douglas gordon and philippe parrenos portrait of zinedine zidane left me with a profound impression.
the film has a length of 90 minutes and shows the football player, keeps close focus on him during the match of real madrid contra villa-real on april 23rd 2005. only very short wide shots of the stadium, the field and halls, and parts of the television emission interrupt the camera close-ups on zidanes feet and face.
this shift from the usual football match perception of the whole team as a unit and the ball as center point of attention towards the close-up observation of a single person acting and reacting to the happenings on the field has tremendous impact.
what at first seems like a steady close-up, including surprisingly clear sound from the field and clearly audible zidane, later develops into more and more layers of perception.
we see zidane not only playing the ball, after a while we notice that he remains highly concentrated, but then you can almost see his thoughts shifting as the attention level drops because theres nothing going on close by, or him getting very agressive due to a failed pass. and suddenly he also seems nervous, although he remains quite serious throughout the match.
through slowly noticed changes in the soundscape (main contributor to the soundtrack are british soundscaperock artists mogwai) or the minimally set subtitles gordon and parreno add even more layers to the portrait. suddenly the inner eye sees zidane as a boy playing backyard football, or we hear his reflections on the character of being a pro football player on the huge field with this humongous crowd.
for me this film can not merely be called a simple portrait, it is a carefully assembled composition of impressions, sounds and feelings, more reluctant that a conventional desription of a famous person but poetic in its narrative and developing unusual perspectives on zidane and football. maybe for this the addition: a portrait of the 21st century. a very poetic one.
watch a small portion of the film: