If the TV world had better poetry, Netflix’s three-part Bill Russell documentary and Showtime’s three-part Wilt Chamberlain The documentary will be released on the same day. Dr. Chamberlain would be better rated, but Dr. Russell would be better rated. We then discuss the relative merits of each type of success and conclude that judging either of them by just one measure is simplified.
In contrast, Sam Pollard’s Bill· Russell: Legend premiered in February, while Rob Ford and Christopher Dillon’s Goliath Chamberlain’s story will air on Showtime and related platforms for the remainder of July. Goliath
Great content, But not the greatest of all time.
Broadcast date: 11 Sunday afternoon, July 20 (show time)
Director: Rob Ford and Christopher Dillon
While both documentaries about the greatest contenders for status in basketball history both tackle their complex subjects Even the most recent GOAT has taken a serious look, but not even the most recent GOAT This is a multi-faceted discussion about the outspoken NBA center. Steve James’ Bill Walton series for ESPN took the crown. But that doesn’t mean Goliath isn’t an interesting attempt at giving humanity to a human despite its inconsistent form Humanized treatment, and this one is often better than not, treated in inaccessible epic terms.
Wilt Chamberlain, as any casual basketball fan knows, is a legend defined by numbers, considering he was often accused of everything during his career related to numbers. 000 Point game. He averaged 20 points per game this season. And, yes, 20, the woman he claims he slept with. Numbers are so important to the Big Dipper (a nickname he prefers to Stilts) that he is even defined by other people’s numbers, especially 16, the number of championships won by Bill Russell’s Celtics, several at the expense of Chamberlain-led teams.
In the eyes of the outside world, Chamberlain was seen as selfish — even in the year he announced he would lead the assists list, which he did — and was labeled The underdog label, though much of the criticism was directed at his comparisons. Like, “This is why Wilt Chamberlain is actually only the second best player in history” or the fifth best player or th-best.
So was Wilt Chamberlain actually Goliath? If so, does that make Russell a David on a team that sometimes includes as many as eight Hall of Famers? What’s the point? Does that make Chamberlain any better when we try to look at his entire life instead of gawking at him being larger than life? worse? Or just complicated?
The answer, of course, is an all-encompassing “yes”.
Ford and Dillon’s film traces Chamberlain’s life in that era as a poor kid growing up in Philadelphia one of the kids, focusing on his stuttering and extravagant heights in his youth. It traces his disappointing college career and a career in which he was one of the vanguards of breaking down racial barriers and pushing for player autonomy that dominates today’s game. Meanwhile, we learn about brother Wilt, teammate Wilt, lover Wilt, Nixon Republican Wilt, women’s empowerment activist Wilt, and more.
Wilt has a lot to do with the directors making heavy use of Chamberlain’s existing footage, going back to his college days over the course of three hours. Goliath is worth watching for that alone, the chance to remind Chamberlain and his athletic ability to jump off the screen will be unique in any generational movement. It’s not a “well, that was a different era, maybe today Wilt would be a role player and that’s it” situation. This guy is jumping out of the gym at 20 and he’s going to be jumping out of the gym today.
When it comes to talking avatars, Goliath is due to a recent multipart Sports documentation. So far, I’ve seen Jerry West tell essentially the same story in half a dozen movies since last year. Ditto Pat Riley. So did sportswriter Bob Ryan. Ditto, USC scholar — and my former graduate school professor — Todd Boyd. It’s no surprise that so many people appear in this article and in Bill Russell’s docs. After all, they are inseparable. But Chamberlain retired before Bill Walton’s NBA career, and Goliath was tied with ESPN’s Luckiest Man in the World A surprising number of duplicate characters appear.
In basketball though, there are still some unique and unique interviewees, whether it’s Tommy Kearns, who plays for North Carolina, in the legendary Defeated Wilt’s Kansas Jayhawks in the NCAA Finals, or teammates or rivals like Billy Cunningham or Rick Barry. Kevin Garnett, whose Content Cartel produced the series, was also an exciting screen presence when it came to Chamberlain’s long-term impact on the game.
Still, Goliath is focusing on the ones that don’t appear in any other basketball documentaries at his best, whether it’s a couple of chamberlain’s still-hot sisters or some women who’ve had basketball experience flirting with him or not, but trying to figure out how he treats women, not just His notorious reputation.
Clearly, Chamberlain has no shortage of records as a basketball star. But while documenting him as a person, there are still powerful, untold stories, such as emotional memories of a former teammate’s son, that keep me balanced by the end of the third hour.
Naturally the documentary suffers from the absence of Chamberlain’s own voice, as he was in 1235106000 passed away. The decision to have an AI program read Wilt’s own words in “his” voice was wrong. It’s not like Netflix’s recent 1235319275 Andy Warhol documentary , as you can imagine An artist obsessed with entertainment is really fun being reinvented himself. No, it’s an emotionless shell of Chamberlain’s voice, not quite robotic, but definitely stuck in an emotionless rhythm that’s the exact opposite of the humanizing effort you want. Maybe Garnett should tell the story? I have no idea. But this is a poor solution.
The directors had a better solution for how to approach various parts of Chamberlain’s life without archival footage available. Manual Cinema Studios’ shadow puppetry offers a better flavor than traditional re-enactments or animated sequences. I can’t say I necessarily understand why shadow puppetry was chosen, but the whimsical silhouettes are interesting and evocative enough that I wish they had been more thoroughly incorporated into the documentary.
Finally, I wish Ford and Dillon were more committed to the intellectual approach provided by cognitive scientist Ben Taylor, who can do very superficial analysis of things like the tempo of a game in order to bring Chamberlain’s Statistics into the background. Anyone who knows Taylor’s work knows that he’s happy to be able to do some Goliath information that can only fly around. Detailed, nerdy subdivision.
Then again, I’m sure I’m one of the rare viewers who get a brief moment of excitement when the documentary starts talking about “heuristics” and then disappointment after defining the term, The concept was never mentioned again.
As I always say, a three-hour documentary series is either a feature film that should be further edited, or a four- to six-hour documentary should offer a larger depth. Goliath is satisfying enough, but maybe the Wilt Chamberlain saga needs some extra depth.