Home Runs and Hard Rock
Did you see a guy in a penguin suit waddling down Colesville Road last night? If so, you weren't hallucinating. That was just one of several costumed characters who attended the opening night of Silverdocs, which featured a screening of the documentary "Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters." ("March of the Penguins" was mentioned in the film, hence the costumes.)
With the introductory festivities out of the way, now film lovers can dig into the real meat of this six-day festival. But what should you see tonight? Here are two suggestions.
Longtime Boston Red Sox fans will relish "Spaceman: A Baseball Odyssey," a look at Bill "Spaceman" Lee, the left-handed and semi-looney former pitcher for the Sox (and, later, the Montreal Expos). Though his glory days peaked in the 1970s, Lee clearly still loves the game. The doc follows the outspoken player to Cuba, where he plays on an adult league team from San Diego in such powerhouse matchups as "USA vs. Retired Trainers." The running time is short at 70 minutes, but the chuckles are many. And the Sox faithful must certainly respect a guy who still holds a grudge against that much-reviled team from New York; when a Cuban spectator asks Lee if he can have a bat, the major league vet replies, "Yes, I'll give you a bat, even though you've got a Yankee hat on." "Spaceman" screens tonight at 9 p.m.
Screening tonight at 9:30 p.m. is Susan Dynner's "Punk Isn't Dead," a thought-provoking exploration of punk rock's evolution. If you're thinking this is yet another tribute to the awesomeness of the Ramones and the Clash (not that there's anything wrong with that), think again. Instead, the film -- which features clips of Minor Threat, Fugazi, the Adicts, Green Day and many more -- examines how punk evolved from something truly rebellious (clips of Jack Klugman decrying the "punkers" in episodes of "Quincy" are classic) to part of the mainstream. Is it simply natural that today's pop-punk bands want to cash in with hit records and Grammy awards? Or have today's punk-influenced bands sold out? ("Blink 182 is rebelling against coaches and teachers and pimples," says Mike Ness of Social Distortion, clearly taking the latter position.) Those are questions you'll be debating long after this engaging rock doc has ended.
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