First is the story of the Games of London 2012; or rather, the story of a selected group of first-time Olympians. Director Caroline Rowland—who won the job after creating the London bid film—has developed a new approach to Olympic documentaries. Though at first blush it seems to have a common thread with Bud Greenspan’s films, […]
The Games of the XV Olympiad were held in Helsinki, Finland in the summer of 1952. It was a long-awaited festival: Helsinki had originally been selected to host the 1940 Games after the original host, Tokyo, withdrew due to Japan’s invasion of China. But the city never got to welcome the world in 1940, because, […]
We’ve reached the final silent summer film in the Criterion Olympic Films collection, (LW: thank goodness) and it happens to be the very first one, from Stockholm 1912. We’ve already discussed a few of these silent editions (here, here, here), and by and large there’s no significant deviation from the format here. However, there are […]
Last time we discussed the two small films of Melbourne/Stockholm 1956. This week we’re going to move on to the Summer Games proper with a pair of films focused on the breadth of events held in Melbourne. Despite having a similar scope, they’re incredibly different. Overwhelming Speed Olympic Games, 1956 195660 MINUTESPeter Whitchurch Olympic Games, […]
The Olympics appeared for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere at the 1956 Summer Games in Melbourne, Australia. It was the first Games to take place in two different countries, because Australian quarantine laws prevented equestrian horses from making the trip. Stockholm, Sweden stepped up to host a week of equestrian events. What this […]
The official film for Paris 1924 was accompanied by a curious little piece of theatrical, athletic art to help audiences discover the Ancient Olympic Games.
Ah, Paris in the summertime! The Olympic Games returned to the French capital in 1924. Having previously hosted the second Games in 1900, Paris became the first city to organize the event twice. The Olympic Games in Paris 1924 1924174 MINUTES, BLACK & WHITE, SILENTJean de Rovera Like the Chamonix winter film produced earlier in […]
The summer Games held in Rome in 1960 were probably the first truly modern Games. Fittingly, The Grand Olympics was a new type of Olympic film.
As discussed last time, there are two official films associated with the 1928 Amsterdam Games. Aside from documenting sporting achievements, together this pair of silent films seems to represent an important split between recording and storytelling in sports documentaries. Until now the genre seemed mostly concerned with archive creation. The Olympic Games, Amsterdam 1928 1928192 […]
The IX Olympiad in Amsterdam // AMSTERDAM 1928 The IX Olympiad in Amsterdam 1928251 MINUTES, BLACK & WHITE, SILENTDirector unknown This week we’re discussing The IX Olympiad in Amsterdam, the film of the 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Games. This is actually one of two official films produced. Without getting too deep into the details, this film […]