a sun­day in hell

Esquire (Malaysia) - - MACHINERY -

(1977) Di­rected by Jør­gen Leth

Be­fore cycling be­came a thing and doc­u­men­taries on it be­came com­mon­place, this was the only one. It at­tained near-myth­i­cal sta­tus with fans who had to share it on VHS. Beloved, half-re­mem­bered films can lose their lus­tre over time, but A Sun­day in Hell ex­ceeds ex­pec­ta­tion. Dan­ish di­rec­tor and poet Leth suc­ceeded in his goal to dis­til hero­ism at the Paris-roubaix, cycling’s tough­est one-day race, of 1976. Real pain emerges from gri­mac­ing, blood­ied cy­clists—the op­po­site ef­fect given off by the ma­chine-like road rac­ers of to­day. The great­est cy­clist ever, Eddy Mer­ckx, is here, ex­ud­ing Euro cool like Jean­paul Bel­mondo on a bike. A sub­tle synth-and-sym­phony score is 40 years ahead of its time. Ri­val­ries and team bonds, only briefly noted in the spare voiceover, are shown to be gen­uine. One of very few films to con­vey how hard and noble pro sport can be.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.