Adam Sekuler, the program director at Northwest Film Forum, introduced the 2006 documentary about Zinedine Zidane last week by describing it as a nature film about a footballer in his native habitat. He’s absolutely right. Zidane comes across as a creature on the prowl. He has a loping gait, characterized by mindless toe tapping. He spits like he’s hissing, and he sweats profusely. When he breaks into a run, the camera struggles to follow his unpredictable motion. Instead of following the ball, the film sets all cameras—17 of them—on Zidane, for the duration of a match. The cameras' devotion to Zidane is total; it's hard to tell what's going on in the game. "The game is not experienced or remembered in real time," he says. Neither is the film, with its range of visual depth and its mesmerizing manipulations of the sounds in the stadium, its sonic zooms. It breaks through its only restriction—real time—and flows.
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