The influential career of Diana Kennedy is explored in Elizabeth Carroll's documentary. (Photo courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment)

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For foodies wanting to get their taste buds tantalized, just make a reservation this weekend via the Smith Rafael Film Center. As a main course, the documentary “Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy” will be served. That’s one satisfying cinematic meal in and of itself. But come back for dessert on Saturday when a virtual panel discussion takes place featuring three special guests.  “Diana Kennedy” is one of our five best Bay Area streaming bets. We even have one for sci-fi fans.  • “Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy”: Elizabeth Carroll’s appetizing documentary about the groundbreaking career/life of Mexican culinary icon Kennedy is a must-see for foodies — a feature that captures the spirit and expertise of the revered chef. Oh, yes, and there are shots of her recipes. Rent it and then join a 5 p.m. panel discussion Saturday, May 23, featuring Carroll, Chez Panisse’s Alice Waters (featured in the film) and New York Times food writer David Tanis. (https://rafaelfilm.cafilm.org/nothing-fancy/) Q&A: https://bit.ly/DianaKennedyQARegistration


• “Proximity”: Former Pleasanton resident Eric Demeusy makes a splashy, promising debut with his shot-on-the-cheap alien feature that is as entertaining as it is campy. A youthful NASA lab worker Isaac (Ryan Masson) has a close encounter with an ET in the L.A. hills and then seeks to make contact again. Demeusy’s ambition outstrips his budget and his screenplay at times, but he has undeniable talent and vision. (Streaming for rental) 


Berkeley native Zach Avery has a juicy part in the “Last Moment of Clarity.”

“Last Moment of Clarity”: Berkeley native Zach Avery lands a meaty role in Colin and James Krisel’s engrossing neo-noir that jets from Paris to Los Angeles. Avery plays a grieving boyfriend who is emotionally sideswiped when he thinks that an on-the-rise actress (Samara Weaving) is actually his dead girlfriend. A durable supporting cast —  Brian Cox, Udo Kier and Carly Chaikin — enliven it, and the screenplay takes subtle departures from genre fare. (Streaming for rental)


“The Bikes of Wrath”: It sounds like a fanciful idea to bike from Oklahoma-to-California — the long road taken by the Joad family in John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath.” But five novice cyclists from Australia have something bigger in mind than an endurance test as they meet a network of good people helping them out along the way. You can take a virtual armchair ride courtesy of Cameron Ford and Charlie Turnbull’s documentary. They know of what they filmed since they were on the 1,547-mile journey. (https://rafaelfilm.cafilm.org/bikes-of-wrath/)


“The Wolf House” is unlike any other animated film you’ve probably seen. You can stream it via the Roxie Virtual Cinema site. (Image courtesy of KimStim)

“The Wolf House”: Like “Bikes of Wrath,” this stop-motion animation feature lacks ties to the Bay Area except that it benefits one of the best indie theaters in the Bay Area — the San Francisco Roxie Theater. Regardless, this groundbreaking feature is a must and tells a dark Chilean fable set during Pinochet’s oppressive rule. It’s one of the most innovative animation films I’ve seen. And while not violent, Joaquin Cocina and Cristobal Leon’s feature is not for children. (https://www.roxie.com/the-wolf-house/)