some hardcore table soccer players, only absolutely clean goals count. That is
more stringent than the rules laid down the international association, but nearly
everyone frowns on three-sixty “spinnies.” However, all rule books get tossed
out when an egomaniacal football (soccer) superstar challenges a nebbish table
player in Juan José Campanella’s Foosball
screens (in 2D) during the 2014 New York International Children’s Film Festival.
son Mati thinks the old man is kind of a loser. Oh, but if he only knew the
full story. In his old village home, Amadeo worked in the neighborhood bar and
lovingly cared for the foosball table. He soon becomes the local champion, even
besting the bullying Grosso. For years, this was his moment of glory and the
foundation of his relationship with Laura, his almost girl friend.
Unfortunately, Grosso has returned, having achieved fame and fortune as a
footballer. It seems the thuggish Grosso has bought the town in its entirety
and intends to bulldoze everything to make way for his grand football complex.
Naturally, his first target is Amadeo’s foosball table, the symbol of his only
demoralized, he only manages to save the captain, whom comes alive like Frosty
when christened with one of Amadeo’s tears. Soon Amadeo’s entire Foos team is
animated and reunited, along with the Maroons, their Washington General rivals.
Of course, the small metallic men will be no match for the brutish Grosso, but
they will coach Amadeo when he is forced to challenge his nemesis to a match on
the football field.
is not hard to see why Foosball was a
monster hit in Argentina. The animation is at a Pixar level and it features all
kinds of football action. It is an unlikely follow-up to Campanella’s Oscar
winning melancholy mystery, The Secret in Their Eyes, but Foosball shows a
bit of an analog sensibility, preferring the physicality of foosball to insubstantial
video games. Viewers are also clearly invited to disdain Grosso’s nouveau riche
question, the little foos men are the film’s not so secret weapons. Lovingly
scratched and worn in appropriate detail, they cleverly send-up archetypes that
will be familiar to even casual soccer watchers. Yet for adults, Grosso’s unapologetically
corpulent and equally acerbic agent often steals the show.
Campanella scores a lot of laughs in Foosball, while saying quite a bit about
fair play and self-respect. It is a lot of fun, but it actually is not the best
Latin American animated film at this year’s NYICFF. That would be Alfredo
Soderguit’s sweet and sensitive AninA,
hailing from Uruguay. Still, young boys will probably dig Foosball more. Recommended for sports fans of all ages, Foosball screens again this coming
Saturday (3/15) at the SVA Theater and Saturday the 29th at the IFC Center,
as this year’s NYICFF continues at venues throughout the City.
Labels: Animated films, Argentine Cinema, NYICFF '14, Sports films