The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.

We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.

Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.

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Eric Cantona’s Kung-Fu Kick and the Prophecies of D.W. Griffith

If you don’t know who Eric Cantona is or why he would kick a man, you should probably do a quick search for “sardines” on his Wikipedia page before you watch the video. Start reading a couple of paragraphs up from the block quote.

For the rest of you: Duccio observed in a comment a couple of days ago that it was too bad our contemporary soccer news couldn’t be conveyed in the style of silent movies. This got me thinking. A few months ago, Dr. Marchpane put me in touch with a “renegade purveyor of antiquities” (his words) who claimed to have a box of old film reels that I would “find interesting” (his words). I bought them, because what are you going to do, but due to time constraints I left the box they were in (an battered crate marked “PROPHECIES OF D.W. GRIFFITH”) in storage and, to be honest, I totally forgot about them. After reading Duccio’s comment I dug them out, spent half of yesterday trying to find a projector that would run them (just try tracking down an antique film projector in the middle of a snowstorm on New Year’s Eve—that’s a whole other story) and then…

Well, see for yourself. I have no idea how these things came to be. This is just the first of the canisters. It’s not easy getting them online—I wasn’t even sure I could play them; the film looks like it’s been tossed from cargo hold to wall safe to cargo hold for the last 80 years—but if I ever have time I’ll try to upload some of the others. Although honestly I’m not at all sure in what form, or by whom, these were ever intended to be seen.

Oh, and by the way, Happy New Year!


Eric Cantona’s Kung-Fu Kick and the Prophecies of D.W. Griffith

by Brian Phillips · January 1, 2009

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