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100 Years of Olympic Films, 21: Sarajevo 1984
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.37:1 Standard
  • English PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • None

100 Years of Olympic Films, 21: Sarajevo 1984

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Kim Takal
1984 | 82 Minutes | Licensor: International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $399.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Release Date: December 5, 2017
Review Date: November 26, 2018

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SYNOPSIS

Spanning fifty-three movies and forty-one editions of supplement_home_videothe Olympic Games, 100 Years of Olympic Films: 1912–2012 is the culmination of a monumental, award-winning archival project encompassing dozens of new restorations by the International Olympic Committee. The documentaries collected here cast a cinematic eye on some of the most iconic moments in the history of modern sports, spotlighting athletes who embody the Olympic motto of “Faster, Higher, Stronger”: Jesse Owens shattering world records on the track in 1936 Berlin, Jean-Claude Killy dominating the Grenoble slopes in 1968, Joan Benoit breaking away to win the Games’ first women’s marathon in Los Angeles in 1984. In addition to the impressive ten-feature contribution of Bud Greenspan, this stirring collective chronicle of triumph and defeat includes such documentary landmarks as Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia and Kon Ichikawa’s Tokyo Olympiad, along with captivating lesser-known works by major directors like Claude Lelouch, Carlos Saura, and Miloš Forman. It also offers a fascinating glimpse of the development of film itself, and of the technological progress that has brought viewers ever closer to the action. Traversing continents and decades, reflecting the social, cultural, and political changes that have shaped our recent history, this remarkable movie marathon showcases a hundred years of human endeavor.


PICTURE

So, yeah, it’s been a few months…

Coming back to Criterion’s 32-disc box set 100 Years of Olympic Films, disc 21 presents Kim Takal’s coverage of the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Games, A Turning Point, in its original aspect ratio of 1.37:1 on a single-layer disc, the only single-layer disc in the set. The 2K restoration has been sourced from the 16mm colour negative.

Of the later films this one feels a bit more like a series of highlights than anything else, with some focus on a few athletes, but in regards to its restoration and encode it still gets the same level of attention and care as some of the bigger titles in the set. It’s very clean and the digital presentation doesn’t show any obvious artifacts or noise. Grain is present and looks very clean, and the colours lean cooler but still offer superb saturation. Black levels are also strong, while the snow is balanced nicely as to not wash out any of the details in the frame. Sharpness can vary throughout, coming off very crisp or a bit fuzzy from shot to shot, but this comes down to the photography and the shooting conditions, and doesn’t have anything to do with the restoration work. In some sequences it is snowing so hard it it can be hard to see everything cleaarly (Cowie even addresses the weather in his essay for the film).

I’m not completely sure what to make of the film in comparison to the rest as it comes off quite minor but I was still very impressed with the final look and it’s obvious the same amount of care that has gone into most of the films in the set was applied here. It looks quite spectacular.

9/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The film is accompanied by a lossless PCM 1.0 monaural soundtrack. Clarity is excellent, there is no noise to speak of, and it manages to be fairly dynamic with some impressive range during some of the sporting events. The narration for the film is a bit annoying (I found myself thinking of Fishing with John at times) but I guess I can’t fault the restoration for that.

7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

The only disappointing aspect to this set is that there are no on-disc special features to speak of. The set does come with an incredibly thorough 216-page hardbound book, featuring material on the restorations by Adrian Wood along with essays covering the films, all written by film scholar Peter Cowie. It is also filled with photos from the various events. Cowie offers some historical context about Yugoslavia and some background for director Kim Takal, while also addressing the rough weather conditions the crew faced. (The grade given here refers to the supplements for the set as a whole, which, in this case, is just the included book.)

5/10

CLOSING

One of the shorter films in the set it still receives the same level of attention as the bigger films and comes off looking marvelous because of it.




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Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca