Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait

4 May 2007

Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait 2006

Zidane, un Portrait du XXIe Siecle
A film by Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno

On the 4th of May 2007, the Adam Art Gallery screened the critically acclaimed film by Turner Prize-winning artist and filmmaker Douglas Gordon (24 Hour Psycho) and French artist Phillipe Parreno, Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait.

This sensational real-time documentary follows the world famous French football hero Zinedine Zidane during the entire 92 minutes of a Real Madrid vs. Villarreal match, from kick-off to final whistle. Seventeen super-35mm scope format cameras distributed around Santiago Barnabeu Stadium focus solely on Zidane as he participates in the game, sometimes in action, sometimes just waiting and watching, always lost in concentration. In voice-over, we hear his voice as he recalls past matches, musing over the nature of his profession.

Accompanied by a rich soundtrack that includes the roar of the crowd mixed with an affecting musical score by influential post-rock bank Mogwai, this is a mesmerising multidimensional cinematic experience that extends conventional notions of portraiture, and sits uniquely between televisual sports spectacle, documentary film and contemporary art installation.

As co-Director Phillip Parreno claims, Zidane ‘is a film about football but the game itself disappears little by little… We hardly see the ball at all. We first wanted to make a film about a man at work, whose profession is soccer player.’

‘The most purely enjoyable event at the Cannes Film Festival…By the end, Zidane has achieved the charisma and mystery of the hero from some lost Shakespeare play.’
Peter Bradshaw, THE GUARDIAN

‘Glorious in its simplicity…Magnificently edited…accompanied by a majestic score from…Mogwai, this is not only the greatest football movie ever made, but one of the finest studies of man in the workplace’. EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL