VIDEO: The trailer for Zidane: A Twenty-First-Century Portrait
It's an intriguing concept: Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno train their cameras on French superstar midfielder Zinedine Zidane in the more or less 90-minute real time of the match between his Real Madrid and Villarreal played April 23, 2005.
Zidane chests the ball down, traps it, flicks it to teammates (Ronaldo, Raúl, David Beckham, and Roberto Carlos all flit past), and makes the odd dizzying run through hapless defenders, but mostly the 32-year-old stands around, hoarding his resources, an aging lion, complex and intense. He registers no emotion when Juan Roman Riquelme converts (off camera) a dodgy penalty awarded to Villarreal, and hardly more when his fine cross is headed home by Ronaldo for the equalizer; only during an exchange with Roberto Carlos does he smile.
The intensity persists even after Real take the lead: in stoppage time he gets into a brief scuffle with Quique Álvarez and both men are sent off. We have no idea why Real won the match and no way to evaluate Zidane's contribution: the filmmakers doubtless meant their effort as a tribute, but they wind up diminishing him. It's almost as boring as Major League Soccer.