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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.
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…
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
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…
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…
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…
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 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.
Singer-songwriter Grace Yukich plays Best Video Film & Cultural Center outdoors on Fri., Aug. 26, starting at 5 PM. Sharing the bill are singer-songwriter Sarah Dunn and the indie punk quartet Shame Penguin.
Grace Yukich is a CT-based singer-songwriter whose folk music is a little bit country and a little bit punk. An Alabama native who has called the northeast home for almost two decades, Grace has been singing, writing, and playing music since childhood. She is currently recording her first studio album, Wisteria. Grace also sings and plays guitar in the femme punk band Corpse Flower.
Sarah Dunn is a singer-songwriter who released their debut EP, Thank You, in June. Their style has been described “Acoustic singer-songwriter, but, also kind of emo?” They write in a vulnerable, specific, and deeply personal lyrical voice. A multi-instrumentalist, Sarah also plays bass in the femme punk band Corpse Flower, screams in a goth-electronic trio Things in the Dark, and plays fiddle in the traditional Irish music group, The Alehounds.
From the Elm City of New Haven, Connecticut, Shame Penguin brings an anything-goes adventurousness to their songwriting. Like every band on the Internet these days, they’ve got an audible reverence for iconic rock, grunge, and punk acts of the 90s, but they’re musically omnivorous: You might hear anything from noise pop to j-rock in their record collections, and their appreciation of the classics mean they’re pulling from a pretty deep bag of musical tricks.
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.
Join Jim and Willow Sirch, and Gary Wikfors for a lively evening of songs and tunes on Swedish nykelharpas, 5-string fiddle, Irish blackwood flute, octave mandola, bodhran and banjo. They play Best Video Film & Cultural Center outside Sat., Aug. 27. The show starts at 5 PM.
These three friends met while performing together as part of the venerable New Haven-based band The Fiddleheads which has been playing for New England contra dances for 30 years. Enjoy an evening of memorable songs, haunting airs, and cheerful jigs and reels performed by these longtime musical friends. When not playing for contra dances, Jim and Willow may often be found playing at local Irish sessions, and multi-instrumentalist Gary is equally at home playing a wide variety of styles as part of the Walkingwood Mandolin Quartet.
There will be donation vases for the musicians and the venue. Please consider being generous in supporting musicians—opportunities to perform have been fewer in 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.
“The unsubtle evocation of Eve in the garden of Eden is one of many signposts in “Men,” the latest film written and directed by Alex Garland, that point in a single direction. The movie, an uneasy amalgam of horror and allegory, full of creepy, gory effects and literary and mythological allusions, amounts to a sustained and specific indictment of the titular gender.” Read more…
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (action/adventure/family, Jim Carrey; Rotten Tomatoes: 69%, IMDb: 6.5/10)
“Introduced by Sega at the start of the 1990s, the zippy blue hairball Sonic the Hedgehog is now officially over the hill and picking up speed onscreen. “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is a fast-paced romp that’s silly, filled with quips and unabashedly for children — which is refreshing, coming at a time when so many other children’s franchises have succumbed to Sturm und Drang.” Read more…
“Strawberry Mansion,” a soulful sci-fi oddity from Albert Birney and Kentucker Audley, is a dollhouse constructed on a fault line. Birney and Audley, who both directed and edited the film, evoke the disarray of dream logic: The sets shift, the sound effects heighten and the props grow and shrink. Initially, the style is stifling, giving the sense that the wallpaper might matter more than the plot. One room is painted solid pink, with matching pink house plants and a pink broom. Another room houses a machine covered in incomprehensible widgets and tubes, plus a turtle named Sugar Baby. But oh, how the two filmmakers enjoy knocking down the walls of their own creation. This is a movie about letting the mind roam.” Read more…
Vivo (animation, Lin-Manuel Miranda; Rotten Tomatoes: 86%, Certified Fresh, IMDb: 6.7/10)
“So thank the Broadway gods for the film’s stellar music. Miranda’s songs incorporate his signature rapid-fire rapping, along with quick tempo changes and genre mash-ups. Gabi’s song, “My Own Drum,” with its grade-school Nicki Minaj-esque rap and auto-tune, is the jam I didn’t know I needed in my life.
“Vivo” has cuteness to spare, even if the rest is hit or miss. But, we all know, the beat goes on.” Read more…
“499 is a bold, unique film that finds hope after grief, and optimistically looks forward to the future, while still remembering the sins of its past. It is a spellbinding movie anchored by a reliable performance by Eduardo San Juan Breña, who achingly wears his heartbreak across his face. The future is not beholden to the past, but one should never forget history.” Read more…
Sputnik (Russian, sci-fi, Oksana Akinshina; Rotten Tomatoes: 88%, Certified Fresh, IMDb: 6.4/10)
“While “Sputnik” doesn’t make its substantial borrowings from other sci-fi pictures entirely new, it does juice them up enough to yield a genuinely scary and satisfying experience.” Read more…
“While Alain Gomis’s previous two feature films, L’Afrance (2001) and Andalucia (2007), unfold in Europe and deal with alienation and isolation in exile, “Tey” [Today, in Wolof], nominated for the Golden Bear for Best Film at this year’s Berlinale, follows a Senegalese man in Dakar, during the last day of his life.
Everything is silent when Satché (beautifully and subtly portrayed by Saul Williams) wakes up at his mother’s house, but as the morning progresses more and more people join the family for what is essentially Satché’s wake. Beautiful words in his tribute, but also accusations, fill the room as the gathering, devastated by their imminent loss, pay tribute to the man everyone knows will die before the end of day.” Read more…
Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman (Criterion Collection, Czechoslovakia, action/adventure)
“It feels so rare to be charmed by movies the way I was by the ones contained in Three Fantastic Journeys by Karel Zeman. With other “fantastic journeys” seemingly just a mouse click away these days, it’s easy to forget just how imaginative and special cinema can be. Using only the physical objects at his disposal, be they paper, paint, or even flesh, Karel Zeman managed to turn the simple into the remarkable, and translate his own sense of wonder to the screen without losing an ounce of its energy. His aim was to entertain children, but he ended up striking a much broader audience…” Read more…
American Back Catalog (post-1960)
From Janet Maslin’s 1995 NYT review: “The film perfectly captures the tone of Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins detective novels (“Devil in a Blue Dress” was the first), in which the hero’s wary intelligence captures the racial climate of the times. When the books’ Easy speaks fondly of sitting in his hard-earned little house and worriedly about “strange white men with dead blue eyes,” he defines the boundaries of his world.” Read more…
Thief (1981, Criterion Collection, action/adventure, James Caan; Rotten Tomatoes: 79%, Certified Fresh, IMDb: 7.4/10)
From Vincent Canby’s 1981 NYT review: “The performances are good. Mr. Caan is most convincing as a nonetoo-bright lug with a talent for thievery and a desire for the conventional life that is forever beyond his reach. Miss Weld’s intensity neutralizes suspicions that her Jesse could only have landed at her present station in life through some cosmic mix-up.” Read more…
“Thankfully, Arnold — the director of “Fish Tank” and “American Honey,” both dramas with a social realist bent — seems to have a bigger picture in mind. We somehow feel connected to these animals — not by their precious, humanlike relatability — but by the cyclically banal and thorough means with which they are exploited, milked and bred on aggressive schedules that break their bodies down prematurely.” Read more…
Gallant Indies (France, documentary, Clément Cogitore, IMDb: 6.8/10)
“It helps if you love Rameau’s music and appreciate the structure of an opera ballet. I do—and thoroughly enjoyed this political and artistic reclamation of a masterpiece. Gallant Indies shows that love and creativity are forces of incalculable value in our contemporary fight towards racial and economic equality.” Read more…
“The Green Planet (BBC One). The new five-part series presented by the veteran naturalist (though “veteran” hardly seems enough any more – Attenborough has now been making gobsmacking documentaries for two-thirds of the BBC’s entire broadcasting history) is about plants. Those that spring up in their tropical millions in the rainforests, those that endure in snowy wastelands, those who wrest life from the desiccated jaws of death in the desert, those that anchor themselves in rivers and streams – all of them and their cyclical splendours are gathered together for our awed delectation.” Read more…
Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President (documentary, Rotten Tomatoes: 95%, Certified Fresh, IMDb: 7.5/10)
“Of all the cases you could make on behalf of the 39th American president, Jimmy Carter, the one put forward by this film’s title — “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President” — is not necessarily the first that springs to mind, unless you’re of a certain age and have a strong memory. But the filmmaker Mary Wharton (with a script from veteran music writer Bill Flanagan) makes good on her hook in this engaging documentary.” Read more…
New in TV
“Stuck on a desert island or confined to a one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment, I will take the 15-year-old medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” as distraction over any of its newer, shinier, more critically acclaimed, more endlessly dissected and meme-fueling competition.” Read more…
Harry Wild: Series 1 (British series, Jane Seymour; Rotten Tomatoes: 50%, IMDb: 7.2/10)
“Our Call: STREAM IT, only because Harry Wild stars a very game Jane Seymour in the most dynamic role she’s had in some time. But the mysteries and backstories need to be tightened up for the show to succeed.” Read more…
“There’s a lot of low hanging ’90s nostalgia in “Pam & Tommy.” (There was a time, kids, when “sex tapes” were actually tapes.) But there’s also a distinct idea about the paradoxical sexual mores of the “Private Parts” and “There’s Something About Mary” era, when popular culture was becoming more lewd and sexually open but still more restrictive in the leeway it granted women vs. men.” Read more…
Tales From Crypt: Bordello of Blood & Demon Knight (horror, Corey Feldman/Dennis Miller; Rotten Tomatoes: 15%/37%, IMDb: 5.1/10)
“Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight is a movie presented by the tv series Tales from the Crypt that aired in the eighties. While this film is made in the nineties, it has that typical eighties vibe with gory oozing practical effects and a cheesy feel. The story doesn’t amount too much originality, and the execution relies heavy on the practical effects. Still, Demon Knight is very entertaining mostly because of the nostalgic eighties vibe.” Read more…
Lucy’s Neighbor—named after the Mrs. Matilda Trumbull character in the “I Love Lucy” Sitcom—is an original indie rock/power pop band from New Haven. The members are Derek Di Fronzo (vocals); Dave Esposito (guitar); Tom Quagliano (drums) and Ed Flynn (bass). They will be playing songs from their three self-released CDs, the self-titled “Lucy’s Neighbor” (2011), “Over Easy” (2018), and “Till It’s Gone” (2020).
As this is an indoor show, covid protocols are proof of vax and masks required.
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.
Drifting North plays Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Sat., May 14. The show starts at 7 PM with solo electric guitarist Bill Beckett opening.
This being an inside show, these are our covid protocols: attendance of 30 max, masks and proof of vaccination required.
Drifting North’s sonic explorations cover a lot of fertile ground — psychedelic folk/pop tunes and garage rockers can morph into motorik train beat jammers that bleed into meditative folk ragas. Paired with impressionist lyrics, the result is a beautiful sonic spread — a fresh take on the kind of cosmic Americana that’s been bubbling up from the the US underground the past few years.
Bill Beckett is a multi instrumentalist who lives in the New Haven CT area. He has been composing ambient/instrumental music since 2007. Bill still practices his scales and also composes one haiku every year for National Poetry Month.
Parker’s Tangent returns to Best Video Film & Cultural Center Thurs., Apr. 28. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10.
This is an indoor show so attendance is 30 max. Proof of vaccination is required to enter and masks are required.
Parker’s Tangent is a fun group playing all original [sometimes art] rock music based on blues and roots sources. They have a wonderful female lead singer who has been compared to Grace Slick and Norah Jones, drums, percussion, lead and rhythm guitars, keyboard, bass and an awesome violin player. They are a professional working band based out of greater New Haven CT. The music can be poetic, quiet and touching to bluesy to out and out rocking.
The music is extremely accessible and can be enjoyed by people of virtually all ages They have been together over fourteen years and have performed at hundreds of bookings including Toads’ Place, the main stage of the New Haven Green, The International Festival of Arts and Ideas, Long Wharf Theater and many more.
The group is Leslie Broatch (lead vocals), Ken Ryu (violin), Joseph Battad (rhythm guitar, background vocals), Joe Rosano (drums, background vocals), Hal Klein (bass, background vocals), and Arthur Bargar (lead/rhythm guitar, background vocals, and songwriter).