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Critic’s Choice: Romanian documentary 'Infinite Football' kicks off Art of the Real

Critic’s Choice: Romanian documentary 'Infinite Football' kicks off Art of the Real
A scene from "Infinite Football." (Grasshopper Film)

The central subject of “Infinite Football,” a drolly funny and explosively brainy new documentary from the great Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu (“Police, Adjective”), is Laurentiu Ginghină, a middle-aged soccer enthusiast whose dreams of playing ended with a severe leg fracture on the pitch in 1986. He has since devoted his considerable mental energies to dreaming up new versions of the game, devising rules that would allow for a more liberated, exciting form of play — a concept that soon takes on fascinating political, religious, historical and philosophical overtones as Ginghină lays out his vision of the sport alongside his life story.

“Infinite Football,” screening Friday night before Porumboiu’s earlier soccer-themed documentary, “The Second Game” (2013), will kick off the first Los Angeles edition of Art of the Real, a Film Society of Lincoln Center series that, since 2014, has devoted itself to programming innovative new works of nonfiction cinema. The evening will include an on-stage conversation with Lincoln Center curators Dennis Lim and Rachael Rakes.

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The series, presented in collaboration with the UCLA Film & Television Archive and Acropolis Cinema, runs through Jan. 17 and includes titles by Michael Glawogger (“Untitled”), Heinz Emigholz (“Streetscapes”), Alain Cavalier (“Le Paradis”), Ben Rivers (“What Means Something”) and Sergei Loznitsa (“Victory Day”).

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‘Infinite Football,’ ‘The Second Game’

Where: Billy Wilder Theatre, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles

When: Jan. 11, 7:30 p.m.; series runs through Jan. 17

Tickets: $9

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