After the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) qualified for WC 2010, Koryo Studio re-mastered and re-released Centre Forward (중앙공격수) on DVD. It has been shown in several film festivals, including the 2011 edition of the Berlin 11mm International Film Festival.
With its black and white production values and moralistic lessons, this 1978 cinematic propaganda from North Korea reminds me of the 1950s TV series Rin Tin Tin and its like. In those days, American television portrayed and reinforced American values of virtue, rescuing people from bad Indians, and being good to dogs.
Continue reading “Moral lessons abound in ‘Centre Forward’ (1978)”
En el Séptimo Día is more of an art film with a message from Director Jim McKay. It originated with a script that he drafted in 2001. The story is an intimate portrait of Mexican immigrant life, pulled from his present neighborhood in Brooklyn as well as his experience years ago, when he worked in a Noe Valley restaurant in San Francisco and watched movies at the Roxie Theater.
He went on to become a very successful director in American television, but returned to this film when he had “saved up enough of his own money”.
Continue reading “Immigrants and soccer ‘En el Séptimo Día’ (2017)”
Mario is like Shakespeare in Love on a football pitch, where two teammates cannot be together because society pulls them apart. I’ve seen a bunch of gay soccer films, and Mario is the first one that has quite an emphasis on the football.
Continue reading “‘Mario’ (2018) is a gay soccer movie with authentic football”
End of Summer immerses you in the WC 1998 memories of Director Quan Zhou. Like the protagonist in his film, he was 11 years old, living in a compound in Shaoxing, when the World Cup was first broadcast live in China. Boys of his generation became fans of football and of players like Del Piero.
Continue reading “Football as bridge or barrier in ‘End of Summer’ (2017)”
This teen melodrama about a working class family in Mexico City is both hard to watch and hard to stop watching. The story is a well-crafted, methodical train wreck of the bad decisions people make to derail their own lives.
Continue reading “Review: ‘Como no te voy a Querer’ (2008)”
To describe Bill King’s Hotshot in the vernacular of the 1980s, most of the time, this is a hokey soccer movie. But Hotshot is still worth watching, if only for the 20 minutes that Pelé is on-screen.
Continue reading “Only watch Hotshot (1987) to enjoy Pelé”
I have mixed feelings about the faith-based film For the Glory. Realtors Chris and Katherine Craddock wrote this screenplay about their fellow church member Kurt Kuykendall. His faith helped him overcome a privileged but difficult upbringing.
Continue reading “Is biopic ‘For the Glory’ (2012) more fiction than fact?”
For a guy taking his first steps in creating a film, Director Rhys Chapman made all the right moves. He strategically took Wonderkid from awareness campaign, to fund raising, through a 5-day shoot, and then to fruition. All along, his mission was to educate viewers by portraying homophobia and the need to counter it by Being Yourself at the highest levels of British football.
Continue reading “‘Wonderkid’ (2016) has a wondrous film production”
I’m sorry, but The Trophy Thief did not open my heart. Instead, I feel manipulated, as if the creators are simply playing to sympathies by casting a short-statured soccer player as Ben, the boy who steals an unjustly-awarded MVP trophy.
Continue reading “‘The Trophy Thief’ (2015) doesn’t ring true”
This is a public service announcement. Concussion is not a soccer movie, but every soccer parent should watch it. Writer-Director Peter Landesman used to be an investigative reporter, and he brings that kind of intensity to his film. No one watching this movie can stay in denial about the long-term effects of TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury.
Continue reading “Every sport parent should watch ‘Concussion’ (2015)”
Small country. Wasn’t supposed to be there. Fairytale run. Are we talking about Iceland at Euro 2016? Nope! Before Iceland’s feel-good story, there was a more unbelievable tale. In Sommeren ’92, Writer-Director Kasper Barfoed immortalizes Denmark’s giant-killing performance at the 1992 UEFA European Championship.
Continue reading “The Danish giant-killers of ‘Sommeren ’92’ (2015)”
In their Pelé biopic, Directors Jeffrey and Michael Zimbalist create a loving, lush, and longish ode to the Beautiful Game of Brazil. If you sit back and absorb, there is a lot to enjoy. But it might be the kind of movie that only a soccer fan can love.
Continue reading “[Review] Pelé: Birth of a Legend (2016)”
While the facts of Walter Tull’s life are exemplary, the fictional film Walter’s War leaves too much unsaid. Tull’s unique achievements, as one of the first Black British footballers, and then as the first Black British officer in Europe’s trenches, are now heralded.
Continue reading “‘Walter’s War’ (2008) leaves much unexplained”
Is this worth watching? When Erik Estrada has top billing, you know it’s going to be cheezy. The best line in The Final Goal is when Estrada’s henchman tells him, “You should have been an actor.”
Estrada is the bad guy bribing 6 players to lose a semi-final game in the Global Cup. The only thing in his way is backup goalkeeper Steven Nijjar, who BTW is also a master of martial arts.
Continue reading “‘The Final Goal’ (1995) is a unique kung fu soccer movie”
Baghdad Messi is a heartbreaking 19 minute short film that recently became available on Amazon Prime. The film was just shy of the final cut of nominees for Live Action Short Film of the 2014 Academy Awards.
Continue reading “Kurdistan’s ‘Baghdad Messi’ (2012) is well-worth your time”