Doc Talk: on the record, under the sea, in search of roots, beyond the track

It also marked an emotional crisis in his life – his 20-year break-up from his wife and his subsequent addiction to heroin.

Wharton does not address the latter, although she interviews Petty’s daughter Adria Petty (who provided the lost film) about the breakup, which is briefly discussed. She also interviews album producer Rick Rubin (last seen in this year’s “McCartney 3, 2, 1” docuseries) and Heartbreaker band members Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench, who provide insight into the album. genius of Petty but mostly remind us of how great he was.

The footage found from the recording sessions dominates the film. Loosely shaped by Wharton, it projects the cinema-truth urgency genre of classic rock documentaries like “Don’t Look Back” (1967), “Let It Be” (1969) and “Gimme Shelter” (1970), but without the epic edge. Supported by contemporary interviews with Petty and charming music video interludes (blooming flowers in time lapse, “Yellow Submarine” type animation, etc.), the film presents an engaging but limited chapter in the life of a rock legend. n’roll.

“Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free: The Making of Wildflowers” will screen on October 20 at 7 p.m. at Fenway, Boston Common, Kendall Square Cinemas and Coolidge Corner. Go to

Jacques Cousteau and the men of the good ship Calypso, from “Devenir Cousteau”.GlobeDocs

Cousteau remembers

As seen in the thoughtful, touching and visually awe-inspiring work of Liz Garbus “Become Cousteau”, It took a few bitter ironies for Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997) to become a prophet of environmental disaster. In 1956, his groundbreaking first film “The Silent World” (co-directed by Louis Malle), a dazzling underwater tour of the Mediterranean and its surroundings, introduced audiences to the wonders that lie beneath the ocean. However, the film had been funded by the oil companies for promotional purposes; and in it, Cousteau and his crew committed ecological offenses, including slaughtering sharks feeding on a dying baby whale (which they themselves had injured) and using dynamite on coral reefs to prosecute their investigations.

But Cousteau quickly recognized the danger of abusing our natural resources, and the legendary underwater adventurer, filmmaker, television celebrity and activist would increasingly issue dire warnings about the dangers of pollution, looting and pollution. exploitation of the ocean. Eventually, the producers of his popular and transformative TV series, “Jacques Cousteau’s Underwater World” (1968-1976), pulled it off the air because they thought his shows were getting too depressing. Cousteau will persevere, despite such disappointments and in the face of overwhelming personal tragedies, and will inspire generations to study, value and protect nature.

All this for nothing? Cousteau would be unhappy to see how true his most sinister prophecies have turned out.

“Becoming Cousteau” is screened at Boston Common 19 from October 21.

From left to right: Lily, Chloe and Sadie, in "Find."
From left to right: Lily, Chloé and Sadie, in “Found”.© 2021

Unexpected cousins

A combination of kinds of “One Child Nation” by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang (2019) and “Three Identical Strangers” by Tim Wardle (2018), “” Amanda LipitzFind”Takes the story of three American teenage girls, each adopted from Chinese orphanages, who inadvertently learn that they are cousins, via DNA research via 23andMe. While communicating online, they discover that, like countless other infants, mostly girls, each had been abandoned by their biological parents during China’s one-child policy, imposed from 1979 to 2015. Like 150,000 others, they had been adopted by American families.

Chloe (whose aunt is the director), adopted by a Jewish family in Seattle, studies Mandarin and wants to find “more people that I can relate to and who are like me.” Lily is raised by a single mother in Oklahoma City. As she plans to leave home to go to college, she’s increasingly curious about her Chinese roots. Sadie lives in Nashville; and her adoptive mother can trace her own family back to her father’s side to AD 900, when Sadie was found abandoned in a box near a busy street in Guangzhou.

The three bond quickly and travel to China, where a compassionate young woman working for a company that helps adopted children uncover their past research on their birth parents – with bittersweet results. Lipitz combines a look at the consequences of ruthless politics with the coming of age of three American teenagers to make a cheerful but penetrating social study.

“Found” can be streamed on Netflix starting October 20. Go to

Of "Who is Lun * na Menoh?"
From “Who is Lun * na Menoh?”O Day Productions

Wheels in wheels

Maybe a more relevant question than Who is Lun * na Menoh?Could be “What is ‘Who is Lun * na Menoh?’ “

Jeff Mizushima’s devilish meta-confection begins with a fairly conventional profile of the very unconventional Japanese artist in the title (one interviewee describes how she wore a sofa in one of Menoh’s fashion shows). This turns out to be the supposedly finished version of the film – which took Mizushima 10 years to shoot and edit and is now shown to Menoh. Subject, however, hates the final version and decides to pick up the film and remake it herself. Mizushima then decides to make a film on Menoh remaking the film he made on her.

Playful and profound, the film, whatever it is, offers a unique and entertaining exercise in postmodern self-reflexivity, intertextuality and feminist empowerment.

who Does Lun * na Menoh? can be broadcast as part of the Boston Asian American Film Festival (20-24 Oct.) Going through the ArtsEmerson virtual platform on October 24 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. with a Q&A with Mizushima and Menoh to follow. Go to

Peter Keough can be reached at [email protected]

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