Infinite Football
(Fotbal Infinit)

Screening on Film
Directed by Corneliu Porumboiu.
Romania, 2018, DCP, color, 70 min.
Romanian with English subtitles.
DCP source: Grasshopper Films

Infinite applies to more than just football in Porumboiu’s deceptively casual documentary portrait of a passionate dreamer in the guise of a government bureaucrat. Like Porumboiu’s features, the film launches a humorous, compassionate and earnest inquiry into the puzzling motives and idiosyncrasies of mortals—particularly Romanian ones. And here, it’s as if Porumboiu accidentally stumbles into his subject—a surprising font of droll profundity—along with a funny string of incidental occurences and unusual personalities that pop up along the way. The film’s unlikely star is Laurentiu Ginghina, a brother of Porumboiu’s childhood friend, who still lives in Vaslui, the director’s hometown. Injured long ago in a soccer game, Ginghina became obsessed with a specific, though adaptable, plan to completely revolutionize the sport, making it less dangerous and more beautiful. Regardless of the scheme’s practicality or feasibility, what is unquestionably revolutionary here is Porumboiu’s ability to see through the mundane surface to the multifaceted—at times, metaphysical—treasures just waiting to be recognized and celebrated.

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