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

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

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

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

Sunday Streams — ROLLING THUNDER REVUE: A BOB DYLAN STORY BY MARTIN SCORSESE

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. —Bob Dylan Rolling Thunder Revue is Scorsese’s second documentary about the singer/songwriter from Duluth, Minnesota. His first, No Direction Home from 2005, covered Dylan’s early years up to his motorcycle accident in 1966. Less concerned with documentation than myth-making, No Direction Home is partly how Robert Allen Zimmerman became Bob Dylan, and partly how Bob Dylan now remembers Robert Allen Zimmerman. Rolling Thunder Revue, currently streaming on Netflix, picks up ten years later, in the streets of New York City during America’s Bicentennial. What does this have to do with … Continue reading Sunday Streams — ROLLING THUNDER REVUE: A BOB DYLAN STORY BY MARTIN SCORSESE

Sunday Streams — FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES

The Japanese New Wave (1956–1976) doesn’t get near the love the French New Wave does in cinephile circles, but that doesn’t make the work any less significant. A key entry, Funeral Parade of Roses (Bara no Sōretsu) from 1969, was recently restored by Cinelicious in 2017 and will screen at the Alamo Drafthouse Littleton on June 16, 4p. For those not in the area, Funeral Parade of Roses is currently streaming on Kanopy. Mixing documentary and narrative, Funeral Parade is a kaleidoscopic and subversive look at Tokyo’s underground “gay-boy” culture. Writer/director Toshio Matsumoto loosely uses Oedipus Rex as his structure while also … Continue reading Sunday Streams — FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES

Sunday Streams — JOHN MCENROE: IN THE REALM OF PERFECTION

With the fourth round of the 2019 French Open underway, this weekend seems like the perfect time to re-visit one of 2018’s lesser-seen, but exquisitely constructed, documentaries, John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (L’empire de la perfection). Directed by Julien Faraut, In the Realm of Perfection was first filmed in 1984 by Gil de Kermadec, France’s first national technical director of tennis. De Kermadec’s goal to analyze tennis in motion and with McEnroe nearing perfection, de Kermadec found a worthy subject. While it seems logical that In the Realm of Perfection would have played theaters in early June to coincide … Continue reading Sunday Streams — JOHN MCENROE: IN THE REALM OF PERFECTION