“Spring Into Music” series continues Tues., Apr. 19, with “Monterey Pop,” introduced & discussion moderated by Brendan Toller

Best Video Film & Cultural Center continues our April “Spring Into Music” film series with the classic documentary “Monterey Pop” on Tues., Apr. 19. The event will begin at 7 PM with an introduction by New Haven-based rock musician (Dust Hat) and documentarian (“Danny Says”) Brendan Toller, who will also lead a post-film discussion. Admission is $7.

This is an indoor show so attendance is 30 max. Proof of vaccination is required to enter and masks are required. (This will be updated if circumstances allow a loosening of these restrictions.)

Support for this series has been provided to Best Video Film & Cultural Center from CT 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.

The series is sponsored by Greenberg Rhein & Margolis Insurance of Woodbridge, CT.

“Monterey Pop” is the 1968 documentary film directed by D.A. Pennebaker that commemorates the Monterey International Pop Festival of June, 1967. The Monterey Pop festival is well-known as the first of the major rock music festivals. It was the site of breakout performances by numerous acts, including the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s fiery US debut and stunning sets by Ravi Shankar, The Who, Otis Redding, Janis Joplin with Big Brother & The Holding Company, and many more. Monterey set the idealistic and innocent tone for the so-called Summer of Love. Arguably, it was all downhill from there for the hippie counterculture.

Brendan Toller is a New York City and New Haven, CT based filmmaker, musician & artist. Brendan’s film work has been featured in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, Wire, Pitchfork, The Onion and Dazed & Confused Korea.

Toller’s first feature documentary, “I Need That Record!” (featuring Thurston Moore, Mike Watt, Ian MacKaye, and Noam Chomsky et al.) helped “…shape the “vinyl resurgence” in the 2000s, as it chronicled independent record stores and their importance in the digital age.” (Billboard)

Toller’s second feature film “Danny Says” chronicles the life and times of Danny Fields. Fields was a pivotal figure in music and culture of the late 20th century working in various roles with the Velvet Underground, the Doors, MC5, the Stooges, Patti Smith, the Ramones et al. In 2014, Danny Says was featured on the “Year in Kickstarter” next to “Reading Rainbow’s Huge Comeback” and “A Band Delivers Pizza to Space.”

“Danny Says” was acquired by Magnolia Pictures in 2016. The film was the first original selection for Art House Theater Day, an annual weekend celebration celebrating brick and mortar theaters across the US. The Danny Says theatrical and online release followed with openings in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London and more.

Toller plays guitar and sings in the high-energy party rock ’n’ roll band Dust Hat. He also regularly takes a spin aty Cafe Nine with his DJ B the T Jr Shake ‘N’ Vibrate Dance Party.

“Spring Into Music” series continues Tues., Apr. 12, with “Jazz On a Summer’s Day,” introduced & discussion moderation by Herb Wilson

Best Video Film & Cultural Center continues our April “Spring Into Music” film series with the classic documentary “Jazz On a Summer’s Day” on Tues., Apr. 12. The event will begin at 7 PM with an introduction by New Haven-based jazz saxophonist and educator Herb Wilson, who will also lead a post-film discussion. Admission is $7.

This is an indoor show so attendance is 30 max. Proof of vaccination is required to enter and masks are required. (This will be updated if circumstances allow a loosening of these restrictions.)

Support for this series has been provided to Best Video Film & Cultural Center from CT 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. The series is also sponsored by Greenberg, Rhein & Margolis Insurance Company.

Filmed at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island and directed by world-renowned photographer Bert Stern, “Jazz on a Summer’s Day” features intimate performances by an all-star line-up of musical legends including Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Anita O’Day, Chuck Berry, Dinah Washington, and closes with a beautiful rendition of “The Lord’s Prayer” by Mahalia Jackson at midnight to usher in Sunday morning. The film has been beautifully and extensively restored in 4K from the best surviving vault elements by IndieCollect.

Herb Wilson is a classical saxophone graduate of Hiram College and continued graduate studies in Music Education at Teacher’s College/Columbia University. He was a Guest Lecturer at the Crane School of Music and has taught Jazz Studies at the University of Bridgeport.

Herb performs in concert halls, nightclubs, country clubs, stadiums, theaters, hotels, churches, correctional facilities, synagogues, and private homes. His performances include classical recitals, small group and big band jazz ensembles, top 40, 1950’s, jazz, rhythm and blues styles. He has performed with Eddie and Bobby Buster, Jessie Austin, Bill Baker’s Five Satins, Richard McCrae and many others. He has also shared the stage with Jimmy McGriff, Groove Holmes, and Joe Diorio. Herb appeared in the award winning Jazz Documentary “Unsung Heroes.” The Herb Wilson Quartet was showcased on the Jazz Program “Bourbon Street” and performed the soundtrack for a video production of the Ted Schine play “Herbert III.” In addition to being a Panelist for the Connecticut Commission On The Arts, Herb is an Adjudicator for the Connecticut Music Educators Association. Herb has served on the board of Neighborhood Music School and is presently VP of Jazz Haven.

“Spring Into Music” film series kicks off with Questlove’s “Summer of Soul,” on Tues., Apr. 5, with intro & discussion moderation by Paul Bryant Hudson

Best Video Film & Cultural Center kicks off an April “Spring Into Music” film series with the acclaimed documentary “Summer of Soul” on Tues., Apr. 5. The event will begin at 7 PM with an introduction by New Haven-based singer-songwriter Paul Bryant Hudson, who will also lead a post-film discussion. Admission is $7.

This is an indoor show so attendance is 30 max. Proof of vaccination is required to enter and masks are required. (This will be updated if circumstances allow a loosening of these restrictions.)

Support for this series has been provided to Best Video Film & Cultural Center from CT 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.

The series is sponsored by Greenberg Rhein & Margolis Insurance of Woodbridge, CT.

“Summer of Soul” is part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten-until now.

“Summer of Soul”—directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, making his filmmaking debut—shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly and the Family Stone, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension and more.

Paul Bryant Hudson has been tearing up the stages of Cafe Nine, Pacific Standard Tavern, and other places all over town for a few years now. With a stunning voice and serious keyboard chops, he fronts a seriously tight band with a style of Soul Music that pays homage to the past and feels up to the minute.

Hudson’s affection for mashing up a gumbo of acoustic and electronic sounds is the fruit of “a marriage between the things I have to say and the things I like to listen to.” Among the things he likes to listen to are jazz, hip-hop, Bob Marley and soul balladeers like Donnie Hathaway.

Most of his compositions derive from a “super-specific cultural place. They’re stories of Blackness and struggle but also triumph,” said Hudson.

Secret Cinema, hosted by Rob Harmon, screens another [Shh! It’s a secret!] movie Mon., Mar. 28

Best Video Film & Cultural Center staffer Rob Harmon hosts another edition of a semi-regular cult film series under the rubric “Secret Cinema.” The next Secret Cinema takes place Mon., Mar. 28, at 7:30 PM. Along with the night’s movie, Rob shows relevant film trailers and cranks up the Best Video popcorn machine for cinema-appropriate snacking.

The movie starts at 8 PM; the programming starts at 7:30 with some relevant videos chosen by Rob.

This is an indoor show so attendance is 30 max. Proof of vaccination is required to enter and masks are required.

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 title is), call BVFCC at (203) 287-9286 or sign up for email list on the front page of BestVideo.com.

St. Patrick’s Day film screening of “The Commitments” Thurs., Mar. 17, at 7 PM

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Best Video Film & Cultural Center will screen the 1991 film “The Commitments,” directed by Alan Parker. The screening starts at 7 PM, Thurs., Mar. 17, and admission is $7.

“The Commitments,” adapted from the novel by Roddy Doyle, has an 89% and “Certified Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film tells the story of a Dublin soul band comprised of working class Irish youth.

This screening is made possible due to the generosity of 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.

This is an indoor show so attendance is 30 max. Proof of vaccination is required to enter and masks are required.

Writing in the New York Times, Janet Maslin declared, “‘The Commitments’ finds Mr. Parker again doing what he does expertly: assembling a group of talented newcomers, editing snippets of their exploits into a hyperkinetic jumble, and filling the air with song.”

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Film series “Portrait of a Camera on Fire: Feminist Filmmakers” continues on Tues., Mar. 15, with “Losing Ground”

Best Video Film & Cultural Center is presenting a film series that highlights up-and-coming and historically unrecognized women behind the camera. Raizine Bruton and Jules Larson, of BVFCC staff, have curated as their first installment of the series “Portrait of a Camera on Fire: Feminist Filmmaking,” three films that display the significance of women’s direction and leadership on the movie set. How the women have led these projects, what stories are told, and especially how they’re told, matter.

Support for this series has been provided to Best Video Film & Cultural Center from CT 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.

After screening “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” on Mar. 8, the second film in the series is “Losing Ground” (1982, dramedy, dir. by Kathleen Collins).

Kathleen Collins was the first Black American woman to direct a full-length feature film since the 1920’s. Though it was completed in 1982, there was no theatrical release until Collins’ daughter, Nina, rescued the original 16mm print from then-liquidating DuArt film processing lab in 2010. The film screened on restored 16mm, receiving rave and prestigious reviews for what has been called in Seattle-based weekly, The Stranger, from their A.E. Charles Mudede, “one of the most important and original American films of the second half of the 20th century.”

This will be an indoors event with the following covid protocols in place:

• 35 attendees max
• proof of vaccination required
• masks required (they can be lowered to take drinks or eat popcorn but should be raised back up when done)

Remaining schedule for the series:

Tues., March 15, 730 PM: “Losing Ground” (1982, comedy/drama, dir. by Kathleen Collins)

Tues, March 22 730 PM: “Variety” (1983, neo-noir, feminist sexploitation, dir. by Bette Gordon)

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Film series “Portrait of a Camera on Fire: Feminist Filmmakers” starts on Tues., Mar. 8, with “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”

Best Video Film & Cultural Center is pleased to announce a new film series that will highlight up-and-coming and historically unrecognized women behind the camera. Raizine Bruton and Jules Larson, of BVFCC staff, have curated as their first installment of the series “Portrait of a Camera on Fire: Feminist Filmmaking,” three films that display the significance of women’s direction and leadership on the movie set. How the women have led these projects, what stories are told, and especially how they’re told, matter.

Support for this series has been provided to Best Video Film & Cultural Center from CT 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.

The series will launch with Céline Sciamma’s modern feminist classic, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”(2019) on March 8th at 7:30 PM. It will be introduced by film scholar, Leana Hirschfeld-Kroen. She is currently a lecturer in Film & Media Studies at Yale University, where she received her PhD in Film & Media Studies and Comparative Literature in 2021. There will be time for discussion until the screening, starting at 8 PM. Tickets for admission will be $5.

This will be an indoors event with the following covid protocols in place:

• 35 attendees max
• proof of vaccination required
• masks required (they can be lowered to take drinks or eat popcorn but should be raised back up when done)

The schedule for the series:

Tues., March 8, 730 PM: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (2019, Lesbian romantic drama, dir. by Céline Sciamma)

Tues., March 15, 730 PM: “Losing Ground” (1982, comedy/drama, dir. by Kathleen Collins)

Tues, March 22 730 PM: “Variety” (1983, neo-noir, feminist sexploitation, dir. by Bette Gordon)

Rob Harmon hosts Secret Cinema Mon., Feb. 28, at 7:30 PM

Best Video Film & Cultural Center staffer Rob Harmon hosts another edition of a semi-regular cult film series under the rubric “Secret Cinema.” The next Secret Cinema takes place Mon., Feb. 28, at 7:30 PM. Along with the night’s movie, Rob shows relevant film trailers and cranks up the Best Video popcorn machine for cinema-appropriate snacking.

The movie starts at 8 PM; the programming starts at 7:30 with some relevant videos chosen by Rob.

This is an indoor show so attendance is 30 max. Proof of vaccination is required to enter and masks are required.

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 title is), call BVFCC at (203) 287-9286 or sign up for email list on the front page of BestVideo.com.

Rob Harmon hosts Secret Cinema Mon., Feb. 14, starting at 7:30 PM

After a (yet another) pandemic layoff, Best Video Film & Cultural Center staffer Rob Harmon returns to hosting his semi-regular cult film series under the rubric “Secret Cinema.” The next Secret Cinema takes place Mon., Feb. 14, at 7:30 PM. Along with the night’s movie, Rob shows relevant film trailers and cranks up the Best Video popcorn machine for cinema-appropriate snacking.

This is an indoor show so attendance is 30 max. Proof of vaccination is required to enter and masks are required.

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 title is), call BVFCC at (203) 287-9286 or sign up for email list on the front page of BestVideo.com.

Secret Cinema, hosted by Rob Harmon, returns Mon., Dec. 27, at 7 PM

After a pandemic layoff, Best Video Film & Cultural Center staffer Rob Harmon returns to hosting a semi-regular cult film series under the rubric “Secret Cinema.” The next Secret Cinema takes place Mon., Dec. 27, 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.

This is an indoor show so attendance is 30 max. Proof of vaccination is required to enter and masks are required.

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 title is), call BVFCC at (203) 287-9286 or sign up for email list on the front page of BestVideo.com.