Thanks to the unerring eye of our FBE crew chief Coleslaw, an all-regions Blu-ray copy of the 2006 film Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait arrived in the KRK box last week. I hadn't noticed it was available and as a result, stole it instantly. For whatever reason this French-Icelandic feature-documentary has never received a DVD release in North America... even though it would seem a good fit for the growing legions of football fans on this side of the Atlantic.
Based on what I'd read about this film over the years, I'll admit to having some pretty high expectations of it, but I still wasn't fully prepared for the profound effect Zidane would have on me. It was, without a doubt, the most mind-numbingly dull, consistently annoying and unsatisfying wastes of time I've ever sat through. Watching a single athlete for the duration of a game might have been an interesting concept in theory but in execution, it's fucking excruciating. The opening 5 minutes is a nauseating pixelated visual nightmare that simply won't end. It just wouldn't end.... The music by Mogwai is a new-age aural assault that would likely give Bill Frissell an aneurism. Quite frankly, I'd rather listen to 10 hours of whale-song than hear another Mogwai composition. Zidane himself is nearly expressionless throughout, making the whole concept a giant waste of time. Surely to God somebody noticed this during the year-long editing process. Anyone? No? Is it just me, or is this monumentally boring? That had to have come up.
I should acknowledge here that most art-installation video work (which is probably a better description for Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait than the term “film”is) will find its champions and detractors lining up in opposing camps. With enough weed, I'm sure you could get into the rhythm of the piece, although in hindsight, I'm thinking two to three hits of acid might be a better choice. That said, I could also get into an episode of So You Think You Can Dance provided I was stoned out of my magic gourd, so that's hardly an answer. Zidane was just too pretentious an undertaking for my craw to absorb. I nearly leaped out of my chair the few times that Zidane's face cracked and spent the rest of the time grasping for anything that would quell the never-ending, repetitive tedium of 92 minutes spent staring at another human whose face has the emotional range of an Easter Island statue.
Thanks to Zidane, I have a splitting headache, despise the French, and hate soccer again. It's a stupid sport where fuck-all happens. As you can see, the Blu-ray has “The Greatest Film About Football Ever Made” festooned all over the front cover, which reminded me of a Coleslaw comment about another film from about a year ago.
I'll trade you back for the Graphic Sexual Horror DVD and throw in the Elvis boxset I took in August Joe. Please?