Tokyo Olympiad

Director: Kon Ichikawa
Year Released: 1965
Rating: 3.0

Documentary of the 1964 Olympics, highlighting personal struggle and success and failure; it's distant yet sporadically touching, like the one athlete who has a special trinket with her before she begins her event (it's tough to see exactly what it is) or the marathon runner who sits down by the crowd, exhausted and unable to continue, pleading for a glass of water. Begins slowly, with Ichikawa's innumerable cameras marveling at the sight of faceless masses cheering or marching in unison – he's stressing universal peace and solidarity – but gains momentum shortly thereafter, capturing the games with dazzling clarity. Even at three hours it unfortunately cuts some events short, however, leaving SportsCenteresque blurbs where more detail might have been better, but it's still worth spending time with.