This is an utterly overwhelming piece. The ultimate time and motion study, it’s been described many times since its debut at Cannes, but for those who missed it last weekend, Gordon and Parreno set up 17 cameras to follow Real Madrid ‘galactico’ footballer Zinedine Zidane through the course of an average La Liga game. That’s it. They follow Zidane the player, not the match. The idea, in Parreno’s words, was to “make a feature film which follows the main protagonist of a story, without telling the story.”
It’s certainly not a traditional documentary – there is no exposition of the enigmatic Zidane’s life amidst the celebrity culture of Madrid, or of his French-Algerian heritage, growing up in the mean streets of Marseilles. There are merely a few superimposed fragments of text, apparently from Zidane, which add little in the way of context or explanation.
Without this, the film has only Zidane, and his movements, to portray. While the careful editing of image and sound is certainly an aesthetic intervention, it is otherwise the purest possible depiction of football. Or as I like to call it, a nature documentary about a footballer in his natural environment.
Fri-Sun. June 13 -15 at 7 & 9:15pm at NWFF!
Tickets are already available here.