Director: Julien Faraut
Starring: John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Mathieu Amalric (voice)
A documentary set at the final of the 1984 French Open between John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl at a time when McEnroe was the world’s top-ranked player.
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. Plus the film has a brilliant soundtrack featuring the best use of a Sonic Youth track which genuinely has you on the edge of your seat.