It does cross your mind that this might all be some jolly wheeze of a mockumentary with Ginghină as a David Brent figure but apparently it is all to be taken seriously.
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While the movie has allegorical resonances with the political and human rights disasters of 20th-century Romania, by the end, its surfaces, while remaining superficially unimpressive, open up as the film moves from epistemological speculation onto a plane of mysticism. This relatively short film contains worlds.
[Ginghină's] endlessly evolving ideas for revolutionizing football are not a blueprint for a real-world solution at all. Instead they represent that intensely relatable and human place inside, where any of us, however small our lives and crushed our ambitions, can be limitless, unhobbled by injury, unfettered by ordinariness, unbounded by physics: infinite.
This is rich material, sharply developed. It’s also touchingly optimistic about man’s capacity for incremental change.
Infinite Football has moments of nicely deadpan humor and some deft little touches of insight along the way courtesy of Porumboiu's offbeat protagonist — but major league it certainly is not.
Ginghină makes for a wonderfully eccentric subject, and the ardour with which he elucidates the intricacies of his project to Porumboiu is both hilarious and tragic.
Infinite Football is an austere 70-minute experience, but the eccentric idealism of Laurențiu Ginghină lingers in the mind.
Porumboiu cinematically constructs—both through the patient, subtly but decisively shaped interviews and the cannily gradual editing—a life story that engages, at crucial points of contact, with the political history of his times and that reflects aspirations and inspirations that are themselves of a historic power.
One of the most fascinating things about Infinite Football is that Porumboiu never feels the need to feed his pal any rope in order to get these moments on camera. The two men are close and the director pointedly takes the time to let us in on his friend’s life.
Corneliu Porumboiu resists spelling anything out but the bare essentials, instead continuing his project of inviting viewers to closely parse the acerbic day-to-day banalities of post-Ceausescu Romania.