Movie trivia night with Rob Harmon & Kate Bellmore Mon., Mar. 2, at 7:30 PM

So you think you know movies?

Best Video Film & Cultural Center returns with a monthly movie trivia night—yet to be given a catchy name—on Monday, Mar. 2. The event starts at 7:30 PM and admission is a suggested donation of $5.

The Best Video Movie Trivia Night is hosted by BVFCC staffer Rob Harmon and BVFCC member Kate Bellmore.

This is a team trivia event comprised of four rounds of quizzing with ten questions per round, for a total of forty questions. Questions cover a wide range of cinema-related (and “cinema-adjacent”) material: film facts, box office statistics, store facts, film score, television, reviews, among others.

No portable electronic devices of any kind may be used during gameplay under any circumstances. Competitors may not shout out answers during gameplay, attempt to look at answer sheets of other teams, or approach the executive producers’ table during gameplay. If a team is suspected of violating any of these rules, the executive producers reserve the right to disqualify the entire team for the individual round in which the offense occurred or the entire competition. Teams will be limited to a six-player maximum to allow as many people as possible to participate.

Teams write their answers on a prepared form provided by BVFCC. Answers must be written legibly in English. The executive producers reserve the right to disqualify any answers they judge to be too illegible to be considered correct.

Where proper names of film/tv/musics are concerned, a correct answer requires that the full name be given. For example, if the correct answer is Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, an answer of “The Grinch” is marked incorrect. In the case of people, giving the last name is acceptable except in cases where there are multiple people with the same last name and the intent is unclear. For example, if the correct answer is “Kevin Smith,” an answer of “Smith” is not specific enough and marked incorrect. But, if the correct answer is “Martin Scorsese,” a response of “Scorsese” is considered correct.

Each question will be worth one point, with any extra credit questions being worth an additional point. Scoring points for extra credit questions requires answering the base question correctly in order to be eligible.

Every team has one joker to use. The Joker, when used, allows a team to double the total points earned in a round. Jokers do not double extra credit points. After a team writes all of their answers down, if they wish to use their joker, they must write “JOKER” in large, unmistakable print on their answer sheet before it is turned in for scoring. The Joker may only be used once.

After all questions are asked in a round, teams are allowed one minute to complete their answer sheets and submit them to the executive producers for scoring. Any late answer sheets will not be scored and the team will score zero points for the round. Cumulative totals of all teams will then be read before the next round begins.

After all rounds are scored, the team with the highest overall score is declared the winner. All scoring, as decided by the executive producers, is final.

Bring your friends and test your knowledge of film trivia! The trivia night will be held the first Monday of each month unless holidays or other reasons for shifting the date intrude.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Film screening: “Greenfingers” launches second annual 3-film “Garden In Film” garden-themed series Sun., Feb. 23, at 3 PM

Reprising a series concept from 2019, Best Video Film & Cultural Center member and master gardener Eric Larson (formerly head of Marsh Botanical Gardens at Yale) presents “Garden In Film,” a series of three garden-themed movies, starting on Sunday, Feb. 23, and continuing on alternate Sundays (Mar. 8 and Mar. 22). Admission for each screening is $7.

The series plants the seed on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 3 PM with 2000’s “Greenfingers,” starring Clive Owen and Helen Mirren. Seedlings break the earth on Sunday, Mar. 8, at 3 PM with “Tulip Fever” from 2017, starring Alicia Vikander. The final harvest occurs on Sunday, Mar. 23, at 3 PM with the screening of Hal Ashby’s “Being There” (1979), starring Peter Sellers.

Starring Clive Owen and Helen Mirren, Green Fingers tells the tale of a group in a minimum security facility in England who discover the joys of gardening as therapy, physical improvement and perhaps leading to a spot in the world famous Chelsea Flower Show. Based on a true story (aren’t all movies these days?) Green Fingers will help us swing into the gardening season with verve, elan and the added bonus of appreciating that we are not locked up in prison.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Best Video Oscars Happy Hour party Sun., Feb. 9, 4-6 PM

Best Video Film & Cultural Center always marks Oscars Sunday with a party/fundraiser and this year is no different. Unlike the two previous years, rather than having an Oscars brunch, we will host a 4-6 PM Happy Hour to lead into the streaming of Oscars programming at 6:30, which will be hosted by staffer Rob Harmon.

The Happy Hour will feature drink specials, a delicious spread of snacks, an Oscar Ballot contest and prizes, and a short Oscars trivia contest presided over by Rob and Kate Bellmore, who also host our monthly movie trivia night.

All are welcome. There is no set entry fee but we welcome donations of $5-25 to support our year-round programming. Oscar ballots are $5 and we will be available to purchase at BVFCC in advance of the event starting tonight.

Local state legislators Martin Looney, Josh Elliott, Robyn Porter, Mike D’Agostino to hold community forum at Best Video Sat., Feb. 8, 10 AM-noon

State Sen. Martin Looney and State Reps. Josh Elliott, Robyn Porter and Mike D’Agostino will hold a community forum at Best Video Film & Cultural Center to share legislative priorities and solicit feedback on Saturday, Feb. 8, from 10 AM-noon.

The event is free and open to the public. Best Video Film & Cultural Center has made the room available for this event as a public service to the community.

Film Screening: Hamden Tree Commission presents “Call of the Forest” Sun., Jan. 12, at 3 PM

The Hamden Tree Commission and the Town of Hamden present a screening of “Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees” at Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020. The screening is at 3 PM and is free and open to the public.

Take a walk in the woods with beloved Irish-Canadian scientist and author, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, as she reveals our profound human connection to the ancient & sacred northern forests and the essential role that they play in sustaining the health of our planet.

We cut down billions of trees every year – Today only five percent of the world’s old growth forests remain intact. Yet trees are one of this planet’s most significant creators of food, new medicines, and oxygen. Forests hold the answer to many of the world’s problems; from climate change to human health and well-being. Visionary scientist and acclaimed author Diana Beresford-Kroeger explores the science, folklore, and history of this essential eco-system reminding us that when we improve our profound human connection to woodlands we can, not only, restore our health – we can restore our planet.

From the sacred sugi and cedar forests of Japan, the ancient Raheen Wood of Ireland, and the walnut and redwood trees of America, to the great boreal forest of Canada, Call of the Forest tells the amazing stories behind the history and legacy of these ancient forests while also explaining the science of trees and the irreplaceable roles they play in protecting and feeding the planet.

Along the way Diana meets people who are taking the lead to replant, restore and protect the last of these great ancient species forests. We meet Dr. Akira Miyawaki, a worldwide specialist in the restoration of natural forest systems on degraded land, who shows us how a native forest system can be planted in the smallest street corner of Tokyo. Dr. Bill Libby, a pioneer in the field of forest tree genetics, tells us about the impacts of climate change on California’s coast redwood and giant sequoia. Since 2002 Andrew St. Ledger, founder of The Woodland League in Ireland, has dedicated his life to restoring native woodlands in Ireland. His work restoring the great forest of Aughty shows us all how old growth forests can be replanted and offers a glimpse into our cultural history with trees.

Woodlands are the beating heart of our ecosystem and Diana’s call to action – to protect the native forests of the world and for every person to plant one tree a year for the next six years – provides us with a simple and powerful solution for climate change. As she travels across the globe to tell the story of the life and the science of the global forest, she presents us with a revolutionary conception of their value to all life and a message that could, literally, save mankind from itself.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Best Video’s monthly movie trivia night returns Mon., Jan. 6, at 7:30 PM

So you think you know movies?

Best Video Film & Cultural Center returns with a monthly movie trivia night—yet to be given a catchy name—on Monday, Jan. 6. The event starts at 7:30 PM and admission is a suggested donation of $5.

The Best Video Movie Trivia Night is hosted by BVFCC staffer Rob Harmon and BVFCC member Kate Bellmore.

This is a team trivia event comprised of four rounds of quizzing with ten questions per round, for a total of forty questions. Questions cover a wide range of cinema-related (and “cinema-adjacent”) material: film facts, box office statistics, store facts, film score, television, reviews, among others.

No portable electronic devices of any kind may be used during gameplay under any circumstances. Competitors may not shout out answers during gameplay, attempt to look at answer sheets of other teams, or approach the executive producers’ table during gameplay. If a team is suspected of violating any of these rules, the executive producers reserve the right to disqualify the entire team for the individual round in which the offense occurred or the entire competition. Teams will be limited to a six-player maximum to allow as many people as possible to participate.

Teams write their answers on a prepared form provided by BVFCC. Answers must be written legibly in English. The executive producers reserve the right to disqualify any answers they judge to be too illegible to be considered correct.

Where proper names of film/tv/musics are concerned, a correct answer requires that the full name be given. For example, if the correct answer is Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, an answer of “The Grinch” is marked incorrect. In the case of people, giving the last name is acceptable except in cases where there are multiple people with the same last name and the intent is unclear. For example, if the correct answer is “Kevin Smith,” an answer of “Smith” is not specific enough and marked incorrect. But, if the correct answer is “Martin Scorsese,” a response of “Scorsese” is considered correct.

Each question will be worth one point, with any extra credit questions being worth an additional point. Scoring points for extra credit questions requires answering the base question correctly in order to be eligible.

Every team has one joker to use. The Joker, when used, allows a team to double the total points earned in a round. Jokers do not double extra credit points. After a team writes all of their answers down, if they wish to use their joker, they must write “JOKER” in large, unmistakable print on their answer sheet before it is turned in for scoring. The Joker may only be used once.

After all questions are asked in a round, teams are allowed one minute to complete their answer sheets and submit them to the executive producers for scoring. Any late answer sheets will not be scored and the team will score zero points for the round. Cumulative totals of all teams will then be read before the next round begins.

After all rounds are scored, the team with the highest overall score is declared the winner. All scoring, as decided by the executive producers, is final.

Bring your friends and test your knowledge of film trivia! The trivia night will be held the first Monday of each month unless holidays or other reasons for shifting the date intrude.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Holiday hours

Best Video Film & Cultural Center will close at 6 PM on Christmas Eve, Tues., Dec. 24. BVFCC will be closed Christmas Day so that our staff can enjoy the day with family and friends. We wish all our members, friends, and supporters a happy holiday. We open again for regular hours on Thurs., Dec. 26

Best Video Film & Cultural Center will close at 9 PM on New Year’s Eve (the cafe closes at 5 PM). The cafe re-opens at 8 AM on New Year’s Day; the video side opens at 9 AM and will close at 7 PM.

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

NBC Connecticut profiles Best Video Film & Cultural Center

Thanks to NBC Connecticut News and features reporter and morning anchor Ted Koppy for this great story they ran on Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s evolution as a non-profit. The story was aired on Dec. 9, 2019.

The piece noted BVFCC’s uniqueness in adapting to—and surviving in—a changed media environment. Best Video founder Hank Paper, BVFCC Executive Director Hank Hoffman, and BVFCC member Richard Lewis were interviewed for the segment, noting that the organization’s emphasis on community was key.

The video can also be viewed at their site.

Mark Schenker concludes “How to Read a Film” series on screwball comedies with “Ball of Fire” on Sun., Dec. 15, at 1 PM

In this ninth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, turned to screwball comedies. Like the gangster movie, the Western and the Hollywood musical, the genre of screwball comedy films originated in the United States. The new satirical spin (hence “screwball”) on romantic comedy stressed witty dialogue and zaniness over sentimental love, and placed big name stars in odd situations. As with gangster movies, horror films and lavish musicals, the genre found a ready audience with Depression-era film-goers who were eager for escapist fare.

The final lecture with film in this series—rescheduled from Dec. 1 due to snow—will be on Sun., Dec. 15, at 1 PM. The series winds up with “Ball of Fire” from 1941, starring Barbara Stanwyck. (The previous films were the 1934 “It Happened One Night” on Nov. 10; “The Awful Truth” [1937], and “Some Like It Hot” [1959].) Admission is $7.

From Bosley Crowther’s rave 1942 New York Times review:

According to legend, Samuel Goldwyn has made some beautiful lapsi linguae in his time and has done things with the King’s English that stand as a monument to his name. Maybe. But still Mr. Goldwyn can’t be too touchy on that score, for now he has produced a picture which deliberately kicks the language around in a manner so colorful and lively that you can almost sense his tongue stuck in his cheek. “Ball of Fire” is the title of this wholly ingratiating lark, and so pleasant is its spoofing of the professional pose, so comprehensive is its handling of the modern vernacular and so altogether winning are Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck in it that it had the customers jumping with enjoyment at the Music Hall yesterday.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

UPDATE 11/30: POSTPONED! Mark Schenker continues “How to Read a Film” series on screwball comedies with “Ball of Fire” on Sun., Dec. 1, at 2 PM

UPDATE: Due to the concerning weather reports, this Sunday’s scheduled How to Read a Film event with Mark Schenker is being postponed. We will announce the rescheduled date as soon as we can. (Hopefully next weekend with the final lecture/film shifted to 12/15.)

In this ninth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, turns to screwball comedies. Like the gangster movie, the Western and the Hollywood musical, the genre of screwball comedy films originated in the United States. The new satirical spin (hence “screwball”) on romantic comedy stressed witty dialogue and zaniness over sentimental love, and placed big name stars in odd situations. As with gangster movies, horror films and lavish musicals, the genre found a ready audience with Depression-era filmgoers who were eager for escapist fare.

The third lecture with film in this series will be on Sun., Dec. 1. The series winds up on Dec. 8. Admission to each lecture is $7. The Dec. 1 movie is “Ball of Fire” from 1941, starring Barbara Stanwyck. (The series began with the 1934 “It Happened One Night” on Nov. 10; the second film was “The Awful Truth.”.)

Dec 1, 2 PM: Ball of Fire (1941)

Dec 8, 2 PM: Some Like It Hot (1959)

From Bosley Crowther’s rave 1942 New York Times review:

According to legend, Samuel Goldwyn has made some beautiful lapsi linguae in his time and has done things with the King’s English that stand as a monument to his name. Maybe. But still Mr. Goldwyn can’t be too touchy on that score, for now he has produced a picture which deliberately kicks the language around in a manner so colorful and lively that you can almost sense his tongue stuck in his cheek. “Ball of Fire” is the title of this wholly ingratiating lark, and so pleasant is its spoofing of the professional pose, so comprehensive is its handling of the modern vernacular and so altogether winning are Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck in it that it had the customers jumping with enjoyment at the Music Hall yesterday.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.