zidane: a 21st century portrait (douglas gordon and philippe parreno, 2006)

Taking a break for a moment from Oscar-nominated movies, I give you Zidane. This will be a short review, because the film is easy to describe. One way that won't mean much to most of you is to say that it is the first sports movie I ever saw where I thought "you know, kdotdammit would like this movie!"

The other way to describe it is to, well, describe it. The filmmakers got 17 cameras and took them to a soccer match between Real Madrid and Villareal. All seventeen cameras were focused on Madrid star Zinédine Zidane. The movie runs 92 minutes, and chronicles the soccer match ... well, that's not true, the match is secondary, the match chronicles Zidane's 90 minutes of playing (a little less, actually, since he gets a red card dismissal late in the match). You see the typical bird's-eye view of the entire stadium ... you see close-ups of the field of play ... you see Zidane's boots ... you see Zidane sweat ... you see Zidane spit ... you see Zidane stand around ... you see Zidane run ... once in awhile, you see Zidane with the ball. Ninety minutes later, the match, and the movie, are done.

There is no plot. The film is an almost abstract presentation of Zidane playing soccer. The music by Mogwai is, um, music by Mogwai. There is very little speaking. It's just Zidane, sweating and spitting and dribbling and getting red-carded.

If that sounds like a good movie to you, you will probably enjoy this. If you're just a soccer fan, it will hold your interest. If you aren't a soccer fan but you enjoy experimental films about bodies, you'll like Zidane. Seriously, this is one case where the description tells you all you need to know before deciding whether to see it.