Il calcio come mai prima

Fußball wie noch nie
On September 12, 1970, Manchester United beat Coventry 2-0. It was not an important victory, but a record was preserved of the match that was unique in the history of film and television. Using eight 16mm cameras, Hellmuth Costard followed every move, over the course of the match's ninety minutes, of the man in the red 11 jersey, the mercurial George Best over the complete course of a match against Coventry City. Made at the height of Best's fame and tabloid notoriety, Costard's film focuses insistently on Best—warming up, looking restless and bored, waiting tactically to unleash his genius—rather than the on-pitch action to arrive at a sublime and revealing rumination on celebrity and a tantalizing glimpse of the man behind the myth.

“The real Warholian moment of soccer cinema is Hellmuth Costard’s film Fussball wie nochnie (Soccer as Never Before, 1970). A point of reference for Zidane…, the film takes the famously charming George Best as its subject and edits multiple camera views to produce a real-time portrait of the player singled out during the course of an entire match. Lest we miss the homoerotic subtext of soccer art (and soccer culture), the half-time interval features a cruisey bit of filmmaking as we follow Best through a narrow hallway and into what looks like the boot room. Best turns and faces the camera for nearly three minutes. He holds our gaze as long as he can, pursing his lips, looking away and then back in a seemingly overt homage to the Warholian screen test. Best strikes a deal here with the camera, inviting us to look at him when he takes the field again; shots of his socks, his shoulders and his crotch seem to go on for ever.” (Jennifer Doyle, Frieze)

1971 | Regia di Hellmuth Costard | Scheda | Critica: 01-02 | Frammenti: 01-02-03-04 | Curiosità