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CITY OF GOLD

SYNOPSIS: Pulitzer Prize winning food critic, Jonathan Gold casts his light upon a vibrant and growing cultural movement, a movement in which he plays the dual roles of high-low priest and culinary geographer of his beloved Los Angeles.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Getting a Pulitzer Prize for restaurant criticism must attract our attention, and Jonathan Gold's enthusiasm coupled with his eye (and palate) for places off the beaten food critics track kinda explain the prize. Perhaps it's more to do with his unique infusion of his craft with cultural and social insights that adds the piquant flavor that makes him special.

This tribute to Gold is also a tribute to Los Angeles and its exceptional richness as an ethnically complex city, with food among the various aspects that provide the glue as well as the marker for diversity.

If you like food and seeing it prepared, you may be a tad disappointed or frustrated by glimpses and moments that are whisked away to be replaced by more of Gold talking about himself. I don't mean that unkindly, but I did expect more attention to the food.

Gold writes for the LA Times, a great platform, without which he would struggle to be heard. But the paper also employs his wife as an arts editor, and their relationship provides a glimpse into the world of the paper as well as into their sparring partnership. Perhaps not enough of either, though ...

The film loses its way about half way through, and as footage of Los Angeles flashes before our eyes, we lose the context, so it gets to a bit like a long promo clip. Our take away (pardon the pun) is that street food in LA is often fabulously surprising and desirable. But you'd need a guide like Gold to do the tour successfully.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

CITY OF GOLD (M)
(US, 2015)

CAST: Documentary featuring Jonathan Gold

PRODUCER: Holly Becker, Laura Gabbert, Braxton Pope

DIRECTOR: Laura Gabbert

SCRIPT: Laura Gabbert

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jerry Henry, Goro Toshima

EDITOR: William Haugse, Greg King

MUSIC: Bobby Johnston

RUNNING TIME: 89 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Madman

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 18, 2016







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