. From Bosley Crowther’s 1944 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “The cooling-system in the Paramount Theatre was supplemented yesterday by a screen attraction designed plainly to freeze the marrow in an audience’s bones. ‘Double Indemnity’ is its title, and the extent of its refrigerating effect depends upon one’s personal repercussion to a long dose of calculated suspense. For the sole question in this picture is whether Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray can kill a man with such cool and artistic deception that no one will place the blame on them and then maintain their composure under Edward G. Robinson’s studiously searching eye.” Read more…)

New Foreign DVDs
Compartment No. 6 (Russia, drama, Seidi Haarla. Rotten Tomatoes: 93%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 80. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Manohla Dargis’ Times review: “When the heroine in ‘Compartment No. 6’ gets into a car with a guy who has been giving her nothing but grief, you may silently shriek: What is she thinking? You may also judge her for what looks like a bad decision or damn the filmmaker for putting yet another woman in hackneyed straits. Vulnerable women and dangerous men are clichés, but they’re also turned on their heads in this smart, emotionally nuanced film that rarely goes where you expect.” Read more…)

Introduction (South Korea, drama, Shin Seokho. Rotten Tomatoes: 81%. Metacritic: 77. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘Introduction,’ [South Korean director] Hong Samgsoo’s slender 25th feature, is divided into three parts, each one concerning the same young man. These vignettes show him dealing with various other people, including [separately] his parents, his girlfriend and a movie star. Whether we are watching three parts of the same story, and whether they are arranged chronologically or according to some other principle, aren’t questions that are easily answered.” Read more…)

New Classic DVDs (pre-1960)
The Fugitive (1947, drama directed by John Ford, Henry Fonda. Rotten Tomatoes: 75%. From Bosley Crowther’s 1947 New York Times review [requires log-in]: “Out of the flood of pictures which opened on Broadway yesterday emerges in monolithic beauty John Ford’s ‘The Fugitive.’ For here, in this strange and haunting picture, now showing on the Victoria’s screen, is imaged a terrifying struggle between strength and weakness in a man’s soul, a thundering modern parable on the indestructibility of faith, a tense and significant conflict between freedom and brute authority. It is difficult to fashion in a few lines an indication of the nature of this film because of its violent eccentricities and its crashing overtones. But it is enough to say, at the moment, that Mr. Ford has accomplished in it a true companion piece to ‘The Informer,’ which he directed some years back.” Read more…)

Nu Haven Kapelye in outdoor concert Thurs., June 16

Nu Haven Kapelye plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Thurs., June 16. The show starts at 5:30 PM.

The Nu Haven Kapelye is Southern New England’s largest Klezmer ensemble, numbering anywhere from 12-30 musicians. A cross between a big band and a Klezmer orchestra, the Kapelye plays innovative arrangements of Klezmer and Yiddish music from Romania, Hungary, Bessarabia, and other Eastern European locales. It isn’t just the size of this group that makes it so exciting it’s the energy of their performances and the commitment of the musicians that comes across in their music.

The group is intergenerational with players ranging in age from 12-86. The group recorded and released their first CD, What’s Nu, in 2016. During the pandemic the group recorded and released several quarantine videos including “Mazel”, which has been accepted to 6 film festivals and recently won “Best Music Video” at the 2021 LA Sun Film Fest.

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.

Best Video founder Hank Paper continues film series with “Sound of Metal” Tues., June 14

Best Video founder Hank Paper returns to Best Video Film & Cultural Center to present a series “5 Great Films You Might Have Missed During the Pandemic — Or Should See Again and Discuss!” (Not Executive Director Hank Hoffman, who hasn’t left yet!)

Hank Paper founded Best Video in 1985 with 500 movies he could wholeheartedly recommend. In this series—which began on Tues., May 31, and runs for five consecutive Tuesdays—he screens 1/100th that many movies but still ones that he thinks you need to see! Each screening starts at 7:15 PM and admission is $7. (Thanks to Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic, admission for members of Temple Beth Sholom is free.)

“These are the films that affected me the most during the last couple of years,” Hank Paper says. There will be 2-3 minutes of intro followed by the film on our large screen and a brief discussion for those who wish to stay and discuss.

The third film in the series is “Sound of Metal” (2019). Which is not at all about the punk rock scene (it actually contains a most delicately sensitive and interesting soundscape) but about love and spiritual healing and people you’ll care about. This unique film features an unforgettable Oscar-nominated performance by Riz Ahmed in a profound journey that is rarely seen in film. In our world of sensory overload, you’ll find an oasis of surcease (so come to watch and relax!).

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

Support for this series has been provided to Best Video Film & Cultural Center from Connecticut Humanities (CTH), with funding provided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) from the Connecticut State Legislature.

Rousing bluegrass from Five ‘N Change Sat., June 11

Bluegrass quintet Five ‘N Change play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Sat., June 11. The show starts at 5:30 PM.

Five ‘n Change is a New Haven, Connecticut based bluegrass band that drives hard and carries a big pick. They respect the tradition. They respect the trailblazers. And they respect the renegade outlaws. Our final product is an eclectic balance of American roots music which both reinterprets and redefines the bluegrass songbook.

Formed in 2011, the band has spent the last several years building a catalog of music that showcases the group’s strong vocals, musicianship, and passion for genre busting. The band released their debut album in the Fall of 2013 entitled Live in the Chamber to rave reviews and followed up with a self titled EP release. (Both CD’s are available in the MUSIC section of this website).

The group is Ken McEwen (guitar & vocals), Pete Kaufman (banjo), Dave Casali (bass), David Sasso (mandolin) with Ryan Mooney (dobro, guitar).

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar—suggested donation of $10. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up. (There will also be a Best Video tip jar for donations.)

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Steve Nystrup Trio plays Fri., June 10, at 5:30 PM

The Steve Nystrup Trio plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Fri., June 10, starting at 5:30 PM.

Steve Nystrup Trio is a true family affair. Steve on guitar and vocals, his son Aaron on bass guitar and wife Maureen Wasik on lead vocals “blend perfectly to make transcendent and uplifting music. Whatever they play becomes their own (not to mention their own compositions!).” The band plays a colorful mix of folk, blues, Americana and popular songs. The harmonies are tight and the interplay between father and son on guitar and bass is always compelling!

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar—suggested donation of $10. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up. (There will also be a Best Video tip jar for donations.)

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Steve is an award winning guitarist, composer and educator. His music has been featured on several “Folk Next Door” CD”s from WWUH and on many CT Classical Guitar Society recordings. It has also been on NPR radio, and in theaters, commercials and films. He was hired by Peter Asher to play with Kate Taylor in the early days when he was playing with the Ogres on Marthas Vineyard. Steve received an Emmy award as composer with the producers of “Amistad Legacy” for CPTV.

Maureen has been singing all her life and is well know to audiences in NYC and along the CT shore where she has performed as a member of Acoustic Exile, Freefall, and Step Edna. She was an original member in NYC of the Bartlettes with comedian Rob Bartlett touring widely in the region.

Aaron has been playing bass guitar with his dad since he was 14 years old and appears on several recordings with him. He lives in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY and is a member of the very popular band Everest Cale. They just racked up over 1 million hits on Spotify for their song, “Before I Knew What Love Was”.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Goodnight Blue Moon plays the deck Thurs., July 9

Goodnight Blue Moon plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Thursday, June 9, starting at 5:30 PM.

Goodnight Blue Moon is an americana/indie-folk band that writes great songs and puts on an outstanding show. Whether it’s traditional sea chanties or through-composed orchestral pop, their arrangements are thoughtful and their melodies are contagious.

This will be a full band show with Erik Elligers (acoustic guitar and vocals), Mat Crowley (mandolin and vocals), Nancy Latlack (cello, banjo, and vocals), Vicki Hayes Wepler (fiddle), Dan Liparini (electric guitar), Henry Lugo (bass), and Nick D’Errico (drums).

The Best Video cafe will be open and serving coffee, wine, and beer.

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar; suggested donation of $10. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income significantly reduced over the past two years. There will also be a donation vase set out for Best Video.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

New releases 5/31/22

Top Hits
Ted K (bio/drama, Sharlto Copley. Rotten Tomatoes: 85%. Metacritic: 70. From Beatrice Loayza’s New York Times review: “The film is a tad reductive, leaning too heavily on currently fashionable explanations for why lonely white men resort to violence. But Stone makes up for it with some magnificently eerie moments.” Read more…)

New Foreign DVDs
Indemnity (South Africa, action, Jarrid Geduld. Rotten Tomatoes: 83%. Metacritic: 57. from Devika Girish’s New York Times review: “A South African thriller haunted by the ghosts of many Hollywood blockbusters past, ‘Indemnity’ trades plausibility and originality for a worthy substitute: a great deal of fun.” Read more…)

The Burning Sea (Norway, eco-thriller/disaster movie, Kristine Kujath Thorp. Rotten Tomatoes: 70%. Metacritic: 47. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “If the machinations of the plot are a tad rickety, its geologic premise is inarguably stable. Tucking a simple romance inside a disaster thriller, the director John Andreas Andersen uses an oil-rig collapse off the coast of Norway to deliver a dire warning of environmental disruption.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog DVDs (post-1960)
Mississippi Masala (1991, drama/romance, Criterion Collection, Denzel Washington. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%, Certified Fresh. Metacritic: 78. From J. Hoberman’s 2022 New York Times “Rewind” column: “The pop iconography of chain restaurants, motels and gas stations [as well as Hindu shrines] is characteristic of 1980s independent films. But Nair’s storybook ending is more ’90s, recalling the post-Cold War golden age when it seemed that American notions of ‘freedom’ and self-invention reigned supreme.” Read more…)

Best Video founder Hank Paper screens “One Night in Miami” Tues., June 7

Best Video founder Hank Paper returns to Best Video Film & Cultural Center to present a series “5 Great Films You Might Have Missed During the Pandemic — Or Should See Again and Discuss!” (Not Executive Director Hank Hoffman, who hasn’t left yet!)

Hank Paper founded Best Video in 1985 with 500 movies he could wholeheartedly recommend. In this series—which begins on Tues., May 31, and runs for five consecutive Tuesdays—he screens 1/100th that many movies but still ones that he thinks you need to see! Each screening starts at 7:15 PM and admission is $7. (Thanks to Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic, admission for members of Temple Beth Sholom is free.)

“These are the films that affected me the most during the last couple of years,” Hank Paper says. There will be 2-3 minutes of intro followed by the film on our large screen and a brief discussion for those who wish to stay and discuss.

The second film in the series is “One Night in Miami” (2020).

What do 4 Black icons talk about in a hotel room in Miami? In the aftermath of his surprising knockout of Sonny Liston, Muhammad Ali meets with three friends (Malcolm X, Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke) in a motel room to celebrate his win and discuss each’s trajectory and obligations in the crosshairs of history. Beautifully and inspiringly acted (Cooke’s songs are not only thrillingly entertaining but cleverly figure in the climax of the story), what could have been simply exploitative turns out to be thought-provoking and profound. Director Regina King’s powerful, multi-award-winning tour-de-force—a fictionalization of a real meeting, based on a 2013 play by Kemp Powers—couldn’t come at a better time. This is history written in lightning.

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

Support for this series has been provided to Best Video Film & Cultural Center from Connecticut Humanities (CTH), with funding provided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) from the Connecticut State Legislature.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.