A Good Documentary Week in Coolidge Corner

This past week I’ve been to Coolidge Corner four times, seen two opening night documentaries (Fahrenheit 911 and Howard Zinn), eaten at Boca Grande twice (grilled lemon chicken burrito), and stopped by JP Licks twice (lemon sorbet and strawberry-rhubarb). I think I’ve decided to consider Coolidge Corner part of my neighborhood, since it’s only a 15-minute walk away and I spend so much time there.

Both films were sold out (600 people) and had lines that stretched all the way around the building. Spending time with both Moore and Zinn this week, I’ve been struck by the contrast in rhetorical styles. While I enjoyed the buzz of both events and the films themselves, I’ve cooled a bit on Michael Moore’s movie, mostly because I find his rhetoric so polarizing. Howard Zinn, while no less provacative, has a gentler presence and sagely ethos he has earned during a lifetime of both writing about and being history.

Maybe I also feel more of an affinity with Zinn because he’s a local figure, having been just down the road at BU since the late sixties or so.

Speaking of local, Paula and Alex just walked into CafeNation on a whim. We saw the Zinn film together last night, and we agreed again how much we enjoyed seeing it. In Paula’s words, “It’s a sign of good movie when you go back home and watch the trailer after the film.”