Homecoming: Why you should revisit one of the greatest concert movies of all-time


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Homecoming: A Film by Beyonce

The only queen that matters dropped a new album last week – and it is a flat-out house monster with more layers of commentary and cold-sweat funk packed into its 16 tracks than anyone could have hoped for.

Renaissance is a classic right out of the gate. It might only be Beyonce’s seventh studio album – and she is, unbelievably, still only 40 years old – but it is already a cert for every “best of year” list that matters – and, more importantly, a brilliant reassertion of the Black and queer roots of house and almost all American dance music in the last 40 or more years.

If Madonna and Prince had a baby, that kid still couldn’t hold a candle to what Bey’ has achieved here. But, he, she, or they, would at least be a fan.

All of which was enough to send me back to Netflix to revisit Homecoming. A 2019 release that quickly became a cultural sensation, Homecoming is unarguably one of the greatest concert movies of all-time – being a record of the two nights that Beyonce and her troupe laid waste to the multi-million dollar Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, in a way that no one ever saw coming, or, it seems, will ever surpass.

The film also weaves in rehearsals, concept discussions and interviews with significant Black creatives and thinkers. Unusually for a concert movie, we get to see behind the scenes and to understand the rationale behind what is on the stage.

Homecoming is a celebration of multiple strands of Black American music, culture and history, all somehow bound up in a stage show and film that are contenders to be the actual greatest of all-time. In the last couple of years, the only concert movie to move and impress me at all was David Byrne and Spike Lee’s American Utopia. But Homecoming eclipsed even that.


Homecoming is a Netflix documentary about Beyonce, who was the first black woman to headline Coachella.

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Heist is now available to stream on Netflix.


Everybody knows now that Netflix was put on this earth to give “true-crime” TV producers a viable career.

Until Netflix, the “true-crime” documentary, complete with a salacious voice-over and lurid recreations, was a late-night and kind of trashy genre. Tune into any of the lesser-watched free-to-air channels – Bravo especially – after 10pm and you will see what I mean. Their schedule is wall-to-wall with schlock and sleaze, all lumped together under the “hey-don’t-blame-us, this-really-happened” banner of true-crime.

But Netflix has taken the genre to another level and pulled some serious ratings by doing so. There can’t be many people in the western world who didn’t at least become aware of Tiger King, during the first 2020 lockdown. And ever since, you get the feeling that Netflix have been looking to put lightning in a bottle again. All we can say for sure, is that Tiger King 2 was never going to be that show.

But, Heist is a better lash at true-crime than anything I’ve seen in months. The six-part series, which is sitting high in the algorithm this week, breaks down three audacious and hugely entertaining stories of people who came heart-breakingly close to pulling off a multi-million dollar heist. Each crime is spread across two, 40-minute episodes. Which, by Netflix standards, is pretty pacy.

The three stories – The Money Plane, Sex Magick Money Murder, and The Bourbon King – all have enough twists and turns, and incredible characters, to probably justify a Hollywood movie.

Heist is wildly entertaining, pretty warm-hearted and happily non-exploitative look at some real crimes and the people who almost got away with them. Proving, again, real life is far stranger than fiction. And even murderous career criminals always have someone at home who loves them. You will like this show a lot.


Street Food: USA is now available to stream on Netflix.

Street Food: USA

This series is a joy.

Street Food is set a million miles – and dollars – away from the high-end kitchens and complicated cuisines of most TV shows that celebrate chefs and their work. And it also a long way from the shows of Gordon Ramsay and co, descending from the heavens to show us mere mortals how to make great food, quickly and with minimum fuss.

Nope, Street Food: USA is about the people who could teach Gordon and Jamie and co. a few things about what a great neighbourhood eatery really looks like.

The food truck in North American culture can be a focal point and a sweet reminder of home in a neighbourhood. In cities such as LA – especially – with its brilliant population of immigrants from every corner of the planet, coalescing into neighbourhoods and making them their own, a food truck or a street stall is an affordable, entry-level business that avoids a lot of red-tape and bureaucracy. So some of the most talented chefs in any city are still to be found working out of vans and trailers, or standing next to a smoking cart, delivering handfuls and bowls full of incredible flavour to their compatriots and the curious locals who want to try a new cuisine.

Street Food USA is a show in love with people, with food and flavour – and with the real American dream, that anyone can still set up a stall in this country, work hard and smart, and then make a raging success of their life. Not always financially, but by helping hold together a community, raising a family who don’t have to deny their heritage to succeed – and by making some incredible food. Street Food USA is a joy.