Head Games (film)

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Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis (2014)
Directed by Steve James
Produced by Steve James
Steve Devick
Music by BIlly Corgan
Craig J. Snider
Cinematography Dana Kupper
Keith Walker
Edited by David E. Simpson
Katerina Simic
Liz Kaar
Release dates March 4, 2014
Running time 75 min
Country United States
Language English
Head Games (2012)
Directed by Steve James
Produced by Bruce Sheridan
Steve James
Anthony Athanas
Casey Cowell
Jon Cronin
Steve Devick
Andrew E. Filipowski
Frank J., Jr. & Jacqueline C. Murnane
Hank Neuberger
Jim O'Donovan
Music by BIlly Corgan
Craig J. Snider
Cinematography Dana Kupper
Keith Walker
Edited by David E. Simpson
Distributed by Variance Films
Release dates September 21, 2012
Running time 91 min
Country United States
Language English

Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis is an expanded version of Head Games (2012), a 2012 documentary film that examines the effects of repeated concussions and subconcussive blows, particularly those associated with sports. It focuses on American football and hockey, but also covers boxing, soccer, lacrosse, and professional wrestling. It covers findings that chronic traumatic brain injury is occurring in female sports. Also covered is physiological evidence of brain injury in adolescent athletes.

Head Games is directed by Steve James, director of the highly acclaimed documentary, Hoop Dreams.[1] It is film followup to Christopher Nowinski's book, Head Games.[2]

The film features interviews with Nowinski (founder of the Sports Legacy Institute), Dr. Robert Cantu (a professor of neurosurgery at Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Ann McKee, and Robert Stern, who are experts on chronic traumatic encephalopathy). In addition to other medical experts, it also extensively interviews athletes, their families, and journalists.

Synopsis[edit]

Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis (2014)[edit]

Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis is a revealing documentary featuring never-before-seen neurological findings related to rugby and soccer players that will serve as a wake-up call for those who think that the devastating chronic effects of repetitive head trauma are only an American football and boxing injury. Inspired by events from the book Head Games, written by former Ivy League Football Player and WWE Wrestler Christopher Nowinski, Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis will capture the attention of a worldwide audience and expose a problem that has undeniably become a silent epidemic on a global scale. Internationally respected medical experts, professional and amateur athletes and their families will offer eye-opening insights and cutting edge science on head trauma that will demand that the perception of concussion change to guarantee the health and safety of athletes as a top priority.[3]

Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis details the story of Patrick Grange, an American former soccer player who died in 2012 at the age of 29 after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative disease of the nervous system. After his death, researchers from Boston University discovered that Grange had been suffering from chronic traumatic enchephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease caused by repetitive head trauma, proving to the world that the debilitating effects of concussions are not exclusive to football and boxing.[4]

The film also featured the finding of CTE in the brain of Australian former rugby player, 77 year-old Barry "Tizza" Taylor, who died in April 2013. Taylor's family noticed his cognitive problems when he was in his 50s, and he developed full blown dementia within 10 years.[5] This case emphasizes the universal scope of concussions that is the focus of the film.

Head Games (2012)[edit]

Head Games is a revealing documentary about the silent concussion crisis in American sports. Athletes from the professional to the youth levels share their personal struggles in dealing with the devastating and long-term effects of concussions, an epidemic fueled by the 'leave everything on the field' culture so prominent in American sport. Inspired by events from the book Head Games written by former Ivy League football star and WWE wrestler Christopher Nowinski, and featuring interviews with Nowinski, Bob Costas (NBC Sports), Keith Primeau (NHL All-Star), Cindy Parlow Cone (Olympic Gold Medalist, Women’s Soccer), and many more, the film contrasts eye-opening evidence and cutting-edge science on head trauma from the nation's leading medical experts with first-hand accounts from the athletes, coaches and parents who must tread the difficult balance between sports excellence and basic self-preservation. Head Games exposes viewers to one of the leading public health issues of our time, raising the question: “How much of you are you willing to lose for a game?” [6]

Details[edit]

Cast[edit]

Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis (2014)

  • Bob Costas
  • Brendan Shanahan
  • Robert Cantu, MD
  • Ann McKee, MD
  • Robert Stern, PhD
  • Hunt Batjer, MD
  • Gary Dorshimer, MD
  • Ruben Echemendia, PhD
  • Douglas Smith, MD
  • Steven Galetta, MD
  • Laura Balcer, MD, MSCE
  • Christina Master, MD
  • Dr. Willie Stewart
  • Dr. Barry O'Driscoll
  • Dr. James Robson
  • Greg "Diesel" Williams
  • Dr. Alan Pearce
  • David Dodick, MD
  • Dr. Huw Williams

Head Games (2012)

  • Christopher Nowinski
  • Alan Schwarz
  • Keith Primeau
  • Cindy Parlow Cone
  • Bob Costas
  • Isaiah Kacyvenski
  • Bill Daly
  • Brendan Shanahan
  • Robert Cantu, MD
  • Ann McKee, MD
  • Robert Stern, PhD
  • Hunt Batjer, MD
  • Gary Dorshimer, MD
  • Ruben Echemendia, PhD
  • Douglas Smith, MD
  • Steven Galetta, MD
  • Laura Balcer, MD, MSCE
  • Christina Master, MD
  • Eric Laudano, M.H.S., A.T.C.

Title[edit]

Head Games was inspired by the book Head Games written by former Ivy League football player and WWE wrestler Christopher Nowinski.

Critical and Media Reception[edit]

Head Games was a critical success, winning Best Documentary at the 2012 Boston Film Festival and Sports Illustrated Best Sports Movie of 2012. Head Games was also an official selection for both the 2012 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and the 2012 Sprout Film Festival. The films was also noted in iTunes Best of 2012 and Rotten Tomatoes Top Movies of 2012.[7]

Roger Ebert gave the film three stars noting that "the documentary by Steve James paints a devastating picture of the long-term consequences of head injuries among pro NFL players." [8] Ebert also called Head Games one of the year's "best documentaries." [9] The New York Times praises Head Games stating "'Head Games' gains credibility and power from compassion for athletes and respect for their accomplishments. But it also tries to open the eyes of sports lovers to dangers that have too often been minimized and too seldom fully understood." [10] The Pittsburgh Post Gazette listed the film as one of the year's best films.[11]

In March 2014, UK Distributor Dogwoof announced that it would be a launching doc-centric digital distribution platform entitled IF365 to help filmmakers get their work on top digital platforms. IF365 will use Dogwoof’s relationship with platforms such as iTunes and Netflix to showcase feature documentaries including Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis.[12]

References[edit]

External links[edit]