Members’ Choice Film Screening: Breakout Jennifer Lawrence role in “Winter’s Bone” on Mon., Dec. 12

We asked for your input and we got a response! Starting on Monday, Nov. 21, and into December we present a new film series based on favorites chosen by Best Video Film & Cultural Center members. Each movie starts at 7 PM and admission is $7.

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On Monday, Dec. 12, BVFCC screens the 2010 feature “Winter’s Bone,” starring Jennifer Lawrence in her breakout role. Based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell and directed by Debra Granik, “Winter’s Bone” is a taut drama set in the Ozarks amid a milieu of poverty and drug dealing. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards. BVFCC member Marianna Ridley proposed the screening of “Winter’s Bone.”

A New York Times Critic’s Pick, “Winter’s Bone” was described by critic A.O. Scott as “straightforward and suspenseful but also surprising and subtle.”

Reviewing “Winter’s Bone” upon its release in 2010, Roger Ebert wrote:

This world is established with bleak economy in the opening scenes of Debra Granik’s “Winter’s Bone,” which was a double prize winner at Sundance 2010. Unmistakably filmed on location, this film focuses on a society that has been left behind. It looks like Walker Evans’ photographs of the rural Depression, brought forward to today. The unanswered question is how Ree Dolly grew up in this world and became strong, self-reliant and proud. She didn’t learn it from her parents.

This is the remainder of the schedule with the members who proposed the films (some of these BVFCC members will be introducing and discussing their film).

Dec. 12: “WINTER’S BONE” (Marianna Ridley)

Dec. 19: “CONTACT” (Rochelle Stackhouse)

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Thursday, Dec. 8. AMERICANA: SEPIATONE

• Friday, Dec. 9. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY BAND (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Monday, Dec. 12. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “WINTER’S BONE”

• Thursday, Dec. 15. JAZZ: THE AFRO-SEMITIC DUO (DAVID CHEVAN & WARREN BYRD)

• Friday, Dec. 16. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Saturday, Dec. 17. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE GOONIES” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Dec. 19. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CONTACT”

• Wednesday, Dec. 21. AVANT-GARDE: RYAN KARHART

• Thursday, Dec. 22. HOLIDAY CONCERT: ROBERT MESSORE

• Friday, Dec. 23. ROOTS ROCK & HOLIDAY TUNES: BRONSON ROCK

• Thursday, Dec. 29. JAZZ: MICHAEL COPPOLA

• Wednesday, Jan. 4. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE FURORS

• Friday, Jan. 6. ACOUSTIC FOLK BLUES & MORE: VANGE DURST

• Saturday, Jan. 7. MUSIC OF “THE SIMPSONS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Friday, Jan. 13. BLUEGRASS: FIVE IN THE CHAMBER

• Thursday, Jan. 19. GOTH/SHOEGAZE: TELEGRAM SCAM

• Friday, Jan. 20. BLUEGRASS: THE PAGE TURNERS (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Friday, Jan. 27. JAZZ: BADSLAX

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

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

• Friday, Feb. 10. ROCK: HAPPY ENDING, PAUL BELBUSTI

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

New “Members’ Choice” film series starts Mon., Nov. 21, with “Runaway Train”

We asked for your input and we got a response! And on Monday, Nov. 21, we start a new film series based on favorites chosen by Best Video Film & Cultural Center members. Each movie starts at 7 PM and admission is $7.

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The first film, “Runaway Train,” directed by Soviet emigre Andrey Konchalovskiy and released in 1985, is described on Rotten Tomatoes as perhaps the “only existential adventure flick in Hollywood history.” New York Times reviewer Janet Maslin lauded star Jon Voight’s performance an escaped murderer. Maslin wrote, “The nihilism and the vicious intensity of Mr. Voight’s performance here are entirely different from anything else he has done on screen.” Member Ruth Silver picked “Runaway Train” and will participate in introducing the film.

This is the lineup of movies with the members who proposed the films (some of these BVFCC members will be introducing and discussing their film).

Nov. 21: “RUNAWAY TRAIN” (Ruth Silver)
Nov. 28: “CHARADE” (Linda Lindroth & Ruth Koizim)
Dec. 5: “PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID” (John McNamara)
Dec. 12: “WINTER’S BONE” (Marianna Ridley)
Dec. 19: “CONTACT” (Rochelle Stackhouse)

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, Nov. 16. IMPROVISATION/AVANT-GARDE: TOM BLANCARTE, CHRIS CRETELLA, ZACH ROWDEN

• Thursday, Nov. 17. LITERARY: ALICE MATTISON—”THE PLEASURES AND PERILS OF WRITING A NOVEL”

• Friday, Nov. 18. PARTY PUNK: TINY BOX BOOKING presents POSTURE & THE GRIZZLY, PRINCE DADDY & THE HYENA, MILKSHAKES, JUST FRIENDS (7 PM)

• Saturday, Nov. 19. JAZZ JAM with ALLEN LOWE, JEFF FULLER & ED CERCONE

• Monday, Nov. 21. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “RUNAWAY TRAIN”

• Wednesday, Nov. 23. AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR: DANIEL BACHMAN, ALEXANDER

• Friday, Nov. 25. BLUEGRASS/TRADITIONAL COUNTRY: DAVE PETERSON (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Saturday, Nov. 26. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Nov. 28. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CHARADE”

• Wednesday, Nov. 30. JAZZ: URI SHAHAM TRIO

• Thursday, Dec. 1. ACOUSTIC GUITAR: GLENN ROTH, SINGER-SONGWRITER: KRISTEN GRAVES

• Friday, Dec. 2. INDIE ROCK: THE SAWTELLES CD RELEASE SHOW, HANK HOFFMAN (solo)

• Sunday, Dec. 4. FREE FIRST SUNDAY AFTERNOON BLUEGRASS JAM (PRESENTED BY GUITARTOWNCT)

• Monday, Dec. 5. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID”

• Friday, Dec. 9. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY BAND (A GUITARTOWNCT PRODUCTION)

• Monday, Dec. 12. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “WINTER’S BONE”

• Friday, Dec. 16. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS

• Saturday, Dec. 17. FILM SCREENING FOR KIDS: “THE GOONIES” (Sponsored by Pediatrics Plus of North Haven)

• Monday, Dec. 19. MEMBER’S CHOICE FILM SCREENING: “CONTACT”

• Friday, Jan. 6. ACOUSTIC FOLK BLUES & MORE: VANGE DURST

• Friday, Jan. 13. BLUEGRASS: FIVE IN THE CHAMBER

• Friday, Jan. 27. JAZZ: BADSLAX

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

Hank’s Recommendations 12/16/14

hank_paperHANK’S PICKS 12/16/14

WINTER’S BONE

WINTER’S BONE was my favorite movie of 2011. An independent film that only grossed seven million dollars, it rocketed Jennifer Lawrence to fame (SILVER LINING PLAYBOOK, THE HUNGER GAMES franchise) and made a supporting star of John Hawkes. I saw it three times (a recommendation right there). Nothing can be as perfect (to my mind) as this film, but all of the films below partake, to some good extent, of its setting and virtues. (Yes, even — and perhaps especially — Jerry Lee Lewis.)

JOE

Nicholas Cage has had, as they say, a storied career. For the last ten years, due to personal financial trouble, he’s been an action hero in second-rate films that — since they don’t rely heavily on character and dialogue — play well in international markets. But do you remember LEAVING LAS VEGAS (he won the Best Actor Oscar for that), MOONSTRUCK, ADAPTATION, GUARDING TESS, RED ROCK WEST, WILD AT HEART, RAISING ARIZONA (The Coen Brother’s second movie), PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED, BIRDY? All Nicholas Cage headliners that feature his great acting range.

Well, Nicholas Cage is back — in JOE, a small independent film about a hard-drinking ex-con with anger management issues who finds himself taking on a 15 year old boy trying to escape a violent father. In this emotionally powerful drama, Cage is a firm but empathetic foreman of a Mississippi crew that clandestinely poisons trees for a lumber company that wants to plant stronger pines. But he’s got a decent stake and a shot at redemption. Can he make a move toward a stronger self?

OUT OF THE FURNACE

A beautiful rural part of the country is disintegrating under war and the economy in OUT OF THE FURNACE, and so is Christian Bale, a decent man with a violent past trying to lead a life of integrity. He’s abiding by his own work ethic through a meaningless job at a steel mill while loyally trying to protect his impulsive, self-destructive brother (Casey Affleck) — just returned from Iraq — from his involvement in a crime gang. Unfortunately for Bale, decency, integrity and loyalty only seem to point him to an act of revenge he doesn’t want to take.

Made by Scott Cooper, the writer/director of CRAZY HEART, the film features an amazing cast that includes Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, the ubiquitous Sam Shepard, and Woody Harrelson as a bad-to-the-bone crime gang leader whose very presence on the screen raises anxiety.

LAST MAN STANDING

Rick Bragg just came out with a biography of Jerry Lee Lewis (reviewed in this week’s NYTimes Book Review by Stephen King), but, in a sense, the real bio is this DVD, JERRY LEE LEWIS: LAST MAN STANDING. Boogieing through a wide selection of material, this generous live show features on-the-money performances of his hits along with duets with a dozen top tier music stars (including Willie Nelson, Ron Wood, Buddy Guy, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, John Fogerty and Kid Rock).

Some of these pairings, as with Tom Jones, and with Norah Jones, would seem to be unlikely, which only proves the point of his talent: “the Killer” is smooth as silk with whomever he plays with and whatever the material. His voice styling is unique and his piano playing pyrotechnic and, yes, gorgeous (he never even glances at the keys, only at his partners).

The man is an iconic confluence of boogie-woogie, country, rock ‘n’ roll and gospel, all drenched in the blues; he even invests fresh feeling in old chestnuts such as “The Green, Green Grass of Home,” “Over the Rainbow, and “That Lucky Old Sun.” He may not literally be “the last man standing” of his generation of greats (there’s Mick Jagger, for one), but his resilience is unpredictable and explosive.

And since it’s the holiday season, you can special order a copy from Best Video for your favorite cousin.