Conceptual video artists and whimsical kittens have this in common: the Internet was made for them.
I have no kittens for you, but I do have a bit of Galloconceptualisme today, posted in part to mark the precipitous and unexpected elimination of France in (and by) South Africa in the first round of this year's World Cup.
Refait -- from the verb "refaire," to remake or re-do -- is a project of the French arts collective Pied La Biche, consisting of a shot for shot side by side recreation of the television broadcast of the final 15 minutes of the match between France and then-West Germany in the semifinal round of the 1982 World Cup in Seville. Instead of a soccer pitch, the facsimile plays out in a variety of random urban settings: overpasses, empty lots, an escalator.
The actual 1982 game was highly dramatic, featuring spectacular collisions, at least one player removed unconscious on a stretcher, and what many German football fanciers claim as the finest German goal in World Cup history. None of that is in this video. (I have reproduced the lengthy Wikipedia description of that game below the fold.)
The final 15 minutes of the game, the minutes that are recreated here in excruciating detail, consisted of a series of penalty kicks and the preparatory space around them, involving a good deal of standing about, posturing, and certain mystical rituals of French thigh massage, which is not particularly appealing either in the original or as reenacted.
Mesdames et messieurs, Refait:
This comes, yet again, via Vancouver BC's BOOOOOOM!, where it is praised for its "sheer pointlessness" and declared to be "the greatest video on the entire internet." It is certainly one of the best not involving whimsical kittens.
The Wikipedia summary of the game:
In the game between France and West Germany, the Germans opened the scoring through a Pierre Littbarski strike in the 17th minute, and the French equalised nine minutes later with a Michel Platini penalty. In the second half a long through ball sent French defender Patrick Battiston racing clear towards the German goal. With both Battiston and the lone German defender trying to be the first to reach the ball, Battiston flicked it past German keeper Harald Schumacher from the edge of the German penalty area and Schumacher reacted by jumping up to block. Schumacher completely missed the ball, however, and clattered straight into the oncoming Battiston - which knocked the French player unconscious and caused two of his teeth to fall out. The ball went just wide of the post and Dutch referee Charles Corver deemed Schumacher's tackle on Battiston not to be a foul and awarded a goal kick. Play was interrupted for several minutes while Battiston, still unconscious, was carried off the field on a stretcher. After French defender Manuel Amoros had sent a 25-metre drive crashing onto the West German crossbar in the final minute, the match went into extra time. On 92 minutes, France's sweeper Marius Trésor fired a swerving volley under Schumacher's crossbar from ten metres out to make it 2–1. Six minutes later, an unmarked Alain Giresse drove in a 18-metre shot off the inside of the right post to finish off a counter-attack and put France up 3–1. But West Germany would not give up. In the 102nd minute a counter-attack culminated in a cross that recent substitute Karl-Heinz Rummenigge turned in at the near post from a difficult angle with the outside of his foot, reducing France's lead to 3–2. Then in the 108th minute Germany took a short corner and after France failed to clear, the ball was played by Germany to Littbarski whose cross to Horst Hrubesch was headed back to the centre to Klaus Fischer, who was unmarked thanks to Hrubesch winning his header over two defenders. Fischer in turn volleyed the ball past French keeper Jean-Luc Ettori with a bicycle kick, levelling the scores at 3–3 and sending the match to penalties. This goal was voted the greatest goal in the history of German football by German supporters. In penalties, Giresse, Manfred Kaltz, Manuel Amoros, Paul Breitner and Dominique Rocheteau all converted penalties until Uli Stielike was stopped by Ettori, giving France the advantage. But then Schumacher stepped forward, lifted the tearful Stielike from the ground, and saved Didier Six's shot. With Germany handed the lifeline they needed Littbarski converted his penalty, followed by Platini for France, and then Rummenigge for Germany as the tension mounted. France defender Maxime Bossis then had his kick parried by Schumacher who anticipated it, and Hrubesch stepped up to score and send Germany to the World Cup final yet again with a 3–3 victory on penalties, 4–5.Also, in the hope that we may have forgotten all about them a month from now, here is the entry on the vuvuzela, by way of explaining this post's title to future generations.