New Oscar contenders film series starts Tues., Feb. 7, with interracial romance/historical drama “Loving”

Best Video Film & Cultural Center’s next film series—showcasing Oscar-contending films—begins on Tuesday, Feb. 7, with a screening of “Loving.” An historical drama, “Loving” tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial Virginia couple who went to the Supreme Court to affirm their right to be married and to overturn Virginia’s racist anti-miscegenation law.

While “Loving” screens on a Tuesday, the five remaining films will be shown on the next five successive Monday nights. All screenings start at 7:15 PM. Admission to individual movies is $7—free for members of Temple Beth Sholom—or the advance price for the entire series is $30. Purchasers of the full series pass are also entitled to $10 off the cost of attending BVFCC’s Feb. 26 Oscar Day Brunch and Fundraiser.

All attendees for the three films preceding the Academy Awards broadcast will be given an Oscar ballot to fill out and a prize will be given to the individual who picks the most correct winners.

“The Oscar Race—The Main Contenders” is co-sponsored by Temple Beth Sholom Adult Education. The films will be introduced by either Best Video founder Hank Paper or Temple Beth Sholom Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic. As always, feel free to stick around for the optional post-film conversations.

We are very excited about this series, which features a lineup of films sure to spark some invigorating discussions.

View the trailer for the first movie in the series. “Loving”:

The schedule:

Tues., Feb. 7: “Loving”: They loved; a segregated Virginia did not love them back. Loving revisits a Supreme Court civil-rights landmark case on interracial marriage. “It was the absolute ordinariness of their love that defined them and that made their fight for it into an indelible story of this country.” (Manohla Dargis, The New York Times) “A cinematic take on a familiar story that’s deeply relevant today.”(Clay Cone) “The precision of Nichols’ film makes every shot meaningful….For once, a cinematic history lesson doesn’t feel artificial and processed in every pore.” (Tasha Robinson)

Mon., Feb. 13: “Birth of a Nation”: This tour-de-force retelling of the 1831 slave rebellion led by slave-turned-preacher Nat Turner – written, produced, directed, and starring Nate Parker – could not be more timely. “An unapologetic, impassioned biopic, this film begins quietly but ends in a howl of rage. It might not be perfect, but it’s powerful enough to stay with you….soul-shakingly powerful.” (Phil De Semlyen, Empire)

Mon., Feb. 20: “Arrival”: When gigantic spaceships touch down around the world, linguistic professor (Amy Adams) races against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrials, taking a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind. “Epic and intimate.” (Christopher Orr, The Atlantic). “This deeply thoughtful, profoundly compassionate sci-fi movie beautifully mixes realism with a sense of wonder.” (Common Sense Media). “The best film of the year to date, ambitious in conception and extraordinary in execution, has arrived.” (Rotten Tomatoes)

Mon., Feb. 27: “Elle”: Isabelle Huppert delivers a stand-out performance as a ruthless, seemingly indestructible video game CEO, attacked in her home, who then turns the tables on her attacker. “A masterpiece of suave perversity, the movie leads its audience through a meticulously constructed maze of ambiguity, scrambling our assumptions and expectations at every turn.” (A.O. Scott, The New York Times)

Mon., Mar. 6: “Manchester By the Sea”: Following his brother’s death, a reclusive, depressive loner —working as a handyman in Boston — is summoned back to his coastal hometown where he reluctantly becomes guardian to his 16-year-old nephew and reunited with his divorced wife (Michelle Williams). “This beautifully textured, richly enveloping drama…succeeds because of its love for its characters, rather than for their misfortunes.” (David Sims, The Atlantic) “You can’t really prepare yourself for the emotional powerhouse that is ‘Manchester by the Sea.’ … No film this year has moved me more with its humor, heart and humanity.” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)

Mon., Mar. 13: “Moonlight”: A young man deals with his dysfunctional home life as he comes of age in Miami during the “War on Drugs” era, struggling to find himself as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love while grappling with his own sexuality. “’Moonlight’ is both a disarmingly, at times almost unbearably personal film and an urgent social document, a hard look at American reality and a poem written in light, music and vivid human faces.” (A.O. Scott, The New York Times) “‘Moonlight’ [is] a flat-out masterpiece.” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Jan. 26. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: THE BOSSA NOVA PROJECT

• Friday, Jan. 27. ROOTS ROCK: BRONSON ROCK

• Saturday, Jan. 28. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Jan. 30. FILM SCREENING: SEAN KERNAN’S “CROW STORIES”

• Wednesday, Feb. 1. JAZZ OF OUR GENERATION: JEFF FULLER & TONY LOMBARDOZZI & BARRY REIS

• Friday, Feb. 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Sunday, Feb. 5. FREE FIRST SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM HOSTED BY GUITARTOWNCT

• Tuesday, Feb. 7. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “LOVING”

• Wednesday, Feb. 8. BLUEGRASS: BAIT AND SWITCH

• Thursday, Feb. 9. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Friday, Feb. 10. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING, MERCY CHOIR (solo)

• Monday, Feb. 13. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “BIRTH OF A NATION”

• Thursday, Feb. 16. ALT-COUNTRY/ROCK: NO LINE NORTH

• Friday, Feb. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ALEX BLAIR

• Monday, Feb. 20. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “ARRIVAL”

• Wednesday, Feb. 22. JAZZ: THE PAUL SHANLEY QUARTET

• Thursday, Feb. 23. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Friday, Feb. 24. INDIE POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Saturday, Feb. 25. PROTEST MUSIC CABARET: “SHALL WE TALK ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT?”

• Sunday, Feb. 26. “AND THE AWARD GOES TO…”: BVFCC OSCAR AWARDS BRUNCH/FUNDRAISER 4-6 PM

• Monday, Feb. 27. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “ELLE”

• Saturday, Mar. 4. CULT FILM SCREENING: TBA

• Monday, Mar. 6. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “MANCHESTER BY THE SEA”

• Saturday, Mar. 11. JAZZ: THE FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE PLAYS “BLACK, BROWN AND BEIGE; YELLOW, TRANS AND QUEER: MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THIS (A PROTEST SUITE COMPOSED BY ALLEN LOWE)

• Monday, Mar. 13. FILM SERIES SCREENING: “MOONLIGHT”

• Thursday, Mar. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SETH ADAM, KATHY MUIR

Friday, Mar. 17. INDIE ROCK: DISCO TEEN 66

• Wednesday, Mar. 22. CLASSICAL: 4-3-2-1: A EUPHONIUM AND FRIENDS PRODUCTION

• Friday, Mar. 24. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH; SINGER-SONGWRITER: BELLE OF THE FALL

• Saturday, Mar. 25. JAZZ: : THE FAKE MUSIC ENSEMBLE PLAYS “BLACK, BROWN AND BEIGE; YELLOW, TRANS AND QUEER: MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THIS (A PROTEST SUITE COMPOSED BY ALLEN LOWE)

• Wednesday, Mar. 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: LAMONT

• Saturday, Apr. 1. CULT FILM SCREENING: TBA

• Saturday, Apr. 8. CLASSICAL GUITAR: MAX LYMAN; AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: ALEXANDER

• Friday, Apr. 21. POP: THE DRESS-UPS

• Friday, Apr. 28. BLUEGRASS: THE SLOCAN RAMBLERS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SHAWN TAYLOR & WANDERING ROOTS (CD Release)

• Saturday, May 6. CULT FILM SCREENING: TBA

 

Film screening: Hitchcock’s “Lifeboat,” a great moral dilemma, Mon., July 18

Poster - Lifeboat_01_WebThe Best Video Film & Cultural Center film series “5 Great Directors—5 Great Moral Dilemmas,” continues Monday, July 18, with a screening of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock’s 1944 film “Lifeboat,” starring Tallulah Bankhead.  The series—presented in concert with Temple Beth Sholom’s Adult Education program—runs on consecutive Mondays from July 11 through August 8. Each screening starts at 7:15 PM and admission is $7. (Temple Beth Sholom members get in for free.)

Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic from Temple Beth Sholom will introduce the movie and lead the discussion for “Remember” and “Magnificent Obsession;” Best Video founder Hank Paper will do the same for “Lifeboat,” “Ace in the Hole,” and “The Train.”

From Bosley Crowther’s 1944 New York Times review: “That old master of screen melodrama, Alfred Hitchcock, and Writer John Steinbeck have combined their distinctive talents in a tremendously provocative film—indeed, a surprisingly unique one—titled “Lifeboat,” which came to the Astor yesterday. With only nine characters under scrutiny within the limits of a standard ship’s lifeboat—an area from which the camera never at any time departs—they have peeled off a tense and vital drama of survivors adrift from a torpedoed ship, absorbing in its revelations of character and its brilliantly pictorialized details. However, they have also given us an allegorical film with a theme which is startling in its broad implications, especially in this critical time.”

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Monday, July 11. FILM SCREENING: “REMEMBER”

• Wednesday, July 13. ROCK: HOLIDAY PING

• Friday, July 15. SINGER-SONGWRITER: KATH BLOOM, BOP TWEEDIE

• Monday, July 18. FILM SCREENING: “LIFEBOAT”

• Wednesday, July 20. BLUEGRASS: DUDLEY FARMS STRING BAND

• Thursday, July 21. JAZZ: BRETT BOTTOMLEY

• Friday, July 22. FOLK: HOMEMADE JAM

• Sunday, July 24. INDIE, HIP-HOP: RUNNING LAPS & NATHAN CORP, THE FOREST ROOM, CHEF THE CHEF, ZAK G.

• Monday, July 25. FILM SCREENING: “ACE IN THE HOLE”

• Wednesday, July 27. DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS PRESENTS THE MUSIC OF ENNIO MORRICONE

• Thursday, July 28. DIY/EXPERIMENTAL: PAINTED FACES, BIG NURSE

• Friday, July 29. ART-ROCK: FE FI FO

• Monday, Aug. 1. FILM SCREENING: “THE TRAIN”

• Wednesday, Aug. 3. INDIE ROCK: JELLYSHIRTS

• Thursday, Aug. 4. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC: THE NAMELESS TRIO

• Friday, Aug. 5. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND, EARTHLINGS

• Monday, Aug. 8. FILM SCREENING: “MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION”

• Wednesday, Aug. 10. BLUEGRASS: EAST ROCK RAMBLERS

• Thursday, Aug. 11. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT

• Wednesday, Aug. 17. SINGER-SONGWRITER POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE, TINY OCEAN

• Friday, Aug. 19. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: PONYBIRD, FRANK CRITELLI, CHRISTOPHER BOUSQUET

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Sunday, Sept. 25. SURJ FILM SCREENING: “RACE: THE POWER OF AN ILLUSION”

• Friday, Oct. 7. BLUEGRASS/NEW ACOUSTIC: JOE WALSH & FRIENDS (A GUITARTOWN CT PRODUCTION)

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

New film series—”5 Great Directors, 5 Great Moral Dilemmas”—begins Mon., July 11

Directors_Dilemmas_flyer_WebThe next Best Video Film & Cultural Center film series begins Monday, July 11, with a screening of Canadian director Atom Egoyan’s recent thriller “Remember,” starring Christopher Plummer. The series, presented in concert with Temple Beth Sholom’s Adult Education program, features five films by great directors that eal with pressing moral dilemmas. The series runs on consecutive Mondays from July 11 through August 8. Each screening starts at 7:15 PM and admission is $7. (Temple Beth Sholom members get in for free.)

Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic from Temple Beth Sholom will introduce the movie and lead the discussion for “Remember” and “Magnificent Obsession;” Best Video founder Hank Paper will do the same for “Lifeboat,” “Ace in the Hole,” and “The Train.”

The schedule:

July 11: Atom Egoyan’s “REMEMBER” • A resident with dementia, played by Christopher Plummer, escapes from his nursing home to track down and assassinate the former Auschwitz guard who killed his family during World War II. Martin Landau is his fellow resident and plotter who aids his search across the country in this suspenseful, twisty tale from the director of The Sweet Hereafter.

July 18: Alfred Hitchcock’s “LIFEBOAT” • Nothing stretches the boundaries of morality and suspense like people in a lifeboat. In this masterpiece of twists and ongoing perilous decisions, Tallulah Bankhead gives a career-defining performance in the good company of Hume Cronyn, William Bendix, Walter Slezak, and Henry Hull. But Hitchcock’s artistry is the true star.

July 25: Billy Wilder’s “ACE IN THE HOLE” • A scrabbling and ambitious journalist exploits the sufferings of the victims of a coal mine disaster in order to jump-start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus. This brilliant un-Hollywood film, with white hot acting by Kirk Douglas, was way ahead of its time in 1951. In an era of social networking and the 24 hour news cycle, this film’s time is now.

August 1: John Frankenheimer’s “THE TRAIN” • What is worth more: a masterpiece of art or a human life? Like “The Swimmer,” this Burt Lancaster film is unforgettable. A stationmaster and resistance leader is asked to stop — at any cost — a heavily guarded Nazi train filled with France’s best paintings. Non-stop suspense, ingenious plotting and a philosophic context keep this film on track as a celluloid masterpiece. With Jeanne Moreau and Paul Scofield as the equally determined, art connoisseur commandant of the titular train.

August 8: Douglas Sirk’s “MAGINIFICENT OBSESSION” • When a rich, self-absorbed playboy crashes his speedboat on a lake, the only ambulance in town saves his life rather than tending to a stricken self-sacrificing doctor. When the doctor dies, it sets in motion a journey of unexpected twists and turns leading to a higher power, including a torrid and forbidden love.

Film screening: “Fruitvale Station” concludes great political films series Mon., May 9, at 7 PM

fruitvale-station-poster02_WebProgrammed in consultation with the League of Women Voters (Hamden-North Haven) and Temple Beth Sholom, the current film series—dubbed “Candidates, Campaigns, and Controversies: Great Political Films”—features classic films dealing with politics and political issues. “Fruitvale Station”, illuminating one young man’s life at the heart of Black Lives Matter, screens this Monday, May 9, at 7 PM. Admission is $7 (free for TBS members).

Director Ryan Coogler’s (“Creed”) first feature and based on true events, “Fruitvale Station” is a searing and humane drama that invites the viewer to get to know Oscar Grant—played by Michael B. Jordan—as a full human being, rather than just a statistic on the nightly news. Production on the film predated the coining of the #Black Lives Matter hashtag but the film eloquently expresses the concerns at the heart of that movement.

“Fruitvale Station” was a New York Times Critic’s Pick. Reviewer A.O. Scott wrote, “[Director Ryan Coogler’s] main intention — and his great achievement, as well as Mr. Jordan’s — is to make Oscar a fully human presence, to pay him the respect of acknowledging his complexities and contradictions. The radicalism of ‘Fruitvale Station’ lies precisely here, in its refusal to turn a man into a symbol. Nearly every black man, whether or not he is president, tends to be flattened out by popular culture and the psychopathology of everyday American life, rendered as an innocent victim, a noble warrior or a menace to society. There is a dehumanizing violence in this habit, a willed, toxic blindness that ‘Fruitvale Station’ at once exposes and resists.”

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, May 5. BLUEGRASS: THE WALKINGWOOD MANDOLIN QUARTET

• Friday, May 6. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Saturday, May 7. SOFT ACOUSTIC/ROCK: THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS

• Monday, May 9. FILM SCREENING: “FRUITVALE STATION”

• Tuesday, May 10. ECLECTIC: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS, PRETEND IT DIDN’T HAPPEN, THE HUMAN LIGHT BOX

• Wednesday, May 11. FILM SCREENING: BRIAN ROBINSON PRESENTS “THE APPLE”

• Friday, May 13. THREE SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: ANNE MARIE MENTA, DICK NEAL, GLEN ROETHEL

• Saturday, May 14. FILM SCREENING/WINE & CHEESE TASTING: VINO/NOIR

• Monday, May 16. FILM SCREENING: “SARAH’S KEY” (in partnership with the Jewish Community Center of New Haven)

• Wednesday, May 18. BLUES: CODA BLUE

• Thursday, May 19. EXPERIMENTAL: RIVENER, CRETELLA|PAOLUCCI DUO, ID M THEFT ABLE & FLANDREW FLEISENBERG

• Friday, May 20. JAZZ VOCALS & GUITAR: LINDA SATIN & JOE CARTER

• Thursday, May 26. EXPERIMENTAL: ELECTRONHIC

• Friday, May 27. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN

• Thursday, June 2. HALFWAY TO GUITAR NIGHT: SHAWN PERSINGER, NANCY TUCKER, NORMAN PLNKEY, ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, June 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SHAWN TAYLOR

• Thursday, June 9. CABARET/SINATRA: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY

• Thursday, June 16. CHRISTOPHER ARNOTT & LYS GUILLORN CELEBRATE BLOOMSDAY

• Friday, June 24. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH, ALT-COUNTRY: LINES WEST

• Thursday, June 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: EUGENE GALLAGHER, QUINN HARLEY

• Friday, July 1. POST-PUNK: TELEGRAM SCAM

• Friday, July 29. ART-ROCK: FE FI FO

• Friday, Aug. 5. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND, EARTHLINGS

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

Film Screening: Political film series continues with “The Candidate” Mon., May 2, at 7 PM

the_candidate_poster_WebProgrammed in consultation with the League of Women Voters (Hamden-North Haven) and Temple Beth Sholom, the current film series—dubbed “Candidates, Campaigns, and Controversies: Great Political Films”—features clasic films dealing with politics and political issues. “The Candidate” screens this Monday, May 2, at 7 PM. Admission is $7 (free for TBS members).

What happens when an idealistic political candidate enters the sausage-making machine of American politics? Bill McKay, an idealistic legal services attorney played by Robert Redford, finds out in this 1972 comedy-drama. Directed by Michael Ritchie, “The Candidate” was written by Jeremy Larner, a former speechwriter for Sen. Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 insurgent antiwar challenge to Lyndon Johnson.

Writing in the New York Times in 1972, critic Vincent Canby noted, “We all know that men who run for public office hoping only to improve the tone of the campaign, to raise the real issues, usually fail — and look terrible on television, which may be even worse. We suspect that only winning counts, yet we also fondly believe—since we’ve seen it demonstrated often enough—that the system is so corrupt that no good man can win without either being hopelessly corrupted or turned into a bewildered cipher. That pretty well describes what happens to Bill McKay (Robert Redford), the liberal young California Democrat who campaigns for the United States Senate in ‘The Candidate,’ one of the few good, truly funny American political comedies ever made.”

The schedule:

MAY 2: THE CANDIDATE • Idealism: What have you got to lose when you know you can’t win? Or can you? Robert Redford as an earnest young nominee.

MAY 9: FRUITVALE STATION  • One of the most powerfully affecting independent films, starring Michael B. Jordan (Creed) as Oscar Grant, a young Black man shot by the police. Based on true events, up to the minute and unforgettable.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Apr. 28. TIN PAN ALLEY: ZAHTIE’S BATHTUB GIN

• Friday, Apr. 29. EXPERIMENTAL: FUCHSPRELLEN

• Sunday, May 1. FREE AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Monday, May 2. FILM SCREENING: “THE CANDIDATE”

• Thursday, May 5. BLUEGRASS: THE WALKINGWOOD MANDOLIN QUARTET

• Friday, May 6. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Saturday, May 7. SOFT ACOUSTIC/ROCK: THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS

• Monday, May 9. FILM SCREENING: “FRUITVALE STATION”

• Tuesday, May 10. ECLECTIC: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS, PRETEND IT DIDN’T HAPPEN, THE HUMAN LIGHT BOX

• Wednesday, May 11. ROCK: THE NEW CHASTITY

• Friday, May 13. THREE SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: ANNE MARIE MENTA, DICK NEAL, GLEN ROETHEL

• Saturday, May 14. FILM SCREENING/WINE & CHEESE TASTING: VINO/NOIR

• Monday, May 16. FILM SCREENING: “SARAH’S KEY” (in partnership with the Jewish Community Center of New Haven)

• Thursday, May 19. EXPERIMENTAL: RIVENER, CRETELLA|PAOLUCCI DUO, FLANDREW FLEISENBERG

• Friday, May 20. JAZZ VOCALS & GUITAR: LINDA SATIN & JOE CARTER

• Thursday, May 26. EXPERIMENTAL: ELECTRONHIC

• Friday, May 27. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN

• Friday, June 3. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SHAWN TAYLOR

• Thursday, June 9. CABARET/SINATRA: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY

• Thursday, June 16. CHRISTOPHER ARNOTT & LYS GUILLORN CELEBRATE BLOOMSDAY

• Friday, June 24. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH, ALT-COUNTRY: LINES WEST

• Thursday, June 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: EUGENE GALLAGHER

• Friday, July 1. POST-PUNK: TELEGRAM SCAM

• Friday, Aug. 5. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

“Bulworth” screens Tues., Apr. 19, at 7 PM

Bulworth_Movie_Poster_WebProgrammed in consultation with the League of Women Voters (Hamden-North Haven) and Temple Beth Sholom, the current film series—dubbed “Candidates, Campaigns, and Controversies: Great Political Films”—features clasic films dealing with politics and political issues. This upcoming screening of “Bulworth” will be held Tuesday, Apr. 19, rather than the usual Monday. With the exception of “Bulworth,” all the screenings will be on Mondays at 7 PM. Admission to each screening is $7 (TBS members get in free).

“Bulworth” is a 1998 political satire co-written, co-produced, directed by, and starring Warren Beatty. Beatty plays a U.S. Senator going through a political and midlife crisis who throws off the constraints of political propriety

Writing in the New York Times in 1998, critic Janet Maslin declared, “A political thriller pumped with as much dramatic juice as ‘The Contender’ doesn’t have to be believable to be gripping. If it’s realism you want, go rent the underappreciated ‘Primary Colors.’ What makes this twisty, cautionary yarn, written and directed by Rod Lurie, delicious is a cast that chews the scenery with such obvious enjoyment that you’re happy to put up with its tin-eared oratory and preposterous plot turns for the sake of a good ride.”

The schedule:

APR. 11: THE CONTENDER • Joan Allen as a nominee for Vice President! With an Oscar contending turn by Gary Oldman as the inquisitor senator and Jeff Bridges as the wily, loosey-goosey President.

TUESDAY, APR. 19: BULWORTH  • Even these days, who says fun and politics can’t mix? Our vote is for Bulworth: brilliant,
hysterical and terrifying tour-de-force with Warren Beatty and Halle Berry.

APR. 25: A FACE IN THE CROWD • Andy Griffith — yes, a great actor — as a folksy demagogue! It can’t happen here — or can it? A cautionary, prescient tale of politics and the media.

MAY 2: THE CANDIDATE • Idealism: What have you got to lose when you know you can’t win? Or can you? Robert Redford as an earnest young nominee.

MAY 9: FRUITVALE STATION  • One of the most powerfully affecting independent films, starring Michael B. Jordan (Creed) as Oscar Grant, a young Black man shot by the police. Based on true events, up to the minute and unforgettable.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Apr. 14. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE, BOX FAN

• Friday, Apr. 15. ROCK: ROPE, HARRY TOKARZ

• Tues., Apr. 19. FILM SCREENING: “BULWORTH”

• Wednesday, Apr. 20. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Thursday, Apr. 21. INDIE FOLK: THE MID SEASON, XAVIER SERRANO

• Friday, Apr. 22. JAZZ: REBECCA ABBOTT, GARY GRIPPO & FRIENDS

• Monday, Apr. 25. FILM SCREENING: “A FACE IN THE CROWD”

• Thursday, Apr. 28. TIN PAN ALLEY: ZAHTIE’S BATHTUB GIN

• Saturday, Apr. 30. FILM SCREENING/WINE & CHEESE TASTING: VINO/NOIR

• Monday, May 2. FILM SCREENING: “THE CANDIDATE”

• Thursday, May 5. BLUEGRASS: THE WALKINGWOOD MANDOLIN QUARTET

• Friday, May 6. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Saturday, May 7. SOFT ACOUSTIC/ROCK: THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS

• Monday, May 9. FILM SCREENING: “FRUITVALE STATION”

• Wednesday, May 11. ROCK: THE NEW CHASTITY

• Friday, May 13. THREE SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: ANNE MARIE MENTA, DICK NEAL, GLEN ROETHEL

• Monday, May 16. FILM SCREENING: “SARAH’S KEY” (in partnership with the Jewish Community Center of New Haven)

• Thursday, May 19. EXPERIMENTAL: RIVENER, BLACK FLUFF

• Friday, May 20. JAZZ VOCALS & GUITAR: LINDA SATIN & JOE CARTER

• Thursday, May 26. EXPERIMENTAL: ELECTRONHIC

• Thursday, June 16. CHRISTOPHER ARNOTT & LYS GUILLORN CELEBRATE BLOOMSDAY

• Friday, Aug. 5. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

Film Screening: “The Contender,” Mon., Apr. 11, part of great political films series

Programmed in consultation with the League of Women Voters (Hamden-North Haven) and Temple Beth Sholom, the current film series—dubbed “Candidates, Campaigns, and Controversies: Great Political Films”—features clasic films dealing with politics and political issues. The series continues on Monday, Apr. 11, with a screening of the 2000 drama “The Contender,” starring Joan Allen, Jeff Bridges and Gary Oldman. With the exception of “Bulworth” on Tuesday, Apr. 19, all the screenings will be on Mondays at 7 PM. Admission to each screening is $7 (TBS members get in free).

Joan Allen portrays a Senator who is nominated by the President (Jeff Bridges) to fill a vacancy caused by the death of the incumbent veep. Gary Oldman plays the role of her political opponent who tries to derail her nomination by airing a seeming sex scandal from her collegiate past.

Writing in the New York Times in 2000, critic Stephen Holden opined, “A political thriller pumped with as much dramatic juice as ‘The Contender’ doesn’t have to be believable to be gripping. If it’s realism you want, go rent the underappreciated ‘Primary Colors.’ What makes this twisty, cautionary yarn, written and directed by Rod Lurie, delicious is a cast that chews the scenery with such obvious enjoyment that you’re happy to put up with its tin-eared oratory and preposterous plot turns for the sake of a good ride.”

The schedule:

APR. 11: THE CONTENDER • Joan Allen as a nominee for Vice President! With an Oscar contending turn by Gary Oldman as the inquisitor senator and Jeff Bridges as the wily, loosey-goosey President.

TUESDAY, APR. 19: BULWORTH  • Even these days, who says fun and politics can’t mix? Our vote is for Bulworth: brilliant, hysterical and terrifying tour-de-force with Warren Beatty and Halle Berry.

APR. 25: A FACE IN THE CROWD • Andy Griffith — yes, a great actor — as a folksy demagogue! It can’t happen here — or can it? A cautionary, prescient tale of politics and the media.

MAY 2: THE CANDIDATE • Idealism: What have you got to lose when you know you can’t win? Or can you? Robert Redford as an earnest young nominee.

MAY 9: FRUITVALE STATION  • One of the most powerfully affecting independent films, starring Michael B. Jordan (Creed) as Oscar Grant, a young Black man shot by the police. Based on true events, up to the minute and unforgettable.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Apr. 7. BLUES: THE MOODY’S BLUES

• Friday. Apr. 8. FOLK: HUGH BIRDSALL & DANA TAKAKI

• Monday, Apr. 11. FILM SCREENING: “THE CONTENDER”

• Thursday, Apr. 14. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE, BOX FAN

• Friday, Apr. 15. ROCK: ROPE

• Tues., Apr. 19. FILM SCREENING: “BULWORTH”

• Wednesday, Apr. 20. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Thursday, Apr. 21. INDIE FOLK: THE MID SEASON, XAVIER SERRANO

• Friday, Apr. 22. JAZZ: REBECCA ABBOTT, GARY GRIPPO & FRIENDS

• Monday, Apr. 25. FILM SCREENING: “A FACE IN THE CROWD”

• Thursday, Apr. 28. SEPHARDIC MUSIC: THE HERETICS OF CORDOBA

• Monday, May 2. FILM SCREENING: “THE CANDIDATE”

Thursday, May 5. FOLK/BLUEGRASS: WALKINGWOOD MANDOLIN QUARTET

• Friday, May 6. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Saturday, May 7. SOFT ACOUSTIC/ROCK: THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS

• Monday, May 9. FILM SCREENING: “FRUITVALE STATION”

• Wednesday, May 11. ROCK: THE NEW CHASTITY

• Friday, May 13. THREE SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: ANNE MARIE MENTA, DICK NEAL, GLEN ROETHEL

• Monday, May 16. FILM SCREENING: “SARAH’S KEY” (in partnership with the Jewish Community Center of New Haven)

• Thursday, May 19. EXPERIMENTAL: RIVENER, BLACK FLUFF

• Friday, May 20. JAZZ VOCALS & GUITAR: LINDA SATIN & JOE CARTER

• Thursday, June 16. CHRISTOPHER ARNOTT & LYS GUILLORN CELEBRATE BLOOMSDAY

• Friday, Aug. 5. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

 

New film series, “Candidates, Campaigns & Controversies: Great Political Films,” kicks off Mon., Apr. 4

Candidate_Film_list_final_WebThe next Best Video Film & Cultural Center film and discussion series begins on Monday, Apr. 4, with a screening of the 1964 brokered convention drama “The Best Man,” starring Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson. With the exception of “Bulworth” on Tuesday, Apr. 19, all the screenings will be on Mondays at 7 PM.

Programmed in consultation with the League of Women Voters (Hamden-North Haven) and Temple Beth Sholom, the series—dubbed “Candidates, Campaigns, and Controversies: Great Political Films”—features classic films dealing with politics and political issues. Admission to each screening is $7 (TBS members get in free).

The schedule:

APR. 4: THE BEST MAN • Looking back — and looking ahead — with the brilliant Gore Vidal’s masterfully dramatic screenplay about a brokered national convention. Stars Henry Fonda as the candidate we’d like, Cliff Robertson as the one we fear.

APR. 11: THE CONTENDER • Joan Allen as a nominee for Vice President! With an Oscar contending turn by Gary Oldman as the inquisitor senator and Jeff Bridges as the wily, loosey-goosey President.

TUESDAY, APR. 19: BULWORTH  • Even these days, who says fun and politics can’t mix? Our vote is for Bulworth: brilliant, hysterical and terrifying tour-de-force with Warren Beatty and Halle Berry.

APR. 25: A FACE IN THE CROWD • Andy Griffith — yes, a great actor — as a folksy demagogue! It can’t happen here — or can it? A cautionary, prescient tale of politics and the media.

MAY 2: THE CANDIDATE • Idealism: What have you got to lose when you know you can’t win? Or can you? Robert Redford as an earnest young nominee.

MAY 9: FRUITVALE STATION  • One of the most powerfully affecting independent films, starring Michael B. Jordan (Creed) as Oscar Grant, a young Black man shot by the police. Based on true events, up to the minute and unforgettable.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Mar. 23. EXPERIMENTAL: THE FOREST ROOM, NICK Di MARIA: ZERO DOLLAR SOLO

• Thursday, Mar. 24. ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT

• Friday, Mar. 25. SINGER-SONGWRITER: DICK NEAL

• Monday, Mar. 28. FOLK: TREVOR HEALY/JASON LABBE DUO, CHUCK JOHNSON

• Wednesday, Mar. 30. INDIE ROCK/SINGER-SONGWRITER: WESTERN ESTATES, ZACH ANDERSEN

• Thursday, Mar. 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI, JOE FLOOD

• Friday, Apr. 1. BLUES ROCK: JUST US featuring NOAH KESSELMAN

• Sunday, Apr. 3. FREE 2 PM AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM

• Sunday, Apr. 3. BEST VIDEO FILM & CULTURAL CENTER & THE INSTITUTE LIBRARY present “BOOKS TO FILM: THE WAY,” with special guest JACK HITT at The Institute Library in New Haven

• Monday, Apr. 4. FILM SCREENING: “THE BEST MAN”

• Wednesday, Apr. 6. INDIE ROCK presented by Redscroll Records: HEX INVERTER, DIRT DEVIL, NOTHING ISRAEL

• Thursday, Apr. 7. BLUES: THE MOODY’S BLUES

• Friday. Apr. 8. FOLK: HUGH BIRDSALL & DANA TAKAKI

• Monday, Apr. 11. FILM SCREENING: “THE CONTENDER”

• Thursday, Apr. 14. INDIE ROCK: SPIT-TAKE, BOX FAN

• Tues., Apr. 19. FILM SCREENING: “BULWORTH”

• Wednesday, Apr. 20. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Thursday, Apr. 21. INDIE FOLK: THE MID SEASON, XAVIER SERRANO

• Friday, Apr. 22. JAZZ: REBECCA ABBOTT, GARY GRIPPO & FRIENDS

• Monday, Apr. 25. FILM SCREENING: “A FACE IN THE CROWD”

• Thursday, Apr. 28. SEPHARDIC MUSIC: THE HERETICS OF CORDOBA

• Monday, May 2. FILM SCREENING: “THE CANDIDATE”

• Friday, May 6. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Saturday, May 7. SOFT ACOUSTIC/ROCK: THE HERNANDEZ BROTHERS

• Monday, May 9. FILM SCREENING: “FRUITVALE STATION”

• Wednesday, May 11. ROCK: THE NEW CHASTITY

• Friday, May 13. THREE SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: ANNE MARIE MENTA, DICK NEAL, GLEN ROETHEL

• Monday, May 16. FILM SCREENING: “SARAH’S KEY” (in partnership with the Jewish Community Center of New Haven)

• Friday, May 20. JAZZ VOCALS & GUITAR: LINDA SATIN & JOE CARTER

• Tuesday, Aug. 30. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Saturday, Oct. 8. THE NEW ENGLAND UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL

 

Film Screening: “Above and Beyond,” about birth of the Israeli Air Force, on Mon., Nov. 2—RESERVATIONS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! (Co-sponsored by Temple Beth Sholom & JCC of Greater New Haven)

Above_Beyond_flyer_WebBest Video Film & Cultural Center will screen the Nancy Spielberg documentary “Above and Beyond” on Monday, Nov. 2, at 7 PM. According to a New York Times review, “Produced by Nancy Spielberg (sister of Steven Spielberg), the documentary ‘Above and Beyond’ recounts the story of Jewish American pilots who, beginning in 1948, secretly fought for Israel in its war of independence, when the Israeli military was nascent.” The screening is co-sponsored by Temple Beth Sholom—Temple members may attend for free; admission is $7 for others—and the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven.

Reservations are highly recommended—it is possible that this screening will sell out.

Best Video owner Hank Paper says, “Among the many good films I saw at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, this was the best and most powerful—as incredible a story as the Israeli victory it enabled.”

In 1948, in secret and at great personal risk, a ragtag group of veteran American fighter pilots smuggled planes into Israel and piloted them in its war of Independence—turning the tide of war, embarking on personal journeys of discovery—and founding the Israeli Air Force. This is as much an American story as an Israeli one.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Oct. 28. CLASSICAL: HAVEN STRING QUARTET

• Thursday, Oct. 29. SYNTH POP/ROCK: MISSION ZERO

• Friday, Oct. 30. HALLOWEEN SILENT FILM SCREENING WITH LIVE SCORE: LIGHT UPON BLIGHT

• Monday, Nov. 2. FILM SCREENING: “ABOVE AND BEYOND”

• Wednesday, Nov. 4. OLD TIMEY/SWING: THE ZuZAZZ STRING ORKESTRA

• Thursday, Nov. 5. INDIE POP: LAMONT/PLAYFIGHT

• Friday, Nov. 6. RAGTIME/BLUES: THE RED HOTS

• Friday, Nov. 13. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: SAMBELEZA

• Wednesday, Nov. 18. FILM SCREENING: THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)

• Thursday, Nov. 19. DARK FOLK: ELISA FLYNN; SOUL PUNK: AN HISTORIC

• Friday, Nov. 20. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SABRINA TRUEHEART

• Sunday, Nov. 22. FILM SCREENING/BLACK LIVES MATTER BENEFIT: “ANNE BRADEN: SOUTHERN PATRIOT”

• Thursday, Dec. 3. ELECTRONIC: AVMUS

• Friday, Dec. 4. CLASSICAL: RAVENNA MICHALSEN & BETHANY WILDER

• Thursday, Dec. 10. BLUES/FOLK/COUNTRY: CODA BLUE

Next film series—”Found Horizons: Changes and Choices in Mid-Life”—begins Mon., Feb. 9

All_7_posters_2_rows_WebThe next film series in collaboration with Temple Beth Sholom begins Monday, Feb. 9, at 7 PM with a screening of the 1937 Frank Capra-directed “Lost Horizon.” “Found Horizons: Changes and Choices in Mid-Life” will feature powerful films in which the protagonists face stark mid-life choices. As has been our practice, each screening will begin with a short, context-setting introduction and by followed by an optional discussion.

Each screening begins at 7 PM. The cost for each movie is $5 and reservations are encouraged. The series is co-sponsored by Temple Beth Sholom Adult Education.

This is the schedule:

Monday, Feb. 9: “Lost Horizon” (1937)

Action adventure meets mystical adventure in this Frank Capra, Best Picture Oscar nominated film about a disparate group of travelers whose plane crashes in Shangri-La – each individual confronts change and possibility, but is it the miraculous utopia it’s supposed to be?

Monday, Feb. 16: “About Schmidt” (2002)

In this alternately outrageous, hilarious and tender film directed by Alexander Payne (“Nebraska,” “The Descendants,” “Sideways”) Jack Nicholson offers one of his iconic roles as an insurance worker who, upon retirement from a safe, predictable life, embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter’s wedding only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected.

Monday, Feb. 23: “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989)

(Martin Landau, Woody Allen) Without forsaking his self-reflexive humor, this Woody Allen film offers one of the most profound examinations of temptation and guilt. Oscar-nominated for Best actor, director and writing.

Monday, Mar. 2: “The Swimmer” (1968)

In this unique movie filmed in New Canaan, CT, a charismatic and mysterious man (played by Burt Lancaster), after a summer away, decides to swim in a succession of his neighbor’s pools that lead to his home, a stunt that winds up telling his life story. Engaging poolside encounters with an interesting cast of characters (including Joan Rivers, Marge Champion and Cornelius Otis Skinner) lead to a shattering revelation in this film that, once seen, is never forgotten.

Monday, Mar. 9: “Gran Torino” (2008)

In this multiple award winning film and old school parable, Clint Eastwood (who also directed the film) plays a disgruntled Korean veteran living alone in a Vietnamese neighborhood, determined to fight his own demons and prejudices with grit and resolve. DIRTY HARRY grows up.

Monday, Mar. 16: “Now, Voyager” (1942)

Can a Boston spinster without self-esteem and completely dominated by her wealthy mother blossom under therapy and find impossible romance? One of the most romantic movies – and perhaps most affecting Bette Davis film – ever made.

Monday, Mar. 23: “Up in the Air” (2009)

In this very contemporary film starring George Clooney and Vera Farmiga, Clooney enjoys a lucrative virtual life flying around the country firing people on behalf of their corporations, until he finds this perfect life threatened by a new hire and a frequent-traveler woman of his dreams.