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World Cup fever mounts on Cannes

Cannes critics got to see French player Zinedine Zidane as he's never been seen before.

india Updated: May 24, 2006 12:03 IST

As World Cup fever mounts around the world, Cannes critics today got to see French player Zinedine Zidane as he's never been seen before: in a 'documentary' portrait of the Real Madrid star which trained 17 cameras on him during a match.

The French production, titled Zidan: A Portrait of the 21st Century, capitalises on the immense popularity of the player in France, across much of Europe and in north Africa, by showing him during a game between his side and Villarreal in the Spanish championship at the end of last season.

"From the beginning, we thought of him and nobody else. If he'd told us 'no', the project would have fallen apart then and there," one of the two filmmakers, Philippe Parreno, told the Inrockuptibles magazine recently.

His partner, Douglas Gordon, said they decided to make the film because there was something in Zidane "that is intriguing, that nobody else has... He makes you think of a Sergio Leone hero, a sort of Man Without a Name."

Visually, the parallel between an impassive Spaghetti Western lead and the player is marked: Zidane's face barely changes expression even when goals are scored or after he is sent off the field at the end.

The musical score, instead, fills out the subtext of the moments, giving a rhythm to the movie that is punctuated by the harsh, agressive cacophony from the crowd in the stadium that was added in post-production.

Sub-titles showing what Zidane - who came out of the Cannes football team youth system - was thinking at certain moments provide a narration.

First Published: May 23, 2006 13:08 IST