Even the finest documentarians need great material and filmmaker Kevin Raffertys got plenty of it in Harvard Beats Yale 29-29, which begins a week-long run on Friday, April 10, at Starz. Both teams were unbeaten going into this 1968 game, which took place against the backdrop of campus unrest and the Vietnam War. Still, scene-setting segments focusing on the era, as well as a halfhearted attempt to establish a class conflict between the squads, with Harvard representing regular folks (!), dont make as big an impact as the characters themselves. Prominent figures, like actor Tommy Lee Jones, a onetime Harvard guard, and Yale quarterback Brian Dowling, the model for B.D. in Garry Trudeaus Doonesbury comic strip, are placed on equal footing with unknowns who still seem stunned to have taken part in the bizarre contest, which remains suspenseful even though its final score is given away in the movies title. In this case, a tie definitely wasnt like kissing your sister.
The film screens at Starz FilmCenter in the Tivoli through April 16 and Rafferty will be in attendance on Tuesday, April 14, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets range from $6 for Denver Film Society members to $9.50 for the general public. Get showtimes and other info at 303-595-3456 or www.denverfilm.org.
April 10-23, 2009