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 £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

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

League Cup Draw Wednesday 1pm

Four hours after the Football League fixture list is revealed, the League Cup first round...

League Two Fixtures For 2016/17 Released Tomorrow

The coming League Two fixtures for the 2016/17 season will be announced early tomorrow morning (Wednesday).

Colchester Fans To Travel 8,175 Miles In 2016/17

With the make up of League Two known for the coming 2016/17 season with the curtain drawn on the 2015/16 year and all Play Off winners announced, here is how far Colchester...

Football League - Fixture Day & 2016/17 Key Dates

The Football League have released the key dates for the coming 2016/17 season, and the all important fixtures will be released on Wednesday June 22 at 9am.

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)

Colchester v Rochdale
Suggested By:
Colchester win0%
Rochdale win100%
Draw0%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Northampton 46 29 12 5 99 36
P Oxford 46 24 14 8 86 43
P Bristol Rovers 46 26 7 13 85 31
4 Accrington 46 24 13 9 85 26
5 Plymouth 46 24 9 13 81 26
6 Portsmouth 46 21 15 10 78 31
7 Wimbledon 46 21 12 13 75 14
8 Leyton Orient 46 19 12 15 69 -1
9 Cambridge 46 18 14 14 68 11
10 Carlisle 46 17 16 13 67 5
11 Luton 46 19 9 18 66 2
12 Mansfield 46 17 13 16 64 8
13 Wycombe 46 17 13 16 64 1
14 Exeter 46 17 13 16 64 -2
15 Barnet 46 17 11 18 62 -1
16 Hartlepool 46 15 6 25 51 -23
17 Notts County 46 14 9 23 51 -29
18 Stevenage 46 11 15 20 48 -15
19 Yeovil 46 11 15 20 48 -16
20 Crawley 46 13 8 25 47 -33
21 Morecambe 46 12 10 24 46 -22
22 Newport 46 10 13 23 43 -21
R Dag & Red 46 8 10 28 34 -35
R York 46 7 13 26 34 -36
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Colchester United Results (view all)

Colchester United Fixtures (view all)