Ooh Ah Cantona


Last night I paid a visit to my local picture palace to see Ken Loach’s latest film, Looking for Eric. Having enjoyed The Damned United earlier this year, I was looking forward to seeing a football-themed film from a director whose work I have admired for some time. The Eric of the title refers to the fictional postman at the heart of the film and also to Eric Cantona who appears as himself. I was never a fan of his Mancunian football team, but I was a big fan of Cantona the footballer and Cantona the person, who brought a lot of individuality and personality to the game. He was a brilliant and inventive player, but everyone will remember him as much for his kung fu kick on the Crystal Palace fan as they will for his goals and skill on the pitch


I had deliberately avoided all reviews of the film beforehand and I’m glad I did because the film I watched far exceeded the already high expectations I had for it. Therefore, I’m not going to say too much about the film, but I would urge you to go see it at your local theatre. Don’t be put off if you don’t like the beautiful game as football is mainly used as a metaphor in the film. This is primarily a film about perseverence and hope and desire and friendship and madness and life and family and fear and fun. It’s also unbelievably hilarious at times and deeply moving at others. The acting is excellent throughout and the script, by Loach’s regular sidekick Paul Laverty, is the best I’ve come across in a while. Loach’s trademark style is also present, although it does differ in terms of its tone. I’m sure you get the picture at the stage, so here’s a few tunes about Monsieur Cantona. His acting might not be as good as his football used to be, but his performance in the film kicked ass. I hope you get a kick out of these tunes

01 You are Cantona – Beach

02 Can I Kick It? – The Popguns

03 Kung Fu – Ash

04 Kung Fu Fighting (Carl Douglas cover) – Robyn Hitchcock

05 Hong Kong Book of Kung Fu – Cornershop

06 Kung Fu International – John Cooper Clarke

07 Do You Karate – Fight Like Apes


3 thoughts on “Ooh Ah Cantona

  1. Pingback: My Favourite Films & DVDs of 2009 « Town Full of Losers

  2. Well, it can be hard enough to get to watch such films in Ireland where the beautiful game is the most popular sport, at least amongst TV audiences anyway. The Damned United is coming out on dvd in a couple of months and I wouldn’t be surprised if Looking for Eric followed soon after. I cannot think of any films on the subject of football better than these two. Of course, the competition isn’t too strong

    It’s interesting that the actor playing the Postie is a City fan. His character in the film, incidentally also called Eric, is more of a fan of Cantona than he is of United. He has become disillusioned with football and life at the beginning of the film, so maybe it wasn’t too difficult for him to act that out

  3. I’m in Hamburgerland and sadly neither of these films are scheduled to be released over here so I’ll have to find them via “other” means…

    I’m looking forward to both.

    – I also read that the actor playing the Postie in the Cantona film is actually a Man City fan so it was hard for him putting on that shirt.

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