I've never made it to any of the WFF offerings until this year. I loved the two films I saw, and it was made more enjoyable by meals with friends before each film.
On Friday night, my lovely wife and I met Linda at Husnu's on State Street. I've always liked the provisions there, but rarely get back to sample it. I had a combo kebab which was delish, while the women had two different shrimp items. We tried a bottle of Turkish white wine just for fun, and it too was excellent. This place continues to please my palate, for a decent price too.
I then met my boss and his wife at the Union Theater to see "Harvard Beats Yale 29-29!", an engrossing and humorous look at the famous 1968 matchup between two Ivy League unbeaten teams, a rarity. The documentary is filled with interviews from players of both teams, with fun comments from actor Tommy Lee Jones (a lineman on the Harvard team) about his roommate Al Gore, along with insights about how a team full of campus radicals, ROTC members, and a Viet Nam vet managed to coalesce into a winning team. The Yale players were haughtier but as interesting. One player talked about his then girlfriend, a young Vassar student named Meryl Streep. Heavily favored Yale had Brian Dowling, of "BD" fame in the Garry Trudeau Doonesbury cartoons, and future NFL star Calvin Hill, and pulled out to a large lead. All the players commented that at the end of the game, a force seemed to take over the stadium and made crazy things happen -- crazy as in Harvard scoring 16 points (2 touchdowns and 2 2-pt extra points) in the final 42 seconds to tie the game. All the participants talked of Harvard winning the tie game. The title of the film comes from the headline in the Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper, the next Monday. Filmed and produced by Kevin Rafftery, it was a big hit with the crowd. I went because of a great review in the NY Times, where the reviewer noted he was no football fan, but loved the movie. I am a football fan, but I loved it too.
On Saturday, a group of us went to Edo on Park Street for some Japanese fare. I went with the special, a House Roll, which was a tamer version of a Godzilla, along with some eel sushi. Very good stuff. Others had tempura, a pork stew-sort-of dish, and tofu stir fry.
We then wandered up to the Stage Door to see "Revanche", which was nominated for the Academy award for best foreign film. A tale of sex, killing and revenge, with stark contrasts between the high powered city life and the languid life in the nearby countryside, Revanche has some excellent performances, but also some slow-moving portions. The first part of the film with Tamara the prostitute and her life in the brothel seemed a little gratuitous to me (sex sells, I guess) and the film could have set the stage much more quickly than it did. Revanche is, however, one of the most beautifully filmed flicks I've seen in a long time. The twists toward the end of the film are magnificent, and the old grandfather farmer who plays the accordian is a great role. I thought it was quite good, although I didn't like it quite as much as Harvard-Yale. The films are so different, however, that it is hard to compare them.
I think I'll make sure to set aside time next year for more food and flicks.