Movie Reviews, Sort Of

12/28/2023 0 By BuddyCushman

Amidst the reality of a virus absolutely owning me, I managed to stream two documentaries on my computer yesterday. The first was “City of Gold”, the story of Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold. The second was “You Weren’t There: A History of Chicago Punk 1977-1984.” Even with this 74-year-old bodily falling apart, it was a good day.

“City of Gold” is a delicate water lily of a film, a path of moonlight strolling across a still pond. It is a mirror held up to dignity, and honor, and just seeing what happens when everyone is given the same chance. “Chicago Punk” is the story of emergence of punk music and culture out there in the heartland. “Gold” is lovely, inspiring, affirming all the specialness of a day. And you know what, the Chicago punks doc is exactly the same thing. A rejoicing in the opportunity to be a human on this here planet. It’s simply a different look, a dark side of the moon view, rather like how the Zen Roshi Joan Sutherland talks about endarkenment, as different from enlightenment, while being clear we don’t get one without the other.

Yes, there are 2,020 miles and change between the two American cities, those cities providing the milieu within each of these films find their life blood. And yet, it doesn’t really feel that far at all.