100 Years of Olympic Films: 1912–2012
Directed by Kon Ichikawa • 1965 • Japan
A spectacle of magnificent proportions and remarkable intimacy, Kon Ichikawa’s TOKYO OLYMPIAD remains one of the greatest films ever made about sports. Supervising a vast team of technicians using scores of cameras, Ichikawa captured the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo in glorious widescreen images, using cutting-edge telephoto lenses and exquisite slow motion to create lyrical, idiosyncratic poetry from the athletic drama surging all around him. Drawn equally to the psychology of losers and winners—including the legendary Ethiopian marathoner Abebe Bikila, who receives the film’s most exalted tribute—Ichikawa captures the triumph, passion, and suffering of competition with a singular humanistic vision, and in doing so effected a transformative influence on the art of documentary filmmaking.
Up Next in 100 Years of Olympic Films: 1912–2012
Sensation of the Century
Directed by Taguchi Suketaro and Nobumasa Kawamoto • 1966 • Japan
The Japanese Organizing Committee responded frostily to Kon Ichikawa's TOKYO OLYMPIAD and decided a less 'frivolous' survey of the Tokyo Games should be made from the footage Ichikawa shot. More solemn, nationalistic, and orthodox...
13 Days in France
Directed by Claude Lelouch and François Reichenbach • 1968 • France
13 DAYS IN FRANCE, a personal project for French filmmaker Claude Lelouch, approaches the X Olympic Winter Games in a radical way, ignoring certain disciplines and dwelling on others. This impressionistic kaleidoscope of a movie...
Snows of Grenoble
Directed by Jacques Ertaud and Jean-Jacques Languepin • 1968 • France
SNOWS OF GRENOBLE, which covers the 1968 Olympic Winter Games in Grenoble, is wide-ranging in its coverage, though it strives to capture the kinetic energy of the Games rather than attempting a detailed analysis, making viewer...