Mogwai – Zidane: A 21st Century Portait

Mogwai - ZidaneThis is an interesting one, especially as it follows on from Mogwai’s “Mr Beast” album from early 2006. This is the soundtrack to the film that was released in 2006 which basically consisted of Zinedine Zidane being filmed whilst playing for Real Madrid against Villareal at the Bernabeu stadium. It’s an intriguing concept, but I have to admit I haven’t actually seen the film yet. It think it’s going to be hard to find an arthouse flick about a French “soccer” player in Australia. Nevertheless, when one of my favourite bands are doing the score for the film, it’s definately worth a CD purchase. I do find it an interesting concept when a band score a film, rather than a composer. There’s very few actual examples I can think of to be honest though: Bjork (Dancer In The Dark) and Daft Punk (Interstella 555) have scored films that they themselves have been heavily involved in. Air are the only actual band who’ve released a score that they’ve recorded for a film (The Virgin Suicides). Someone else that comes to mind, is John Carpenter who scored most of his early films. His score for Assault on Precinct 13 is great; it’s early , minimalist electonic music that still sounds great. So I put the CD on without really knowing what to expect.

I was expecting a softening in pace from the heavier “Mr Beast”; football doesn’t really have slow build ups with explosive climaxes, and to be honest not knowing how the actual film was shot, it was difficult for me to visualize what would be happening to the music.”Black Spider” is a fairly quiet and downbeat opener, which is followed by the rather sinister sounding “Terrific Speech”. “7.25” is a track that almost reaches a kind of crescendo but stops just short, mintaining the slow and measured pace of the album. Mostly there is a distorted atmosphere to these tracks, which I personally like but I can maybe see why people find this cold and impersonal.

Best of all is “Half Time”, a droning but melodic piece that seems to be played underneath one of the stands in the stadium, as the disembodied voices of the fans waft in and out. It’s very atmospheric and is probably the only track that made me picture the film itself. All in all, listening to the soundtrack has made me want to see the film itself. It’s not one of Mogwai’s best albums, but I’ve got the feeling that watching the film might enhance my enjoyment of the music.

Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait:


  1. hi ~
    i like your blog !
    it’s a nice one , i like what you listen , too !

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