A message from Best Video on cancellations and revised hours due to COVID-19 virus

Dear members and friends,

Due to COVID-19, Best Video Film & Cultural Center will be suspending events through the end of March. (The status of currently scheduled programming beyond March will be reevaluated as required by circumstances.) We are taking direction from the recommendations of the town and civil authorities and acting in the interests of caution. As others are, we will continue monitoring the information coming from the CDC and knowledgeable public health experts.

Considerations for the health and welfare of our members, staff, and performers are paramount.

Our cafe and video rental archive will remain open. But, in addition to suspending events, we are temporarily scaling back our hours on the video side of our organization. Our cafe will continue to be open from 7 AM-7 PM Monday through Friday and 8 AM-7 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. On the video side, we will open as usual at 9 AM but close—starting today, Mar. 12—at 7 PM each night.

During this time when all of us will be following recommendations to avoid large public gatherings, access to our amazing archive of movies could be a source of diversion and pleasure. As a benefit to members, we are initiating a special for the month of March: If you have a 1-Movie monthly or annual plan, you may take out two movies at no extra charge through March.

Additionally, for members with the 1-, 2-, or 4-movie plans, we will expand our service for your convenience. If you call ahead with a request, we’ll grab your movies for you and hand them to you at the door when you get here.

This is a challenging and, yes, frightening time for many of us. We wish all good health and hope for the best.

Sincerely,

Hank Hoffman
Executive Director
Best Video Film & Cultural Center
& The staff and Board of Directors of BVFCC

UPDATE: CANCELLED Music: GuitarTownCT evening bluegrass jam Mon., Mar. 16, at 5:30 PM

UPDATE 3/12: Due to concerns raised by COVID-19, this event at Best Video Film & Cultural Center is being cancelled as are all events for the remainder of March. Our apologies to all who were looking forward to the jam, but the musicians and the staff of Best Video Film & Cultural Center think it is prudent to err on the side of caution.

The monthly first Sunday GuitarTownCT bluegrass jams became so successful that Chris Wuerth added a new jam to the schedule. For those who need to twang community-wise more than once a month—or can’t make the Sunday afternoon events—we now have a bluegrass jam (usually) on the Third Monday of every month from 5:30-9 PM. Admission to this jam is a suggested donation of $5. March’s jam is on Monday, Mar. 16.

Players of all abilities are welcome as well as those who just enjoy listening. Meet your fellow fans of traditional acoustic music and strum, pick and sing up a storm.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

UPDATE: CANCELLED Music: Monthly Irish/Celtic music jam takes place 2 days before St. Patrick’s Day Sun., Mar. 15, 2-4 PM

UPDATE 3/12: Due to concerns raised by COVID-19, this event at Best Video Film & Cultural Center is being cancelled as are all events for the remainder of March. Our apologies to all who were looking forward to the jam, but the musicians and the staff of Best Video Film & Cultural Center think it is prudent to err on the side of caution.

Best Video Performance Space hosts a monthly acoustic Irish music jam. The March jam takes place on Sunday, Mar. 15, from 2-4 PM—two days before St. Patrick’s Day. The jam, organized by musicians Jim & Willow Sirch, takes place on the third Sunday of each month (unless it needs to be rescheduled due to other Best Video Film & Cultural Center programming).

As with our bluegrass jams, feel free to come and join in or just sit and listen.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

UPDATE: POSTPONED Music: SAP, The Knife Kickers, Daniprobably play Fri., Mar. 13, at 7:30 PM

UPDATE 3/12: Due to concerns raised by COVID-19, Friday’s show at Best Video Film & Cultural Center is being postponed to a later date. Our apologies to all who were looking forward to the show, but the musicians and the staff of Best Video Film & Cultural Center think it is prudent to err on the side of caution. We look forward to rescheduling this event when circumstances allow.
The indie rock acts SAP, Knife Kickers, and Daniprobably play Best Video Performance Space on Friday the 13th. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).
SAP is a four piece indie pop band fronted by Amber Kristjansson accompanied by Chris Killbourn on guitar, Cameron Schmitt on bass and Rich Figlewski on drums. Emotionally driven lyrics flow over twinkling guitar, driving bass and jazz drums.
The Knife Kickers are a folk punk band out of Woodbury, CT. Daniprobably play guitar and drum indie rock.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

UPDATE 3/12: Postponed Music: Pigeon English, Jeff Burnham play Thurs., Mar. 12

UPDATE 3/12: Due to concerns raised by COVID-19, tonight’s show at Best Video Film & Cultural Center is being postponed to a later date. Our apologies to all who were looking forward to the show, but the musicians and the staff of Best Video Film & Cultural Center think it is prudent to err on the side of caution. We look forward to rescheduling this event when circumstances allow.

Pigeon English, the harmony pop duo comprised of Rob Nelson and Brian Larney, play Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Mar. 12. Singer-songwriter Jeff Burnham opens. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Pigeon English is a collaboration between songwriters Brian Larney (of Lines West) and Rob Nelson (of Elegant Primates), exploring close harmony vocals and the mysterious paths of melody. Drawing inspiration from The Everly Brothers and The Beatles, Larney and Nelson craft songs about love and misunderstanding.

When Pigeon English released their 6-song debut EP “Coo” in January, Rick Allison of Cygnus Radio called it “one of the new treasures of 2019.” Brian Slattery of the New Haven Independent wrote that Pigeon English “melodies, chords, and lyrics consistently make clever turns that feel both unexpected, satisfying — and emotionally complicated…thanks to songwriting this fun and sharp, complicated, agonizing relationship troubles have rarely been so catchy.”

In July, the band released its first full-length album, “Places, Everyone!” featuring 10 new songs.

Singer-songwriter Jeff Burnham takes listeners on a journey across a gritty, haunted landscape, where sunlight flickers through the rain, framed in the tradition of Americana and folk-rock. After several years writing for and performing with his band Tuesday Saints, Jeff has reoriented his sound with heartland rock elements, as a solo project called Jeff Burnham and the Insiders.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

CT Librarians Tell: A Storytelling Showcase at Best Video Thurs., Mar. 12, 4-6 PM

The Connecticut Library Consortium presents CT Librarians Tell: A Storytelling Showcase at Best Video FILM & Cultural Center on Thursday, Mar. 12, from 4-6 PM. The event is free and open to the public.

Hear favorite and original stories provided by a lineup of CT librarians trained by award-winning storyteller Jennifer Munro.

Jennifer Munro grew up in a small village in the heart of the industrial Midlands of England where she learned the rules of engagement that have resulted in a collection of original stories about rascals, rogues, and heroes. Her stories, funny and poignant, will have you cheering one moment and weeping the next. Her repertoire also includes original myths and adult fairy tales, which resonate with a deep and abiding truth that speaks to the here and now.

Jennifer has performed on national public radio, at libraries, schools, coffee houses, conferences, and major festivals across the nation, most notably the national festival in Jonesborough, TN, and the Timpanogos Festival in Utah.

Her CDs, Relatives and their Body Parts and Beginnings are both Storytelling World Winners as is her collection of short stories, Aunty Lily and other Delightfully Perverse Stories, published by Parkhurst Brothers in 2016. She is also the recipient of the 2017 Barbara Reed award for distinguished and outstanding service to the Connecticut Storytelling Center.

The Connecticut Library Consortium is a statewide membership collaborative serving all types of Connecticut libraries by helping them strengthen their ability to serve their users. CLC achieves its mission by initiating and facilitating cost-effective services, creating and supporting educational and professional development, and fostering innovation.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Second Wednesday Open Mic takes place Wed., Mar. 11, at 7 PM, hosted by Karen Ponzio

Musicians! Comedians! Poets! Magicians! Spoken word artists! The Second Wednesday Open Mic takes place Wednesday, Mar. 11, starting at 7 PM. Admission is a Suggested Donation of $3-5 to support BVFCC. Poet Karen Ponzio (aka KP The Word) — who writes for the New Haven Independent and has a show on Cygnus RADIO — is the host for this show.

The sign-up sheet will be put out at 6:45 PM in order for prospective performers who haven’t been able to get here earlier to have a chance at performing slots. No sign-ups will be taken before 6:45.

Each slot is 10 minutes or two songs (whichever is shorter) with a 5-minute break between each performer. We have a total of 10 slots from 7-9:30 PM if people use their maximum time. We will play it by ear after that with any “extra” performers getting time as available in order of signing the sheet. While 9:30 PM is the official cut-off time, we may at our discretion continue with performers up to 10 PM.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Film Screening: Director Alice Millar presents her “Summer in the Shade” Mon., Mar 9, at 7 PM

Best Video Film & Cultural Center presents a special screening of the unreleased independent movie “Summer in the Shade” on Monday, Mar. 9, at 7 PM. NYC-based Director Alice Millar will be on hand for a Q&A as will BVFCC members Gabrielle Muller and David Lackner, who were responsible for illustrations used in the film and the music score, respectively.

Synopsis:

Summer, 1997. Twelve-year-old Grace and eleven-year-old Asta have been friends for as long as they can remember. When her father suddenly leaves, Grace’s fascination with religion and the supernatural becomes an obsession. At the end of the school holidays, the girls go to stay in a cottage in the Cornish countryside with Asta’s bohemian mum, Kate. There, troubled Grace is forced to confront her demons.

From Alice Millar’s director’s statement:

“Summer in the Shade” is a psychological thriller about the terror experienced by a girl as she transitions from a child to a woman. Set in 1997 on a summer vacation in Cornwall, we follow troubled Grace and her best friend Asta as they explore the ancient forests and their changing bodies…

What unfolds is an exploration into the trauma of puberty and the experience of self-disgust experienced by most women as they deal with changing from a little girl to a sexualized being. Universally this is a diffcult time and for many, is accompanied by deep psychological fear and existential revulsion. The body swells and starts to bleed. Often, men look at you with hunger rather than affection and women with jealousy rather than protection in their eyes.

In the vivid imagination of our protagonist Grace, who is also dealing with her father abandoning her family for the cliché of a younger woman, these themes lead her to see religion as a comfort. However, the religion she finds merely reinforces a sense of shame and guilt, as well as igniting fears of supernatural and biblical terrors, demons, original sin and the concept of participating in evil.

Award-winning Alice Florence Millar is a filmmaker from London, England based in New York City. She is a graduate of NYU’s Gallatin School where she created the individualized degree ‘Mesmerizing the Masses.’ Millar has worked as a Director of Photography for six years, shooting in the Americas, the United Kingdom, France, Bangladesh and Thailand. She is best known for her handheld camera style, which is fluid and meditative; her images oscillate between naturalism and highly constructed surrealism. Millar is attached to four independent features about to be released, including a co-direction on psychological thriller Attendant. Her directorial work focuses on women, violence and identity. Millar will make her feature length directorial debut with Summer in the Shade, a dark mystery about puberty inspired by her childhood holidays in seaside Cornwall.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Film Screening: Garden in Film series continues with “Tulip Fever” on Sun., Mar. 8, at 3 PM

Best Video Film & Cultural Center presents the 2017 film “Tulip Fever” as part of a three-movie “Garden in Film” series put together and hosted by master gardener Eric Larson. The movie will be shown on Sunday, Mar. 8, at 3 PM, and followed with an open discussion and ice cream made by Eric’s wife Linda Sarro. (Linda makes ice creams using floral and other ingredients inspired by the day’s film.)

Admission is $7.

Directed by Justin Chadwick and written by Tom Stoppard and Deborah Moggach, “Tulip Fever” is set in the Netherlands during the 17th century against a backdrop of desire, obsession, and betrayal. This historical romantic drama illustrates the frenzy of tulip mania, a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which extortionist prices for certain bulbs of the recently introduced and fashionably prestigious tulip reached extraordinarily high levels, only to collapse in February, 1637.

The movie stars Dane DeHaan, Alicia Vikander, Christopher Waltz, and Judi Dench.

The final film in the series is Hal Ashby’s 1979 “Being There,” starring Peter Sellers, on Sun., Mar. 22.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Secret Cinema—hosted by Rob Harmon—screens a double feature Sat., Mar. 7, at 7 PM

Best Video Film & Cultural Center staffer Rob Harmon hosts a semi-regular cult film series under the rubric “Secret Cinema.” The next Secret Cinema takes place Saturday, Mar. 7, at 7 PM. Along with the night’s movie, Rob shows relevant film trailers and cranks up the Best Video popcorn machine for cinema-appropriate snacking.​

For this edition of Secret Cinema, Rob hosts a double feature.

Secret Cinema is free but donations to support Best Video Film & Cultural Center and its programming are always welcome. For more info (including what the movie titles are), call BVFCC at (203) 287-9286 or email Rob at secretcinemact@gmail.com.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.