John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection
L'Empire de la Perfection
Tennis and film theory collide in an idiosyncratic essay film about tennis great John McEnroe.
John McEnroe was known for his talent and temper on the tennis court. This playful documentary deconstructs the champion at the height of his career and recasts him as an auteur. McEnroe the tennis legend is reinterpreted as McEnroe the director, bent on controlling every aspect of the game in his pursuit of perfection.
‘Cinema lies, sport doesn’t,’ said Jean-Luc Godard. With this inscription, director Julien Faraut launches his investigation into the nature of craft and competition. What begins as an analysis of McEnroe’s technique quickly evolves into a portrait of obsession and a rumination on the affinity between tennis and cinema. Exquisitely textured 16mm archival footage is paired with electronic music and classic film excerpts, to create an offbeat visual essay as unpredictable and ambitious as the former World No. 1 himself.
Cast & Credits
Julien Faraut is an audio-visual archivist at France’s National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance (INSEP). He has spent the past 15 years exploring the intersection between sport and cinema. John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection is his second feature after his 2013 debut, Regard neuf sur Olympia 52.
William Jéhannin, Raphaëlle Delauche
John McEnroe, Mathieu Amalric
*Official Selection, Berlin International Film Festival 2018
*Official Selection, Jerusalem Film Festival 2018
*Official Selection, Sydney Film Festival 2018
*Official Selection, Melbourne International Film Festival 2018
*Official Selection, New Horizons Film Festival 2018
*Official Selection, Jeonju International Film Festival 2018
*Best Film Award, Pesaro Film Festival 2018