One of my favorite movies ever is “Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait.” If you are unfamiliar, it is simply two hours of watching the greatest footballer ever play, well, football, for two hours.
It was filmed in real time and features Zidane in a match for Real Madrid against Villareal. It is just wonderful, in my opinion. There are heroes and goats. There is a plot arc: rising, climax, falling. If you have never seen it, I highly recommend it.
(Via the film’s Wikipedia page, it seems the filmmakers stole the idea from a 1970 film entitled “Fussball vie noch nie” – only that film was directed by a German and featured George Best for Manchester United against Coventry. “Fussball vie noch vie”, however, does not have its own wiki page, and therefore doe not exist).
But I digress: during halftime of “Zidane…”, the viewer sees all that is happening in the outside world during the match. Protests, war, disease. It is my favorite part of the entire movie.
I have always been a fan of juxtaposing history against the sports that we love.
For instance, my “one big idea” for making a movie was to use that 11 hour, three day tennis match between Nicholas Mahut and John Isner at Wimbledon 2010 as a back drop for all the other happenings in the world. That match took place over three days, and the film, interspersed between footage of the match, will clue the reader in on everything else that happened in the world over those three days. Births, deaths, battles…bombings in Afghanistan, Obama’s firing of McChrystal, Australia’s first female prime minister, a bus bombing in Turkey, The World Cup in South Africe, the BP oil spill…etc.
Which brings me to my point: test cricket, since it takes place over five days, is the perfect such backdrop to world events. And I hope to write similar posts using classic matches instead of the above tennis match. (I am saving the tennis match for the movie…even though you are going to steal it anyway.)
(I am writing this after a long work day, I apologize for its haphazardness).
But, to start, briefly: on this day in 1939, Warsaw was surrendered to the Nazis, and in 1964, the Warren Commission finally released its report on the assassination of JFK.
While in the world of cricket, on 27 September 1939: there were no international matches. And I am sure it was too late in the year for the county game.
And there were no matches of note taking place on 27 September 1964, either.
This is not starting off well. And is going to take some research.
I mean, on this day in 1948, Duncan Fletcher was born, and in 1982 Eddie Hemmings took 10 wickets in a first class match, but nothing really of note happened, historically, on those days.
Okay, back to the drawing board.