Kicking & Screening: A Football Film Festival

Football & Film haven't always made for the most comfortable bedfellows, Kicking and Screening is a festival which hopes to alter their relationship, and to let us see Pelé and Michael Caine link up on the big screen. Unique.
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Football & Film haven't always made for the most comfortable bedfellows, Kicking and Screening is a festival which hopes to alter their relationship, and to let us see Pelé and Michael Caine link up on the big screen. Unique.

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The Two Escobars

Football and film has always been a difficult blend to get right, from the lack-lustre endeavours of the Goal! series, to the frankly bizzare Bend It Like Beckham, I have sat through some of the strangest offerings which tried to crow-bar the beautiful game into a generic, lighthearted narrative. At times it has seemed like football would never be represented in all it's glory on the big screen, and we would have to be content with a scene or two scattered through Ken Loach's films which really captured what football meant to us. However thanks to the hard work of a handful of committed directors, and the overall softening of football's global image we don't have to stick Looking For Eric on repeat much longer.

At a range of Everyman screens across the city, films from a variery of creeds, cultures, ages and eras will be shown, all with one theme at their core: Football.

Modern classics such as One Night In Turin will exhibit the story of  England at Italia '90, behind the scenes footage showing England's rejuvenation under the mercurial Bobby Robson and their eventual heartbreak at the hands of West Germany. The Two Escobars chronicles the drug kingpin Pablo Escobar's involvement with the Colombian national team, and how in 1994 his grisly underworld connections would collide with football through the murder of national hero, and namesake Andrés Escobar after his own goal saw his team knocked out of the tournament.

The festival will close with the screening of Escape To Victory, the archetypal football flick starring, amongst others, Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine and Pelé. I know... It is a bit weird.

When posed with the question as to 'why' they are putting on the festival it's organisers claim that it is simply because 'soccer is the beautiful game' and that it is 'universal.' An argument which is certainly difficult to counter when you look at the diverse range of subject matter on display.

The story of the ill-fated New York Cosmos project of the 1970s will be  told through archive footage and interviews with key players such as Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer in the excellent Once In a Lifetime. The build up and intricate detail that is taken care of in the build up to a World Cup Final is chronicled through Match 64 and Ukranian champions Shaktar Donetsk's humble beginnings as The Other Chelsea are just a few of the narratives which will unfold for  festival-goers. Special guests such as Guillem Balagué and Ossie Ardiles will speak alongside the films' directors and writers, bringing the two worlds of film and football closer than they have ever been before.

Kicking and Screening will take place at the following Everyman cinemas from the 23rd to the 29th of September in London

Baker Street

96-98 Baker Street
London, W1U 6TJ

Belsize Park
203 Haverstock Hill
Belsize Park
London NW3 4QG

Hampstead
5 Holly Bush Vale
Hampstead
London NW3 6TX

Screen on the Green
83 Upper Street
Islington
London N1 0NP

For ticketing & scheduling information:
http://www.kickingandscreening.com/