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A film by Julien Faraut
A Film Forum Premiere

Special Film Forum price: $23

“Critic’s Pick. Amusing, hypnotic, whimsical, expertly constructed… aims to understand an athlete’s brilliance by turning him inside out. Faraut’s impressionistic conflation of humor, wonder, horror and sympathy whisks this movie to the deluxe suite of the pleasure palace.”
– Wesley Morris, The New York Times

“Vibrant. A fascinating essay on the kinship between tennis and filmmaking. Elegant, witty, and thoughtful. A lovely meditation on time and movement, dedication and obsession, image and perception. Umpired by Mathieu Amalric’s dulcet voice-over, McEnroe’s astonishing 1984 season is set in the context of the man who monomaniacally recorded it, and we get to spectate. Imagines [McEnroe] as a true auteur of the tennis court.”
– Jessica Kiang, Variety

“Cinema lies, sport doesn’t.” – Jean-Luc Godard. At the peak of his tennis fame, John McEnroe was “a man who played on the edge of his senses,” contends filmmaker Julien Faraut. Notorious for his short temper and contemptuous challenges of line judges, McEnroe wielded a mastery of the sport that was often overshadowed by the publicity given to his tantrums on the court. Narrated by French actor/director Mathieu Amalric, the film mines a rich trove of footage, especially the 1984 French Open, culminating in a legendarily suspenseful match against Ivan Lendl. Close-ups, slow motion sequences, and playful animation explore McEnroe’s meticulous attention to the movement and subtleties of tennis — from his often surprising serve to his unpredictable backhand. Faraut, while illustrating the basics of the game for non-fans, ties these lessons to the art of filmmaking in this clever, unconventional documentary.

DVD extras include:

  • In the Realm of Cinema – An interview with director Julien Faraut
  • Facts About Film (1948) – A b&w archival film about celluloid, film projection, and more
  • Theatrical trailer

Special price: $23 plus tax and handling.

Merchandise will be delivered within 2 weeks of order.

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