sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 25, 2010

a saturday double feature
posted by soe 2:32 am

After sleeping away the morning and whiling away the afternoon with board games, knitting, and laundry, I started to get a little desperate, trying to come up with some evening plans.

Sure, we could stay in and watch a video, but we’ve done a lot of that this week, and it felt like we needed a break.

The movie listings offered no hope of salvation, short of How To Train Your Dragon, which I wasn’t sure I was in the mood for. And then I remembered that when Rudi and I went to the movies a few weeks back, we’d seen the listings for Filmfest D.C. But was it still going on?

Sure enough, we thought of it just in the nick of time, as the festival ends tomorrow. And we found not one, but two movies that interested us and that were playing at the same theater. A text message to the friends netted us Michael and Julia as movie companions.

The first film was Rudi’s choice: Made in Hungaria is the story of a teen boy in the early ’60s who, after spending a few years in the U.S. has returned with his parents to their native Hungary, where he finds the Communist mindset to be repressive. He attempts to rejoin the band of his youth to play Jerry Lee Lewis-inspired tunes, but is rebuffed first by the band’s current lead singer and then by a local Party official, who wants him instead to lead up a sanctioned musical group made up of the official’s son and an East German female group. Oh, and in the midst of all that, there’s that cute girl he promised to write to every week, but whom he didn’t send a single letter in the four years he was gone. Will Miki get to follow his passion and make music? Will the older generation be convinced by the youths’ swaying hips?

Take the male-oriented half of Grease and move it to Hungary. Add a dose of Carl Perkins and Buddy Holly and complicate it by noting that what would have been ordinary teen hijinks in the western world are considered agitation behind the iron curtain. The characters were, as Michael pointed out, rather one-dimensional, but overall I didn’t care. Add this to your NetFlicks queue now if you enjoyed American Dreams when it aired on tv a few years back.

The second feature was Looking for Eric, a British film about a middle-aged single dad whose life has fallen apart. He’s just wrecked his car going the wrong way around a rotary. His two teen step-sons refuse to mind him, playing hooky and getting into a lot of mischief (bordering on delinquency). He’s a mess at his job as a postal carrier and worrying his friends. He’s stealing one son’s pot and drinking too much with the lads down at the pub. And his daughter has just asked him to interact with his first wife on a daily basis. So Eric does what any of us would do when utterly overwhelmed by despair: he starts talking to a life-sized poster of his favorite soccer star.

But it’s when former Manchester United and soccer phenom Eric Cantona supposedly starts talking back that things get interesting. Played by the aging Frenchman himself, Cantona takes the tripping Eric in hand to give him back his life and to teach him what’s really important.

The second movie was the overwhelming favorite of our quartet and was still fodder for conversation during our midnight run to Tunnicliff’s for some late-night munchies. A great film that I’d recommend to anyone.

Category: arts,dc life. There is/are Comments Off on a saturday double feature.