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Directed by Milos Forman, Kon Ichikawa, Claude Lelouch, Arthur Penn, John Schlesinger, Mai Zetterling, Juri Ozerov, and Michael Pfleghar

USA / West Germany 1973

 

A documentary about the 1972 Munich Olympics from eight of the world's most accomplished directors capture what the naked eye cannot see. All the pain - the joy - the triumph - and especially the struggle to reach the pinnacle in mankind's most exacting competition. The eight segments are directed by eight different directors – Milos Forman, Kon Ichikawa, Claude Lelouch, Arthur Penn, John Schlesinger, Mai Zetterling, Juri Ozerov, Michael Pfleghar. Music by Henry Mancini. Winner of the 1974 Golden Globe for Best Documentary.

***

Eight noted directors document the Olympic games that took place at Munich in 1972. Included are segments by: Arthur Penn, who recorded the pole vaulting competition; Kon Ichikawa, who filmed the 100-meter dash featuring portions in extreme slow motion; Claude Lelouch, who documented a segment dealing with the losers of various competitions; Mai Zetterling, who directed the portion on the weightlifting competition; Michael Pfleghar who covered gymnastics and women participating in the Olympics; and John Schlesinger, who chronicled the twenty-six-mile marathon race from the point of view of one of the British competitors.

Poster and Album Cover

Television Premiere: May 1st, 1973 - Cannes Film Festival

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DVD Review: Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

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Distribution Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:48:44 
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.13 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Olive Films

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• None

DVD Release Date: September 20th, 2011

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 8

 

Comments:

Olive Films almost exclusively are known to release Paramount films but Visions of Eight - a Wolper Productions - was released on VHS around 1980 by Columbia. I don't think it has seen the digital light - until now. It evokes memories of Kon Ichikawa's Tokyo Olympiad of the 64' games. I found it very interesting and loved the individual styles. There is some strong nostalgia value here too with this impressive documentary.

The film was originally in 1.85: aspect ratio but, as they are prone to do, Olive Films have transferred it at 1.78. Like all Olive Film DVDs to date this is dual-layered and progressive. It is also anamorphic and the image quality, naturally, varies with some rougher footage with speckles but the transfer seems 'true' without digital manipulation. Colors are surprisingly bright and the DVD gave me an enjoyable, if not always stellar, presentation. I'd say this is above standard for the medium and age and source condition of the feature.    

The unremarkable audio is mostly narration with some extraneous sounds depending on the sequence. It's flat but supports the film well enough. There are no subtitles on the region 1 - NTSC DVD.

The film has a lot of appeal. I didn't find it annoyingly poetic or contrived in any way. I was the most impressed with the Claude Lelouch piece ( as I was with 11 09 01'). But with Visions of Eight I liked that the directors weren't restrained with a specific time. This was most engrossing DVD-films I have seen in many months. We give it a strong recommendation.   

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus


 


Screen Captures

 

The Beginning. Juri Ozerov (U.S.S.R.). "I'm interested in that moment before the contest begins. It's then that the athlete realizes that he is alone out there without friends, trainers, or teammates. The tension of waiting is the most interesting." Running time: 5-minutes.

 

 


 

 

The Strongest. Mai Zetterling (Sweden). "I chose weight lifting because I know nothing about it and I suppose one thing that really fascinated me was that these men work in almost total isolation. And then they are obsessed. They don't seem to have any life apart from lifting. I am not interested in sports, but I am interested in obsessions." Running time: 13-minutes.

 

 


 

 

The Highest. Arthur Penn (United States). No introduction by director Arthur Penn."

Running time: 12.5-minutes.

 

 


 

 

The Women. Michael Pfleghar (Germany). "At the first Olympic games women were not allowed to be present, even as spectators, but here in Munich we had the greatest number of women competitors in the history of the games. I wanted to acknowledge their presence and their contributions." Running time: 11.5-minutes.

 

 


 

 

The Fastest. Kon Ichikawa (Japan). "The men who compete in the 100 meter final cover the distance in about ten seconds. To catch this fleeting moment I used 34 cameras and 20,000 feet of film. I feel this race somewhat represents the modern human existence. I wanted to expose this." 6-minutes.

 

 


 

 

The Decathlon. Milos Forman (Czechoslovakia). "Ever since I was a young boy it was my dream to see the Olympics. That is I guess why I did this picture. I got to see the Olympics free and I had the best seats at the events." 16-minutes

 

 


 

 

The Losers. "At some point in life everyone must learn to live with defeat. I wanted to see how each person accepts that fact. How the losers meet their certain loneliness." 15-minutes

 

 


 

 

The Longest. John Schlesinger (Great Britain).  "I was fascinated by the individual effort of the marathon runner. Training alone for years for a 26 mile race and competing finally with so much more than the race itself." Running time: 20-minutes.

 


DVD Box Cover

   

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Distribution Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC



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