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In the Realm of Perfection

Julien Faraut
L'empire de la perfection
France 2018 / 95’
I Am Another You Inland Sea

John McEnroe is a legend of world tennis, and his match with Sweden's Björn Borg at Wimbledon in 1980 was recently the subject of Janus Metz's film Borg vs. McEnroe (2017).In this documentary by Julien Faraut-the French master of sports films-we watch a match that the American played against Ivan Lendel four years later in the finals of the French Open at Roland Garros. The film is not only about the result, however, but also the way in which the match is presented: an important figure is Gil de Kermadec, the broadcast director who, fascinated by the trajectory of player movements, employed the power of slow motion, or Serge Daney, editor-in-chief of Cahiers du Cinéma, who wrote not only about film but also about tennis. Another important aspect is how the events are re-created: the ingenious sound and commentary by Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the ButterflyVenus in Fur), along with archival footage and contemporary images, create a kind of essay on the relationship between film and tennis, which is guided by Jean-Luc Godard's motto that cinema lies, but not sport.

Adam Kruk


IFF Berlin 2018 – “Tagesspiegel” Readers’ Jury Award

Julien Faraut

Born in Colombes in 1978, Julien Faraut is a filmmaker and artist. He completed a degree in History and then spent 15 years working for the French Institute of Sport (INSEP), where he was responsible for the archives, which he used in short films and installations. In Un regard neuf sur Olympia 52 (2015), he discusses Chris Marker's first work, in which the legendary documentary filmmaker recorded the Olympic Games in Helsinki. InIn the Realm of Perfection,Faraut also uses the documentary essay method inspired by Marker's works to look at the subject that interests him, i.e., the relationship between sport and film.


2004 Paris jeux t'aime

2010 Phrases d'armes (short)

2013 Un regard neuf sur Olympia 52 / A New Look at Olympia 52

2018 John McEnroe - mistrz doskonałości / L'empire de la perfection / In the Realm of Perfection

Cast & Crew

director Julien Faraut
screenplay Julien Faraut
cinematography Julien Faraut
editing Andrei Bogdanov
music Serge Teyssot-Gay
cast John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Mathieu Amalric
producer William Jéhannin
production UFO Production
sales Film Constellation
language French, English
colouration colour & b&w