Thursday, 26 February 2009


a couple of years ago t and me found ourselves in the back of the modern art museum watching douglas gordon's zidane. i was all prepared to hate it having heard much (mostly negative) hype and having developed a loathing of things gordon prior.

as it was, we were ensnared.

so to today and it's on tv. we start to watch it. no, it's not the same we agree, not on the small screen. but, imperceptibly, it again exerts its mesmeric effect. it's not a film about football nor is it a film about a football match (one could argue that even if it resembles one it's not actually a film at all) even if it does, more or less follow the events of one. all the cameras for almost the whole of the film are focused on zidane. he breathes, he spits, the sound of the crowd echoes around him. he spends long periods of time alone, struggling to find position.

and while yes, this is a film that concerns football, zidane's place in it, it becomes so much more, about performance, about a record, about identity, individal and social. the players become subversive, the referee a cipher for all authority. and zidane confronting him, saying 'you should be ashamed' transcends the world of sport as theatre.

is it the best football film ever made? i think so. but in the same way that sport itself is a metaphor the film is so much more. there's a palpable sense of loss at the end as zidane leaves the film, the words appearing ghostly on the screen

sometimes magic is so close nothing at all

i'm profoundly affected by it. we talk all over it again. i order the dvd. you should do the same


Radge said...

Not to mention the music.

swiss said...

first time we went to see it, as an 'installation' we found the music really intrusive. this time. on tv, i didn't mind it so much and t was quite into it