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John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection

(Rated M)

"Cinema lies. Sport does not."

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Behold an operatic and unbelievably captivating concoction of sports documentary, art cinema, off-piste humour and rich film history. John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection finds the tantrum-prone tennis legend at the height of his career, charting his obsessive quest for perfection and the hardest loss of his life — against Ivan Lendl at the 1984 French Open. Narrated by Mathieu Amalric (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Ismael's Ghost), using unseen 16mm footage from the Roland-Garros film archives, this immersive film showcases the iconic grace, infamous temper and personal style that powered McEnroe’s incredible hunt for tennis greatness. Far from a traditional documentary, director Julien Faraut probes archival footage to unpack McEnroe’s devotion to the sport, creating an utterly unique portrait of a driven athlete, a study on the sport of tennis, the human body in action, and finally how these all intersect with the business of cinema.

"Julien Faraut's wonderfully original film mixes film theory, cryptic analysis, and multiple break(ing) points to form a coolly intoxicating examination."
— The Sydney Morning Herald
"[An] impressionistic conflation of humor, wonder, horror and sympathy whisks this movie to the deluxe suite of the pleasure palace."
— The New York Times
"An idiosyncratic, metaphysical meditation on tennis, cinema, human behaviour, maybe even life itself..."
— Los Angeles Times

Why You Should See This Film

Already hailed as “the greatest tennis film ever made and one of the finest documentaries to honour any sport” (Movie Nation), John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection is a deeply idiosyncratic and unconventional film experience. Suited to sporting fans and curious novices alike, it combines playful animation, suspenseful slow-motion sequences and unpredictable meditations on cinema to create an endlessly clever comment on physical endurance and the art of filmmaking itself.

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  • Year: 2018
  • Rating: M
  • Director: Julien Faraut
  • Duration: 95 minutes
  • Language: English
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