World Cup feature films are utterly redundant these days - FIFA prefers to release celebratory DVDs and goal collections. But back before the advent of VCR and DVD, we had a wonderful collection of full length movies documenting every kick and angle of each tournament, just as long as it matched the incredibly idiosyncratic direction the 'director' decided to lead us in.
G'ole covers the 1982 tournament in Spain which was eventually won by Italy. The problem is that instead of showing the matches as you might see them on TV or even on an NFL film , the FIFA movies tended to focus on bizarre side attractions and treat their subject matter as if it was the most important event on Earth. This is were Sean Connery takes his cue for a very self-important commentary, full of hyperbole and sheer nonsense.
Much of the football action follows key individuals, and rarely allows the viewer a side on shot typical of TV football. Instead we see a lot of feet, a lot of lingering facial expressions, and (just occasionally) some sheer poetry.
Probably the best moment comes when Marco Tardelli has just scored Italy's second, contest-killing goal in the final against West Germany. Tardelli's extravagant celebration is rightly famous, but in G'ole we follow his every movement over 30 or so seconds in glorious slow motion, seeing just what it feels like to become the biggest hero in your country. That moment alone makes you like the film.
Highlights? Well, we get to see the New Zealand coach swear at his players for five minutes (apparently it was a half-time pep talk), get lingering shots of topless Spanish women (to exemplify Connery's suggestion that Spain is some sort of beach Utopia) and get intimate with the Scania team coaches! All 18 wheels of these gas-guzzling beasts are highlighted throughout, driving slowly and pointlessly down country lanes. I'm pretty sure that no other film in the IMDB database can boast that.
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