John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection


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In Theaters August 22

About

Written and directed by Faraut and narrated by Mathieu Amalric, JOHN MCENROE: IN THE REALM OF PERFECTION revisits the rich bounty of 16-mm-shot footage of the left-handed tennis star John McEnroe, at the time the world’s top-ranked player, as he competes in the French Open at Paris’s Roland Garros Stadium in 1984. Close-ups and slow motion sequences of McEnroe competing, as well as instances of his notorious temper tantrums, highlight a ”man who played on the edge of his senses.” Far from a traditional documentary, Faraut probes the archival film to unpack both McEnroe’s attention to the sport and the footage itself, creating a lively and immersive look at a driven athlete, a study on the sport of tennis and the human body and movement, and finally how these all intersect with cinema itself.

Jan Bijvoet - Theo

Jan Bijvoet was born in Antwerp in 1966. He has been one of the artistic directors and actors of the Antarctica Theater since 2005. He has also performed in film and television, guest-starring in a number of series. He has starred in the films AD FUNDUM, THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN (Academy® Award nominee), and BORGMAN (Official Selection – Competition, Cannes 2013). In 2007, he was nominated for the Flemish Culture Award of Scenic Arts. Referring to the German explorer who was the inspiration for his character, he reflects that even though Grünberg tried to integrate with the native people, he could not let go of his white spirit. “He had the western way of thinking, and he wanted to carry hundreds of things to study. Love is possession, too. He is also afraid of death. He doesn’t understand why, but it’s because deep down, he is a materialist since his formation, even though he tries to drift away from it.”

Brionne Davis - Evan

Brionne Davis was born in Texas and started acting at a very early age, playing Tom Sawyer. He has starred and taken leading roles in more than 30 independent feature length and short films and television series, including REST STOP: DON’T LOOK BACK (2008), DOROTHY AND THE WITCHES OF OZ (2012), Pandemic (2007), NARCISSIST (2014), SAVAGED (2013), and HOLIDAYS WITH HEATHER (2006). In New York, Brionne starred in the Theatre Row adaptation of Sam Shepard’s “True West.” He has appeared in many theater productions all across the country, including “Wallenburg” at the Soho Playhouse, “A Noble Exile” in Los Angeles and “Nueva York,” a one-man show that he wrote  and produced, inspired by the writings of Tennessee Williams. Davis’ character “Evan” in EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT was inspired by the great botanist and explorer Richard Evans Schultes, and he feels close to him in his love of and search for plants and nature.

Antonio Bolívar Savador - Old Karamakate

Antonio Bolívar Salvador is one of the last survivors of the Ocaina people. He resides near Leticia and has had some previous experiences in filmmaking, but he prefers not to speak about them because he feels that they were disrespectful to his culture. Besides playing one of the main characters, he also served as interpreter for the Tikuna, Cubeo, Huitoto languages and even English, as he became the teacher of the international actors. He represents the best of the Amazonian people: willing to trust foreigners, to transmit their knowledge and thankful to be treated respectfully. That’s the most important aspect of the film to him: “It is a film that shows the Amazon, the lungs of the world, the greater purifying filter and the most valuable of indigenous cultures. That is its greatest achievement.”

Nilbio Torres - Young Karamakate

Nilbio Torres has never set foot in a gym; his amazing physique has been sculpted by the hardships of the jungle and the hard work he’s done since he was little. The 30- year-old has only worked in agriculture and this is his first experience with the cinema. He has a hard time expressing himself in Spanish, as he speaks mostly Cubeo. But he manages to find words to tell what this experience has meant to him. He feels the film is faithful to the story of his ancestors. “What Ciro is doing with this film is an homage to the memory of our elders, in the time before: the way the white men treated the natives, the rubber exploitation. I’ve asked the elders how it was and it is as seen in the film, that’s why we decided to support it. For the elders and myself it is a memory of the ancestors and their knowledge.”

Yauenkü Miguee - Manduca

Yauenkü Miguee was born and raised in Nazareth, a Tikuna community of the Amazon, 26 years ago. He is now a student of physical education in Bogotá and is about to achieve his greatest goal: to become a professional. He defines his participation in the film as a new experience in his life, this time from the field of art and corporal expression, which reinforced his thinking and showed him how to see life from different perspectives. He believes this film should be shared not only with the people of the locations, but all across the country, with all the indigenous peoples in Leticia and the Amazon, with the leaders, in schools and universities. He is the voice of many Manducas, a voice that, far away from the so-called civilization, cries out for a more civilized attitude towards Colombia’s indigenous communities.

Screenings

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Press

  • “Tennis great John McEnroe's spiky temper tantrums, as well as his fearsome serve and sneaky backhand, get detailed scrutiny in this quirky cine sportif essay.”David Rooney, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
  • “In Julien Faraut’s elegant, witty, and thoughtful documentary, the unusual case is made that there is an ongoing conversation between tennis and cinema. Vibrant 16mm footage of John McEnroe's 1984 French Open final illuminates a fascinating essay on the kinship between tennis and filmmaking.”Jessica Kiang, VARIETY
  • “Director Julien Faraut showcases masterful command of the documentary form. His insightful, entertaining and often humorous film will appeal to fans of McEnroe, tennis and sport in general, who have been well-served recently by the likes of BORG MCENROE, SENNA, and I, TONYA, while cineastes will also enjoy the parallels drawn between sport and cinema.”Nikki Baughan, SCREEN INTERNATIONAL
  • “A witty and contagiously impassioned ethnographical study.”Rory O'Connor, THE FILM STAGE
  • “You’ll never think of tennis — or of John McEnroe — the same way again.”David Ehrlich, INDIEWIRE
  • “A meditation on the psycho-dramatics of sports, its links to cinema and their shared relationship to time, and a pure celebration of the body in motion.”Craig Hubert, HYPERALLERGIC
  • “Much more than a simple sports documentary, evolving into a picture that’s as much about McEnroe’s status as a world star in the abstract as it is how sports is what cinema was born into existence to capture.”Joshua Brunsting, CRITERION CAST

Contact

For press inquiries, please contact:
Sydney Tanigawa
212-219-4029 ext. 41
Sydney@Oscilloscope.net
For booking inquiries, please contact:
Andrew Carlin
Oscilloscope Laboratories
630-445-1215
andrew@oscilloscope.net
For all other inquiries, please contact:
info@oscilloscope.net