An unusual and humorous exploration of the relationship between tennis and French film theory.
“Cinema lies, sport doesn’t” claimed Jean-Luc Godard. John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection is an unusual exploration of the relationship between film and tennis, in which we observe McEnroe lash out at the refs and more frequently, confronting the cameras watching him.
Gil de Kermadec was a filmmaker who began making instructional tennis videos in the 1960s, and was obsessed with slow motion; he believed that slow motion may be the key to unlocking the secrets of the sport.
With access to 16mm footage John McEnroe’s 1984 match at the Roland Garros court, shot by Kermadec, director Julien Faraut has hit on a treasure trove. Playful and enigmatic, John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection probes layers of reality and intangible forces at work, and is an entertaining portrait of McEnroe’s technique and temper at the peak of his game.