Category Archives: BVFCC News

Tues., Sept. 27 @ 7 PM – Screening: TIME by Garrett Bradley

Please join us for “Time“, the final installment of September’s Screening Series: A WOMAN’S WORK on Tuesday, September 27th at 7 PM.  This Oscar-nominated documentary follows a woman campaigning for the release of her husband who’s serving a 60-year prison sentence.

*2021 Atlanta Film Critics Circle – Winner Best Documentary
*2021 Black Film Critics Circle – Winner Best Documentary
*2021 Critics Choice Documentary Awards – Winner Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary
*2021 Gotham Awards – Winner Best Documentary
*2020 NewYork Film Critics Circle Awards –
Winner Best Non-Fiction Film

The Guardian describes it: “Eschewing explanatory title cards or on-screen text, Bradley creates a tone poem that ebbs and flows in hypnotically lyrical style, dexterously shuffling images from disparate periods to create something unified and immersive. Through this time-shifting montage, we are encouraged to share in the experiences of the indomitable woman whom Bradley met while making the 2017 New York Times Op-Docs episode Alonea stylistically similar short film she considers the “sister” to this feature. “This system breaks you apart,” Fox says in Alone. “It is designed, just like slavery, to tear you apart.” Yet in Time it’s an almost superhuman sense of togetherness that rings through, a refusal to bow down, to be broken or defeated.”  Read more…

An NPR interview with director, Garrett Bradley on her film “Time”.

Thu., Sept. 29 @ 7 PM – Dave Scanlon and Mother Juniper

Dave Scanlon and Mother Juniper share a bill at Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Thurs., Sept. 29. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10.
Dave Scanlon pursues a practice of writing austere songs and continues a series of “counting” compositions focusing on intonation, numerology, and measurement. He is also a member of the experimental rock band JOBS and the pop group Leverage Models.
Scanlon has released music on Ramp Local, New Amsterdam Records, Tzadik Records, Hometapes, Clean Feed Records, New Atlantis Records, and Whatever’s Clever. He has performed at Issue Project Room (NYC), Roulette (NYC), The Stone (NYC), Shinjuku Pit Inn (Tokyo, Japan), Yokohama Airegin (Yokohama, Japan), Boston Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, MA), Casa Del Popolo (Montreal, Canada), and many more.
Mother Juniper is made up of dream story weavers, many myths, and a three-stringed street banjo.
As this is an indoor show, masks are strongly recommended.

Fri., Sept. 30 @ 7 PM – Love N’ Co and Lars

Love n’ Co plays Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Fri., Sept 30. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10. Lars opens the show.
Emerging from New Haven in 2019, Love n’ Co delivers powerful sonic waves that caress the soul, aiding in the journey of self-discovery and raw expression.
The core duo of the band consists of Lovelind Richards and Lamar Smith, the former born and raised in Florida while the latter grew up in Hamden, Connecticut. The band’s sound has been described to have a range, “from high-energy funk to surging pop.”
Lars is a queer musician and singer sharing their love for ukulele. They have been playing for 7 years and are featured in the band uncis with two published albums which can be found on all streaming platforms.
This is an inside show, these are our covid protocols: masks are strongly encouraged.

Sat., Oct. 1st @ 10:30 AM – Robert Messore’s Toddler Tunes

Robert Messore brings his Toddler Tunes kids’ music show to Best Video Film & Cultural Center Sat., Oct. 1. The event starts at 10:30 AM. This will be an outside show, weather permitting.
Robert Messore puts on a high-energy sing-and-dance-along program for young children and their parents.
Voted “Best Entertainer for Toddlers” in the 2011 readers poll, Messore’s public “Toddler Tunes” program at St. John’s Episcopal Church in New Haven is the place to be every week! The songs are a mix of the classics and some newer songs that folks love. He recognizes that these programs are a place for parents to get together as much as anything, so he encourages folks with newborns through 6-yr-old children to attend.
Suggested donation is $5-10 per family but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.  Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Thu., Sept. 22, 5 – 9 pm – Lounge Night w/Ambient DJ

Enjoy a glass of wine, beer, or cafe drink during a relaxed evening at Best Video Film & Cultural Center with a curated mix of lounge music by DJ’s Tyler and Cameron.  Special small taste plates make for a perfect evening atmosphere to welcome Fall.

Fri., Sep. 16 @ 5:30 PM – Joe Carter & Darren Litzie

Guitarist Joe Carter and pianist Darren Litzie play “Sambas, Choros, Bossa Novas & More!” in an outdoor concert at Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Fri., Sept. 16. The show starts at 5:30 PM.

Joe Carter has recorded and performed with Jazz artists such Art Farmer, Lee Konitz, Cecil Payne, Rufus Reid and others and with Brazilian artists such as Luiz Eca, Mauricio Einhorn, Robertinho Silva, Paulo Russo and others. In addition, he has recorded several CDs through the years, his most recent is Both Sides of the Equator, with bassist David Finck and percussionist Ze Mauricio.  Joe Carter is currently the Director of the Academic Music Program at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, where he teaches The History of Jazz, The Music of Latin America and directs the Jazz Ensemble.

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 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. Litzie—who has played Best Video several times as a member of the Jeff Fuller & friends jazz trio—recently released his first album as a bandleader, “My Horizon.”

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. 17 @ 5:30 PM – Anne Marie Menta w/ Richard Neal & Cadence Carroll

Anne Marie Menta plays Best Video Film & Cultural Center outside on Sat., Sept. 17, starting at 5:30 PM.
She will be joined by Richard Neal on guitar and mandolin, and Cadence Carroll on harmony vocals and percussion. The cover is $10.

Anne Marie Menta hails from New Haven, CT., where she has been a long time favorite singer/songwriter. She comes from a family of three brothers, where playing and listening to music was their great passion. Her musical credits include fronting various rock & roll, folk, and country bands as a singer/guitarist, including The Wanderers, Sugar Moon, Sky Riders, and Rodeo Radio.

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 – 09-13-22

Top Hits

Elvis (Drama/biopic; Dir: Baz Luhrmann; Starring: Austin Butler,Tom Hanks) – avail. 9/13/22
“In the end, this isn’t a biopic or a horror movie or a cautionary parable: It’s a musical, and the music is great. Remixed, yes, and full of sounds that purists might find anachronistic. But there was never anything pure about Elvis Presley, except maybe his voice, and hearing it in all its aching, swaggering glory, you understand how it set off an earthquake.” Read more…

Lightyear (Pixar animation; Starring: Chris Evans, Uzo Aduba, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Keke Palmer; Distr: Disney) – avail. 9/13/22
“Lightyear,” directed by Angus MacLane from a script by Jason Headley, aims to please by pandering, to be good-enough entertainment. As such, it succeeds in a manner more in line with second-tier Disney animation than with top-shelf Pixar.” Read more…

Where the Crawdads Sing
(Mystery/Suspense; Starring: Daisy Edgar-Jones, David Strathairn; Dir: Olivia Newman) – avail. 9/13/22
“Daisy Edgar-Jones stars as an orphaned girl in the marshes of North Carolina in this tame adaptation of Delia Owens’s popular novel.” Read more…

New Foreign

Ali & Ava (British; Drama; Starring: Adeel Akhtar & Claire Rushbrook; Dir: Clio Barnard; Winner of Best Actor, Actress & Director at 2021 British Independent Film Awards)
“Barnard maintains her tough, realistic approach even as she guides this love story to its hopeful conclusion. Movies so rarely show us something as wonderfully, believably ordinary as Ali and Ava’s love — which is precisely why it feels so extraordinary.” Read more…

Happening (France, drama; Dir: Audrey Diwan, Cesar Award; Starring: Anamaria Vartolomei, Cesar Award for Best Promising Actress; NYT’s Critic’s Pick)
“In this powerful French movie set in the early 1960s, a young woman struggles to obtain an abortion when the procedure was criminalized.” Read more…

Miracle (Romania, Mystery/Suspense; Dir: Bogdan George Apetri; Starring: Ioana Bugarin & Emanuel Pârvu; Winner of Best Film at 2021 Warsaw International Film Festival) – avail. 9/13/22
“Miracle” is staged with an inexorable skill that tugs you along like a Patricia Highsmith novel. It’s a tale of mystery, of scalded innocence, and of the staggering evil that ordinary men can do.” Read more…

Stalker (1979, Russian; Dir: Andrei Tarkovsky; Winner of Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at 1980 Cannes Film Festival; Distr: Criterion Collection)
From 2012 NYT’s Book Review of Geoff Dyer’s Book “Zona” describes it as “A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room.”: “With its emphasis on landscape, texture and atmosphere, this brooding, dystopian science fiction — freely adapted from the novel “Roadside Picnic,” by the Strugatsky brothers, Arkady and Boris — is as much environment as movie.” Read more…

New Documentary

Bulletproof (Documentary; Dir: Todd Chandler, Winner Emerging International Filmmaker Award at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival; Distr: Grasshopper Film)
“In many ways, “Bulletproof” offers a visceral counterpoint to all of that rhetoric; without voiceover or commentary, Todd Chandler’s documentary chronicles the efforts of schools and businesses across the country as they combat horrific active shooter scenarios, sometimes existentially but more frequently with militaristic force”. Read more…

From Where They Stood (French/German, Holocaust documentary; Winner Best Documentary at Jerusalem Film Festival) – avail.9/13/22
“Photography, in this context, becomes a fierce and courageous act of resistance. Cognet doesn’t just show us these photographs, but goes to the places from which they were taken, and with the assistance of camp historians, explores the details—some known, others only guessed at—revealed by their raw transmission of an unfathomable experience. Read more…

Freddie Mercury The Final Act (BBC Documentary)
“Thirty years on, in James Rogan’s poignant and tender film about the last five years of Mercury’s life, that final chapter is being told – and unlike the lurid headlines, it’s one of love, friendship and a battle against prejudice.” Read more…

Ken Burns Presents Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness (Ken Burns documentary; Distr: PBS) – avail.9/13/22
“The film presents an unvarnished window into daily life with mental health challenges, from seemingly insurmountable obstacles to stories of hope and resilience. Through the experiences of these young people, the film confronts the issues of stigma, discrimination, awareness, and silence, and, in doing so, help advance a shift in the public perception of mental health issues today.” Read more…

New TV Series

Harley Quinn: The Complete First Season (DC) (Animation; Starring: Kaley Cuoco, Lake Bell, & Jason Alexander)
“This is about Harley’s growth as a woman; a strong, capable woman charting her own destiny. She has outgrown the Joker’s psychological hooks and has clear goals for herself.” Read more…

The White Lotus: The Complete First Season (TV Drama; Starring: Connie Britton, Jennifer Coolidge, Alexandra Daddario, Steve Zahn; Distr: HBO) – avail.9/13/22
“But this is a sharp, soulful series that knows its characters in full and gets richer as it goes on. It’s vicious and a little sudsy and then, out of nowhere, sneakily uplifting. Along with its class-conscious bite, it has a sincere sense of beauty and awe. We all work and play and live and die under the same sun, “The White Lotus” says.” Read more…

New Animation

Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase (2001, animation)
“When you have Sigmund Freud as a background gag followed by a montage of Shaggy and Scooby-Doo dealing damage to an entity of electricity, it is hard not to have fun with Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase.” Read more…

New Cult

R100 (2013, Japan, Comedy; Dir: Hitoshi Matsumoto; Winner Best Non-U.S. Release at 2013 Online Film Critics Society Awards)
“Still it’s hard to remember a film about S&M as funny as this one, or one as beautifully and weirdly imagined. It was a much-followed Midnight Madness title at its Toronto bow and should whip up forgiving special interest audiences who enjoyed the director’s earlier work.” Read more…

Tues., Sep. 6, 7 PM – A WOMAN’S WORK Film Series – “Desert Hearts”

All films begin at 7pm followed immediately by a talkback session. There is a suggested donation of $7. Coffee, wine, beer, and soft drinks will be available for purchase at the Best Video Cafe.

This program is made possible through a generous grant from the CT Humanities organization, an independent, non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. CTH connects people to the humanities through grants, partnerships, and collaborative programs.   

For more information, please call (203) 287-9286. Best Video Film and Cultural Center is located at 1842 Whitney Ave, Hamden, CT 06517. There is limited parking in the Best Video lot, additional parking is available on the street or across the road at Spring Glen Church.

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.