Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. Notre Dame Coach Digger Phelps said, "I used this book as an inspiration for the biggest win of my career when we ended UCLA's all-time 88-game winning streak in 1974."

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Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information.

Reprise (3/10)

by Tony Medley

How interested would you be in a film that starts out by saying, “Fletcher Christian could have signed on for a voyage to Tahiti with Captain Bligh,” or “Butch Cassidy could have teamed up with The Sundance Kid to rob banks,” or “Rhett Butler could have met Scarlett O’Hara at a southern plantation called Tara?” Using the subjunctive isn’t the way to capture the interest of an audience. Rather, it’s a way of getting them to conclude, “I’ll pass.”

This film is told almost entirely in the subjunctive. One doesn’t really know what is happening or when it happened or if it happened. The story of two friends, both of whom perceive themselves as writers, this is little more than pretentious pseudo-existential European hogwash.

Philip (Anders Danielson Lie, a doctor and musician) and Erik (Espen Klouner Høiner, an advertising copywriter) are two 20 year-old buddies who each could have submitted manuscripts at the same time. From that point the subjunctive controls and the movie doesn’t really let the audience know what’s real and what isn’t.

Maybe six months later we learn that Phillip’s novel could have been published to wonderful reviews while Erik’s could have been rejected. Phillip could have reacted by becoming psychologically bereft and suffering a mental breakdown. His relationship with his girl friend, Kari (A gorgeous newcomer, Viktoria Winge) is precarious, to say the least. In fact, one of the weaknesses of the film is why Kari continues to be there for Phillip, such a psycho is he.

Erik is a charming lightweight, who takes everything with a grain of salt, apparently. The subjunctive method of storytelling adopted by Director-writer (with Eskil Vogt) sometimes leads us to believe that he goes away and concentrates on his craft. Why the use of the words “could have” in the narrative method of telling the story. Does he or doesn’t he?

The only time the film held any interest for me was when Winge was onscreen. She is not only stunningly beautiful; she gives a high-quality performance.

This film consists of lots of talk and shots of people thinking. To describe it as slow doesn’t do it justice. People sit around and talk about nothing for long periods of time.

The first rule of filmmaking should be that the audience should care about the protagonists of the film. The only people I cared about were Kari and Lillian (Silje Hagen), Erik’s girlfriend, a minor character, but one who establishes Erik’s frivolous personality. I didn’t care a fig about Phillip and Erik, and thought both of their girlfriends should have dumped them. If they had done so much sooner, I wouldn’t have had to sit through this almost 2-hour film that ends as enigmatically as it is told.

In its native Norway, the film won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay at the national film awards. That’s a telling commentary on how starved Norwegians must be for entertainment. In Norwegian.

May 23, 2008