Football, Cinema, Film, Sports film, Sport cinema, European cinema
This chapter examines the place of association football in European cinema. Sport cinema has been among the most enduring, popular, and critically acclaimed of genres within American cinema; however, limited research has been undertaken as yet of the European experience. Though a less prominent feature of European cinema, the European sports film has had a long history dating back to the earliest Lumière brothers productions. This chapter provides some initial findings from a quantitative survey of European sport cinema, which identifies football as by far the most commonly featured sport. An overview of the historical development of the football film sub-genre is provided, with particular attention paid to the impact of a number of representative films in a variety of European contexts. As these films have responded to larger developments within specific European countries and the continent more broadly, it is argued that they have served as a barometer of changing cultural values and concerns since the early twentieth century.