Monday, March 27, 2023

"AIR - Courting a Legend "

Last week I was fortunate enough to watch the press screening of "AIR - Courting a Legend ".

The biographical sports drama film directed by Ben Affleck and written by Alex Convery. 
The film stars Matt Damon (Sonny Vaccaro), Ben Affleck (Phil Knight), Jason Bateman 
(marketing legend Rob Strasser)Viola Davis (Deloris Jordan, Michael's mother, which Jordan 
insisted on for the role), Chris Messina (David Falk - Jordan's Manager) and Chris Tucker 
(Howard White, today's vice-president of the Jordan brand)

It's plot chronicles the origin of the Air Jordan shoeline and how Nike, Inc. employee Sonny 
Vaccaro goes above and beyond to strike a business deal with rookie basketball player 
Michael Jordanbuilding the company into the international shoe and athletic apparel giant it 
is today.

Now for those of you who might not know, I am a cineast and huge movie addict (I watch a 
minimum of 4 movies at home and visit the cinema at least once a week).

I did not watch the film with any expectations as seeing terribly shaped retro sneakers being 
placed as OG pieces in the trailer already and was worried about that lack of details in the 
rest of the movie, but apart from the missing OG shapes and models being used, I must say 
I was pleasantly surprised!

Viola, Matt and Jason play their parts beautifully and overall the storytelling keeps a nice 
The movie is filled with fun facts and background information on the brand and the exceptional 
deal it's portraying, without even showing Michael's face once; so lots of great tidbits for those 
who have not spent the past quarter century reading up on the subject.

Also I noticed the film takes inspiration from famous sneaker movies that came before, as I 
believe I saw a little snippet from the 'Just for Kicks' graphics in the opening sequence.  
In addition there are tons of nods towards what was and what was to come in the Nike universe
Wheaties boxes, a ton of the old Nike Posters designed by John Brown & Partners and some 
of Phil Knight's insane neon outfits are just a few of the many details I enjoyed spotting.

And for those who are checking the movie out of the sneaker bubble; it is still a very 
entertaining and informative piece about the complications of putting a price on passion 
and dedication and at the same time highlighting what an exceptional deal the Air Jordan line 
was for the athletes that followed;
precedent for athlete's autonomy and sponsoring/testimonial contracts.

Over all some very enjoyable 118 minutes filled with fun facts and insights. 
A big thank you to André Langenfeld and Hilde Läufle from Rubi-Pr for the invitation!

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