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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Tokyo orimpikku" )

 

directed by Kon Ichikawa
Japan 1965

 

A spectacle of magnificent proportions, Kon Ichikawa’s Tokyo Olympiad ranks among the greatest documents of sport ever committed to film. Utilizing glorious widescreen cinematography, Ichikawa examines the beauty and rich drama on display at the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo, creating a catalogue of extraordinary observations that range from the expansive to the intimate. The glory, despair, passion, and suffering of Olympic competition are rendered with lyricism and technical mastery, culminating in an inspiring testament to the beauty of the human body and the strength of the human spirit.

Posters

Theatrical Release: 20 March 1965 (Japan)

Reviews                                                                              More Reviews                                                                     DVD Reviews

 

 Comparison:

Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion (2017) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Criterion (2020) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman and Gary Tooze for the Screen Caps!

 

1) Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Criterion (100 Years Olympics Films Boxset- 2017) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Criterion (Individual 2020) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

  

Distribution

Criterion Collection - Spine #155

Region 1 - NTSC

Criterion Collection (part of spine #900)
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Criterion Collection (Individual Release)
Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:49:30 2:50:36.726 2:50:57.747
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.17 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.39:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,598,415,464 bytes

Feature: 49,409,458,176 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.55 Mbps

2.39:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,278,503,888 bytes

Feature: 34,171,883,520 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 22.86 Mbps

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

Bitrate:

Criterion Collection

 

Bitrate:

 

Criterion Collection (2017) Blu-ray

 

Bitrate:

 

Criterion Collection (2017) Blu-ray

 

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

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

LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None English, None (burned-in Japanese for non-Japanese) English, None (burned-in Japanese for non-Japanese)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
Commentary by Film Historian Peter Cowie
1992 video interview with Kon Ichikawa
Liner Notes by Legendary Sports Writer George Plimpton
Complete List of Winners In All Events
Symposium On Tokyo Olympiad, Excerpted From the Cinematheque Ontario Book Kon Ichikawa

DVD Release Date: July 30, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 41
 

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

 

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,598,415,464 bytes

Feature: 49,409,458,176 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.55 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• None (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: 39

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

 

2.39:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,278,503,888 bytes

Feature: 34,171,883,520 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 22.86 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary from 2001 by film historian Peter Cowie
• New introduction to the film by Cowie (11:42)
• Over eighty minutes of additional material from the Tokyo Games, with a new introduction by Cowie (9:34) (1:24:21)
• Archival interviews with director Kon Ichikawa (Pre-production - 8:18, Editing - 3:14, 1992 - 32:10)
• New documentary about Ichikawa featuring interviews with camera operator Masuo Yamaguchi, longtime Ichikawa collaborator Chizuko Osada, and the director’s son Tatsumi Ichikawa (30:54)
• New interview with restoration producer Adrian Wood (6:54)
• Trailers (3:47)
• PLUS: An essay by film scholar James Quandt

 

Release Date: June 23rd, 2020
Transparent 
Blu-ray Case

Chapters: 40

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Criterion (Individual Release - 2020) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - May 2020 - this individual release from Criterion has some similarities but also some impressive extras. It is also advertised as a "New 4K digital restoration". Visually, as the disc is filled with supplements (and the disc in the 100 Years of Olympic Films package was bare-bones) less space is utilized for the transfer of this, almost 3-hour, film. The new, individual release, has about 2/3rd of the bitrate of the bare-bones Blu-ray included in the 100 Years of Olympic Films package. I haven't watched the entire 1080P with a magnifying glass but the new transfer seems almost equally as adept in its HD video presentation - a small notch below "in-motion". No color shift, no teal... just the grain and pixels have shifted somewhat. This is good news!

Audio also gets a linear PCM mono (24-bit) transfer and sounds authentically flat without any difference to the 2017 transfer. Repeated from below: "There is a credited score by Toshirô Mayuzumi (Profound Desires of the Gods, Good Morning) although most will remember the sounds of the competition; the track and field starting gun, the anthems and the silent preparations. It's remains fairly unremarkable but the uncompressed transfer is a notch ahead of the SD's lossy treatment of the film's audio." While there are also optional English subtitles (Ichikawa forgoing pervasively consistent narration for the actual dialogue heard at the events; loudspeaker announcements, opening and closing ceremonies speeches etc.) they have shifted slightly - the bottom one moving up a bit and many of the ones on the top of the frame have shifted to be about 2/3 of the way down. It is a small but interesting difference. Of course many players have the ability to position the subtitles where the viewer will find most convenient. By default - they have changed.  Still though, the non-Japanese voices in Tokyo Olympiad have burned-in Japanese subtitles (see samples below) and this Blu-ray disc is also Region 'A'-locked.

In the extensive 100 Years of Olympic Films boxset where we lost the 2001 Peter Cowie commentary - it has returned in this 2020 individual release... plus much more. There is a new 12-minute introduction by film scholar and Olympic Games expert Peter Cowie was recorded for the Criterion Collection in Montreux, Switzerland, in January 2020. Nice to hear his thoughts again. The big supplement is over eighty minutes of additional material from the Tokyo Games, with a new 10-minute introduction by Cowie. The scenes presented here were produced by the Tokyo Olympiad Film Association under the direction of Kon Ichikawa and have headings "TRACK AND FIELD", "AQUATICS", "TEAM BALL SPORTS", "WRESTLING", "WEIGHT LIFTING", and "CYCLING". There are 3 archival interviews with director Kon Ichikawa. The Japanese television network NTV interviewed him as he was preparing to shoot the Tokyo Olympic Games, and again following the Games, as he was editing Tokyo Olympiad. 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. All three interviews - Pre-production - 8:18, Editing - 3:14, and 1992 - 32:10 (the last originally on the Criterion DVD?) are presented here in their entirety. There is a new 1/2 hour documentary, produced by the Criterion Collection, 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 Ichikawa Memorial Room in Tokyo. The three reflect on the director and his unique approach to filming and editing Tokyo Olympiad. The final featurette is a new interview with restoration producer Adrian Wood running shy of 7-minutes. In 2004, the International Olympic Committee started an ambitious project to ensure the restoration and long-term preservation of all the most important Olympic films, from the first films of the Games in Stockholm in 1912 to the last Games shot on film in Barcelona in 1992 and Nagano in 1998. More than 40 long-form documentaries and 60 additional films were meticulously researched and restored by Adrian Wood and Robert Jaquier in collaboration with film archives worldwide. The following elements were used for the restoration of Tokyo Olympiad: The original 35 mm camera negative of Sensation of the Century; the original 35 mm negatives of four thematic sport compilation films (made under the aegis of the Tokyo Olympic Film Association); a 35 mm interpositive and internegative of Tokyo Olympiad; and the film's original 35 mm optical soundtrack negative. 4K scanning was carried out by Imagica, Tokyo. Content analysis and reconform were undertaken by the Edit Store, London. 4K image restoration and digital mastering were overseen by Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging, and digital cleaning by VFX Hollywood. Digital sound restoration was carried out by Audio Mechanics, Burbank. There are trailers and the package has liner notes with an essay by film scholar James Quandt.

So this is a monumental release - the bare-bones but more robust video transfer of the 100 Years of Olympic Films has value for the discerning home theatre purists, but the extras on the individual release (over 2.5 hour's worth) are overwhelming including the resurfacing of the Cowie commentary. To stay in an Olympic frame of mind "Pure Gold". Fans should buy with extreme anticipation!

***

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray September 2017: This is the 14th 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.

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. We started with, possibly, the most desirable title in the set, an icon of sports documentaries, Kon Ichikawa's 1965 film Tokyo Olympiad about the 1964 Summer Olympics held in Japan - which is on Blu-ray #14 of this package.

This is one of the films from the Special Edition that is transferred in a 4K restoration. Compared to Criterion's way out-of-print 2002 DVD colors take some shifts - and generally the image is darker. Black and white visuals that had a blue leaning on the DVD now look properly contrasted (see the image of USSR hammer-throwing competitor Romuald Klim below.) There is a bit of variation in the 2.39:1 frame, as compared to the DVD, but most of the time the new Blu-ray shows more information on all 4 edges. Grain textures are finer and more consistent. The image is very clean without speckles or damage of any kind. Overall, colors are richer and deeper, detail tightens, there is more depth and it looks very impressive in-motion.

Audio gets a linear PCM mono (24-bit) transfer and sounds authentically flat. There is a credited score by Toshirô Mayuzumi (Profound Desires of the Gods, Good Morning) although most will remember the sounds of the competition; the track and field starting gun, the anthems and the silent preparations. It's remains fairly unremarkable but the uncompressed transfer is a notch ahead of the SD's lossy treatment of the film's audio. There are optional English subtitles - Ichikawa forgoing pervasively consistent narration for the actual dialogue heard at the events; loudspeaker announcements, opening and closing ceremonies speeches etc. The non-Japanese voices in Tokyo Olympiad have burned-in Japanese subtitles (see samples below).

Surprisingly no digital extras on this Blu-ray - we lose the Cowie commentary and video interview of Ichikawa from the DVD (unless the latter is on another disc of the package.) There is 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.  

Kon Ichikawa’s Tokyo Olympiad is such an expressive film. It puts the ideals of the Olympics in the proper perspective by shedding light on individuals; losers and well as winners, defeat as well as glory. While the drama of competitions remain, the 'Nationalism' fervor (that too often move from pride to hatred) is kept as almost non-existent. I don't know of another documentary that so subtly imbues the concept that we are all just people - striving, achieving, advancing - never enemies. It's an essential masterpiece and a cornerstone of this massive set. The 4K restored presentation fortifies the film's priceless attributes as a revelation of the human spirit.      

 - Gary Tooze

 


Menus
Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC
 

Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Criterion Collection (individual 2020 Release) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


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

 

1) Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion (100 Years Olympics Films Boxset- 2017) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Criterion (Individual 2020) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


Example of burned-in Japanese subtitle for the brief English language segment

or Non Japanese Dialogue

1) Criterion (100 Years Olympics Films Boxset- 2017) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion (Individual 2020) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion (100 Years Olympics Films Boxset- 2017) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Criterion (Individual 2020) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion (100 Years Olympics Films Boxset- 2017) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Criterion (Individual 2020) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion (100 Years Olympics Films Boxset- 2017) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Criterion (Individual 2020) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Criterion (100 Years Olympics Films Boxset- 2017) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Criterion (Individual 2020) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


(Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)


(Criterion Collection - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

More Blu-ray Captures


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray (2017)

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray (2020)

 
Box Covers

 

  

Distribution

Criterion Collection - Spine #155

Region 1 - NTSC

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

 




 

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