SCUM (Netflix) – Surprisingly violent and graphic film set in a reform school (a borstal) in Britain. Extortion, graphic suicides and beatings, racism, rape, and a mostly bored administration that is apparently only entertained by the suffering of their charges. Like MADE IN BRITAIN, this was shot for British television.
SPLINTERHEADS (Netflix) – Boring and predictable for the most part; with the exception of the geo-caching angle. The actors do alright given the material they have to work with is pretty bad. Everyone falls in love with someone who steals from them, right?
EL BULLI: COOKING IN PROGRESS (Lightbox) – Documentary about El Bulli, a (former) restaurant in Spain run by Ferran AdriÓ. They would shut down annually for months to experiment and come up with new menu items in their laboratory, and this shows a bit of a glimpse into a year of this process. We watched the ANTHONY BOURDAIN: NO RESERVATIONS episode with him visting El Bulli the night before, and in many ways that was a superior stand-alone piece of documentary. The Bourdain visit is much more conversational and COOKING IN PROGRESS is much more technical.
ANITA & ME (Netflix) – This film is billed as a comedy, but it’s quirky at best. It’s a coming of age film from the point of view of Meena Kumar, documenting her life in small-town Britain. I thought I recognized her father while watching it, but couldn’t place him – Sanjeev Bhaskar from the odd BBC show THE KUMARS AT NO. 42.