If you’re still mourning the loss of Leonard Cohen last month, this may help: Film Forum is screening Tony Palmer’s classic documentary Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire for two weeks starting January 18. A lovely antidote to all those “Hallelujah” covers, the doc follows Cohen on a month-long tour of Europe in the spring of 1972, after his salad days in New York City. While it starts off with the obligatory footage of the band boarding planes and signing autographs (Cohen was already a big deal at the time, having released his first three albums), it soon takes a far more pensive turn.
How did one man dupe some of the wine world’s wealthiest buyers and respected connoisseurs into buying over $20 million in fake “rare” wines? That’s the question tackled by Reuben Atlas and Jerry Rothwell, the directors of the intriguing new documentary Sour Grapes, which follows the rise and fall of Rudy Kurniawan, an Indonesian conman who took the wine world by storm with his “rare” vintages, and was later convicted of fraud in 2013. Prosecutors said his scam involved more than $20 million in counterfeit wine. He’s currently serving a 10-year sentence in a California prison. Williamsburg-based filmmaker Atlas and British filmmaker Rothwell spoke to us about the film, showing tonight at Nitehawk Cinema (sorry, folks, the screening is sold out, but the film is available on Netflix).