Murderball is a 2005 American documentary film about athletes who are physically disabled who play wheelchair rugby. It centers on the rivalry between the Canadian and U.S. teams leading up to the 2004 Paralympic Games. It was directed by Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro, and produced by Jeffrey V. Mandel and Shapiro. It was nominated for Best Documentary Feature for the 78th Academy Awards. Murderball was the first and only MTV film released through THINKFilm as well as Participant Media.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Henry Alex Rubin|
Dana Adam Shapiro
|Produced by||Jeffrey V. Mandel|
Dana Adam Shapiro
|Music by||Jamie Saft|
|Cinematography||Henry Alex Rubin|
|Edited by||Conor O'Neill|
The film was screened at the United Nations uncut. One of its stars, Mark Zupan, winced when describing how embarrassed he was to have his mother hear his remarks on the sex lives of persons with quadriplegia.
Murderball was shot on a low budget. The main camera used was a Panasonic AG-DVX100; a Sony PD150 was used to shoot some of the early interviews. The crew rigged a Sennheiser shotgun microphone to use as a boom, and relied heavily on Lavaliere wireless microphones as well. Available lighting was used almost exclusively. Additional light was provided using an inexpensive china ball. In one example of on-the-spot lighting, a flashlight was diffused using only a napkin.
Murderball garnered almost universally positive reviews; it currently holds a 98% 'fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This film is also #1 on the Rotten Tomatoes countdown of the top sports movies. Metacritic gives an aggregated score of 87 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Murderball also received positive reviews from Hollywood.com and Roger Ebert, who said "This is one of those rare docs, like Hoop Dreams, where life provides a better ending than the filmmakers could have hoped for."
|Sundance Film Festival Audience Award||Best Documentary Feature||Won|
|78th Academy Awards||Best Documentary Feature||Nominated|
|Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Audience Award||Best Feature||Won|
|Indianapolis International Film Festival Audience Award||Best Feature Film||Won|
|Best Non-Fiction Film||Won|
Musical score and soundtrackEdit
|Music from the Film Murderball|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||June 28, 2005|
|Producer||Dana Adam Shapiro, Tracy McKnight, Jeff Mandel, Walter Yetnikoff|
|Jamie Saft chronology|
The film score was composed and performed by Jamie Saft and the soundtrack album, which featuring selections from Saft's score along with previously released tracks by Ministry, Ween, The Polyphonic Spree, Sam Prekop, The Moldy Peaches, The Whiles, Chessie and Scratch Massive used in the ducumentary, was released on the Commotion label in 2005. Additional music composed for the film was released on Saft's A Bag of Shells (Tzadik, 2010).
Allmusic's James Christopher Monger said "Hearing Ministry's Alaine Jourgensen screaming "thieves, thieves & liars, murderers" over the clash of metal on metal during a wheelchair rugby match dutifully amplifies the primal nature of competition, especially when all of the players involved have overcome near-death physical (and psychological) injuries. ... The film's producers have compiled a rousing soundtrack that reflects the sport's brutality while maintaining an undercurrent of regretful stoicism. Keyboard player/composer Jamie Saft provides Murderball 's backbone, laying down an original score that boasts atmospherics which are both tender and visceral. Other highlights include the engaging "Something" from the Sea and Cake's Sam Prekop, a trippy instrumental from Ween and the Moldy Peaches "Anyone Else But You."".
All compositions by Jamie Saft except where noted
- Ministry: "Thieves" (Paul Barker, Al Jourgensen) – 4:59
- Jamie Saft: "Murderball Remix" – 4:44
- Ween: "The F**ked Jam" (Aaron Freeman, Michael Melchiondo) – 2:55
- The Polyphonic Spree: "Light & Day" (Tim DeLaughter) – 3:24
- Sam Prekop: "Something" (Sam Prekop) – 3:47
- Jamie Saft: "Robert's Theme" – 2:27
- "The Moldy Peaches: "Anyone Else but You" (Kimya Dawson) – 2:57
- "The Whiles: "Song for Jerry" (The Whiles) – 1:31
- Chessie: "Follow Me Home" (Chessie) – 6:51
- Jamie Saft: "Penultimatum" – 3:21
- Scratch Massive: "Keep on Workin'" (Sebastien Chenut, Maud Geffray) – 5:12
- Jamie Saft: "Dungeonous Warfare" – 1:27
- Ministry: "Waiting" (Jourgensen, Mike Scaccia, Max Brody) – 5:04
- "A layperson's guide to wheelchair rugby classification" (PDF). International Wheelchair Rugby Federation. Retrieved 2013-01-30.
- "NY Times: Murderball". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-11-23.
- "Murderball + Monster Man". Double Feature. June 4, 2009
- Murderball at Rotten Tomatoes
- Rotten Tomatoes Top Sports Movies 18 November 2010
- "Murderball: Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
- Murderball (2005) Hollywood.com
- Ebert, Roger (July 21, 2005). "Murderball". rogerebert.com.
- Soundtrack Collector: album entry accessed February 22, 2018
- Monger, James Christopher. Murderball – Review at AllMusic. Retrieved February 22, 2018.