Tag Archives: Soccer

Unsolicited Endorsements: VII

Because sometimes you just want friends to tell you about cool things… the Brew House team offers up its weekly mix of author-supported goodness.

This soccer-centric documentary debuted at the SXSW Film Festival in 2010, and it immediately struck a chord. Pelada, which literally translates to “naked” in Portuguese, is the Brazilian word for pickup soccer (or more correctly, futbol).

It’s the work of four young film-makers and stars Luke Boughen and Gwendolyn Oxenham, two former college soccer standouts who travel the world in a constant search for the most basic form of the game — and what it means to each place. This week, more than a year after it surfaced on my radar, I was finally able to cross it off my list. (It’s streaming on Netflix.)

On the surface, this is essentially a love letter to the beautiful game, but the film resonated with me on two deeper levels: It opens a window into life in the unseen (the slums of Buenos Aires; a prison yard in La Paz, Bolivia; the tension-filled streets of Jerusalem), capturing the struggles and monotony of day-to-day life through the lens of futbol.

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Thanking David Beckham (and Gurinder Chadha, Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra)

This post, which is not about soccer, begins at 6:45 p.m. on the Sunday preceding Thanksgiving, one hour and 15 minutes before David Beckham will don the Los Angeles Galaxy uniform for possibly the last time, trying to emphatically conclude an experiment, marred with record losing streaks, coaching changes, and superstar infighting between him and Landon Donovan, that had come so close to derailing as one of the sports world’s biggest busts just two years ago.

I might watch the game. I’m not sure. I’ve just been paying a lot more attention to Beckham the last few weeks, because I need to thank him.

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About a month ago, as I melted onto my couch in a post-surgical haze, downing bowls of macaroni and cheese and chocolate chip-cookie-dough ice cream because my operated-upon mouth couldn’t handle anything sufficient, I decided to watch a movie.* Continue reading

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