Bt Robert Cordaro.
We all have those friends who can never seem to put their glory days as a young athlete behind them. Decades after their career has been over they’ll jump at any chance to talk about their struggles, triumphs, victory and defeats. Infinite Football directed by Corneliu Proumboiu is kind of like that. But with a twist.
In a desolate and seemingly abandoned park, the opening scene shows the film’s subject, Laurentiu Ginghina recalling his last game as a football player when a devastating injury left him with a broken tibia and derailed his future plans of going to university to study forestry.
A year later, an additional leg injury in a factory further sidetracked him. Now middle aged and working as a paper pushing bureaucrat, Laurentiu has some ideas on how to change the game that left him with nothing more than a lifetime of disappointments. And he wants to share them.
Occasionally getting sidetracked with tales of the many detours his life has taken since that fateful day on the field, Larentiu explains in great detail adjustments he thinks would make the game safer and perhaps prevent injuries like the one he had sustained.
No right angles on the field, separating teams into sub-teams, restricting player and ball movement are just a few of what he has in mind. And whether he is talking about his life’s many failures and frustrations or completely upending the tradition of a game that has been played for over 150 years, his nonchalant storytelling style seems to depict at man at peace with where he is in life. His obsession with the incident that left him hobbled as a teenager and set the course of his life in a completely new direction says different.
Told plainly and as straightforward as possible, his meandering monologues on irrigation systems in the Sierra Nevada or orange farms in Florida are chapters but not the whole story. The whole story is about a man so obsessed with a single life event, he will spend his life hatching ways it could have been avoided.
At times both sad and darkly comic, Infinite Football is an interesting, albeit simply told, account of the changes you’d make if you could go back and make them.
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