July 7, 2022

Book / Sport and cinema: review

Summary: This real encyclopedia, unique in the world, brings together the worlds of sport and the seventh art, the two most popular entertainments on the planet, linked by their history since the end of the 19th century. From the greatest masterpieces to more confidential films, from feel-good movies to delicious babes, from sports biopics to cinematic rarities, this book compiles more than 1,500 films and series on 70 different sports.


Sport and cinema – book

Released for the first time in 2016 and winner of the Prix du Syndicat français de la critique in the “Best album on cinema” category, Sport and cinema offers itself a welcome reissue as the end of the year holidays approach. Gérard and Julien Camy, respectively film historian and journalist, offer a playful overview of this rarely commented relationship between the big screen and the representation of sporting activity. From mountaineering to water polo, the two authors explain how the staging of sport has been able to lend itself to gender conventions and question certain principles of production. If the thing seems certain on the side of practices valuing the relationship between physical effort and large space (climbing a mountain or driving a racing car on dangerous terrain), the thing is just as true. with less regarded practices. So with apnea which is based on the anguish of the depths while summoning the fundamental function of duration in the production of cinematographic suspense, or golf which makes it possible to celebrate the exemplary nature of the courses on the green at the same time as that, personal, of the players. The interest of the work is that it is by no means limited to a simple review of titles, but proposes to comment on the productions envisaged from the angle of their accuracy and their respect for the practices that they seek to represent. Through numerous testimonials from athletes and directors, the Camys thus distinguish the wheat from the chaff, considering cinema in the light of sport and not the other way around. This idea allows them to offer several selections of films that welcome the reader.

While the beautiful layout and the many illustrations that shape the shape of this study are obviously to be praised, it should be remembered that its function goes far beyond that of the guide intended for balloon fanatics (round or oval, yellow or white). The authors indeed prove the little-known richness of an encounter which, with a few exceptions (dance or martial arts films commonly benefiting from the kinetic value associated with choreographic movement), has often been marked by its artistic failures. . The only reading of the chapter devoted to football proves it.

Popular cinema (Headbutt by Jean-Jacques Annaud; Didier by Alain Chabat) to the auteur film (Off-side de Jafar Panahi; Looking for Eric by Ken Loach), from fiction to (fake-) documentary (Mike Basset : England Manager de Steve Barron ; Zidane a portrait of the 21st century by Philippe Parreno and Douglas Gordon), the most popular sport in the world has become the medium for issues and discourses that are as deep as they are different.

Because sport, practiced or filmed, is first and foremost based on the laws of staging that this beautiful book describes and analyzes with finesse and pedagogy.

  • Authors: Gérard and Julien Camy
  • Editions: Amphora
  • Date of reissue: November 18, 2021
  • First edition: 2016
  • Languages: French only
  • Format : 512 pages
  • Prices: € 49.95