Art of the Real, FSLC's annual celebration of non-fiction cinema is back and remains my most anticipated cinema event even in the city that is not in short supply of great film series all year round. An amazing array of genre-defining, ever expanding cinematic experiments are presented to satiate your inquisitive cinematic minds! This year's lineup includes Infinite Football by Corneliu Porumboiu, Sergei Loznitsa’s Victory Day, Kazuhiro Soda's Inland Factory, and many more.
Again, Art of the Real is an immensely rewarding cinematic experience both in form and content. Don't miss it!
Art of the Real runs from April 26 through May 6, 2018 at Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York. Please visit FGSC for more info.
Here is preview of six notable films for your pleasure:
John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection *Opening Night Film
This terrific, archival footage documentary starts with a Godard quote - "Cinema Lies, Sport Doesn't." A French archivist Julien Faraut stumbled upon hours and hours of 16mm shot French Open matches at Roland Garros, initiated by Gil de Kermadec, the first director of French Tennis Federation, to study and make instruction films for aspiring athletes. But what Faraut saw was a compelling, verité style portraits of each players, and especially of McEnroe, who was at the time, the number one player in the world.
It happens that McEnroe wasn't a good model as an athlete who had atypical style for these often rigid, dry instructional films. His form was unusual and his methods were unpredictable, which gave his opponents a hard time. As a perfectionist of the game, he hated incompetency of people in the court and as a result, we've got to know him as who shouted and argued with umpires endlessly. He also hated being filmed or photographed. There are several moments where he stops the game to complain that the rolling cameras were bothering him while looking straight into camera.
Like last year's Dawson City: Frozen Time which uncovered the intersection of Gold Rush and cinema, In the Realm of Perfection finds the intersection of sport and cinema. Drolly narrated by Mathieu Amalric, Faraut creates Chris Marker style film that is both entertaining (thanks largely to McEnroe being himself) and thoughtful. The epic match between McEnroe and his long time nemesis Ivan Lendl in 1984 captured in grainy 16mm is literally, epic.