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3.1 out of 5 stars54
3.1 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 24 February 2009
It's not surprising that this video divides opinion. For those expecting a biodoc of Zidane, or a highlights sequence it could come across as about as welcome as watching paint dry, but for the football/sports fanatic this DVD gives a unique insight into a day at the office for a world superstar. As Zidane admits, he'd have liked to have played the game of his life but, to quote from the film,`magic is sometimes very close to nothing at all.'

For a large part of this game Zidane's magic is kept under wraps, but one of the most notable features is his almost zen-like concentration as he stalks the pitch waiting to explode into action. For the football fan one of the major revelations is just how little communication there is between Zidane and his teammates - even after a goal little is said - he spends large stretches of the match completely silent, with the occasional furrowed brow or shake of the head to indicate displeasure, with a couple of words to the referee when he awards a dubious penalty.

Then, like a big cat sensing a kill, he's off, racing past a defender to deliver a perfectly weighted, chipped cross to the head of Ronaldo and the match is all square. Almost imperceptibly, the tempo of the game increases and Zidane gets more involved. Real go into the lead and the tension seems to drop. Roberto Carlos makes a quip and Zidane's impassive features break into a beaming smile, but it's as if the cap he's been keeping on his emotions is released and, when a fellow player is fouled he steams in - suddenly displaying the burst of rage that exploded in the World Cup final - and his game is over.

Like he says, it would have been good to have given a stellar performance, but as an intimate record of what it's like to play in the cauldron of the Bernabeu, it's worth watching.
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on 20 February 2007
I thought this film was tremendous. I rented it on Amazon, and now I'm going to buy it.

At first when it started, I slightly doubted the concept, as Zidane was not heavily involved, but as the game progressed, and his involvement increased, I was sucked right into the stadium alongside ZZ. I could feel the pressure of going a goal down at home; I won't spoil it by saying more about the game; you can hear the fans so clearly, the stadium audio is superb and soundtrack builds the tension as the clock ticks. This concept would not have worked with 'average' players who cannot control a ball as well ZZ etc. ZZ is a genius, and this DVD helps understand why. Some folk have mentioned Playercam on Sky, this is no comparison to that. Its loads better. The camera work, cinematography, the quality of the video, the audio quality picking up the players, fans, even just hearing ZZ scuffling along the grass is top class!!!

Well done to the directors, of which one was from Glasgow, my home town. I was lucky enough to see ZZ's Champions League goal at Hampden, and he's undoubtably the best player I've ever seen. I've been lucky enough to see him play twice. The DVD is brilliant. You really appreciate how good he is and how easy he made the game look. Playing alongside him in this DVD helps! :-)

A must for all football fans.
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VINE VOICEon 31 January 2007
If you like this title you may also like... Sky Sports Interactive's Player Cam.

It shouldn't work. Maybe even the most ardent football fan might cower at the idea of watching an average La Liga match from a couple of years ago in its entirety. But it does work. Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait manages, against all the odds, to be as brilliant as it is pretentious. It captures arguably the finest footballer of his generation in action. It's not Zidane's finest display, true, but there are glimpses of his genius with a football and an insight into the temperament which would ultimately bring his career to a less than glorious finale at the 2006 World Cup just over a year after this match was filmed. In truth there are segments of this film where what you see differs little from what you might watch while accessing the aforementioned Sky Sports Player Cam for a Premiership match, albeit with a superior director at the helm and a superior talent in focus, but the point remains: it's not going to be to everyone's tastes.

The audio is a different matter entirely: every spit, grunt, drag of the foot and, yes, kick of the ball is captured with impressive clarity, as well as the rare occasions where Zidanne speaks to his team mates, or tells the referee he should be ashamed of himself in a calm manner which those of us who see Wayne Rooney week in week out will not be accustomed to. At one point the noise from the crowd disappears (presumably due to technical trickery rather than boredom on the crowd's part) and all that is left are the sounds of the players on the pitch. The Mogwai soundtrack, while far from being the band's best output in its own right, unsurprisingly lends the action a huge sense of atmosphere; at times during the second half, such is its trance-like qualities, you might find yourself drifting off, but not for the wrong reasons.

Also assisting the superb audio are various snippets of Zidane's thoughts appearing on the screen as text. Perhaps not quite as profound as Zidane's countryman Eric Cantona, these musings nevertheless add much to the ongoing on-field action. It's these moments, where the action, music and musings come together, which are the film's finest and you're left wishing for more of them. During the half-time interval, instead of watching players sucking on oranges, imagery of other action taking place that day is shown. But this other action isn't the highlights of Barcelona's match, it's a host of news stories from around the world on that day - including floods and a boy in the middle of scenes of chaos in Iraq in a shirt bearing Zidane's name on the back - before the second half starts with Zidane asking, 'what could be more important than a walk in the park?'.

Is it art? Yes. Is it entertaining? Yes. Does David Beckham - Zidane's Hollywood-bound, attention-hoover of a team mate at the time - try to hijack the film all the time? Amazingly, no.
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on 14 February 2007
This is a must see, the film, which is what this is, leaves you spellbound. It actually feels like you are with the man! You feel as though you are him, you hear his breath, the other players even the ball zipping off the turf! Its a joy from start to finish and has to be enjoyed on a big screen and full surround sound.

Both of which I have, you have to be a real football fan to appriciate this. Zidane gets tackled once, in the game and after almost every touch you hear applause. It gives insight into his unpredictable side, which is really were the kicker lies!

This is a must for anyone who appriciated Zidane at Bordeaux, Juve, Madrid or for France The Worlds best footballer, The worlds best Football DVD!

I just hope this will be many in a series Ronaldinho & Gerrard Next please!
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on 30 August 2007
If you appreciate a well made production, then you will appreciate Zidane. This film follows Zidane around the pitch with the soundtrack of Mogwai. This film uses excellent cinematography and is a fascination and unique insight into how Zidane plays on the pitch. A must for all Zidane fans and a must for all fans of great cinematography.
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on 3 March 2007
Despite being a huge admirer of Zizou for many years, I wasn't especially enthusiastic when I first heard about this project, coming along as it did not long after the World Cup final. 17 cameras on one man, for 90 interesting could that be? Surely even the most ardent stalker of this charismatic genius would be snoozing before the end?

A few days ago I looked up the reviews here on amazon and elsewhere, and my attitude changed. So much that I ordered it on the spot, and was not to be disappointed.

For a start, the cinematography and editing are first-class. Yes, there are plenty of extreme close-ups of the man and by the end of it you will know off by heart the number of lines he has around his eyes...but there is enough variety in the action, and in the camerawork, to focus your attention to the very end. There are moments of action that clearly display the genius of the player, and the reasons why people would wish to make a film about him in the first place. Not his best game and not his best performance, it must be said, but he is, after all, only human.

That said, this is by no means a football movie. It's not even a movie about football; at times, it's almost an anti-football film. The action in the game is completely removed to the point of abstraction, making it hard for the viewer to figure out what has happened and even at times what the score is, although a few slow-mo replays do help to put ZZ's movements in context. This is an art film, pure and simple. If you set down to watch it with this knowledge, and you like or admire ZZ enough to have gotten this far, you will love this film. The title really is the give-away. In olden days, portraits were painted in oils on canvas. Now, here's one, 'for the 21st Century', painted with zoom lenses and high-definition cameras, catching multiple facets of a fascinating, enigmatic personality. Zidane emerges by the end as some sort of tragic hero, at times looking so alone and isolated on the field, at others, displaying human warmth and empathy (his joke with Roberto Carlos is wonderful), and just occasionally, awesome panache: in one great moment, he traps the ball dead, plants his boot on top of it and dares his opponents to steal it from him. His greatest moment is undoubtedly his amazing run leading to the cross which sets up Ronaldo's goal, but there are other highlights too that I won't spoil for you.

While not a huge fan of Mogwai, their music works in the context of the picture, helping to hypnotise the viewer during quiet, still moments of introspection, and building cinematic suspense during the thrilling climax.

Sky TV player cam? I don't think so. Not unless Sky have hired Martin Scorsese recently (there are more than a few 'Raging Bull' moments, I reckon).

Definitely not to everyone's taste, but as an artist and a football fan, I appreciate the great work and effort that went into this, both in front of the camera and behind it. A unique portrait, true enough.

DVD notes: the sound production on this release is incredible. DOlby 2.0 and 5.1 are available, which do justice to the wonderful soundtrack (music, fading to silence...punctuated by breathing, footsteps on the field...then the audience burst into roaring cheers).

Picture quality is superb, and the extra features are good value. The behind-the scenes documentary is fascinating, showing the effort that was put into this project. Zidane is interviewed, and also presents an introduction which preceeded the Cannes festival screening. There are bios, director interviews and a stills gallery.

For the price of one match on Prem Plus, you can't really go wrong, can you?
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on 15 November 2006
Zidane - 21st Century Portrait is a beautiful, meditative film. Excellently edited and shot.

Its rare to see such a well crafted and original film.

Combination of the images and excellent soundtrack from Mogwai really make this an excellent experience.

Brilliant - serious, and original - like the great man himself.
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on 1 April 2009
I am not so much a football fan but the mogwai soundtrack is what made me purchase this dvd and I feel now it is one of the best films I have seen, listening to mogwai I imagine events unfolding with grace and build up, the way this is filmed perfectly aligns with the music and becomes an audio visual experience that should be on blu-ray. I am in my own world listening to mogwai and zidanes personality is that of someone who is inhis own world, utterly focused and childlike in his approach and imagination, almost as though he wasnt part of a team but in his own sense of time, it feels like he is playing on different level as though everything around him were a blur. he is calm and thoughtful even in the frenzy and action all around him, it becomes a calming experience to watch him and puts you in the same frame of mind, such as mogwai aim too acheive with thier music. I dont follow football but can appreiciate it and more than anything else in this portrait of a man that was on the football as an artist with his brush, he feels like the catalyst of each match, the changing moment, and the film just flows along beautifully. i urge people who are into reflective and thoughtful yet exciting music and art to see this film.
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on 18 November 2006
I think this film is a gem. It is unique and therefore criticism of the film must be put into context. The review I am responding to awarded the film Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait just 1 star. This is extremelely unfair and the author of that review needs to understand what this film is, and what it is not.

The cameras follow Zidane, and only Zidane. You see Zidane on the ball and off the ball throughout a single match playing for Real Madrid v Villareal for almost 90 minutes, in real time. There are close up's of his feet, the back of his head, his wrists and also his face. It shows Zidane brooding,then bursting into a run, sharing a joke with Roberto Carlos and then a burst of pace as he lights up the screen with his skill

The music by Mogwai is haunting, downbeat, and it fades in and out as we read Zidane's thoughts about childhood and the game of life.

Paradoxically it shows Zidane as a person known and watched by millions, and yet seemingly alone and brooding on the football pitch itself. He is without doubt next to the likes of Ronaldo, Beckham and Ronaldinho one of the best known footballers on the planet. Interestingly, at half time the film scans the world to show some of the serios and quirky news stories of the day - (putting the game into a word context) It shows a picture from Iraq as a small boy throws a brick at occupying troops - the boy wears a Zidane shirt! After half time we are back to the action - and a dramtic ending.

What this film is not - is a film of a football match, it is about Zidane. It is not full of dialogue, and I would warn the viewer that whilst it is exciting it is not exciting in a classical sense. Like Zidane it is a brooding film, but I think a thought provoking film both in terms of its concept and content.

The Guardian said "... film becomes a hypnotic experience to which you must simply abandon yourself." I think that is true, you need to be patient and absorb the film and enjoy it.
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on 6 August 2013
This is one of the most unusual films that you'll ever see about sport. In this case, the subject is Zinedine Zidane, one of the greatest footballers of all time. What is truly unique is the filmmakers' decision to do the following: during a match between Real Madrid and Villareal, seventeen movie cameras are made to capture every single movement of Zidane.

What is the result? A documentary about a sportsman that is innovative, educational, and also a work of art. If you are under 18 year of age with a dream of wanting to play football at the highest level, then this is the DVD you must watch and study. Zidane's elegant movements, his effortless touches, and the way he stays completely focused are an act of poetry in motion. You may rate other footballers above Zidane. However, for pure artistry of a man possessed by his own genius, this is the film that will be admired in fifty or hundred years' time.

The other element of this film's success goes to the Scottish band Mogwai. Recently, their music enchanted the French drama series 'The Returned.' In 2006, their haunting score matches the hypnotic visual presence of Zidane on the pitch.

As DVD extras, there is a 'Making Of Documentary' as well as interviews with the film directors Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno.

I need to add one note of caution: if you are after a conventional documentary about Zidane, then this movie is not for you. By 'conventional', I mean the inclusion of lots of great footage of Zidane's best and worst moments with plenty of talking heads from former colleagues and pundits. This is NOT one of those documentaries. The truly unique point about this film is that it is all about ONE match and ONE player. The cameras are simply not interested in anyone else on that pitch. This film is all about stalking a footballing genius in a positive and artful way.

If you are a sophisticated football fanatic, then 'Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait' has to be in your DVD collection. If you have secret dreams of wanting to achieve greatness as a footballer, this is a film you must watch and re-watch. If you are a parent or guardian with a child who loves football, then this film will be an invaluable gift that should inspire a new generation. And if you love unique works of visual art, then you don't even have to like football to love this magnificent DVD.

It would be great if the producers of this film could do a sequel with Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo, or your own favourite footballer. Or, they could go in to a different sport such as tennis and put 17 movie cameras on Roger Federer as he plays in the next US Open. Let's immortalise Federer's greatness in a unique way before he retires. We are all lucky that Gordon & Parreno archived Zidane's brilliance for many new generations of fans who didn't get the chance to watch him play.
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