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New moon rising?

10 Sep 2010 10:12:47

| Submit Comments| Comments (21)| Printable Version1/1Play SlideshowClose MapPity poor Blackburn tomorrow. Manchester City?s players should be more fired up than ever before, having being given the mother of all motivations last night. Blues stars attended the premiere of the new film ?Blue Moon Rising? ? and if any emerged from the experience unmoved, they should be booted out of the club forthwith. The film, beautifully shot and slickly edited, is not, as it has been billed in some quarters, a behind-the-scenes look at City?s fateful last season. It is, rather, a study of football support, following the fortunes of five diehard City supporters through a season of stunning highs and desperate lows. A copy of the film should be given to every City player, and issued as a matter of course to every new player joining the club. Passion Today?s players are far removed from the fans. They don?t understand the passion and the heartache of the people who serve only as a backdrop to their own feats of derring-do. They don?t fully recognise the impact their failings can have. ?Blue Moon Rising? excellently captures the depth of emotion which football can plumb. The five lads, undoubtedly the stars of a film which also features interviews with Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor, Garry Cook, Craig Bellamy and others, are part of a dying breed. They travel home and away in a death-trap people carrier, drinking and singing their way through an odyssey of delight and disappointment. They hanker for the old days, when football fans stood and poured out their faith through song and banter, days before men in suits began to try to package and flip-chart the ?football experience?, like it was a soft drink or a trip to Alton Towers. In that sense, the film will appeal to real football fans beyond the boundaries of Eastlands, even United fans, who get something of a shellacking ? as you would expect. The film does fall into stereotype at times. No doubt United fans will have a chuckle at the fact that the lads appear to be from Stockport, which they claim is the true City power-base. But when they interviewed three United ?fans? as part of the derby sequences, the film-    makers couldn?t have found three more smug examples of modern-day fans. The City fans, by deliberate contrast, come across as fun- loving, funny, laddish ? one brainwashing his four-year-old daughter to throw her red crayons in the bin, another movingly talking of his late father. You sometimes wonder how foreign players react when they come to England, playing in sterile, soulless, all-seater stadia. This film allows them to see the under-current, that there is still a lively fan culture bubbling under, regardless of the attempts of the marketing men to control and exploit it. The production is over-lavish, if anything, using sound effects and fancy camera-work to make matches look more like battle scenes from ?Lord of the Rings?. It also sets out to be warts-and-all, but doesn?t quite achieve that aim. A couple of the fans openly criticise the club?s handling of Mark Hughes? sacking, but the editors have neatly dubbed out the use of the word ?Munichs? from the Tevez tribute song ? an ongoing blemish on the reputation of City fans. What is refreshing is the supporters? take on two of the flashpoints of the season, Adebayor?s sprint to celebrate under the noses of Arsenal fans, and Tevez?s ?shut up? gesture to Gary Neville after scoring in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg. Desolate The football authorities, and commentators, reacted with predictable bluster to those two events. The fans lapped it up, seeing such moments as a key  part of football?s rich tapestry. Some City fans, having seen trailers, have wondered at the wisdom of releasing a film which charts a season which, exciting as it was, ended in more bitter disappointment. Apart from the fact that the makers were not blessed with prescience, those fans miss the point. The real point of the film is made, right at the end. We see a desolate City dressing room after the Spurs defeat, players concussed by sheer demoralisation. It feels like the end, but then it cuts to four days later, and the fans are back in their battle bus, heading for a meaningless end-of-season bore draw at West Ham, with a rousing chorus of ?34 years and we?re still here?. It?s what football fans do. And it?s what football players should never forget.


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