Director Brent Hodge did not intend to make a film about why men enter the Catholic priesthood. At the outset, he and co-director Chris Kelly thought their film would be a comedic pop culture documentary, a movie genre niche that is Hodge’s specialty. They envisioned fat friars sweating in the Vatican-sponsored football tournament known as The Clericus Cup.
Right now, Amazon is showing Season 1 of Maradona Sueno Bendito, a 10-episode compilation of “sex, drugs, and historic goals”. While waiting for that serie’s episodes to appear, I supplemented my viewing with this similarly-themed feature film, which was produced in Italy and released in 2007.
When creating a biopic about a footballer, who you claim to be one of the best that ever played, the rule is that the film must have some football in it. At least have enough soccer to show the viewer that the player’s greatness cannot be denied.
If you know who Edin Džeko is, do you need to watch this movie? If you don’t know who he is, should you watch this movie? My answers are yes and no.
In his 2015 docufilm Una Meravigliosa Stagione Fallimentare, Director Mario Bucci creates a remarkable homage to his home club, located in the city of Bari on the southeast coast of Italy. The charm of this film comes from the innocent appeal of the players. There are also the tongue-in-cheek presentations of the kit men and the people who pull the strings. And, you are buoyed by the fans, the city, and its people as enthusiasm builds behind a team that should be hopeless.
When this Netflix original first pops up on your TV, the upper left corner warns “sex, nudity, language, smoking”. That warning is also an able synopsis of this Italian hooligan movie.
Before there was Messi, there was Maradona. Asif Kapadia’s Diego Maradona is an extraordinary football film in its collection of Maradona’s greatest hits: his passes and shots as well as the violence perpetrated upon him by opponents. In extensive footage, time and time again Maradona throws off tackles like a dog shaking off raindrops. There is not a single moment where he looks ordinary on the field. Even his juggling during practice is something I had never seen before.
It’s such a terrible shame that it took 5 years for a movie like this to become widely available to the American audience. Paolo Zucca’s Italian football film L’arbitro is absurdly fresh and funny, while also being odd and confusing.
Subbuteopia captures the history and passion for the game of Subbuteo (Table Soccer) and its enthusiasts, who persevered despite Hasbro’s cancelling the product.