Tokyo Olympiad

Tokyo Olympiad

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.

Tokyo Olympiad
  • Tokyo Olympiad

    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 ...

Extras

  • TOKYO OLYMPIAD Commentary

    Recorded in 2001, this commentary features film scholar and Olympic Games expert Peter Cowie.

  • TOKYO OLYMPIAD Introduction

    This introduction by film scholar and Olympic Games expert Peter Cowie was recorded in Montreux, Switzerland, in January 2020.

  • Kon Ichikawa: Preproduction, 1964

    In 1964, the Japanese television network NTV interviewed director Kon Ichikawa as he was preparing to shoot the Tokyo Olympic Games. The interview is peresented here in its entirety.

  • Kon Ichikawa: Editing, 1964

    In 1964, the Japanese television network NTV interviewed director Kon Ichikawa following the Olympic Games, as he was editing TOKYO OLYMPIAD. The interview is peresented here in its entirety.

  • Kon Ichikawa: 1992

    In 1992, Ichikawa reflected back on the experience of making the film, in an interview shot at Tokyo's National Stadium, which had been built for the 1964 Games. The interview is peresented here in its entirety.

  • Additional Material Introduction

  • Additional Material

    The scenes presented here were produced by the TOKYO OLYMPIAD Film Association under the direction of Kon Ichikawa.

  • A Singular Vision: Kon Ichikawa's "Tokyo Olympiad"

    This new documentary features editor Chizuko Osada, who began working with director Kon Ichikawa in the 1970s; cameraman Masuo Yamaguchi, who captured, among other subjects, marathon gold medalist Abebe Bikila for TOKYO OLYMPIAD; and Tatsumi Ichikawa, the director's son, who established the Kon I...

  • About the Restoration