March – the month of Maximilian

It could equally have been called the month of Manuel, Miroslav or Marvel, the last one because I watched several of the films because of the impending release of Avengers this month. But Maximilian it is, after Maximilian Phillipp, who was the man of the hour against Hertha Berlin in February.

It’s fair to say that it’s been somewhat of a mixed month, both in football terms and generally. Three defeats for Freiburg, and only one league win, a win which was important as it was unexpected. They did get through to the next round of the Pokal at least. Strange is the word that comes to mind when thinking about the rest of the month, if it weren’t for my notebooks and calendars I wouldn’t believe that a month had passed at all. It seems like just yesterday I was complaining that it was still February and why wasn’t March getting here quicker so that I could see Germany play. Now it’s been and gone, the whole month gone, just like that. This time stuff is getting weird, I don’t like this feeling of not having remembered the month that has just passed, of everything being so hazy.

Despite the fact that I feel like I don’t remember the past weeks all that much and Freiburg only picking up three points out of a possible twelve, it hasn’t been a bad month, at least not in terms of collectibles. How can a month be bad when on the very first day I win an auction for a pair of Hansi Flick’s boots? Plus the signed pictures, the Hoffenheim card, the press clippings and the coin from the 2005 Confederations Cup. On the collection front it was undeniably excellent. Plus I finished my first sticker book, having purchased the last three stickers I needed from Germany.

I did as I planned spend a lot of time playing Fallout 3, though not so much at the end of the month. I didn’t take advantage of my Bundesliga free weekend as I had anticipated. I don’t know what it is, I just don’t feel like playing video games all that much right now. As well as not getting in as much gaming time as I thought I’m also disappointed with the fact that I only read four books, at least they were all good reads. I don’t really want to praise Raphael Honegstein, I still haven’t let go what he said about Freiburg but his book Englischer Fußball was a fascinating read I have to admit.

I did watch more films than the previous month, sixteen this time. Die Mannschaft of course was my favourite out of all of them. To pick a favourite based solely on merit however (not that Die Mannschaft isn’t a good film, it’s excellent, it’s just that it would be top of the list regardless because of the German connection) it’s not Chappie that’s my favourite as I expected it to be but an Israeli film called Eyes Wide Open. Chappie for me was a disappointment, the pieces just didn’t come together. A great idea but poorly executed, I wonder if Blomkamp has another good film in him. District 9 was simply fantastic, Elysium not so much and now Chappie.

Eyes Wide Open on the other hand was simply fantastic, I can’t believe that I bought it over two years ago and just let it sit on my shelf collecting dust. I’m going to make it a mission of mine now to dig up books and films that I bought long ago but never read or watched and to do so now. Eyes Wide Open is not the kind of film I would normally enjoy, it’s about the ultra-Orthodox community which I’m fascinated by, true, but I don’t normally like love films. I watch them if they involve a subject I’m interested in, like autism or Judaism but it’s rare that I actually enjoy one of them.

It’s an eloquently and simply told love story set against the backdrop of Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. A story of new found passions and of the conflicts between the desires of the individual and of those of the community. The film examines the way in which the ultra-Orthodox community lives, showing the simple joys and pleasures that are brought about through communal worship and the sense of belonging that brings. It also looks at the negative side of it, of how stifling it can be to be a part of a community that expects things to be done a certain way and for you yourself to be a certain way. The rituals and rules that are so comforting to some can be restricting and punishing for others. A terrific film and definitely one to watch again.

This one has to end a little differently to the other two posts I’ve written like this, for the simple reason that they ended with my plans for the month to come and given how long it’s taken me to write this one, that’s no longer an option. Indeed, soon enough I’ll be writing the post for April, I hope that one won’t take me nearly as long and that I won’t get too distracted along the way. I know what one of my intentions would have been anyhow, to read more and I’ve certainly done that. For the first time since the start of the year I read two books in a week.

I just realised, if March could have been named the month of Marvel then so April could be named the month of the Avengers. It’s not though, I’m sticking to my original name, Andreas, as in Andreas Köpke, the goalkeeper coach for the German national side and part of the 1996 European Championship winning side, along with Klinsmann and Oliver Bierhoff.

Numbers tangent, I’m very amused right now because so far on my views by country list is Brazil, Argentina, the US and France. Also Brazil and Argentina have seven views apiece, seven of course being the number of goals that Germany scored against Brazil.

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