Best Video Opens Up The Mic

by Karen Ponzio | Sep 15, 2017 7:10 am

It was Peter Lehndorff’s first set at Best Video’s new Second Wednesday Open Mic.

“It’s my first time here, and I live in Hamden. And it’s my first time in Hamden,” he said.

Some confusion spread out through the audience before Lehndorff reported that he was from a town called Hampden in Massachusetts. The crowd of performers and patrons responded with laughter and welcomed their new “neighbor” — one example of the congenial tone and community fostered at the beloved video store turned cultural center on Wednesday evening.

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“I Am Shakespeare” Hits The Screen —  And Some Tough Questions

by Brian Slattery | Aug 8, 2017 10:25 am | Comments (1)

Brian Slattery PhotoElm Shakespeare Company Producing Director Rebecca Goodheart stood in front of a crowd of about 30 at Highville Charter School on Monday night to talk about her sobering takeaway from Stephen Dest’s film I Am Shakespeare, which tells the story of Henry Green.

In Green’s case, Goodheart said, “it was not enough” that the Newhallville-born Green had played Tybalt in Elm Shakespeare’s 2009 production of Romeo and Juliet. His exposure to the arts had given him an outlet for his talent and the forging of a possible path to college. He had ended up gangbanging anyway, and very nearly died as a result. “As someone who has built my life on the premise” that art education matters, Goodheart said, “I have to say it’s really troubling. How do we do more? How do we do it better?”

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Cinema Gets Strange At Lyric Hall

by Karen Ponzio | Jun 19, 2017 11:23 am

Karen Ponzio photoAlex Dakoulas, owner of Strange Ways in Westville, had been enjoying the weekly underground movies being shown at Lyric Hall on Whalley Avenue, down the street from his own shop every Tuesday. Coincidentally, Dakoulas had begun holding Flair Fair, a market for vendors of pins, patches, and other wearable art, in Lyric Hall.

So he approached Joe Fay, the curator of Lyric Hall’s film series, with the hope that they could “combine our powers” and “get people together for a unique event” — to not only shop, but to also see, as Fay put it, “slightly offbeat films.”

Thus, Strange Cinema was born.

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Film Festival Brings It All Back Home

by Karen Ponzio | Jun 8, 2017 11:06 am

Karen Ponzio PhotoIn the film 65 Revisited by D.A. Pennebaker — which screened at Cafe Nine Tuesday night as part of the New Haven Documentary Film Festival — a few of Dylan’s fans are seen talking to him. They get a bit tongue-tied. They even fall silent for a moment.

“I don’t know what to say,” one of them finally says.

“I don’t know what to say either,” Dylan responds.

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Film Spotlights Groundbreaking Landscape Architect

by David Sepulveda | Jun 5, 2017 6:41 am

North Haven-based filmmaker Karyl Evans, who last year collected a 6th Emmy Award for Outstanding Director for her documentary Letter from Italy, 1944: A New American Oratorio, will screen her latest documentary film, The Life and Gardens of Beatrix Farrand, at the New Haven Documentary Film Festival at Yale on Monday, June 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Whitney Humanities Center in New Haven.

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“I Am Shakespeare” Reveals A Man In Two Shots

by Thomas Breen | Jun 2, 2017 11:11 am

Stephen Dest’s new documentary I Am Shakespeare: The Henry Green Story is a reminder that the full history and power of cinema, a 120-year-old art form uniquely equipped to inspire empathy among strangers, can be distilled into two basic camera shots: the frontal close-up and the three-quarter profile. One angle to show us who we’re looking at, the other to show us who we are.

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