Borough Boys Movie Review: ZIDANE a 21st Century Portrait

Discussion in 'NYC OT' started by Metrogo, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. Metrogo

    Metrogo Member

    Apr 6, 1999
    Washington Hghts NY
    If you're like me and you care about the success of soccer in this country, do yourself and do me a favor: Don't invite anyone to see this movie who isn't already a devoted fan of the game. And if you do see it, just be thankful that this won't be shown in any malls on the outskirts of any MLS cities. This movie, no doubt, would set the game back 20 years.

    If you like a beautiful audio/visual experience, and you don't care about plot, drama, action, pathos, humor, social commentary or poignancy, then you'll think this film is a stellar accomplishment. If you need one or more of these things, you'll have trouble.

    With the exception of an inexplicable short "half-time" montage of extraordinary and mundane events that happened on that particular day around the globe, the film is set entirely within one game, a Real v. Villareal game in April of 2005. For about 90% of the game, what you see is a very tight close up of the master Zidane, who apparently got about 6 touches of the ball in his entire time on the pitch. Otherwise, it's just a guy walking, jogging, blowing mucous out of one nostril, then the other, and grunting "hey!" from time to time. There is a beauty to it, seriously. But man does it confirm the worst stereotypes about the game held by every WFAN hater.

    Now like most of you I've watched a countless number of soccer games in my life. And after a while you develop a sense of who was involved in a game, who was out of it, who seemed to be on the ball all the time, and who got hardly any touches. But never being a serious soccer player, I guess I've never thought about really just how much actual time any one player spends on the ball. If you divide 90 minutes by 22 players, you average out to about 4 minutes per game. But then if you think about the amount of time the ball is not in any particular players possession, when it's in the air, when it's on the ground between players, I suspect you have a lot of players who may have the ball at their feet for a minute or so in an entire game. At any rate, if you're like me and never really thought about that, this film is pretty fascinating, if quite boring at the same time.

    The sound in the movie is extraordinary. I'm pretty sure the sound of the players boots hitting the turf was not real. But occasional shots when you would hear that sound and see the players running in a pack had this really cool feel of watching some high quality nature show of leopards or cheetahs moving together to hunt their prey. It sounded and looked like padded paws hitting the surface of the earth. I hope I don't sound like a prize prick for writing that but it was really cool.

    Of course, this film being deeply continental, there are infrequent enigmatic sentences that are from Zidane himself flashed at the bottom of the screen. He said to the filmmakers, apparently, that he does not experience or remember the game in real time, but in fragments. I think this movie tries to capture the game in the way that Zidane experiences it.

    Finally, the music couldn't be prettier, though by late in the match you got tired of yet again being let down by the action on the field when the music had built to a crescendo. But no matter, I will be buying Mogwai's latest on i-tunes as soon as I finish here.

    So that's my review. Out of a possible 5 Willets Point stadiums, I give it 3 stadiums. Happy movie going!


  2. KingsCountyFC

    KingsCountyFC Member

    Nov 6, 2007
    BK - NY / Louisiana
    FC Sankt Pauli
    United States
    sounds good..
    Mogwai fcukin rocks too...
  3. Jaydawgg22

    Jaydawgg22 Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    Astoria Queens NYC
    Blackburn Rovers FC
    United States
    It was good, but I'm a cinematographer and I caught myself falling asleep acouple times. It is an experimental film so anyone who kinows what that means can tell you that the audience has to work to stay involved, Don't go expecting to sit and relax for an hour and a half go expecting to sit and concentrate, but I blame this more on the attention span of the 21st century movie goer rather than the film itself. But if you love Football, Real, or Zizou you need to see it. It expands your mind in a way watching a game on TV cannot.

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