Home Movies/Out on Digital 10.13
Len & Company
Max (Jack Kilmer) is an alt-rock musician who visits Len (Rhys Ifans), his estranged father, a onetime punk-rock star and, lately, successful record producer. Max is eager while Len is irritable, wasted and sick of it all. Laced with gentle pathos and humor, Len & Company is a character study across a generational divide. For Len, rock is fury and soul and his son’s music is ironic doodling. Will they come to terms?
See the Keepers: Inside the Zoo
See the Keepers rambles through the Memphis Zoo with a focus on the folks who work there. Their jobs include shoveling, hosing and feeding, plus emotional communication. They talk to the tigers and the penguins, give them names; for their part, the animals can be moody and play favorites. The zookeepers in this documentary tend to be reclusive. They like to work alone and are, perhaps, happier in the company of cheetahs than humans.
Diary of a Chamber Maid
Greeting Célestine on the first day of her new job are surly locals, snarling dogs, a supercilious mistress and a lecherous master. She is a servant, a bit too smart for her position but with nowhere else to go in circa 1900 provincial France. Director Benoît Jacquot’s superb 2015 adaptation of Octave Mirbeau’s novel is well paced and truer to the author’s exploration of repression, servitude and xenophobia than previous versions. Léa Seydoux stars as Celestine.
Inspired by the same story behind Florence Foster Jenkins, this French film concerns a baroness who sings arias accompanied by a well-paid, compliant orchestra. But her voice is so screechy that her husband always arranges excuses for missing the performance. The audience applauds, the servants send flowers as if from adoring fans and no one has the heart to tell her she can’t sing. Catherine Frot plays the title role in this beautifully composed period comedy.