New Releases

JOHN MCENROE: IN THE REALM OF PERFECTION

Directed by Julien Faraut

France, 2018, 1h 35min, DCP, In French and English with English subtitles

New Releases

AFS Cinema

6406 N I-35 Suite 3100 Austin, TX, 78752

Showtimes

Thu, Sep 20

“Critic’s Pick. Amusing, hypnotic, whimsical, expertly constructed… aims to understand an athlete’s brilliance by turning him inside out. Faraut’s impressionistic conflation of humor, wonder, horror and sympathy whisks this movie to the deluxe suite of the pleasure palace.”
– Wesley Morris, The New York Times

“The greatest tennis film ever made. Among the very best films on any sport that I’ve ever seen… just go see the damn thing.”
– Corey Seymour, VOGUE

“Vibrant. A fascinating essay on the kinship between tennis and filmmaking. Elegant, witty, and thoughtful. A lovely meditation on time and movement, dedication and obsession, image and perception. Umpired by Mathieu Amalric’s dulcet voice-over, McEnroe’s astonishing 1984 season is set in the context of the man who monomaniacally recorded it, and we get to spectate. Imagines [McEnroe] as a true auteur of the tennis court.”
– Jessica Kiang, Variety

One of the most unusual documentaries we have seen in years, JOHN MCENROE: IN THE REALM OF PERFECTION is constructed around a newly uncovered treasure trove of 16mm footage of the hot-headed and brilliant tennis star John McEnroe. Close-ups and slow-motion sequences of McEnroe competing, as well as instances of his notorious temper tantrums, highlight a “man who played on the edge of his senses.”

In a film that is far from a traditional documentary, filmmaker Julien Faraut probes the archival film to unpack both McEnroe’s attention to the sport and the footage itself, creating a lively, deconstructive and immersive look at a driven athlete, a study on the sport of tennis and the human body and movement, and finally how these all intersect with cinema itself.

From AFS Programmer Lars Nilsen: “This is not a documentary we were expecting to love so much, but it caught us off-guard with its humor, its surprising insight and the remarkable footage of McEnroe at his best and worst. Highly recommended, even for non-tennis fans like me.”

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