Shia LaBeouf and Eric Cantona - Sardines Chased by the Seagulls

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By Johnlee Varghese | February 10, 2014 7:19 PM EST

Shia LaBeouf - Eric Cantona/picart
Shia LaBeouf - Eric Cantona/picart

Football genius and poet Eric Cantona  had in 1995 delivered one of the most famous phrases football will ever come to know. And after almost 19 years, once again the immortal and completely baffling words: "When seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea" came back to haunt everyone.

Shia LaBeouf stormed out of a press conference for Lars von Trier's "Nymphomaniac" on Sunday after uttering the lines of Cantona.

Baffling as the phrase might sound, it doesn't need a genius to figure out the meaning of the comment first made by the French footballer and now repeated by the "Nymphomaniac" star. 

How Cantona came to uttering the words will offer better understanding of the meaning of the phrase.

Cantona attracted headlines and controversy worldwide in 1995, after attacking a spectator with a 'kung-fu' style kick, which was followed by a series of punches. The spectator Matthew Simmons had used the words, "F*** off back to France, you French motherf****r". Following the brawl, Cantona was arrested and convicted for assault. At first he was sentenced to be imprisoned for two weeks, however, later it was revoked to 120 hours of community services.

It was then breaking his silence after the verdict, Cantona uttered the phrase to the assembled media. 

There are two meanings, first one is directed against the press and the media that was hounding Cantona over the controversy. The seagulls, which is the press looking for their scoops that is the sardines. At other level, Cantona is also talking to himself and telling himself to make right of the Matthew Simmons incident and the aftermath of it that had caused much 'pain' to the footballer.

Now one would wonder what is LaBeouf trying to convey with his use of Cantona's phrase and the paperbag gimmick. At the Berlin Film Festival the 27-year-old star of "Transformers" and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" put on a black tuxedo and bow tie - and had a paper bag on which was written "I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE."

He is simply saying that he wants to be left alone and not hounded by the media.

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(Photo: Reuters and Wikicommons / )
Shia LaBeouf - Eric Cantona/picart
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