Len wouldn’t watch his own movie. Len is a spiky, angry former punk rocker turned hit pop producer, stewing in his infinity pool and his own self-loathing at his “country estate.” He listens to audiobooks of Western novels and watches old police shows on television. I doubt that he would watch Tim Godsall’s “Len & Company,” the fuzzy and unfocused indie drama that stars Len, out on DVD this month from IFC Films and available on Netflix.
Pick of the Week: “Sicario“ (Amazon Prime) — This stomach-churning action-thriller offers a neat bit of misdirection, as a rising star FBI agent (Emily Blunt) is brought into a mysterious task force fighting Mexican drug cartels, led by a flip-flop wearing government agent (Josh Brolin) and his mysterious advisor (Benicio Del Toro). She doesn’t know who she can trust, and neither do we, as her attempts to bring moral clarity to the fight are swamped in a world of corruption and violence on all sides.
It’s not your imagination — there’s less to watch on Netflix than ever before. A new report claims that the online streaming service has cut its streaming library in half since 2012, from 11,000 titles to around 5,500.
“Little Sister” screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 227 State St. Tickets are free for museum members, $7 for all others. Not rated, 1:31, three stars out of four.
It’s a little disconcerting to see a film that’s a period piece set only eight years ago, sparking a feeling of “Didn’t that just happen?” Zach Clark’s “Little Sister” is set in the fall of 2008, and the cultural signifiers are everywhere – candidate Obama’s speeches on television, talk of Iraq. There’s even a scene featuring a performance art piece with a dancing Twin Towers.
But Clark’s film uses the moment as a backdrop for a funny, wistful little comedy-drama about family members learning to overcome themselves and reconnect with each other. Can we reconcile with those who know us only too well? Yes, we can.
Pick of the Week: “The Witness“: My full review is here. The best documentary I’ve seen this year is this haunting and healing film about the notorious Kitty Genovese murder, in which a woman was reportedly killed on the streets of New York in 1964, her screams heard but unanswered by her neighbors. Decades later, Genovese’s brother Bill goes searching for the real answers, and finds that the original reports got a lot wrong. By grappling with the truth of her death, Bill is finally able to reclaim her life — the scene of him watching as an actress recreates the moments of his sister’s death on the exact spot where it happened is one of the most powerful things I’ve seen in a movie theater this year.
Emmet Walsh didn’t know much about these two gangly brothers from Minnesota who wanted to make a Texas noir. And he thought he was too young to play the part of Loren, the killer in the canary-yellow suit with the cheerful laugh.
“Kaili Blues” has its Madison premiere at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 227 State St. FREE for museum members, $7 for all others. Not rated, 1:49, three stars out of four.
“Man, have you ever had one of those dreams that are completely real?” That’s a line from Richard Linklater in his 1991 debut film “Slacker,” a movie I kept thinking of as I was watching Bi Gan’s “Kaili Blues.” Both films are from first-time filmmakers, daring but a little shaky in execution, promising great things in the future. And both eschew traditional narrative structure for an elliptical, dream-like story.