Sunday Streams — BROKEN BREAD

KCET, an independent and non-commercial Los Angeles TV station, offers stellar programming. From old Huell Howser episodes to the award-winning Lost L.A., KCET does an excellent job of exploring how past fissures inform a fractured present. Their most recent production, Broken Bread, stars L.A. chef Roy Choi (above) in a six-part series that looks at how the people of L.A. are using food to affect social change, and how the city of L.A. is providing food to its citizens. As the title suggests, Broken Bread is not one of those typical documentaries about helping hands and successful models, the kind designed … Continue reading Sunday Streams — BROKEN BREAD

This week in Film — WILD ROSE

There’s no shortage of musical drama out there these days, but Scottish Wild Rose deserves to be in a class on its own. With an outstanding performance from Jessie Buckley and a couple of catchy earworms — one written by Mary Steenburgen — Wild Rose is one that will stick with you. It’s playing in selected cities, and as David Letterman would say, “I hope to God your city was selected!” Continue reading This week in Film — WILD ROSE

Sunday Streams — INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

As the decade comes to a close, the mind turns to the best films of the 2010s, and 2013’s Inside Llewyn Davis easily makes the shortlist. A Sisyphean story of a struggling folk musician searching for authenticity in 1961 Greenwich Village would have been enough, but filmmakers Joel & Ethan Coen drag their titular character (played magnificently by Oscar Isaac) across America’s fracturing artistic scene, crossing paths with a bevy of historical figures and mid-century archetypes. The music is outstanding, the performances are pitch perfect, and the cinematography from Bruno Delbonnel is beyond reproach. It’s one for the ages, a … Continue reading Sunday Streams — INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

This week in Film — MIDSOMMAR

Midsommar is the much-anticipated horror sequel to writer/director Ari Aster’s breakout hit, Hereditary, and with his sophomore effort, Aster swaps a Satanist cult for Swedish pagans but ends up with similarly uneven results. It’s far from a failure, but the movie’s final third left me wanting. Also at Boulder Weekly, the first annual Boulder Environmental/Nature/Outdoor Film Festival takes over the Dairy Arts Center’s Gordon Gamm Theatre July 10–13. I spoke with programmer Richard Paradise about the festival and previewed a few movies here. BoulderENOFF isn’t the only film festival/film series coming to the Front Range in January. On this week’s edition of … Continue reading This week in Film — MIDSOMMAR

THE QUIET ONE

There seems to be no end to the fascination of the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s. Especially when it comes to classic rock and especially when those musicians feel as familiar as childhood friends; unfortunately, there is an end to the exciting stories to be told and material to be mined.

The Quiet One isn’t a bad documentary on Bill Wyman, the bassists for The Rolling Stones from 1962 to 1993, or a bad documentary in general. It just suffers from arriving too late to the party to add much to a well-worn story. Continue reading “THE QUIET ONE”

Sunday Streams — FACES PLACES

I have Varda on the mind. And not just because she passed away earlier this year at the age of 90. Or that I just wrote about one of her best films, Vagabond. Or that the Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake’s Femme Club is dedicating their July screenings to the great filmmaker; I have Varda on the mind because few filmmakers have occupied my mental real estate quite like the diminutive Belgian. Her final film, Varda by Agnès, has yet to make it to U.S. theaters, but I still think of her 2106 documentary, Faces Places (Visages Villages) as the perfect swan song. … Continue reading Sunday Streams — FACES PLACES

This week in Film — VAGABOND, Studio Ghibli Fest 2019, and more

Her first film, La Pointe Courte debuted in 1955; her final, Varda by Agnès, has yet to make its U.S. release, and in between, the incomparable Agnès Varda re-envisioned what cinema could do and say. She has several masterworks under her belt, none more so than her 1985 story of a drifter, Vagabond. For those in the Denver metropolitan area, Vagabond will screen on Wednesday, July 3, 7:15 p.m. at the Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake. For those of you with subscriptions to The Criterion Channel, Vagabond is currently streaming alongside a bevy of Varda features and shorts. And speaking of masters, GKIDS and … Continue reading This week in Film — VAGABOND, Studio Ghibli Fest 2019, and more

YESTERDAY

Yesterday is a trifle of a movie: a light, sugary sweet confection that is delicious and satisfying. It’s kind of like an early era Beatles song: bouncy, energetic, and consumed by puppy dog love. Sure, The Beatles also wrote “Don’t Let Me Down” and “A Day in the Life,” but Yesterday — written by Richard Curtis and directed by Danny Boyle — isn’t concerned with the entirety of the Fab Four’s discography, just the silly love songs they need to tell their story. And to tell it well. The premise is as preposterous as it is magical: Jack Malik (Himesh … Continue reading YESTERDAY

OPHELIA

“You may think you know my story,” Ophelia (Daisy Ridley) tells us. And for most of us, we think we do. She is Ophelia, daughter of Polonius (Dominic Mafham), brother of Laertes (Tom Felton), and girlfriend to Hamlet (George MacKay). But, as her ominous line suggests, we do not know the whole story. Ophelia, based on the novel by Lisa Klein, recasts Shakespeare’s mad adolescent as one of the more cunning characters in a play populated by madness. Here, Ophelia is the favorite maiden of the Queen (Naomi Watts in a dual role) and Hamlet’s secret bride. Deceit is rampant, … Continue reading OPHELIA

Sunday Streams — MAMMA ROMA

It’s funny how some movies make their way to the screen. Or don’t, as the case may be. Take Pasolini, the 84-minute biopic about notorious Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini; directed by an equally notorious filmmaker, Abel Ferrara and starring Willem Dafoe as the titular filmmaker, Pasolini debuted at the Venice International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival in 2014. Then it disappeared, for nearly five years, before being dumped in theaters at the beginning of June 2019. But Pasolini is no hidden gem. The movie is sluggish and slow, provides little insight into the man and his works, and lacks … Continue reading Sunday Streams — MAMMA ROMA