Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways
HBO Go, HBO Now
This docuseries has been described as a look behind the making of the Foos’ music, and it is. But it’s also so much more. The cameras roll as the band descriptively traces the evolution of America’s diverse music scene while touring from city to city. It’s also a most personal travel log, as each of the members reflect on their hometowns, describing personal details of how their environments shaped him musically. In the Washington, D.C. episode, Dave Grohl takes us to his childhood home and back to his beginnings, describing a childhood that culminates in his mother—a single mom and teacher—supporting Grohl’s decision to drop out of high school and travel as a member of an established band. Another episode, “The Foos Hit Seattle,” provides a firsthand account of the emergence of grunge and the formation of a little band called Nirvana. The eight-episode series also includes the jazz movement in New Orleans, New York’s punk roots, Nashville’s country music, and more. One of the best series currently offered by HBO’s online portals.
– Joni Williams
Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold
Directed by iconic writer Didion’s nephew Griffin Dunne, the documentary is full of palpable trust and love as Dunne and other family members, colleagues and friends reflect on and with Didion about her life and work. The literary giant is beautifully candid here as she looks back on her complicated, immense career and the loves and devastating losses in her personal life. The Center Will Not Hold will make you want to read and reread all the Didion works you can get your hands on. And you should.
– Jane Morgan