City of Gold

In keeping with our "foodie" theme this year, we have another documentary, this time a scattered lightweight outing that features a Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic, Jonathan Gold.

Award-winning writer/director Laura Gabbert ("Sunset Story") has crafted this affectionate biography which tells Gold's unlikely story of a revolution inspired by his writing skills and driven by his taste buds. He is credited with "democratizing food" as he discovers little-known neighborhoods and shares his love for authentic ethnic foods. His research is endless, but he particularly loves food trucks, caf├ęs, diners and otherwise overlooked (and esoteric) treasures.

We see:
  • Jonathan Gold in his green pickup truck as he explores Los Angeles neighborhoods, searching for his next delicious meal.
  • Greg Gold, Jonathan's brother, says he had to become an environmentalist because Jonathan eats everything that is endangered.
Somehow I didn't share Jonathan's enthusiasm in writing about eating a deer's penis or crunching those grasshoppers whole, but I smiled at his speech for a graduating college class. He says he's a failed cellist. We have learned about his happy childhood, his classical music phase, his hip-hop phase, his time spent as a copy editor and many other facets of a multi-faceted life. In a commencement speech he explains how failure generates success.

I'm happy for him...