Vital Football

Latest Colchester United News

Layer Road`s Last Rites

Layer Road`s Last Rites

Layer Road`s Last Rites

Last week a release date of October 22nd 2008, was announced for the much-anticipated Layer Road movie. Yet a shockingly sticky slogan from another football film seems most fittingly to describe the state funeral status the U`s old home still gets. That phrase: for as long as it lasts, for as long as it takes.

In Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, as is presumably true with Colchester`s soon to-be-premiered picture, you are ushered along by the alluring footage with a promise that the reel will refreshingly capture just the game. That is the encounter, the event - pure soccer, leaving those looping personality-based narratives behind to scream for attention in the dressing room sin-bin.

Through the cut-and-fade flickery of 17 cameras, via glaring white light, you soon see it is not simply about the match. Fine, that clue may have been in the title all along but, as Zidane`s every spit, shimmy and shake in the pristinely perfect kit of Real Madrid white is transmitted through an entire LaLiga face-off, inner wonderment and suspension collide.





Zizu`s brooding presence as a one-man brand at the forefront of the fixture raises conflicting questions although, chiefly, the now-retired round ball juggler shows why acolytes wax endlessly about his on-field acumen. Over the course of one game, we see the sublime nature of his greatness amplified in an assist on goal that leaves three opponents trailing. Cue the ridiculous, too, when he exits prematurely thanks to a red card.

Like when observing vintage war propaganda, the mind fizzes throughout this screening at the question of how contrived it all is. As the game clock ticks, suspicion`s seesaw swings. Until, that is, you become so ensconced by the atmosphere and narrative that actual reflection of reality ceases to matter.

It helps that our man is clothed in Madrid`s majestic garb, of course; somehow the precise clarity and crispness of the shirt, shorts and socks all smack of an absolute perfection, something pure and almost otherworldly.

So, does the video undermine or illuminate the skill behind what is, at the most basic, kicking a spherical object between two sting bags on stilts? A bit of both, actually, because Zidane`s almost reptilian but strategically slow jives during the game`s first quarter are submerged by flashes of second-half brilliance.

That he gives the illusion of not doing much as he ghosts around the pitch, yet sheds sweat like it is going out of fashion, probably suggests an underestimation of the physical exertion behind his desecrate zigzag routine. Truthfully, he is working bloody hard.

This shoot encases in just one match all the romance ever associated with Zidane`s illustrious career, also revealing an underlying poise behind his patient pitch grafting. As his alternative ballet sequence captures our imagination, bringing reason in toe, the documentary becomes a potentially dangerous artefact.

Cricketer Ed Smith wrote that the picture was mostly unglamorous, everyday and humdrum stuff. He is partly right. The cameras act as a tripping hall of mirrors, creating deceptive viewer intimacy that allows Zidane`s presumed extra sensory perception to flourish.

Still, if we believe in the blockbuster portrayal absolutely, it is because we want to. Or rather, because we do not want to believe an opposite truth, which would mean conceding that the finest French footballer in a generation was merely mortal, instead of the game`s answer to an Almighty.

One image that takes a bat to Zidane`s assumed deity status for those watching is his habitual dragging of feet on the Spanish turf: Gods float, remember, while the rest of us keep on walking.

That realisation alone betrays another more brutal fact: Zidane is replaceable, as well as human. Since his skills are already grainy in the public consciousness, just over two years after the midfielder danced after his final football fling, the revelation is lamentably believable.

The same messages apply to Layer Road`s pending motion picture, of course, which had a smaller budget. Do not, in essence, let the charm of the rendering seduce you into believing that fact and fiction have switched places.

Colchester`s celebratory production, if watched through rose-tinted glasses, could breed some unhealthy myths, such as an idea that things were unconditionally better in the past, or that they can never improve, be as good as they used to.

Be warned that nostalgia`s blinding haze is a blinker for our judgement at times like these.

Take the Zidane example. He was a great player, sure. Many say the most mesmerising central attacker to grace the game since Diego Maradonna, in fact.

It is just that new heirs will surpass him, in the same way Western Homes has already consigned Colchester United`s old place to the scrapbook. The point is that the process has already begun, even if the memory of Layer Road continues to bask in the long sunset of sentiment.

Enjoy the film, when it airs, this autumn; ask for tissues over popcorn, if you must. The reel-clicking movie in Britain`s oldest town will project something long-since blown to smithereens, after all, so we should expect a reaction of something between tears and applause.

Just highlight October 22nd as the day Layer Road will be read her last rites, finally. Remember to say goodbye. Goodbye for as long as it lasts and, yes, for as long as it takes.

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football




Win £1,000,000 every week with Man of the Match®

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Matt_Us
Date:Monday September 8 2008
Time: 12:33PM

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - Khan Ready for Alvarez

Comments

0
??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
ooohhJohnnieJackson
08/09/2008 20:58:00
0
Layer Road had a giood vibe about it but in 21st Century you have to move on, good memories for the U's though
Red Wimp
10/09/2008 00:07:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Colchester United Articles

Match Day Officials v Rochdale (8/5/16)

The Football League have now announced the Match Day officials that will take charge of the game against Rochdale this weekend.

A Vital Challenge - Ben Nevis To Face The Fear

Vitalfootball.co.uk co-owner Jonathan Fear is pushing himself to the limit in order to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis.

Who Will Colchester Face In 2016/17 (3/5/16)

With less than a handful of games remaining in the 2015/16 campaign, some promotions and relegations in the football pyramid are already known.

Stats: Barnsley v Colchester

All the stats from Barnsley (2) vs (2) Colchester, Oakwell, 30/4/16 Att: 12,021

Archived Vital Colchester Articles

Vital Colchester articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Colchester
Write For Vital Colchester
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Barnsley v Colchester
Suggested By:
Colchester win25%
Barnsley win75%
Draw0%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Wigan 45 24 15 6 87 40
2 Burton 45 25 9 11 84 20
3 Walsall 45 23 12 10 81 17
4 Millwall 45 23 9 13 78 23
5 Bradford 45 22 11 12 77 13
6 Barnsley 45 21 8 16 71 13
7 Scunthorpe 45 20 11 14 71 11
8 Gillingham 45 19 12 14 69 16
9 Coventry 45 18 12 15 66 16
10 Sheff Utd 45 18 12 15 66 7
11 Rochdale 45 18 12 15 66 6
12 Port Vale 45 18 11 16 65 3
13 Peterborough 45 18 6 21 60 5
14 Southend 45 16 11 18 59 -5
15 Bury 45 15 12 18 57 -18
16 Swindon 45 15 11 19 56 -10
17 Oldham 45 12 18 15 54 -12
18 Chesterfield 45 15 8 22 53 -10
19 Shrewsbury 45 13 11 21 50 -18
20 Fleetwood 45 11 15 19 48 -6
21 Blackpool 45 12 10 23 46 -19
22 Doncaster 45 11 12 22 45 -16
R Colchester 45 9 13 23 40 -41
R Crewe 45 7 13 25 34 -35
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Colchester United Results (view all)

Colchester United Fixtures (view all)

May 8 2016 12:30PM : Rochdale (H)
Sky Bet League One