Wednesday, December 27, 2023

The History of the Minnesota Vikings (9 Hour Movie)

From The Atlantic David Sims's Top 10 Movies of 2023:

9. The History of the Minnesota Vikings (directed by Jon Bois)

Bois is a sportswriter and video creator at the website SB Nation who has, over the years, evolved from a funny and insightful blogger to one of the most groundbreaking directors in documentary filmmaking. His first true opus, 2019’s The Bob Emergency, explored the decline of athletes named Bob in America; in 2020, he unveiled The History of the Seattle Mariners, an exhaustive look at the baseball team that ran for more than three hours. Though at least twice as long, The History of the Minnesota Vikings does something similar and is just as compelling, investing me in the long history of a team I don’t care about that plays a sport I barely understand. Bois makes sports documentaries that ignore the genre’s tired hallmarks—there are no talking heads, there’s barely any footage from games, and the music is almost entirely bouncy yacht rock. Instead he focuses on hard statistics and idiosyncratic anecdotes, endlessly zooming in and out of a jumble of graphs and charts in ways that shed new light on old, hard facts.

GQ - "Jon Bois Keeps Finding Beauty in Miserable Sports Teams"

"For the most part, the thing that attracted us to the Vikings was that there are more stories contained within that franchise than Alex and I have ever seen in any other sports franchise, ever. That includes the Yankees, the 49ers, anyone you want to name. If the Mariners are sort of the protagonist of their sport and the Falcons are the clowns and court jesters, the Vikings are the storytellers. We refer to the Vikings in the script as the great American storytellers. Their stories are primarily about football, but they tug on so many threads about what America is and what it’s become, for better or for worse. They’re just so unique in that way."


"I tend to, as I’ve gotten older especially, find that my appreciation for sports has less to do with the trophies at the end of the season. I gravitate toward how much I like the team and the people involved. That goes back to that thing you asked about misery and what other people interpret as misery, I interpret as meaning and story. I can kind of side step the entire being sad process—which is my privilege as a non-fan—and go straight to the good stuff. Hey, they ended up rich and famous, and I ended up with a great story!

There’s also the infinite timeline thing. It’s not like Super Bowl 60 or whatever is going to be the last one and you’ve got to get your championship in now. There’s always that flicker in the distance. On an infinite timeline, the Vikings are going to win a Super Bowl. You know that there will be that catharsis and that climactic moment. Even if it’s not going to happen soon, that hope doesn’t die."

No comments: