Lost in the Movies: The Olympic Series: full directory

The Olympic Series: full directory


With the long delay of the 2020 Olympic games, we now face the shortest gap between summer and winter events since the International Olympic Committee switched to an alternating schedule nearly thirty years ago (from 1924 to 1992, both seasonal games were held in the same year). To bridge that gap from August 2021 to February 2022 (Tokyo to Beijing), each month* I will be reviewing between six and seven Olympic documentaries in a single round-up, with capsules focusing as much on the historical context, geographical/cultural flavor, and cinematic style of the films as the notable athletic achievements or personalities. Few sporting events end up capturing their zeitgeists - and all the consequent political implications - as thoroughly as these international games, for all their attempts to eschew the tensions of their times. Think Tommie Smith and John Carlos infamously raising their fists in the air in Mexico 1968, or the Black September hostage-taking in Munich 1972 which led to the deaths of the Israeli team, or the reconciliation between North and South Korea which reached its peak in PyeongChang 2018 - or, of course, Adolf Hitler and Leni Riefenstahl collaborating to glorify the Nazi regime in Berlin 1936.

Although I will be watching many of these movies through the Criterion Collection boxset which spans 1912 to 2012, I'll also be checking out some newsreels on YouTube as a bonus (for the early years that either didn't have official films or lost those films), and watching the more recent post-Criterion documentaries, on 2014, 2016, and 2018, which are available on the IOC's website. My approach will balance recent and distant past, as well as winter and summer, by moving backwards through the summer games and forward through the winter ones. I will be bookending the series with comments on the broadcasts (since the films aren't ready yet) of the just-finished Tokyo summer games and, once these too have concluded, the Beijing winter games. This will be a fun, zigzag rhythm to establish in my journey through time.

Here is the schedule, which will be updated with images and links as the pieces become available. They will appear once a month on Wednesdays, encompassing multiple films at the same time. (*2022 update: After the first entry, the series was delayed and re-scheduled as weekly, so it will now be published every Wednesday from January 19 to February 23.)

(prologue following Tokyo, Japan - Summer 2021)

Days of Truce, dir. Breno Silveira
Summer 2016 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Olympic Games Held at Chamonix in 1924, dir. Jean de Rovera
Winter 1924 - Chamonix, France

First, dir. Caroline Rowland
Summer 2012 - London, England (UK)

The White Stadium, dir. Arnold Fanck, Othmar Gurtner
Winter 1928 - St. Moritz, Switzerland
+ bonus on winter 1932 newsreels from Lake Placid, New York (USA) - no feature available

The Everlasting Flame, dir. Gu Jon
Summer 2008 - Beijing, China

Youth of the World, dir. Carl Junghans
Winter 1936 - Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Bud Greenspan's Athens 2004: Stories of Olympic Glory, dir. Bud Greenspan
Summer 2004 - Athens, Greece

Fight Without Hate, dir. Andre Michel
Winter 1948 - St. Moritz, Switzerland

Sydney 2000: Stories of Olympic Glory, dir. Bud Greenspan
Summer 2000 - Sydney, Australia

The VI Olympic Winter Games, Oslo 1952, dir. Tancred Ibsen
Winter 1952 - Oslo, Norway

Atlanta's Olympic Glory, dir. Bud Greenspan
Summer 1996 - Atlanta, Georgia (USA)

White Vertigo, dir. Giorgio Ferroni
Winter 1956 - Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy

Marathon, dir. Carlos Saura
Summer 1992 - Barcelona, Spain

People, Hopes, Medals, dir. Heribert Meisel
Winter 1960 - Squaw Valley, California (USA)

Seoul 1988, dir. Lee Kwang-soo
Hand in Hand, dir. Im Kwon-taek
Beyond All Barriers, dir. Lee Ji-won
Summer 1988 - Seoul, South Korea

IX Olympic Games, Innsbruck 1964, dir. Theo Hormann
Winter 1964 - Innsbruck, Austria

16 Days of Glory, dir. Bud Greenspan
Summer 1984 - Los Angeles, CA (USA)

13 Days in France, dir. Claude Lelouch & Francois Reichenbach
Snows of Grenoble, dir. Jacques Ertaud & Jean-Jacques Languepin
Winter 1968 - Grenoble, France

O Sport, You Are Peace!, dir. Yuri Ozerov
Summer 1980 - Moscow, USSR

Sapporo Winter Olympics, dir. Masahiro Shinoda
Winter 1972 - Sapporo, Japan

Games of the XXI Olympiad, dir. Jean-Claude Labrecque, Jean Beaudin, Marcel Carriere & Georges Dufaux
Summer 1976 - Montreal, Quebec (Canada)

White Rock, dir. Tony Maylam
Winter 1976 - Innsbruck, Austria

Visions of Eight, dir. Milos Forman, Kon Ichikawa, Claude Lelouch, Yuri Ozerov, Arthur Penn, Michael Pfleghar, John Schlesinger & Mai Zetterling
Summer 1972 - Munich, West Germany

Olympic Spirit, dir. Drummond Challis & Tony Maylam
Winter 1980 - Lake Placid, New York (USA)

The Olympics in Mexico, dir. Alberto Isaac
Summer 1968 - Mexico City, Mexico

A Turning Point, dir. Kim Takal
Winter 1984 - Sarajevo, Yugoslavia

Tokyo Olympiad, dir. Kon Ichikawa
Sensation of the Century, prod. Taguchi Suketaro & supervisor: Nobumasa Kawamoto
Summer 1964 - Tokyo, Japan

Calgary '88: 16 Days of Glory, dir. Bud Greenspan
Winter 1988 - Calgary, Alberta (Canada)

The Grand Olympics, dir. Romolo Marcellini
Summer 1960 - Rome, Italy

One Light, One World, dir. Joe Jay Jalbert & R. Douglas Copsey
Winter 1992 - Albertville, France

Olympic Games, 1956, dir. Peter Whitchurch
The Melbourne Rendez-vous, dir. Rene Lucot
Alain Mimoun, dir. Louis Gueguen
Summer 1956 - Melbourne, Australia
+ bonus on equestrian events in Stockholm: The Horse in Focus

Lillehammer '94: 16 Days of Glory, dir. Bud Greenspan
Winter 1994 - Lillehammer, Norway

Where the World Meets, dir. Hannu Leminen
Gold and Glory, dir. Hannu Leminen
Memories of the Olympic Summer of 1952, dir. Holger Harrivirta
Summer 1952 - Helsinki, Finland

Nagano '98 Olympics: Stories of Honor and Glory, dir. Bud Greenspan
Olympic Glory, dir. Kieth Merrill
Winter 1998 - Nagano, Japan

XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport, dir. Castleton Knight
Summer 1948 - London, England (UK)

Salt Lake City 2002: Bud Greenspan's Stories of Olympic Glory, dir. Bud Greenspan
Winter 2002 - Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

Olympia Part One: Festival of the Nations & Part Two: Festival of Beauty, dir. Leni Riefenstahl
Summer 1936 - Berlin, Germany
+ bonus on summer 1932 newsreels from Los Angeles, California (USA) - no feature available

Bud Greenspan's Torino 2006: Stories of Olympic Glory, dir. Bud Greenspan
Winter 2006 - Torino, Italy

The IX Olympiad in Amsterdam
The Olympic Games, Amsterdam 1928, dir. Wilhelm Prager
Summer 1928 - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Bud Greenspan Presents Vancouver 2010: Stories of Olympic Glory, prod. Bud Greenspan & Nancy Beffa
Winter 2010 - Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada)

The Olympic Games as They Were Practiced in Ancient Greece, dir. Jean de Rovera
The Olympic Games in Paris 1924, dir. Jean de Rovera
Summer 1924 - Paris, France
+ bonus on summer 1920 newsreel from Antwerp, Belgium - no film produced

Rings of the World, dir. Sergey Miroshnichenko
Winter 2014 - Sochi, Russia

The Games of the V Olympiad Stockholm, 1912, dir. Adrian Wood
Summer 1912 - Stockholm, Sweden
+ bonus on summer 1908 newsreels from London, England (UK); 1906 newsreel from unofficial "Intercalated Games" from Athens, Greece; 1904 photos from St. Louis, Missouri (USA); 1900 photos/newsreel from Paris, France; 1896 photos from Athens, Greece - no films produced

Crossing Beyond, dir. Seung-jun Yi
Winter 2018 - PyeongChang, South Korea

(epilogue following Beijing, China - Winter 2022)

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