Month: October 2017

Borg vs McEnroe – the movie

I loved this film. If you were to make a movie about a sporting rivalry, about a specific game it could only become something worthy of story with some depth if it was somehow about truth. This film is an attempt to portray truth using the simple materials available. It is a kind of illumination of why an event such as this resonates with us. Not just an excited novelised looking back but an attempt to bring out a certain essence  to remind us that what becomes special has at its heart a certain specific beauty in its enfoldment.  The film shows that the simplicity of sport  lends itself to a  of a certain clarification of what we are like. Sport tends not to be taken seriously by art but this film uses sport to show what is basic to our culture in adversarial matters, how sport is an aesthetic simplification of oppositions. This film takes something which we don’t give too much thought to and makes a case for its transcendence into something that is part of our modern passion. It reminds us that we are all caught up in an emotional battle for our own self realisation and if that means winning a tennis game then so be it. Then in its involvement of millions sharing this passion it becomes a symbol which is part of our very flesh, our bodies and minds. It is the sporting abstraction that allows it to be such a pure form of symbol. The film makes us realise what is spiritually significant about sport. When everything else in the world is jettisoned so the player can take part in this incredibly simple construction, a type of drama. How we use our emotions on that stage becomes the medium, just as profound as any other emotional response. The main emotion I experienced was one of relief, that sport, such a hyped grotesque phenomenon it seems sometimes has profundity beyond just being a capitalist entertainment. It is another site of struggle but that essence can only be illuminated at certain more perfect moments such as the place and time this film attempts to depict.

Although the film is something of a cartoon it’s witty execution wins over our lack of expectation. It is a ridiculous subject for a movie but that’s quite funny. Its very existence and its actual cheapness is er quite cool compared to Hollywood product.