Mark Schenker’s “How to Read a Film” series continues with “Criss Cross” Sun., Oct. 10

Best Video Film & Cultural Center is pleased to bring back Mark Schenker for the tenth installment of his popular “How to Read a Film” series, starting on Sun., Oct. 3, at 2 PM. Admission to each lecture is $7.

The series continues on Sun., Oct. 10, as Schenker illuminates the 1949 film noir classic “Criss Cross.” (Schenker explored the screwball comedy “Bringing Up Baby” as the first film in this series.)

In previous installments of “How to Read A Film,” Schenker has zeroed in on a specific director’s oeuvre or focused on four films in a particular genre, like film noir. For this series, he will “focus more broadly on genre, and how a consideration of three great genres of American film can yield a greater understanding of one of Quentin Tarantino’s masterpieces, “Inglourious Basterds,” which audaciously combines aspects of screwball comedy, film noir, and western.”

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

• 30 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 remaining schedule for the series:

Sun., Oct. 10, 2 PM: “Criss Cross” (1949, film noir, dir. by Robert Siodmak)

Sun., Oct. 24, 2 PM: “The Searchers” (1956, western, dir. by John Ford)

Sun., Oct. 31, 2 PM: “Inglourious Basterds” (2009, dir. by Quentin Tarantino)

In a capsule review in The New Yorker, Richard Brody writes:

Robert Siodmak’s grimly romantic film noir, from 1949, set in Los Angeles, offers a hectic fusion of on-location texture and stylish artifice. Burt Lancaster stars as Steve Thompson, an armored-car driver whose barroom brawl with a gangster, Slim Dundee (Dan Duryea), is staged to throw police off the trail of their criminal conspiracy. Yet their mutual hatred is real; it’s based on their rivalry for the love of Anna (Yvonne De Carlo), Steve’s ex-wife. Working with a script by the novelist Daniel Fuchs that features long flashbacks and interior monologues, Siodmak builds Steve’s morbidly subjective tale with startling visual flourishes, gestural details, and erotic tensions.

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by screenings of the films to illustrate the points he is making—it’s like a live commentary track! His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Mark Schenker returns with 10th “How to Read a Film” series Sun., Oct. 3, at 2 PM

Best Video Film & Cultural Center is pleased to bring back Mark Schenker for the tenth installment of his popular “How to Read a Film” series, starting on Sun., Oct. 3, at 2 PM. Admission to each lecture is $7.

In previous installments of “How to Read A Film,” Schenker has zeroed in on a specific director’s oeuvre or focused on four films in a particular genre, like film noir. For this series, he will “focus more broadly on genre, and how a consideration of three great genres of American film can yield a greater understanding of one of Quentin Tarantino’s masterpieces, “Inglourious Basterds,” which audaciously combines aspects of screwball comedy, film noir, and western.”

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

• 30 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:

Sun., Oct. 3, 2 PM: “Bringing Up Baby” (1938, screwball comedy, dir. by Howard Hawks)

Sun., Oct. 10, 2 PM: “Criss Cross” (1949, film noir, dir. by Robert Siodmak)

Sun., Oct. 24, 2 PM: “The Searchers” (1956, western, dir. by John Ford)

Sun., Oct. 31, 2 PM: “Inglourious Basterds” (2009, dir. by Quentin Tarantino)

Of “Bringing Up Baby,” the inaugural film in this series, Brian Tallerico wrote at RogerEbert.com:

Movies don’t get much more delightful and joyous than “Bringing Up Baby,” a film that honestly shaped my youth. Raised on classic musicals, my mother also loved classic comedies, and comedies don’t get more classic than this 1938 screwball masterpiece from Howard Hawks. Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant star in a film that was reportedly so much fun to make that the production had to regularly stop for laugh breaks.

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by screenings of the films to illustrate the points he is making—it’s like a live commentary track! His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Mark Schenker continues “How to Read a Film” series on screwball comedies with “The Awful Truth” on Sun., Nov. 17, at 2 PM

In this ninth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, turns this time to screwball comedies. Like the gangster movie, the Western and the Hollywood musical, the genre of screwball comedy films originated in the United States. The new satirical spin (hence “screwball”) on romantic comedy stressed witty dialogue and zaniness over sentimental love, and placed big name stars in odd situations. As with gangster movies, horror films and lavish musicals, the genre found a ready audience with Depression-era filmgoers who were eager for escapist fare.

The second lecture with film in this series will be on Sun., Nov. 17. The series skips Nov. 24 and winds up on Dec. 1 and Dec. 8. Admission to each lecture is $7. The series continues on Nov. 17 with the 1937 movie “The Awful Truth.” (The series began with the 1934 “It Happened One Night” on Nov. 10.)

Schenker will consider three such films from the “classic” period of the genre, and then turn to a masterpiece of the form from the late 1950’s, when its heyday had passed. The remaining schedule:

Nov 17, 2 PM: The Awful Truth (1937)

Dec 1, 2 PM: Ball of Fire (1941)

Dec 8, 2 PM: Some Like It Hot (1959)

From Bosley Crowther’s 1937 New York Times review of “The Awful Truth”:

To be frank, “The Awful Truth” is awfully unimportant, but it is also one of the more laughable screen comedies of 1937, a fairly good vintage year. Its comedy is almost purely physical- like that of the old Avery Hopwood stage farces- with only here and there a lone gag to interrupt the pure poetry of motion, yet its unapologetic return to the fundamentals of comedy seems, we repeat, original and daring.

Its obvious success with a modern audience is also rather disquieting. Just when it began to appear that an excellent case had finally been made out for spoken wit and adultness of viewpoint on the screen, the mercurial Mr. McCarey, who only a few months ago saddened us to the point of tears with his “Make Way for Tomorrow,” shocks us with a comedy in which speech is subsidiary, and maturity exists only to be deflated into abject juvenility.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Mark Schenker launches next “How to Read a Film” series on great screwball comedies Sun., Nov. 10, at 2 PM

In this ninth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, turns this time to screwball comedies. Like the gangster movie, the Western and the Hollywood musical, the genre of screwball comedy films originated in the United States. The new satirical spin (hence “screwball”) on romantic comedy stressed witty dialogue and zaniness over sentimental love, and placed big name stars in odd situations. As with gangster movies, horror films and lavish musicals, the genre found a ready audience with Depression-era filmgoers who were eager for escapist fare.

All four lectures will be held on Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, Nov. 10. The second lecture will be on Sun., Nov. 17. The series skips Nov. 24 and winds up on Dec. 1 and Dec. 8. Admission to each lecture is $7. The series kicks off with the 1934 multiple Oscar-winning “It Happened One Night.”

Schenker will consider three such films from the “classic” period of the genre, and then turn to a masterpiece of the form from the late 1950’s, when its heyday had passed. The schedule:

Nov 10, 2 PM: It Happened One Night (1934)

Nov 17, 2 PM: The Awful Truth (1937)

Dec 1, 2 PM: Ball of Fire (1941)

Dec 8, 2 PM: Some Like It Hot (1959)

Roger Ebert’s capsule take on “It Happened One Night,” from 2009:

The surprise success of “It Happened One Night” made Frank Capra one of the screen’s top directors and provided the prototype for a decade of screwball comedies. Romantic comedies like “When Harry Met Sally…” and “The Sure Thing” draw on the rapid banter, outrageous comic situations and sexy road trip of “It Happened One Night.” The movie even provided inspiration for one of the screen’s most enduring characters, Bugs Bunny.

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by clips from the films to illustrate the points he is making. His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

 

Mark Schenker’s “How to Read a Film” series on film noir masterpieces concludes Sun., July 14, with 1984’s “Blood Simple,” the debut Coen Brothers film

In this eighth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, has been presenting four lectures on “A Half-Century of Film Noir Masterpieces.” The lectures have been held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, June 23. Admission to each lecture is $7. The series concludes Sunday, June 14, with a focus on the 1984 debut film by the Coen Brothers, “Blood Simple.”

“A Half-Century of Film Noir Masterpieces” has featured works by four directors who are new to Mark Schenker’s presentations at Best. In movies that range from the early talkie “M” by German director Fritz Lang (explored June 23) through two Hollywood films of the classic noir period of the 1940’s-50’s, through the neo-noir of the Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple,” the series covers more than a half-century of noir and showcases the acting talents (in addition to the 26-year-old Lorre in the afore-mentioned “M”) of Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frances McDormand and the great character actor M. Emmet Walsh.

From Janet Maslin’s 1984 review of “Blood Simple” in The New York Times:

Black humor, abundant originality and a brilliant visual style make Joel Coen’s ”Blood Simple” a directorial debut of extraordinary promise. Mr. Coen, who co-wrote the film with his brother Ethan, works in a film noir style that in no way inhibits his wit, which turns out to be considerable. This is a film in which a dying man, mistakenly shot by a woman who cannot see him (and who meant to kill someone else), can hear her shout one more insult at the intended victim – and answer her, ”Well, ma’am, if I see him I’ll sure give him the message.”

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by clips from the films to illustrate the points he is making. His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Mark Schenker’s “How to Read a Film” series on film noir masterpieces continues Sun., June 30, with 1944 “Murder, My Sweet”

In this eighth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, presents four lectures on “A Half-Century of Film Noir Masterpieces.” All four lectures will be held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, June 23. Admission to each lecture is $7. The second film examined in this series will be “Murder, My Sweet” on Sunday, June 30.

This installment of Schenker’s “How to Read a Film” series, features works by four directors who are new to his presentations at Best. In movies that range from the early talkie “M” by German director Fritz Lang (explored June 23) through two Hollywood films of the classic noir period of the 1940’s-50’s, through the neo-noir of the Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple,” the series covers more than a half-century of noir and showcases the acting talents (in addition to the 26-year-old Lorre in the afore-mentioned “M”) of Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frances McDormand and the great character actor M. Emmet Walsh.

From Bosley Crowther’s 1945 New York Times review:

Check off “Murder, My Sweet” as a sure cure for low blood pressure. This is the story of a private detective who would take a dollar from anyone, with no questions asked. Phillip Marlowe is just a shade above his clients, who might be politely called questionable characters. He is not a particularly shrewd operator as Dick Powell draws him, but he has a persistence and capacity for taking a beating that is downright admirable. This is a new type of character for Mr. Powell. And while he may lack the steely coldness and cynicism of a Humphrey Bogart, Mr. Powell need not offer any apologies. He has definitely stepped out of the song-and-dance, pretty-boy league with this performance.

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by clips from the films to illustrate the points he is making. His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Remaining schedule:

Sun., June 30: “Murder, My Sweet” (1944)
Sun., July 7: “In a Lonely Place” (1950)
Sun., June 14: “Blood Simple” (1984)

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

 

Mark Schenker launches new “How to Read a Film” series on film noir masterpieces Sun., June 23, at 2 PM

In this eighth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, presents four lectures on “A Half-Century of Film Noir Masterpieces.” All four lectures will be held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 2 PM, starting on Sunday, June 23. Admission to each lecture is $7. The series kicks off with the 1931 proto-noir, Fritz Lang-directed classic “M.”

Mark Schenker offers another installment of his “How to Read a Film” series, with works by four directors who are new to his presentations at Best. In movies that range from Peter Lorre’s sensational performance as a serial killer in the early talkie “M” by German director Fritz Lang, through two Hollywood films of the classic noir period of the 1940’s-50’s, through the neo-noir of the Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple,” the series covers more than a half-century of noir and showcases the acting talents (in addition to the 26-year-old Lorre) of Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frances McDormand and the great character actor M. Emmet Walsh.

From M.H.’s 1931 New York Times review of “M”:

Based on the fiendish killings which spread terror among the inhabitants of Düsseldorf in 1929, there is at the Mayfair a German-language pictorial drama with captions in English bearing the succinct title “M,” which, of course, stands for murder. It was produced in 1931 by Fritz Lang and, as a strong cinematic work with, remarkably fine acting, it is extraordinarily effective, but its narrative, which is concerned with a vague conception of the activities of a demented slayer and his final capture, is shocking and morbid. Yet Mr. Lang has left to the spectator’s imagination the actual commission of the crimes.

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by clips from the films to illustrate the points he is making. His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

Schedule:

Sun., June 23: “M” (1931)
Sun., June 30: “Murder, My Sweet” (1944)
Sun., July 7: “In a Lonely Place” (1950)
Sun., June 14: “Blood Simple” (1984)

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Lecture about film: Mark Schenker concludes “A Quartet of Noir” series with “A Touch of Evil” Sun., Nov. 18, at 1 PM

In this seventh installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, presents four lectures on “A Quartet of Noir.” All four lectures will be held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 1 PM, starting on Sunday, Oct. 28. Admission to each lecture is $7. The series concludes on Sunday, Nov. 18, with a talk on the 1958 late noir “A Touch of Evil.”

The lectures this time have focused not on the work of an individual director but rather on a particular genre: film noir. All four movies are considered classics of the genre, from “The Killers” (based on a Hemingway short story, with Burt Lancaster in his film debut) to what is generally viewed as one of the last examples of film noir in its classic period, “A Touch of Evil” (written and directed by, and starring Orson Welles). Welles appears also in “The Third Man” (original screenplay by Graham Greene), with Joseph Cotten, who was the star of one of Hitchcock’s great noirs, “Shadow of a Doubt” (1943). On view will be the work of a number of classic movie stars: Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien, Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Trevor Howard and Kirk Douglas, in one of his earliest roles.

Listing “A Touch of Evil” as one of the “Great Movies,” Roger Ebert in 1998 wrote:

It was named best film at the 1958 Brussels World Fair (Godard and Truffaut were on the jury), but in America it opened on the bottom half of a double bill, failed, and put an end to Welles’ prospects of working within the studio system. Yet the film has always been a favorite of those who enjoy visual and dramatic flamboyance. “I’d seen the film four or five times before I noticed the story,” the director Peter Bogdanovich once told his friend Orson. “That speaks well for the story,” Welles rumbled sarcastically, but Bogdanovich replied, “No, no–I mean I was looking at the direction.”

That might be the best approach for anyone seeing the film for the first time: to set aside the labyrinthine plot, and simply admire what is on the screen.

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by clips from the films to illustrate the points he is making. His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: KENNY & AMANDA SMITH (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Nov. 10, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE ANGRY O’HARAS; FIDDLE/FX: GEORGIA RAE

• Sunday, Nov. 11, 1 PM. PROF. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—A QUARTET OF NOIR (“THE THIRD MAN,” 1949)

• Monday, Nov. 12. FILM SCREENING: NH DOCS—THE NEW HAVEN DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL & BVFCC PRESENT “PLAYING SOLDIER” with director ED GENDRON

• Tuesday, Nov. 13, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING: “REGARDING GRAVITY” (PRESENTED & WITH MUSIC BY SHAWN PERSINGER)

• Saturday, Nov. 10. BLUEGRASS: GEORGIA RAE, THE ANGRY O’HARAS

• Wednesday, Nov. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Nov. 15. SOLO AMBIENT PSYCH/INDIE ROCK: THE FOREST ROOM, BEN HECHT, EVELYN FLYNN GRAY

• Friday, Nov. 16. BLUES/ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Saturday, Nov. 17, 9 AM-10 PM. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY OPEN HOUSE CELEBRATION & FUNDRAISING EXTRAVAGANZA

• Sunday, Nov. 18, 1 PM. PROF. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—A QUARTET OF NOIR (“A TOUCH OF EVIL,” 1958)

• Monday, Nov. 19, 6 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Tuesday, Nov. 20, 8 PM. COMEDY: REEL LIFE—A STAND-UP SHOW with HOST KENDRA DAWSEY

• Friday, Nov. 23, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: DAVID PETERSON (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Nov. 24. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS—CD RELEASE!

• Wednesday, Nov. 28. INDIE FOLK: CLARA ENGEL; ART SONG: AN HISTORIC

• Thursday, Nov. 29. JCC PRESENTS “SIMPSONS” WRITER MIKE REISS, author of “SPRINGFIELD CONFIDENTIAL”

• Friday, Nov. 30, 8 PM. BLUEGRASS/AMERICANA: RIVER RUN

• Saturday, Dec. 1. BLUES/JUG BAND MUSIC: WASHBOARD SLIM & THE BLUE LIGHTS

• Sunday, Dec. 2, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Dec. 5. BLUES: CODA BLUE

• Thursday, Dec. 6, 7:30 PM. SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: FRANK CRITELLI, RICHARD NEAL, BOB CSUGIE, MARK MIRANDO

• Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Dec. 8. INDIE ROCK: AUDIO JANE, THE SAWTELLES

• Monday, Dec. 10, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Tuesday, Dec. 11, 6-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Dec. 13. GYPSY JAZZ: DJANGO’S RESERVE

• Friday, Dec. 14. BRAZILIAN JAZZ: SAMBELEZA

• Sunday, Dec. 16, 2-4 PM. MONTHLY IRISH/CELTIC MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Dec. 17. ONE MAN SHOW: SAL ANNUNZIATO—PART OF THE FAMILY: A MOB CHILDHOOD

• Tuesday, Dec. 18, 8 PM. COMEDY: REEL LIFE—A STAND-UP SHOW with HOST KENDRA DAWSEY

• Wednesday, Dec. 20. JAZZ: TONY PURRONE

Thursday, Dec. 20. INDIE ROCK: ZERO YEARS

• Friday, Dec. 21, 7:30 PM. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CHRISTMAS SHOW: DUST HAT, BRONSON ROCK

• Thursday, Dec. 27. INDIE ROCK: NO IDEA, BONSAI TREES

• Friday, Dec. 28. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: MATT BENNETT, QUINN LINDSAY

• Saturday, Jan. 5, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: NATA SABAT/MARK KILIANSKI DUO; DAVID SASSO/KAT WALLACE DUO (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Jan. 4. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE SPARKOMATICS, TOM HEARN

• Saturday, Jan. 5, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: NATE SABAT & MARK KILIANSKI, SASSO-WALLACE DUO (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Sunday, Jan. 6. GUITARTOWN SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Tuesday, Jan. 8, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE ELM CITY RAMBLERS

• Wednesday, Jan. 9, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Jan. 10. EXPERIMENTAL: UNDERWEAR plus TBA

• Monday, Jan. 14. ONE MAN SHOW: SAL ANNUNZIATO—PART OF THE FAMILY: A MOB CHILDHOOD

• Wednesday, Jan. 16. POP/ROCK: YOUTH XL, ROB NELSON

• Sunday, Jan. 20, 2-4 PM. IRISH/CELTIC MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Jan. 21, 6-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Tuesday, Jan. 29, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Sunday, Feb. 3. GUITARTOWN SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Feb. 4. MONTHLY MOVIE-RELATED TRIVIA NIGHT: TRIVIA-237

• Thursday, Feb. 7. INDIE FOLK: PODUNK THROWBACKS; Klezmer: KLEZMER FUSION COLLECTIVE

• Friday, Feb. 8. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Wednesday, Feb. 13. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Sunday, Feb. 17, 2-4 PM. IRISH/CELTIC MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Feb. 18, 6-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Saturday, Mar. 2. INDIE POP ROCK: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Sunday, Mar. 3. GUITARTOWN SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Mar. 4. MONTHLY MOVIE-RELATED TRIVIA NIGHT: TRIVIA-237

• Tuesday, Mar. 5, 7 PM. LITERARY: A READING FOR AL-MUTANABBI STREET—DAISY C. ABREU & STEPHEN VINCENT KOBASA

• Friday, Mar. 8. INDIE ROCK: PHEOBE

• Wednesday, Mar. 13. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Sunday, Mar. 17, 2-4 PM. IRISH/CELTIC MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Mar. 18, 6-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, April 17. ACOUSTIC FOLK ROCK: PAUL DECOSTER, EXPERIMENTAL ACOUSTIC: KAREN HOGG

• Thursday, May 30. IMPROVISED MUSIC: URS LEIMGRUBER, ADAM MATLOCK

 

Mark Schenker returns for new lecture series starting Sun., Oct. 28; “How To Read a Film” topic is “A Quartet of Noir”

In this seventh installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker, Dean of Academic Affairs of Yale College, presents four lectures on “A Quartet of Noir.” All four lectures will be held on consecutive Sunday afternoons at 1 PM, starting on Sunday, Oct. 28. Admission to each lecture is $7. The series kicks off with the 1946 film noir classic “The Killers.”

Reservations are highly recommended.

The lectures this time focus not on the work of an individual director but rather on a particular genre: film noir. All four movies are considered classics of the genre, from “The Killers” (based on a Hemingway short story, with Burt Lancaster in his film debut) to what is generally viewed as one of the last examples of film noir in its classic period, “A Touch of Evil” (written and directed by, and starring Orson Welles). Welles appears also in “The Third Man” (original screenplay by Graham Greene), with Joseph Cotten, who was the star of one of Hitchcock’s great noirs, “Shadow of a Doubt” (1943). On view will be the work of a number of classic movie stars: Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien, Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Trevor Howard and Kirk Douglas, in one of his earliest roles.

Writing in The New York Times on the occasion of a 2015 Criterion Blu-Ray release of “The Killers” (paired with a 1964 updating directed by Don Siegel), critic J. Hoberman noted:

Like many artistically ambitious Hollywood movies of the 1940s, “The Killers” is clearly influenced by “Citizen Kane” — not just in its Expressionistic lighting, showy camera angles, carefully contrived mirror shots and percussive montage but also in its flashback structure. Its dramatic personae, however, are pure pulp.

Less a narrative than a Hollywood neighborhood, “The Killers” is populated by slang-slinging tough guys with tilted fedoras and dangled cigarettes and gorgeous dames who are not to be trusted. O’Brien is a low-rent Humphrey Bogart. Lancaster is dreamy, dense and doomed. Ava Gardner, in her first major movie, doesn’t do much more than exist. She hardly needs to.

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by clips from the films to illustrate the points he is making. His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Friday, Oct. 19, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Sunday, Oct. 21, 2-4 PM. IRISH MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Oct. 22, 6 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Tuesday, Oct. 23, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Wednesday, Oct. 24, 7:30. ROCK/PSYCHEDELIC: PHEOBE, SAP, THE LOST WEEKEND

• Thursday, Oct. 25. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH; SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

• Friday, Oct. 26, 7 PM. ANNUAL HALLOWEEN SPECIAL: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT ENSEMBLE scores HORROR FILM

• Sunday, Oct. 28, 1 PM. PROF. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—A QUARTET OF NOIR (“THE KILLERS,” 1946)

• Sunday, Oct. 28, 7:30 PM. INDIE SINGER-SONGWRITER: FUST, KATH BLOOM

• Thursday, Nov. 1. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: PONYBIRD, MEGGIE CZEPIEL, RAQUEL VIDAL, MELISSA TALHEM

• Friday, Nov. 2. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN & HER BAND, ELISA FLYNN

• Saturday, Nov. 3, 7 PM. AMERICANA: TANNERSVILLE

• Sunday, Nov. 4, 1 PM. DEAN MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—A QUARTET OF NOIR (“OUT OF THE PAST,” 1947)

• Sunday, Nov. 4, 5-8 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY SUNDAY BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Nov. 5, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Wednesday, Nov. 7. IMPROVISATION: WEST STREET TRIO, FUCHSPRELLEN

• Thursday, Nov. 8. CLASSICAL GUITAR: MAX STEINHOFF

• Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: KENNY & AMANDA SMITH (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Sunday, Nov. 11, 1 PM. PROF. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—A QUARTET OF NOIR (“THE THIRD MAN,” 1949)

• Monday, Nov. 12. FILM SCREENING: NH DOCS—THE NEW HAVEN DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL & BVFCC PRESENT “PLAYING SOLDIER” with director ED GENDRON

• Tuesday, Nov. 13, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING: “REGARDING GRAVITY” (PRESENTED & WITH MUSIC BY SHAWN PERSINGER)

• Saturday, Nov. 10. BLUEGRASS: GEORGIA RAE, THE ANGRY O’HARAS

• Wednesday, Nov. 14, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Nov. 15. SOLO AMBIENT PSYCH/INDIE ROCK: THE FOREST ROOM, BEN HECHT, EVELYN FLYNN GRAY

• Friday, Nov. 16. BLUES/ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Saturday, Nov. 17, 9 AM-10 PM. BVFCC ANNIVERSARY OPEN HOUSE CELEBRATION & FUNDRAISING EXTRAVAGANZA

• Sunday, Nov. 18, 1 PM. PROF. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—A QUARTET OF NOIR (“A TOUCH OF EVIL,” 1958)

• Tuesday, Nov. 20, 8 PM. COMEDY: REEL LIFE—A STAND-UP SHOW with HOST KENDRA DAWSEY

• Friday, Nov. 23, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: DAVID PETERSON (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Nov. 24. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS CD RELEASE PARTY

• Wednesday, Nov. 28. INDIE FOLK: CLARA ENGEL; ART SONG: AN HISTORIC

• Saturday, Dec. 1. BLUES/JUG BAND MUSIC: WASHBOARD SLIM & THE BLUE LIGHTS

• Monday, Dec. 3, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Wednesday, Dec. 5. BLUES: CODA BLUE

• Thursday, Dec. 6, 7:30 PM. SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: FRANK CRITELLI, RICHARD NEAL, BOB CSUGIE, MARK MIRANDO

• Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Saturday, Dec. 8. INDIE ROCK: AUDIO JANE, THE SAWTELLES

• Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, Dec. 13. GYPSY JAZZ: DJANGO’S RESERVE

• Friday, Dec. 14. BRAZILIAN JAZZ: SAMBELEZA

• Monday, Dec. 17. ONE MAN SHOW: SAL ANNUNZIATO—PART OF THE FAMILY: A MOB CHILDHOOD

• Tuesday, Dec. 18, 8 PM. COMEDY: REEL LIFE—A STAND-UP SHOW with HOST KENDRA DAWSEY

• Friday, Dec. 21, 7:30 PM. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CHRISTMAS SHOW: DUST HAT, BRONSON ROCK

• Thursday, Dec. 27. INDIE ROCK: NO IDEA, BONSAI TREES

• Saturday, Jan. 5, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: NATA SABAT/MARK KILIANSKI DUO; DAVID SASSO/KAT WALLACE DUO (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Tuesday, Jan. 8, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE ELM CITY RAMBLERS

• Friday, Jan. 11. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: ANNE MARIE MENTA, SHELLYE VALAUSKAS, LYS GUILLORN

• Thursday, Feb. 7. INDIE FOLK: PODUNK THROWBACKS; Klezmer: KLEZMER FUSION COLLECTIVE

“Four Decades of Hitchcock” lecture series concludes Sun., July 15, with “Psycho”

In this sixth installment of his series “How to Read A Film,” Mark Schenker of Yale College presents four lectures on “Four Decades of Hitchcock.” The series began on Sunday, June 24, with “The 39 Steps.” The series concludes this Sun., July 15, with Hitchcock’s classic 1960 fright-fest “Psycho.”

Reservations are highly recommended.

Mark Schenker’s lectures are accompanied by clips from the films to illustrate the points he is making. His previous lectures on the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Billy Wilder (among others) and the historical context in which the TV series “Downton Abbey” took place were erudite and entertaining.

“Psycho”—a psychological thriller (and perhaps the first slasher movie) starring Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh—is a classic, listed on Roger Ebert’s Web site as one of the “Great Movies.” The American Film Institute ranked “Psycho” at the top of  its list of the 100 Most Thrilling American Films and at #14 on its 2007 list of the 100 Greatest American Films of All Time. But, as Ebert noted in his appreciation, “Hitchcock deliberately wanted ‘Psycho’ to look like a cheap exploitation film. He shot it not with his usual expensive feature crew (which had just finished ‘North by Northwest’) but with the crew he used for his television show… In its visceral feel, “Psycho” has more in common with noir quickies like ‘Detour’ than with elegant Hitchcock thrillers like ‘Rear Window’ or ‘Vertigo.'”

In his famous series of interview with French director Francois Truffaut, Hitchcock replied to Truffaut’s suggestion that “”psycho” was an “experimental film”:

Possibly. My main satisfaction is that the film had an effect on the audiences, and I consider that very important. I don’t care about the subject matter; I don’t care about the acting; but I do care about the pieces of film and the photography and the sound-track and all the technical ingredients that made the audiences scream . . . They were aroused by pure film.

Prof. Schenker’s lectures address aspects of the individual works, characteristics of Kubrick’s art, and ways that participants can be better “readers” of film—more adept at what to look for and see in considering movies as work of art at no cost to their ability to entertain and enthrall us. Clips from each of the films accompany the lectures.

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Tuesday, July 10, 5:30-7:30. WALK TO END ALZHEIMER’S TEAM SIGN-UP

• Wednesday, July 11, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, July 12. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT, THE SAWTELLES

• Friday, July 13. BLUEGRASS: 5 IN THE CHAMBER

• Saturday, July 14. IMPROVISED MUSIC: GREX with special guest ALLEN LOWE

• Sunday, July 15, 2 PM. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR DECADES OF HITCHCOCK: “PSYCHO” (1960)

• Monday, July 16, 6 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, July 18, 5-7 PM. 48 HOUR FILM PROJECT MIX, MINGLE & SCREENING

• Thursday, July 19. FUNKY BLUESY ORIGINAL JAZZ: BAM JAM

• Friday, July 20. JAZZ: THE TONY PURRONE TRIO

• Tuesday, July 24. FILM SCORES OF NINA ROTA: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Wednesday, July 25, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: TOWN MOUNTAIN (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Thursday, July 26. BLUEGRASS: THE DUDLEY FARM STRING BAND

• Friday, July 27. FOLK: LOVERS LEAGUE; INDIE FOLK/POP: HYBIRD (RAVI KRISHNASWAMI)

• Wednesday, Aug. 1. AVANT-GARDE: EVAN MILLER, HUMAN FLOURISHING

• Friday, Aug. 3. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH

• Sunday, Aug. 5, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE AFTERNOON MONTHLY BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Aug. 6, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Thursday, Aug. 9. FOLK: STAN SULLIVAN

• Saturday, Aug. 11, 6 PM. COUCH YETI BOOKING PRESENTS NO BETTER, more TBA

• Wednesday, Aug. 15. ROOTS/ALT-COUNTRY: BLUE PONTIAC

• Thursday, Aug. 16. JAZZ: DAVID CHEVAN—”LETTERS FROM THE AFFAIR” WORLD PREMIERE

• Friday, Aug. 17. BLUEGRASS: PHIL ROSENTHAL & DAVE KIPHUTH

• Sunday, Aug. 19, 2-4 PM. IRISH MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Aug. 20, 6 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wed., Aug. 22. CONTRA DANCE MUSIC: WRY BRED

• Thursday, Aug. 23. SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: JON SCHLESINGER, BOP TWEEDIE

• Friday, Aug. 24. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE FURORS; ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Wed., Aug. 29. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Thursday, Aug. 30. SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: MARK MIRANDO, RICHARD NEAL, BOB CSUGIE, FRANK CRITELLI

• Friday, Aug. 31, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Sunday, Sept. 2, 2-5 PM. GUITARTOWNCT FREE AFTERNOON MONTHLY BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, Sept. 3, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Wednesday, Sept. 5. POP PUNK: DAGWOOD

• Friday, Sept. 7. JAZZ: GEORGE LESIW BAND

• Friday, Sept. 14. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: ROBERT MESSORE, STEPHEN NYSTRUP

• Sunday, Sept. 16, 2-4 PM. IRISH MUSIC JAM

• Monday, Sept. 17, 6 PM. GUITARTOWNCT MONTHLY EVENING BLUEGRASS JAM

• Saturday, Sept. 22. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Monday, Sept. 24, 7:30 PM. REMEMBERED IN THEIR OWN WORDS: A MEMORIAL READING FOR DONALD HALL & JANE KENYON​

• Thursday, Sept. 27, 7 PM. INDIE ROCK: PLANET WHAT (TULSA, OK), VIET RAHM (CHICAGO), DR. MARTINO, COMMERCIAL INTERRUPTION

• Friday, Sept. 28. AFRO-FUNK FUSION: THE LOST TRIBE

• Saturday, Sept. 29. JUG BAND MUSIC: WASHBOARD SLIM & THE BLUE LIGHTS

• Monday, Oct. 1, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Tuesday, Oct. 2, 7 PM. LITERARY READING: ALICE MATTISON, SANDI KAHN SHELTON

• Tuesday, Oct. 9. BLUEGRASS: THE ELM CITY RAMBLERS

• Friday, Oct. 12. DEEP HAMDEN FESTIVAL: PAT STONE & THE DIRTY BOOTS, VAL McKEE

• Saturday, Oct. 13. DEEP HAMDEN FESTIVAL: ALLEN LOWE—A LOVE SUPINE (with ADAM MATLOCK, BENJAMIN SMITH, ESDRAS LUBIN, JEFF CEDRONE, BOB GORRY)

• Sunday, Oct. 14. DEEP HAMDEN FESTIVAL: BRIAN JARAWA GRAY, LITLLE SILVER

• Wednesday. Oct. 17. ELM CITY NOISE FEST: performers TBA

• Friday, Oct. 19, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: MISSY RAINES & THE NEW HIP (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Nov. 2. INDIE ROCK: LYS GUILLORN & HER BAND, ELISA FLYNN

• Monday, Nov. 5, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: KENNY & AMANDA SMITH (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Monday, Dec. 3, 7:30 PM. TRIVIA 237—A BEST VIDEO MONTHLY TRIVIA NIGHT

• Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)