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LGM Film Club, Part 67: John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection

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Another recent film I’ve seen is the 2018 documentary, John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection. Directed by Julien Faraut and narrated by the great French actor Mathieu Amalric (possibly the single greatest actor of the century so far), it is not what you might think. It’s really about the French national tennis instructor getting permission to make films of tennis stars when they played at Roland Garros so he could make real films that helped rising French tennis players instead of boring old pointless films. He then became obsessed with McEnroe and there is reel after reel of his work. Not the whole match. Just following McEnroe. And let’s just say that McEnroe noticed and threw many of his famous whiny fits over this noisy camera. It’s amazing just what a whiny little bastard he was. Part of the film is a sports psychologist analyzing how McEnroe was the rare athlete who thrived on chaos. That part of the film is probably a bit long. The film ends with a lot of footage from McEnroe’s epic 1984 choke job to Ivan Lendl in the French Open finals, when he was up 2-0 and lost the last three sets. I’m not going to say this is the greatest documentary I’ve ever seen, but it is certainly a worthy film. Here’s a clip:

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