MUCHO MUCHO AMOR: THE LEGEND OF WALTER MERCADO (2020) Stream on Netflix. Made in the months before his death, this documentary chronicles the larger-than-life existence of the Puerto Rican television and radio astrologer, Walter Mercado. Mercado became an icon — for his elaborate costumes, focus on positivity and as a gender nonconforming entertainer — and his show was broadcast to millions of viewers every day, until he somewhat mysteriously disappeared from public view. But the directors Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch were able to sit down with Mercado, as well as Lin-Manuel Miranda, the actor Eugenio Derbez and the television host Raúl de Molina to discuss the entertainer’s life and legacy.
THE PROPOSAL (2019) Stream on Topic; Rent or buy on Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play, Vimeo, Vudu. Who owns an artist’s legacy? That’s one of the central questions in this documentary, which follows the conceptual artist Jill Magid from Brooklyn, to Mexico and Switzerland in her attempt to confront the couple who own the archives of the Mexican architect Luis Barragán. After Barragán died in 1988, his professional archive and the copyright to designs and images of his work were passed from his business partner and then sold to Rolf Fehlbaum, the chairman of an international furniture company, and his soon-to-be wife, Federica Zanco. Throughout the documentary, Magid writes to Zanco, requesting to view and study the archive — without luck — and those letters wind up becoming an integral element of her own exhibition about Barragán’s legacy. But the focal point of the project lies in the proposal Magid dreams up for Zanco. With the approval of Barragán’s surviving relatives, Magid transforms some of the architect’s remains into a diamond — which she sets into a ring, and presents to Zanco in exchange for her promise to move the archives back to Mexico. “Detailing at once an art project and a rescue mission, a love triangle and an elaborate, outlandish bargain, the movie has a surface serenity that belies its fuming emotions,” Jeannette Catsoulis wrote in her New York Times review.
What’s on TV
SNOWPIERCER 9 p.m. on TNT. This television take on Bong Joon Ho’s film of the same name will end its first season with a two-part finale. After the train’s oppressed passengers try to take control of the Snowpiercer — which is carrying humanity’s 3,000 survivors — Melanie (Jennifer Connelly), the train’s hospitality director, realizes her survival is still in jeopardy. Unlike the film or the graphic novel that inspired it, the show, which also stars Daveed Diggs, is about cooperation, “in a radical departure from the thorough nihilism of the film,” Mike Hale wrote in his New York Times review.
P-VALLEY 9 p.m. on Starz. Based on a play by Katori Hall, this new drama revolves around a strip club in the Mississippi Delta called the Pynk, and the characters who work there and come through its doors: dancers working to secure a different future, a bodyguard struggling with PTSD, a mysterious business man and an aspiring rapper. The series is also directed by an all-women team that includes Karena Evans, Kimberly Peirce and Tamra Davis.