Zidane, un Portrait du 21e Siècle (Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait)
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Zidane, un Portrait du 21e Siècle (Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait)
Acclaimed visual artists Douglas Gordon and Phillipe Parreno turn their attentions to filmmaking -- and one of Europe's leading soccer stars -- in this offbeat documentary. Zinedine Zidane is among the most celebrated athletes in European football; playing for Real Madrid, the Frenchman has earned a reputation for graceful yet aggressive play and a confrontational style. Gordon and Parreno have made a film about Zidane, but viewers of Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait will learn nothing about his life off the field, and only so much about his work on it. Instead of telling Zidane's life… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"For all the fuss that's sometimes been made of the film's semi-experimental approach, it is first and foremost a sensory experience that puts the viewer right on the field."
‑ Michael Nordine, L.A. Weekly
"He's set apart not only as the piece's sole subject but because he's hyper-alert, continually responding to invisible forces, raptly focused on events beyond the frame."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"In moments of stillness, a composition of fast jukes and stutter-steps delight the eye. It's a lot of hurry-up and wait at first, but well worth it come the film's finish."
‑ Matthew Nestel, Boxoffice Magazine
"There's more filler than real action (much like any soccer match, in my opinion) and the film is a challenge to get all the way through for anyone without an interest in the game or Zidane himself."
‑ Mark Bell, Film Threat
"The stuff between goals can be agonizingly dull, but the film's sensory impact is heightened by Mogwai's menacing score and Darius Khondji's dazzling cinematography."
‑ Jason Anderson, eye WEEKLY
"You learn little by way of hard facts about the adored French soccer star and famous head-butter Zinedine Zidane in the formalist exercise that bears his name."
‑ Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"Alternately hypnotic and irksome."
‑ Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
"An overblown nearly-real-time documentary-cum-"art installation.""
‑ Bill Weber, Slant Magazine
"Strangely enjoyable."
‑ Digby Lewis, BBC.com
"Zidane's charisma accumulates and the film becomes a hypnotic experience to which you must simply abandon yourself."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"To see everything boiled down to one man's stillness and movement is a transcendentalist high, a concentrated dose of poetry in motion."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"The remarkably intimate camera work gives viewers the sense of being at this very big, very fast athlete's elbow throughout the 90-minute battle."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Watching a single athlete for the duration of a game is an interesting concept, but Zidane is better in theory than in execution."
‑ Mark Pfeiffer, Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
"It's both a revelation and a simple confirmation of everything you've ever believed, and an incredibly powerful, deeply emotional experience."
‑ Martha Fischer, Cinematical
"This 17-camera portrait of the artist as an ageing star still captures the magnetism and balletic genius of a player whose reputation will surely survive the naysaying of holier-than-thou commentators following his World Cup 2006 dismissal."
‑ Patrick Peters, Empire Magazine