Julien Faraut discusses John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection at the North American premiere on the opening night of Art of the Real 2018.
Jean-Luc Godard once said, “Cinema lies, sports doesn’t.” Julien Faraut’s sophisticated and witty found-footage ode to tennis legend John McEnroe takes this maxim as its point of departure. An essayistic investigation into the poetics of athletics, the film is composed largely of 16mm footage of Johnny Mac competing in the 1984 French Open—clubbing magisterial aces while bickering to no end with umpires, ball boys, and courtside cameramen alike. In the Realm of Perfection inventively renders its subject as both a brilliant athlete and a complicated man utterly alone in his greatness, fueled by, as the film/tennis critic Serge Daney wrote, “the eternal injustice of which he and only he is the victim.” An Oscilloscope release.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center is devoted to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema. The only branch of the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center to shine a light on the everlasting yet evolving importance of the moving image, this nonprofit organization was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international film. Via year-round programming and discussions; its annual New York Film Festival; and its publications, including Film Comment, the U.S.’s premier magazine about films and film culture, the Film Society endeavors to make the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broader audience, as well as to ensure that it will remain an essential art form for years to come.
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