Ranking SIFF 2012′s Sports Movies
Guess what, left-wing pacifist Europhile latte-sipping “film” lovers? The rest of the world loves sports! True, sports are meaningless, but if you think of them–like biologist and evolution shit-stirrer E.O. Wilson does–as a much-belated rerouting of our innate tribalism, think of how many lives are saved when people cheer for different soccer teams instead of spearing each other!
Human obsession with sports has not escaped the notice of our planet’s budding Bunuels. Seven feature films at SIFF 2012 deal principally with athletic competition.
The Other Dream Team
The story of the Lithuanian national basketball team’s run through the 1992 Olympics. “Improbable” doesn’t really capture it; the country was three years removed from Soviet domination, and the team was only able to travel to Olympic qualifying tournaments because Jerry Garcia footed the bill. Seeing the team’s tie-dye warmups on a big screen will be worth the price of admission alone. And guess what Communist country Lithuania ended up playing in the medal round? Featuring interviews with Bill Walton, Jim Lampley, and team member (and former Sonic) Sarunas Marciulionis. Not embedding the trailer, it gives too much of the story away!
Friday, May 25, 8:30 pm, Harvard Exit
Sunday, May 27, 3 pm, Harvard Exit
Thursday, May 31, 9 pm, Harvard Exit
The film snobs at SIFF want to tell you that this Norwegian curling movie is inspired by The Big Lebowski and The Royal Tenenbaums, but from watching the trailer my girlfriend and I agree that it looks a lot more like Dodgeball. This is not a putdown, Dodgeball was friggin’ awesome! King Curling looks quirky and funny, and, I mean–curling. What’s not to love?
Wednesday, May 23, 9:30 pm, SIFF Cinema Uptown
Saturday, May 26, 9:45 pm, Egyptian
Wednesday, May 30, 4:30 pm, SIFF Cinema Uptown
The Beautiful Game
Soccer is huge in Africa, which you probably knew, but have you ever seen an African soccer match (I haven’t), or heard a from African soccer fans (nope)? The trailer promises some beautiful cinematography and a fascinating window to the everyday life of folks who, like you, have an irrational love for sports. Featuring Desmond Tutu, who points out that the world has more soccer fans than Christians.
Thursday, May 31, 7 pm, SIFF Cinema Uptown
Saturday, June 2, 12:30 pm, SIFF Cinema Uptown
COULD VERY WELL BE AWESOME
Bunohan: Return To Murder
Underground kickboxing action! A kickboxer runs up debt and flees, soon he’s being chased by an assassin who, it turns out, is his brother. Looks to be extremely violent and full of dark, odd symbolism.
Friday, June 1, 9:30 pm, Pacific Place
Sunday, June 3, 11:30 am, SIFF Cinema Uptown
As kids, two brothers invented a 25-event athletic competition called the Do-Deca-Pentathlon. Now they are old and fat and decide to do the competition again–on the sly, since one guy’s wife doesn’t approve. From Jay and Mark Duplass, who made Cyrus, SIFF alerts us that this movie is “improvisational, awkwardly funny, and low-budget.” So, if you’re into that…
Friday, May 18, 7 pm, SIFF Cinema Uptown
Tuesday, May 22, 4:30 pm, SIFF Cinema Uptown
Documentary concerning a free throw competition for Compton High kids devised by an L.A. ad executive. Top prize–a $40,000 college scholarship! SIFF promises that the movie “illustrates their hopes, dreams and obstacles, while illuminating the South Central community that produced them, in both its positive and negative aspects.”
Friday, June 1, 7 pm, SIFF Cinema Uptown
Saturday, June 2, 2:30 pm, SIFF Cinema Uptown
Young blacks striving for freedom in late 80s South Africa find it–by surfing. They become stars on the surf competition circuit, but the realities of their time create tension and violence. Neat-looking surfing scenes!
Sunday, May 27, 6 pm, Everett Performing Arts Center
Friday, June 8, 3:30 pm, Pacific Place
Saturday, June 9, 6:30 pm, Pacific Place