Friday, October 29, 2010

Double Date: Crash and cast

From left: The Deval Patrick, the Tim Cahill, and the Charlie Baker at Gargoyles on the Square.

Relive the beginning of the financial crisis on film, then relieve the stress by voting on political-themed cocktails


If you want to relive the go-go 1980s, then go see “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.’’ But if you want to remember what happened after that, and you should, go see “The Inside Job.’’ The idea of reliving the crash through film probably doesn’t sound like a great idea for a night of entertainment — but when someone gets punched in the gut, they usually like to have an idea of where it came from. Academy Award-nominated director Charles Ferguson’s new film is an in-depth look into exactly who it was throwing the punches. (Globe critic Wesley Morris gave it four stars.)

The documentary details the origins of the crisis through extensive interviews with people who watched, or helped, the economic house of cards fall apart, and points up the corruption that led to millions losing their homes. Ferguson has said it was a completely avoidable crisis that came about as a result of a culture of deregulation, and a financial industry of almost unchecked power and influence. “In the case of this crisis, nobody has gone to prison, despite fraud that caused trillions of dollars in losses,’’ he says in his director’s statement. The film, which they say, “cost $20 trillion to make,’’ is playing this weekend at Kendall Square Cinema.

Kendall Square Cinema, 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge. 617-499-1996.

No matter how hard you were hit, the topics addressed in the film are enough to get anyone thinking, not to mention in need of some serious stress relief. At Gargoyles on the Square in nearby Davis Square, they’re taking a more tongue-in-cheek approach to political discourse leading up to next week’s statewide elections. They’ve devised a gubernatorial poll of their own, with three new cocktails named for the candidates: the Deval Patrick, made with white chocolate liquor, house infused vanilla vodka, Kahlua, and espresso; the Charlie Baker, a smoky gazpacho Bloody Mary-style cocktail; and the Tim Cahill, made with fennel, dill, and caraway-infused vodka and Grand Marnier.

Owner James Conforti says the idea arose when he and some regulars were complaining about the bombardment of negative campaign ads. “We wanted to take the democratic process into our own hands,’’ he says. Customers vote for their cocktail, and candidate, of choice every night by what they order. Gargoyles’ poll results will come out before the real ones when they host an election party on Tuesday.

Conforti has opinions of his own, but the idea was to make each drink appealing enough to order that it wouldn’t sway anyone’s vote. “It’s more fun watching the customers and getting their feedback, and people are getting a kick out of it,’’ he says. “They don’t have to take everything so seriously.’’ Didn’t anyone ever tell them you’re not supposed to talk politics at the bar?

Gargoyle s on the Square, 219 Elm St., Somerville. 617-776-5300.

Boston Globe

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