BEPW & Brian Larney – Sat., Aug. 13th, 5pm

Brian Larney and BEPW play an outdoor show at Best Video Film & Cultural Center Sat., Aug. 13. The event starts at 5 PM.
Haunted by hooks and good old fashioned song-craft, Brian Larney is an eclectic, non-stop music-making machine. The Connecticut native and New England Music Awards nominee splits his time performing as a solo acoustic act, as the front-man of his band Brian Larney and The Town Hall, and as part of the harmony pop group Pigeon English.  Larney will be accompanied by Tom Smith on Drums, Bobo Lavorgna on bass and Peter Greco on lead guitar.
BEPW (Brian Ebin Parker Wolfe) has been playing original music on guitar, mandolin and tiple since the late 60’s. His earliest gigs at The Exit Coffeehouse shaped his ambition to do little more than hang out on the New Haven Green for most of his young adult life. Little has changed since then.
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.

Semaphora & Gold Eris – Thurs., Aug. 11th, 7 PM

Semaphora and Gold Eris share the bill at Best video Film & Cultural Center on Thurs., Aug. 11. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10.
SEMAPHORA (pan-coastal CT): the original music of composer and multi-instrumentalist Lydia Arachne, Semaphora combines a dense academic lyricism with floating grooves and fragrant harmonies to create unique songs that are often about animals or computers.  Indie/jazz/folk/prog for the NPR crowd, Semaphora aspires to be the sort of band whose fans are accused of belonging to a cult.
GOLD ERIS (Bridgeport, CT): indie rock with an artpop/electronic twist, an original music project created by singer/songwriter Thomas Oliverio.  Originally a theatre nerd from Somers, NY, Oliverio started composing music at age 15 before pursuing acting in college, instead triple-majoring in heartbreak, disappointment, and self-doubt.  The debut GOLD ERIS record Born a Quitter  (available on all major platforms) came out of processing those experiences.  A second LP, which Oliverio describes as more reflective, cathartic material based in truth, is planned for release in the coming year.
This is an inside show so proof of vaccination and masks are required.

The Sawtelles – Sat., 8/6/22 @ 7 PM

The Sawtelles—first group ever to play Best Video’s performance space, in June, 2011—play Best Video Film & Cultural Center Sat., Aug. 6. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10.

Husband and wife duo Pete and Julie Riccio are the foundation of the Sawtelles. Their music is a balance of four elements: alternate-tuned guitar, small drum kit and two voices. Peter plays guitar and Julie plays drums; they both sing. Their sparse but intricately arranged pop is as lush as it is captivatingly unique; what is played as important as what isn’t.

This is an indoor show so proof of vaccination is required to enter and masks are required.

 

Will Parker – Sat., 8/6/22 @ 10:30 AM Outside – weather permitting

Will Parker plays children’s music at Best Video Film & Cultural Center Sat., Aug. 6. The event starts at 10:30 AM.

Will Parker is an award-winning children’s songwriter and teaching artist based in New Haven, CT. He writes and performs music for “kids ages 1-100.” During Will’s whimsical and interactive shows, he plays guitar and harmonica and sings original songs that engage the audience in singing-along, dancing, high-fiving, and imaginative play. He travels nationwide playing shows at libraries, schools, daycares, and festivals.

This will be an outside show. In the case of excessive heat or inclement weather, it will be moved indoors. Suggested donation is $5-10 per family but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

 

Sambeleza – Sat., Jul. 30 @ 5:30 PM OUTSIDE (weather permitting)

Sambeleza plays Best Video Film & Cultural Center outdoors on Sat., July 30. The show starts at 5:30 PM. The group will feature Jeff Fuller (bass), Joe Carter (guitar), Isabella Mendes (vocals, piano), and Graciliano Zambonim (percussion).

Sambeleza performs a wide variety of Brazilian songs, both old and new, with a jazz twist. Featured composers include Tom Jobim and Ary Barroso, as well as younger composers like Djavan, Debora Gurgel and Arlindo Cruz. A few originals by group members are added to the mix.

Their first CD, “Sambeleza Live,” was released in the spring of 2015. It was recorded live at Summer Solstice Samba in June, 2014 at Voices Cafe of the Unitarian Church in Westport in association with WPKN-FM. Along with Sambeleza members Isabella Mendes, Jeff Fuller and Joe Carter on that date were special guests Ali Ryerson (flute), Adriano Santos (drums) and Ze Mauricio (percussion).

Brasil (spelled with an “s” in Portuguese) is well known for its rich heritage—a blend of indigenous, African and European cultures—from which the music has risen with fascinating rhythms, soaring melodies and colorful harmonies. The musicians of Sambeleza are outstanding U. S. and Brazilian interpreters of the great songs of the bossa nova and samba traditions, as well as outstanding jazz artists in their own right. Sambeleza derives its name from two words: samba, the national dance of Brasil, and beleza, Portuguese for “beauty.”

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.

Restless Mountain Bluegrass Band – Fri., Jul. 29 @ 5:30 PM OUTSIDE (weather permitting)

Restless Mountain Bluegrass Band returns to Best Video. The band plays at Best Video Film & Cultural Center in an outdoor show on Fri., July 29. The music starts at 5:30 PM.

Restless Mountain Bluegrass Band is a Connecticut-based bluegrass band that always offers a fun mix of traditional standards, entertaining classics and originals that bring fond memories and a smile. In the tradition of bluegrass, Restless Mountain is an all-acoustic band, serving up heartfelt vocals, 3-part harmonies and spicy instrumentals. Restless Mountain Bluegrass Band has been active in Connecticut for over a decade, featuring veteran musicians who love to play and entertain.

Band members are Matt Fleury (vocals, banjo), Jerry Devokaitis (vocals, guitar), Gracin Dorsey (vocals, mandolin), Scott Camara (resophonic guitar), and Dave Aston (bass).

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.

 

James Limerick Kerr – Thurs., Jul. 28 @ 7 PM

James “Limerick” Kerr plays a set of solo dobro with vocals at Best Video Film & Cultural Center Thur., July 28. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10.

Dr. James Limerick Kerr is a resonator steel guitarist, vocalist, and educator based in the NYC/Connecticut area. His solo concerts feature a unique mixture of original and classic gospel blues and bluegrass. Although his performances are solidly rooted on the foundations of Delta blues, gospel, and bluegrass, James incorporates a broad array of influences and enjoys the musical challenge of attempting to expand genre boundaries and expectations for the resonator steel guitar (Dobro). In addition to his performance endeavors as a resonator and steel guitarist, James is a music professor who holds a doctorate in classical guitar performance from Stony Brook University (SUNY).

James is the author of A Twenty-First Century Guidebook for Guitarists: Practice, Performance, and Teaching (Kendall Hunt), a textbook for college guitar students.

Dr. Kerr directs the Bluegrass Ensemble and teaches guitar at Columbia University. He also teaches guitar at Naugatuck Valley Community College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY), as well as at the Neighborhood Music School in his hometown of New Haven, CT.

As this is an indoor show, covid protocols are proof of vax and masks required.  The cost of the show is $10 at the door.

Final screening of Japanese Horror – “Audition” – 7/26/22

Concluding the series on Tues., July 26, is Takashi Miike’s “Audition” (1999). Infamous upon its release, “Audition” places the viewer in a corporate setting inhabited with corrupt, arguably sexually-repressed film producers. Casting has never been so important… or life threatening.

“Audition” was a New York Times Critic’s Pick in 2001. Critic Elvis Mitchell wrote, “The Japanese psychological horror film ‘Audition’ has been responsible for throngs of shaken filmgoers staggering out of theaters for the last year or so; it’s ‘Fatal Attraction’ with a sense of morality instead of a need to pander—specifically, the movie’s theme is the objectification of women in Japanese society and the mirror-image horror of retribution it could create.”

Suggested donation is $7 at the door.

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.

New Releases 7/26/22

Top Hits

Dual (Sci-Fi, Karen Gillan; Rotten Tomatoes: 73%, Metacritic: 62)

“The movie follows Sarah (Karen Gillan), who learns that she suffers from an unidentified, rare and incurable illness. Considering her loved ones, Sarah pays for a clone and begins priming her to fill her shoes. But dual identities are tricky. It turns out that Sarah’s double is less a sponge for her sensibilities than a lovelier, livelier foil, and even once Sarah goes into remission, her boyfriend (Beulah Koale) and mother (Maija Paunio) inexplicably snub her for the substitute.” Read more…

Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Marvel Universe, Benedict Cumberbatch; Rotten Tomatoes: 74%)

“But as so often happens in the Marvel Cinematic Weltanschauung — often enough to keep even skeptics from giving up on the enterprise entirely — there is an inkling of something more interesting, in this case a Sam Raimi movie.
Raimi is one of the pioneers of 21st-century movie superheroism. His Spider-Man trilogy from the early 2000s still feels relatively fresh and fun. He is also a master of horror, the creator back in the 1980s of the peerlessly ghoulish, funny and profound “Evil Dead” series. And the best parts of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” are the sequences that traffic in zombiism, witchcraft and other dark genre arts.” Read more…

The Lost City (Action/Adventure/Comedy, Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum; Rotten Tomatoes: 79%, Certified Fresh)

“For the most part, “The Lost City” delivers exactly what it promises: A couple of highly polished avatars quipping and hitting their marks while occasionally being upstaged by their second bananas (Da’Vine Joy Randolph included). There are some accommodations to contemporary mores. Tatum bares more skin than Bullock does, flashing his sculpted hindquarters in a scene that, like the movie overall, isn’t as sharp or as funny as it should be. But while Loretta isn’t as helpless as she might have been back in the old studio days, this is still about a man rescuing a woman whose eye makeup never runs even when she does.” Read more…

New Foreign

Battles Without Honor and Humanity (Japan, action/adventure, Bunta Sugawara; Rotten Tomatoes: 88%) – New Restoration

From a 2004 review of Battles Without Honor & Humanity, aka The Yakuza Papers: “The Yakuza Papers’ endurance has primarily to do with the filmmaker’s critical analysis of Japan’s national character. Fukasaku openly questions whether the legendary Japanese sense of duty was wiped out by the atomic bomb, or whether it was always just an ideal for tourists and old movies, never meant to be taken seriously.” Read more…

Cordelia (British, Antonia Campbell-Hughes; Rotten Tomatoes: 73%, Metacritic: 66)

“Enigmatic and imperfect, but nonetheless absorbing and consistently unsettling, “Cordelia” offers a haunting visualization of a breaking-apart psyche. The bruised, green-washed elegance of Tony Slater Ling’s interior shots, rain sheeting against the flat’s windows, fashions an unreliable space where people and events could be real or imagined, alive or dead.” Read more…

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (1976, Brazil, Sonia Braga; Rotten Tomatoes: 67%) Newly Released on DVD

From the 2012 LA Times article on Dona Flor: ‘“Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands” should be seen as liberating, an unpretentious and uncomplicated slant on desire. There’s a playfully free sway to Amado’s character and the way Braga approaches her that is vital and far distant from exploitative.

The movie is also credited with helping to loosen the reins of cinema censorship in Brazil. With its fairly graphic sex scenes (cinematographer Maurilo Salles follows the mingling bodies with a matter-of-fact interest) and ability to capture the essence of Amado’s novel, “Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands” was a forward step in the country’s filmmaking.” Read more…

Drive My Car (Japan, Hidetoshi Nishijima; Rotten Tomatoes: 97$, Certified Fresh, Metacritic: 91, NYT Critic’s Pick)

“Drive My Car” sneaks up on you, lulling you in with visuals that are as straightforward as the narrative is complex. The camerawork is unflashy to the point of near-plainness though all the parts — the people, interiors, landscapes — look good, recognizably so. The movie is well-lighted and cleanly edited and, for the most part, unembellished with flourishes that might draw attention away from the story. This unforced minimalism only makes the bold strokes more pronounced: a surprising superimposition, say, or the chromatic jolt of the red car in snow.” Read more…

Huda’s Salon (Egypt, Netherlands, Palestine, mystery/thriller, Maisa Abd Elhadi; Rotten Tomatoes: 76%, Certified Fresh, Metacritic: 69)

“As convoluted as it gets, “Huda’s Salon” makes a simple and forceful point: Caught between political enemies united in their misogyny, Palestinian women have no way out. Where Abu-Assad falters is in turning Huda into a didactic mouthpiece for the very themes that Reem’s tribulations, filmed up-close with a jerky camera, convey effortlessly.” Read more…

Out of the Blue (Canada, drama, Linda Manz, Dennis Hopper; Rotten Tomatoes: 95%, Metacritic: 78)

From Roger Ebert’s 1982 review: “The movie escalates so relentlessly toward its violent, nihilistic conclusion that when it comes, we believe it. This is a very good movie that simply got overlooked. When it premiered at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival, it caused a considerable sensation, and Manz was mentioned as a front-runner for the best actress award. But back in North America, the film’s Canadian backers had difficulties in making a distribution deal, and the film slipped through the cracks.” Read more…

The Duke (British, dramedy, Jim Broadbent; Rotten Tomatoes: 97%, Certified Fresh)

“A Robin Hood figure polarizes England in “The Duke,” an ambling, sentimental account of the 1961 heist of Francisco de Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London.” Read more…

New TV

The Gilded Age: Complete First Season (HBO, Christine Baranski, Cynthia Nixon; Rotten Tomatoes: 79%)

“In “Downton,” Fellowes succeeded by cutting out the larger world and grounding his story in the daily rhythms of one family and one estate. In “The Gilded Age” he lets the world in, and yet everything seems smaller.” Read more…

douxreves w/Conor Perrault – Fri., Jul. 22 @ 7 PM

douxreve fuse elements of Art Rock, Post-Punk, and Free Jazz into well-crafted, concise songs with an eye towards an abstract, yet hopeful future.

Jeff Cedrone (Light Upon Blight, Floating Lanterns, NHIC), Ben Hecht (Drifting North), Tom Hogan (World Game, NHIC)
Conor Perreault is a Hamden based father of two. He is a dabbler, a tinkerer, and an experimenter in sound, using whatever and whomever happens to be around to make sounds that he hopes are fun and/or interesting to hear. He’s a founding member of the psychedelic firecracker zone brothers Human Flourishing (humanflourishing.bandcamp.com) and a semi-regular on the local free improv scene.
This concert will be inside and the cover charge is $10 at the door.  Masks are required.