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John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection
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John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection

Description
Written and directed by Julien Faraut and narrated by Mathieu Amalric, JOHN MCENROE: IN THE REALM OF PERFECTION revisits the rich bounty of 16-mm-shot footage of the left-handed tennis star John McEnroe, at the time the world's top-ranked player, as he competes in the French Open at Paris's Roland Garros Stadium in 1984. Close-ups and slow motion sequences of McEnroe competing, as well as instances of his notorious temper tantrums, highlight a 'man who played on the edge of his senses.' Far from a traditional documentary, Faraut probes the archival film to unpack both McEnroe's attention to the sport and the footage itself, creating a lively and immersive look at a driven athlete, a study on the sport of tennis and the human body and movement, and finally how these all intersect with cinema itself.
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John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection
CRITICS OF "John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection"
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Film School Rejects
Resource

December 23, 2018

...proving that sport itself can be fundamentally cinematic and ripe with psychological drama when documented in a manner outside of the traditional systems designed for live or television viewing.
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Jaredmobarak.com
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December 01, 2018

Faraut is less interested in how cinema affects tennis than how they overlap. He's searching for the line separating reality from performance, [proving] one doesn't exist.
Gomovies
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
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November 14, 2018

There's a strange allure to the film, how it whimsically and playfully approaches one of the greatest tennis players to play the game from such unexpected angles.
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FILMINK (Australia)
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February 10, 2019

...at times the film feels like every character in a Wes Anderson movie got up and made a documentary on tennis.
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San Francisco Chronicle
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August 29, 2018

McEnroe, Faraut asserts, was "a man who played on the edge of his senses." His film brings that home.
Gomovies
The Sunday Age
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February 10, 2019

The only tennis documentary to set Sonic Youth's cyberpunk ode The Sprawl to a technique montage, Julien Faraut's wonderfully original film mixes film theory, cryptic analysis, and multiple break(ing) points to form a coolly intoxicating examination.
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New Yorker
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August 27, 2018

Regardless of his enemy, the main event was McEnroe vs. McEnroe, in an unresolvable tiebreak of body and soul. There had been nothing like it, on public view, since the heyday of James Dean.
Gomovies
San Diego Reader
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August 31, 2018

In the end, [Faraut] doesn't have quite enough of anything for a feature.
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Ozus' World Movie Reviews
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February 04, 2019

It's a different kind of sports film that caught my attention despite not being a tennis fan.
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Los Angeles Times
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August 30, 2018

"Perfection" at times risks being too pleased with itself for its own good, but its one-of-a-kind credentials are never in doubt.
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indieWire
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August 23, 2018

"John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection" is a sports documentary unlike any other, a beguiling and delightful piece of visionary non-fiction that uses its namesake to investigate the ontological nature of watching tennis.
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Boston Globe
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November 09, 2018

All credit to Faurat for that ability to forge coherence out of such wildly disparate materials.
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