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A rousing documentary from two San Franciscans on late musical icon Leonard Cohen and his influential classic “Hallelujah” highlights this week’s Pass the Remote.

Need something to keep adults and the family occupied? You’re in luck. The Bay Area got animated over the Fourth of July weekend with the SF-set “Minions: The Rise of Gru” ruling the box office ($127.9 million and counting, a record for the Fourth) and Disney+ unveiling its short animated series “Baymax!”

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Other recent film fare with Bay Area ties include a Los Gatos filmmaker’s episodic series “Brotherly Lies.” Meanwhile, at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, a definitive retrospective on late Japanese actor and director Kinuyo Tanaka gets underway this weekend.

Here’s the nitty-gritty of it all.


Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine’s “Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song” covers the impact of that iconic song and vocal performance. (Photo courtesy Sony Pictures Classic)

The impact and influence of one of the greatest songs ever written and performed — Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” — is the focus of Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine’s “Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song.” The San Franciscan filmmakers’ documentary features rare archival materials, including audio recordings, to add more context and understanding over the creation and evolution of this landmark work from the late Canadian singer-songwriter. Additionally, it features stirring performances of that iconic song by artists including Judy Collins, Brandi Carlile and Rufus Wainwright — who also talk about what the song means to them — and includes insights on Cohen from those who knew him well. It opens in select theaters this Friday, and Geller and Goldfine will appear for a number of Q&As starting Thursday (7 p.m. Thursday at the Opera Plaza Cinema in SF; 7 p.m. Friday at SF’s Roxie Theater; 4 p.m. Saturday at the Elmwood Theater in Berkeley; 7 p.m. Saturday at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael; 4 p.m. Sunday at the Opera Plaza; 7 p.m. Sunday at the Roxie).


“Minions: The Rise of Gru” shines a spotlight on San Francisco. (Photo courtesy Universal)

San Francisco takes center stage in “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” another deliriously successful offshoot of the popular “Despicable Me” franchise. Although critics considered the ’70s-set sequel rather meh, audiences (parents with kids in tow) didn’t, and showed up in droves. For Bay Area residents, there’s the bonus of seeing iconic images of San Francisco (including Fisherman’s Wharf) in animated form, along with hearing the impressive vocal cast that includes Steve Carell, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews and so on. It’s currently only playing in theaters.


The Disney+ series “Baymax!” returns to the city of San Fransokyo. (Photo courtesy Walt Disney Studios)

If your attention span wanders and you need to keep things short while wanting to feel a bit better about the world, Disney+ has come up with the perfect animated prescription. The streamer’s bite-sized series (each of the six episodes runs between 11 to 12 minutes) gives Walt Disney Studios’ “Big Hero 6” health-care guardian and scene-stealer Baymax a chance to shine on his own — sort of. “Baymax!” is set in the mashup city of San Fransokyo and finds Baymax (voice of Scott Adsit) helping steer residents onto a path to healthier experiences that will benefit them both emotionally and physically. It’s a delightful, bighearted series as Baymax helps an arthritic elderly woman overcome her fear of water and an embarrassed girl select the best sanitary napkins available (it’s an episode that sparked outrage from conservative groups for briefly featuring a transgender man). Ignore all that, this is one of Disney+’s better original series. The series is streaming now on Disney+.


Los Gatos writer and director Mark Schwab’s tense thriller “Brotherly Lies” stars Pano Tsaklas and Jacob Betts. (Photo courtesy Diamond in the Rough Films)

Los Gatos screenwriter and director Mark Schwab continues to carve out a convincing niche in the LGBTQ+ thriller market. His shot-on-a-pittance “Brotherly Lies” revolves around secrets, obsessions and resentments brewing and bubbling over between two estranged brothers (Pano Tsaklas and Robert Sean Campbell). Tempers set off some fireworks when braggart brother David (Campbell) and his fiancée Laura (Casey Semple) visit troubled sibling Lex (Tsaklas), who’s in desperate need of calm, at the family home that’s now up for sale. What could possibly go wrong? A lot, particularly when there’s a neighbor (Schwab) who’s taken a shine to Lex’s buddy Kenny (Jose Fernando), who’s there helping the fragile Lex mend. This 10-episode series from the San Jose native is available to stream via the Fearless channel. It’s a followup to his “Crisis Hotline,” also available to stream.


The Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley begins its “Forever Kinuyo Tanaka” series this weekend. Her performance in 1933’s “Dragnet Girl” can be seen on July 16. (Photo courtesy BAMPFA)

She acted for noteworthy directors including Kenji Mizoguchi, Mikio Naruse and Yasujiro Ozu, but the versatile Kinuyo Tanaka also made a distinguished mark as a director as well. This weekend, the BAMPFA honors a brilliant career with “Forever Kinuyo Tanaka.” The series runs Friday through Aug. 28 and samples from the late artist’s work as both actor and filmmaker. New 4K restorations can be seen as part of this robust series that includes 1953’s “Love Letter” (7 p.m. Friday), 1953’s “Where Chimneys Are Seen” (in an imported 35mm print, 7 p.m. Sunday), 1933’s “Dragnet Girl” (7 p.m. July 16) and many more.

For a complete schedule and to order tickets, visit https://bampfa.org/program/forever-kinuyo-tanaka.