This is the 18th 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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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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Comparison:

Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

  

Distribution Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC Criterion Collection (part of spine #900)
Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:48:44  1:50:05.599  
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.13 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,885,220,005 bytes

Feature: 19,830,749,184 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 20.57 Mbps

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles None English (SDH), 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

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

 

Aspect Ratio:

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,885,220,005 bytes

Feature: 19,830,749,184 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 20.57 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• Sapporo Winter Olympics (on this
Blu-ray - see below)

• 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: 8

 

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. This is the 18th Blu-ray of the boxset. and it contains two films; Visions of Eight and Sapporo Winter Olympics. So there is over 4.5 hours on this dual-layered Blu-ray disc. I enjoyed both films - and loved the visuals of Sapporo Winter Olympics.

Visions of Eight is another 4K restoration and looks significantly improved over the Olive DVD. Colors become far more realistic - Vasily Alekseyev's attire is no longer orange but red (as many will remember), skin tones improve and detail rises - it is evident in the matched screen captures below. Linear PCM mono (24-bit) and the great Henry Mancini (Hatari, Experiment in Terror, Charade) scored Visions of Eight and it sounds well-supported in lossless. It has English (SDH) subtitles and the Blu-ray is Region 'A'-locked.

With the 2 films and a full disc there are no digital extras on this Blu-ray - but the full 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.

Quite the film with creative visions by the likes of great directors; Milos Forman, Kon Ichikawa, Claude Lelouch, Yuriy Ozerov, Arthur Penn, Michael Pfleghar, John Schlesinger and Mai Zetterling.  Another valuable part of Criterion's Thirty-Two Blu-ray Special Edition.

***

ON THE DVDs: 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 modest 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


 

Criterion Collection - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


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

 

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.

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

 

 

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.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

Running time: 12.5-minutes.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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

 


 

 

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.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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

 

 

(aka "Sapporo Winter Olympics" aka "Sapporo Orinpikku")

 

 

Directed by Masahiro Shinoda

Japan 1972

 

This well-received Japanese documentary covers the 11th Winter Olympics held in Sapporo Japan in February of 1972. The film is beautifully photographed in a straightforward manner, covering ski-jumping, downhill racing, ice-skating and hockey. The excitement of the hockey match between the Czechoslovakian and Russian teams is conveyed well.

Excerpt from AllMovie.com located HERE

 

Bitrate Blu-ray:

  2:47:33.001
Audio LPCM Audio Japanese 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Criterion Collection

 

Aspect Ratio:

2.40:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,885,220,005 bytes

Feature: 29,865,910,272 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 20.327 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
Visions of Eight (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: 24

 

Blu-ray Captures

 


Box Cover

  

Distribution Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC Criterion Collection (part of spine #900)
Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 



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