“Zidane : A Twenty-First Century Portrait”, the feature length documentary by Douglas Gordon and Philppe Parreno, is being shown from tomorrow through October 30 at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music. As lovers of between-Matador-releases are well aware, Mogwai provided the original soundtrack for this stunning visual work.
In 2006, the Frenchman Zinédine Zidane, the most gifted—and certainly the most enigmatic—of recent soccer players, received a suitably unusual tribute. “Zidane: A Twenty-first Century Portrait,” screening at Anthology Film Archives and at BAM Oct. 24-30, is a documentary directed by Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno and filmed by the great Darius Khondji. It focusses on Zidane alone during a match in April, 2005, between his club at the time, Real Madrid, and Villarreal. There is no commentary, no buildup, nothing about his career or his Algerian background. We are granted only fleeting opportunities to observe the patterns of the game; most of the movie tracks its man in solitude as he bides his time and bursts into activity. Even when he is ejected near the end, for his role in a brawl, we barely see the incident—all of which will be exasperating, to filmgoers and soccer fans alike. Allow yourself to submit to the film’s design, however, to the scuffling roar of its recorded sound and the pulse of its music, and, like a session of hypnotherapy, it may just work its magic. – Anthony Lane, The New Yorker