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Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements

John McEnroe: In The Realm Of Perfection

2018, Julien Faraut, France, 95 min.

Show Times

  • Fri, Aug 31st 2:00pm
  • Fri, Aug 31st 6:00pm
  • Sat, Sep 1st 1:30pm
  • Sat, Sep 1st 5:15pm
  • Sun, Sep 2nd 6:15pm
  • Sun, Sep 2nd 8:15pm
  • Wed, Sep 5th 8:30pm
Chicago premiere!

"A sports documentary unlike any other, a beguiling and delightful piece of visionary non-fiction." — David Ehrlich, Indiewire

"Insightful, entertaining, and often humorous." - Nikki Baughan, Screen Daily

"Elegant, witty, and thoughtful…what on paper might seem a standard sporting bio-doc instead becomes a lovely meditation on time and movement, dedication and obsession, image and perception." - Jessica Kiang, Variety

Beginning with a quotation from Jean-Luc Godard ("Cinema lies, sports doesn't"), this fascinating more-than-a-sports-doc casts an unmistakably French eye, at once analytic and rhapsodic, on the game of tennis and the player who was perhaps its most compelling performer. Director Faraut, curator of the French Sports Institute's film collection, uncovered a cache of previously unseen 16mm footage focused on a single player, John McEnroe. Faraut uses that footage as the core of an inquiry that begins by exploring the affinity between cinema and tennis, each concerned with the control of time, with McEnroe as both consummate director and performer (were his famous tantrums actually strategic ploys?). McEnroe is seen as the ultimate perfectionist, competing primarily against himself, and intolerant of anyone (refs, spectators, journalists, pesky cameramen) who compromised that standard. The film concentrates on McEnroe's greatest season, 1984, climaxing with the epic French Open final against Ivan Lendl. Narrated (in English) by Mathieu Amalric. In English and French with English subtitles. DCP digital. (MR)

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