No, this isn’t a fever dream. And you didn’t take the brown acid. Emile Heskey is about to join the illustrious ranks of George Best and Zinedine Zidane, who, in addition to being transcendent if mercurial talents of their generations, starred in game-length features focusing on their play. Australian cable subscribers will, this weekend, have the chance to experience the same interesting and insightful spectacle with the Powerhouse himself, as Fox Australia promises the option of HESKEYCAM. But how will the Heskey Experience compare to its forbears?
Best, of course, was in the 1971 German feature “Fussball wie noch nie,” which trained six cameras on him for the length of a 1970 match against Coventry City. The film shows the fleeting brilliance of one of the game’s most lauded and lamented players. There are long languid patches where the ball is nowhere near Best, but those are balanced by the determination of Best, even when feeling the effects of the previous night on the tiles, furiously moving forward.
Zinedine Zidane, meanwhile, is the star and subject of the 2006 film Zidane, un portrait du 21e siècle, which covers a 2005 match between Real Madrid and Villareal. Unlike the Best film, which only focuses on the player, the Zidane film includes some of the play that builds to Zidane’s involvement, contextualizing the player’s greatness in the greater milieu of a star-studded Real side. The irony of the film is that Zidane is sent off in a brawl near the end of the match, and the film was released in May of 2006, a scant two months before Zizou’s career would end in similar fashion.
So what can we expect of Big Em’s turn in the spotlight? Well, the former Aston Villa forward has two goals in three matches for Newcastle Jets, and despite his comedy misses for Villa over the past three seasons, it should be as illuminating and fascinating as the other two films. Emile does put himself about the entirety of the pitch– no goal hanger, he. Plus, he may just dust off one of these old chestnuts: