Monday, April 12, 2010

Pelada at the Full Frame Film Festival

Since I was out of town Durham has gone and grown itself a highly regarded documentary film festival. Lots of films, lots of people go there, everybody loves it.

Last night I went and saw Pelada, a film about two well-educated good looking white kids who play soccer in college and dream of making the big time, then don't.  So they decide to make a movie about pick-up soccer games around the world.  They apply for grant money and get some, and then fly around the world and play pick-up in Brazil, Argentina, Kenya, Iran, Japan, China, South Africa, and more.  They totally have a great time, and there is fine soccer footage.

Unfortunately, the soccer overwhelms the introspective voiceovers that constitute the film's other narrative. There was just insufficient nuance to it, they sort of hit the viewer over the head with it. And they felt a need to blast rock and roll when rolling footage of travelling from place to place, which was kind of overkill and made it feel like you were sitting at a multiplex ingesting tropical oils.  So it seems at times like a really and truly awesome episode of MTV's The Real World, with phenomenal soccer footage and some insight into other cultures.

The applicable sections of Stuff While People Like are #19 Traveling, #20 Being an Expert on Your Culture, #71 Being the Only White Person Around, and #120 Taking a Year Off.  One that does not apply to them is #80 The Idea of Soccer.  These kids know and love soccer like few people do.

Don't get me wrong.  If I could have spent my post-collegiate angstful years as productively as this, I would have been very fortunate indeed. I am, in fact, quite jealous of them, and I hope this comes through in my review.

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