Tokyo Olympiad

Presented in an IB Tech 35mm print! Armed with over 150 movie cameras (and as large a number of impeccably skilled cameramen, all with seemingly laser-guided vision), Kon Ichikawa stunned the world with Tokyo Olympiad, his impressionistic, highly idiosyncratic and highly addictive three-hour document of the 1964 Summer Olympics, held in Japan. Immediately setting the tone with an opening Cinemascope shot of a fiery, iridescent sun in mid-day repose, Ichikawa dispenses with trivial matters like straight reportage, to instead poetically focus on all the little reflective moments that add up to the majestic human spectacle that is the Olympics: grins, grimaces, stretching, straining, exaltations from the crowd, competitors’ flesh in slo-mo fight, the gentle placement of track shoes on pavement, and many emotionally devastating instances of athletes defeated on the playing field. Capturing an abundance of human drama in these startlingly filmed instances of mournful defeat, Ichikawa imparts the transcendent, eternal message: “The Games are more important than the games.”
Dir. Kon Ichikawa, 1965, 35mm, 170 min.

Watch an excerpt from “Tokyo Olympiad”!
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