Musicians Bring Football To The Big Screen

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Now that the embers of the domestic season are dying away fans who’ve lived every kick of the ball these last nine months are left with a whole… fortnight… of footballing emptiness to endure between now and the start of the World Cup on Friday June 9th.

Thank goodness, then, that the folks at the Barbican Arts Centre have got together with stylish popsters Saint Etienne (pictured) to present three evenings of excellent and rarely seen football films on the eve of the finals in Germany. Of most interest to London supporters will be the show on Tuesday 6th June which opens with Jo Trhane’s film “Leyton Orient – Yours For A Fiver” featuring the club as, in stark contrast to this season’s celebrations, it faced up to bankruptcy and basement level football in 1995 and closes with the premiere of “Monty the Lamb”, Paul Kelly’s documentary about the man in the mascot suit at Hendon FC, carpet fitter Dave Garner. In between you can see John Boorman’s 1964 film about the relationship between players, fans and the local community at Swindon Town.

On Monday 5th you can see “European Centre Forward”, a 1963 film scripted by eminent Sunday Times and World Soccer journalist Brian Glanville about some of the first professional British players to try their luck on the continent as well as documentaries featuring Don Revie, Brian Clough and Bobby Robson. Wednesday 7th’s line-up comprises a World In Action special on Sir Stanley Matthews alongside a 2002 documentary covering the return of 1966 world cup folk heroes North Korea to Middlesbrough, the scene of their underdog triumph against Italy. Great viewing and great value with prices between £6 and £8.50 per evening.

If you fancy writing rather than watching why not take part in BBC Radio Five Live’s world cup monologue competition? Email a script for a 2-3 minute monologue to writersroom@bbc.co.uk before July 7th and it could be read out on air during the station’s world cup coverage by Johnny Vegas, Kwame Kwei-Armah (Casualty) or Sheridan Smith (Two Pints of Lager, Grown Ups).

“Think about the emotion, the tension, the drama and the funny side of the beautiful game and create a character who talks for 2-3 minutes, who captures a moment, a microcosm of the drama from the world’s biggest competition.

“This will be a new way of hearing the World Cup – as the competition unfolds and the drama increases, the writers will be able to reflect this by giving us the World Cup coverage from a different perspective.”

Obviously your work has to be original, something Hackney Council feel very strongly about. They are considering the possibility of legal action against sportswear giants Nike over an alleged infringement concerning a council logo. A statement from the company read:

“Nike has produced a small range of products that celebrate Hackney Marshes as a symbol of all that is great about amateur football. The London Borough of Hackney has raised some issues with Nike concerning a logo that appears on a number of these products. We are in ongoing discussion with the Borough and remain keen to conclude the discussion to the satisfaction of both parties.”

Hackney mayor Jules Pipe told the BBC:

“We have been using this logo for more than 40 years – since before England won the last World Cup. I was shocked that such a huge global company would use it without even approaching us for permission. One way of putting this right could be giving us a fair percentage of the retail price and some sportswear for every school child in the borough.”

Interesting idea, Jules, but if they can all have it, will any of them want it?

Picture of St. Etienne being interviewed in Berlin via pdax’s Flickr stream.

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