This is the 6th Blu-ray of Criterion's Thirty-Two Blu-ray Special Edition 100 Years of Olympic Films that contains 53 newly restored films from 41 editions of the Olympic Games, presented together for the first time. It boasts landmark 4K restorations of Olympia, Tokyo Olympiad, and Visions of Eight, among other titles with new scores for the silent films, composed by Maud Nelissen, Donald Sosin, and Frido ter Beek. It also contains a lavishly illustrated, 216-page hardcover book, featuring notes on the films by cinema historian Peter Cowie; a foreword by Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee; a short history of the restoration project by restoration producer Adrian Wood; and hundreds of photographs from a century of Olympic Games.  This package will be released on December 5th, 2017. We will review/compare each disc as we view them.

 

 


 

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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Olympia 1. Teil - Fest der Völker - Olympia Part One: Festival of the Nations / Olympia 2. Teil - Fest der Schönheit - Olympia Part Two: Festival of Beauty" )

 

directed by Leni Riefenstahl
Germany 19
38

 

Olympia is a 1938 German documentary film written, directed and produced by Leni Riefenstahl, documenting the 1936 Summer Olympics, held in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany. The film was released in two parts: Olympia 1. Teil — Fest der Völker (Festival of Nations) and Olympia 2. Teil — Fest der Schönheit (Festival of Beauty). It was the first documentary feature film of the Olympic Games ever made. Many advanced motion picture techniques, which later became industry standards but which were groundbreaking at the time, were employed —including unusual camera angles, smash cuts, extreme close-ups, placing tracking shot rails within the bleachers, and the like. The techniques employed are almost universally admired, but the film is controversial due to its political context. Nevertheless, the film appears on many lists of the greatest films of all time, including Time magazine's "All-Time 100 Movies."

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 20th, 1938

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 Comparison:

Shout! Factory / Timeless Media - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

(Shout! Factory / Timeless Media - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT)

Box Covers

 

  

 

  

  

Distribution

Shout! Factory / Timeless Media Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Criterion Collection (part of spine #900)
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:51:49 + 1:28:03 2:07:22.134 + 1:43:37.211
Video

1.48:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.17 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,948,126,705 bytes

Part 1 Feature: 25,382,258,688 bytes

Part 2 Feature: 20,075,986,944 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 23.01 Mbps / 22.41 Mbps

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

Bitrate:

 

Shout! Factory / Timeless Media - Part 1

 

Bitrate:

 

Shout! Factory / Timeless Media - Part 2

Bitrate:

 

Criterion Part 1 Blu-ray

 

Bitrate:

 

Criterion Part 2 Blu-ray

 

Audio (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

LPCM Audio German 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Shout! Factory / Timeless Media

Aspect Ratio: 1.48:1

Edition Details:
Also contains a DVD disc of Triumph of the Will

DVD Release Date: July 6th, 2011
Keep Case

Chapters 12 + 12
 

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

 

Aspect Ratio:

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,948,126,705 bytes

Part 1 Feature: 25,382,258,688 bytes

Part 2 Feature: 20,075,986,944 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 23.01 Mbps / 22.41 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• "Youth of the World" (on this
Blu-ray)

• the package contains a 216-page hardcover book, featuring notes on the films by cinema historian Peter Cowie; a foreword by Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee; a short history of the restoration project by restoration producer Adrian Wood; and hundreds of photographs from a century of Olympic Games.
 

Release Date: December 5th, 2017
Custom 
Blu-ray Package
(see below)
Chapters: 25 +

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray September 2017: Criterion's Thirty-Two Blu-ray Special Edition is so large (6253 minutes) that we will review piece-meal as we are able to view individual discs. Leni Riefenstahl's, two-part, Olympia is one of the most desirable titles in the set. It established the precedent for future films documenting and glorifying the Olympic Games, particularly the Summer Games. It is on Blu-ray # 6 of this package.

Firstly, this dual-layered Blu-ray disc contains both Herbert Brieger and Carl Junghans' 37-minute propaganda film Jugend der Welt. Der Film von den IV. Olympischen Winterspielen in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (aka "Youth of the World" aka "Youth of the World. The Film of the Fourth Olympic Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen") - the official film of the 1936 Winter Olympics held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, Germany (see bottom of review) and the BD also has Leni Riefenstahl's, two-part - almost 4-hour, Olympia - documenting the 1936 Summer Olympics.

Olympia is one of the films from the Special Edition that is transferred in a 4K restoration. The title is in the Public Domain and hence many DVDs exist of the film - most truncated from their full-length, cropped, are either the French or English versions of the film and most do not have the tasteful nudity of the beginning of Riefenstahl's Opus, SEE HERE. The Shout! Factory / Timeless Media DVD from 2011 has a disc with Triumph of the Will and a second DVD with Olympia. Both parts run about 1/4 hour each shorter than the Criterion 1080P. The image quality of the SD is fraught with chroma and dramatically hindered by its puny resolution, damage, prevalent artifacts and weak, video-paced, source. It has no subtitle translation the German audio. It's vertically compressed in the 1.48:1 aspect ratio. It borders on being unwatchable. The 4K-restored Blu-ray image is magnificent, filled with grain, impressively layered contrast and degrees of sharpness that most would not have thought possible for this film after almost 80-years. Even saying the new 1080P image is a revelation seems an understatement. Capture samples are below - the rich visuals are hypnotic in-motion. 

Audio gets a linear PCM mono (24-bit) transfer, in the original German language, and sounds authentically flat. Both parts of Olympia have a score credited to Herbert Windt who did the music for Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will  (and uncredited Walter Gronostay - who also did the music for Youth of the World - see below) . We can hear the many anthems played, partially, throughout the film and notable is the use of Richard Strauss' Olympische Hymnne. This is another giant leap from the low-quality DVDs that have floated around for decades. This uncompressed audio adds further to the presentation. There are no drop-outs or other weakness to distract from the film. It has optional English subtitles and the Blu-ray disc is Region 'A'-locked.

Like the other discs from this set that we have reviewed there are no digital extras on this Blu-ray (it is filled with the films!) - although the package has a 216-page hardcover book, featuring notes on the films by cinema historian Peter Cowie; a foreword by Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee; a short history of the restoration project by restoration producer Adrian Wood; and hundreds of photographs from a century of Olympic Games, but I only have the screener discs at present.  

I think that is easily one of the most important historical cinema artifacts we have. It's almost impossible to watch Olympia without reflecting on the horrors that would follow few short years later. It's fascinating to see the Olympic games; the formality of the opening ceremonies, the lavish displays, the racial and political inferences of the narration, the fashions and hair-styles of the era, the sports etiquette and details of the competition, the culture of 1936 Germany - how so many things have changed and how others remain very similar. Leni Riefenstahl's, two-part, Olympia documents a key part of the story of human history. While I have always felt very strongly about the film and its impact - seeing it in 4K-restored 1080P rises it to a new level or prominence. This is the type of ground-breaking cinema that could be revisited multiple times without diminishing its incredible significance. I can't give a higher recommendation.      

 - Gary Tooze

 


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Shout! Factory / Timeless Media - Region 0 - NTSC
 

Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Shout! Factory / Timeless Media- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Shout! Factory / Timeless Media- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Shout! Factory / Timeless Media- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Shout! Factory / Timeless Media- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Shout! Factory / Timeless Media- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Shout! Factory / Timeless Media- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Shout! Factory / Timeless Media- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Shout! Factory / Timeless Media- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Shout! Factory / Timeless Media- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Shout! Factory / Timeless Media- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Shout! Factory / Timeless Media- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Shout! Factory / Timeless Media- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Shout! Factory / Timeless Media- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Shout! Factory / Timeless Media- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Shout! Factory / Timeless Media- Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


More Blu-ray Captures


 

Jugend der Welt. Der Film von den IV. Olympischen Winterspielen in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (aka "Youth of the World" aka "Youth of the World. The Film of the Fourth Olympic Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen")


Directed by Herbert Brieger and Carl Junghans
Germany 1936

 

This 37-minute Nazi propaganda short is the official film of the 1936 Winter Olympics held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, Germany.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray


 
Box Covers

 

  

 

  

  

Distribution

Shout! Factory / Timeless Media Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Criterion Collection (part of spine #900)
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray

 




 

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