The Cinema of the Pitch: Game of Our Lives Episode 1

In the first episode of Game of Our Lives, host David Goldblatt discusses football and filmmaking with acclaimed director Werner Herzog.

    Does the way a football game is televised influence how you watch it? In the first episode of Game of Our Lives, host David Goldblatt discusses football and filmmaking with acclaimed director Werner Herzog.

    Herzog's made dozens of films on topics ranging from the mental breakdown of the conquistadores in the Amazonian forests to competitive cattle auctioneering. He's also a huge football fan, and apparently a decent centre forward.

    In the debut episode of Game of Our Lives, Herzog reminisces about his favourite encounters with the game and, specifically, his first experience watching Brazilian football in the 1950s.

    "It was pure, total magic," he says, recounting the day Santos FC came to Munich, where he watched a teenage Pele score one goal after another.

    Today, Herzog watches FC Bayern Munich and Germany's Bundesliga from his television in Los Angeles, though he's not always satisfied with how the game looks on screen.

    "There are too many cameras nowadays and it makes me confused to watch a game when the camera's switching too often," he says.

    Herzog prefers a wider shot of the field, one with fewer closeups, so he can see the patterns of play.

    So, what would a Werner Herzog football film look like?

    The magic on the field would certainly be there, Herzog says. As would the scene in the stands, the fans and the rituals that accompany the teams.

    He recounts the football chants of the Celtic FC and the Rangers FC, as well as the steep angle of the Peru national stadium, where he recalls seeing fans fling their seat cushions onto the pitch like frisbees.

    It's these rituals, Goldblatt says, that truly elevate the game into something else. "Football's got to be show and it's got to be ritual or it seems to me it's nothing," he says.

    You can hear their full conversation in the player above. Then, visit Game of Our Lives to learn more about Goldblatt's top five football films.

    Follow the show on Twitter and Instagram at @gameofourlives.

    Subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher , or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also listen on our Facebook page.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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