155 Tokyo Olympiad

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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souvenir
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:20 pm

#26 Post by souvenir » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:51 pm

From the .com board:
Unfortunately this title is going out of print for good. Thanks for your email!

Sincerely,

Tamara

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Matango
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#27 Post by Matango » Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:01 am

balzer wrote:I bet they don't have the license anymore. They have not ever announced a title to go out of print then reissue it later. The always say there is a reissue coming or just announce the reissue.
Mon Oncle? Playtime? M Hulot's Holiday? The 400 Blows?

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Caligula
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#28 Post by Caligula » Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:09 am

There is a a scene in the boxing event section where a boxer walks away from the camera and some Japanese text (not translated by the subtitles) scrolls over the screen. Anyone knows what it translates to?

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tryavna
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#29 Post by tryavna » Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:39 am

Well, the boxer is Smokin' Joe Frazier, probably the most famous athlete in the movie for American viewers, and according to Peter Cowie's commentary, the scrolling text is just a list of the winners of the various categories.

By the way, Cowie's commentary makes for a fascinating listen. The movie's almost as good with it as it is with the original audio.

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LightBulbFilm
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#30 Post by LightBulbFilm » Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:38 pm

I recently received a copy of Tokyo Olympiad from Criterion.com they seem to have more in stock. Worth every penny since it's now out of print and a great film overall.

eez28
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#31 Post by eez28 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:57 am

Thanks for the heads-up, I just ordered one.

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125100
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#32 Post by 125100 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:38 am

Oh the pains of being so young ! ! !

I came to Criterion Collecting so late I never even knew they'd released this and now I can't find it anywhere (for a decent price) :(

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LightBulbFilm
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#33 Post by LightBulbFilm » Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:15 pm

125100 wrote:I came to Criterion Collecting so late I never even knew they'd released this and now I can't find it anywhere (for a decent price)
Errr ummm the Criterion website...

EDIT: Looks like they have no more copies in stock. Those who caught on were lucky. I'm glad I got a copy while I had the chance. The original I ordered from Amazon was never shipped and they said it may take a year to fufill my order. Ha.

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life_boy
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#34 Post by life_boy » Tue Sep 18, 2007 7:29 pm

I snuck my order in before they listed it as "out of stock" but that was earlier today. I guess I'll find out in a day or two if it will be shipping to me or not.

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Lemmy Caution
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#35 Post by Lemmy Caution » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:38 pm

tryavna wrote:Well, the boxer is Smokin' Joe Frazier, probably the most famous athlete in the movie for American viewers, and according to Peter Cowie's commentary, the scrolling text is just a list of the winners of the various categories.

By the way, Cowie's commentary makes for a fascinating listen. The movie's almost as good with it as it is with the original audio.
You're probably right, but Bob Hayes might give Smokin' Joe a run for his money.

Cowie's commentary is good, but fairly dense and veers off in many directions (mostly on film and Olympic history) that it's hard to take it all in and still pay attention to the film. And at close to 3 hours, it's a pretty big investment in time to watch it all through twice. So I just watched the film as intended, and then went through sections with the commentary (for probably nearly half the film).

I did catch one moment where Cowie goofs and goes off on a misguided tangent. During the opening ceremony's parade of nations, Cowie gets fooled by the editing. The Vietnam delegation of maybe two dozen is marching in. Then there is a cut to a view from in the stands, and we see some of the crowd getting to their feet.

Cowie interprets this as a sign of Japanese showing Asian solidarity with a beleaguered smaller nation, and riffs on this theme a bit. What he fails to notice is that V ends the Olympic alphabet in 1964 (91 teams competing ... no Zambia, Zimbabwe still Rhodesia, etc). So directly behind the small Vietnamese team is the host nation, with the Japanese athletes in bright red jackets, which clearly can be seen in the background as the crowd starts standing. The standing ovation is for the Japanese national team, with the Vietnamese probably barely noticed in the excitement.

Actually, I just re-watched that scene, and the first to stand is Emperor Hirohito. In fact, he is the only one standing when the crowd shot begins. Then others behind him also get to their feet, partially blocking the camera's view.

As for Ichikawa, the film offers a lot to absorb. A lot of close-ups, some impressionistic sequences, and many surprising and creative choices. It's of course an interesting time capsule, but Ichikawa offers a humanistic vision, with an emphasis on participating in competition rather than winning. Many of the participants and even the winners are not identified. It seemed that in the last hour the film got more experimental (notably the rowing scenes), with more focus on Japanese successes (and failures).

Btw, my CC copy was indeed a 2-disc set, with the Criterion disc coupled with the Japanese version, which (at a runtime of 2' 25") was 25 minutes shorter than the Criterion. Since the Japanese version only has Chinese subtitles and no commentary, I don't expect to watch it to find out what was edited out. Anyway, in such a film and at nearly 3 hours of length, it wouldn't be easy to recognize what was cut.

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manicsounds
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#36 Post by manicsounds » Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:09 am

a 2 disc Criterion version with the 2nd disc being an alternate cut with Chinese subtitles only? Sounds just a bit sketchy.

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Matango
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#37 Post by Matango » Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:12 am

Sounds like a Chinese pirate edition to me.

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#38 Post by Andrian Film Revival » Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:52 am

Just order a copy from cdwow for £39.99. £100 cheaper than Amazon UK marketplace... Also the CC Spellbound for £17.99 (£88 on amazon). Wonder where they get them from?

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Lemmy Caution
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#39 Post by Lemmy Caution » Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:50 am

Matango wrote:Sounds like a Chinese pirate edition to me.
I'm in China, so that's certainly what it is.
I was just mentioning it because of this exchange, earlier in the thread, in which there was some brief confusion about a 2-disc CC set:
HerrSchreck wrote:
Cinephrenic wrote:I don't see how they can remaster this 2-disc set?
CSM126 wrote:2?
You may just have left the word "as" out between "this" & "2", but if not, this is a one disc set.
Maybe on the legit Criterion release, Cowie gets the standing ovation right. <joking>

Btw, a number of OOP Criterions are still being released (as high quality bootlegs) in China. If there is a list of OOP CC's somewhere, and a proper thread for it, I could let folks know which are still being sold in China. Might want to be careful when you plunk down a good chunk of change for an OOP.

Is Tokyo Olympiad still being issued by any dvd line? You'd think in an Olympic year, it could be popular. Also, apparently the host country and the IOC arrange for a film to be made of every Olympics. Does anyone know the arrangements for Beijing 2008? Zhang YiMou is involved in the opening ceremonies. Would be interesting if he was to create an Olympic doc. Every 30 or 40 years we should get a special film from the Olympics.

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Matango
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#40 Post by Matango » Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:54 am

I'm in China too, if you count Hong Kong as China. Always look forward to my DVD shopping trips to Shanghai.

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Lemmy Caution
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#41 Post by Lemmy Caution » Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:19 am

Matango wrote:I'm in China too, if you count Hong Kong as China. Always look forward to my DVD shopping trips to Shanghai.
Which would explain why you are posting at this hour. I just got back from Hong Kong yesterday, and usually look forward to my bagel shopping trips there, but was saddened to find the SoHo Bakery/Bagel Factory gone from Elgin Street.

I was always under the impression that DVDs were cheaper in Guangzhou, especially as they are reportedly produced by military folks in Guangdong.

neal
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#42 Post by neal » Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:51 pm

Andrian Film Revival wrote:Just order a copy from cdwow for £39.99. £100 cheaper than Amazon UK marketplace... Also the CC Spellbound for £17.99 (£88 on amazon). Wonder where they get them from?
Often nowhere, and then one must go through the hassle of getting one's money refunded.

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jbeall
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#43 Post by jbeall » Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:25 am

Lemmy Caution wrote:
tryavna wrote:Well, the boxer is Smokin' Joe Frazier, probably the most famous athlete in the movie for American viewers, and according to Peter Cowie's commentary, the scrolling text is just a list of the winners of the various categories.

By the way, Cowie's commentary makes for a fascinating listen. The movie's almost as good with it as it is with the original audio.
You're probably right, but Bob Hayes might give Smokin' Joe a run for his money.
I woulda thought Hayes is more famous at this point, if only for his NFL career. But the narrator mentions him by name at least a couple of times as well.

This was a really beautiful movie. I love when the narration stops and you just get these fairly silent shots of athletes in concentration. And since the Japanese weren't as prolific as some of the other countries in terms of medals, the film isn't nearly as jingoistic as American programs on the Olympics tend to be.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: 155 Tokyo Olympiad

#44 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:02 am

I found this in a record store today, picked it up, and have watched it through twice already (once with, once without commentary)- it's astonishing. What a shame that this has become so difficult to find.

I enjoyed my watch-through of the movie without commentary, but I found myself zoning out a fair amount- it's almost an automatic response to any sports footage for me, however much I recognized that this was something special. With Cowie talking, though, I focused throughout, and became entranced by the spectacle with the context he offered, so much so that several times I turned it back off and went back to rewatch a session. I'm not even really sure of what to say about it as a movie, I almost feel unqualified to comment, but I do want to rub it in everyone's face that it's really good and that I got to watch it.

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Matango
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Re: 155 Tokyo Olympiad

#45 Post by Matango » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:23 am

Cowie's commentary on this is monumental, probably my favourite of all time along with Jeck's Seven Samurai. It's one of those Criterions, like Tales of Hoffman, that I would recommend watching with commentary, rather than without it, the first time around.

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oldsheperd
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Re: 155 Tokyo Olympiad

#46 Post by oldsheperd » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:02 pm

This needs a blu release by anyone. Oh and the full Geesink/Kamanaga Judo Gold medal match needs to be included as an extra.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: 155 Tokyo Olympiad

#47 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:14 pm

The interview on the disc is also a lot of fun- it's funny, the movies of Ichikawa's I've seen outside of Olympiad are pretty dour, but even in his late 70s he seems lighthearted and not especially serious about anything in person. Cowie kept mentioning his sly sense of humor in the commentary, and it definitely shows up in the conversation with the man.

Also, is it just me, or does he look remarkably like the picture of Naruse on the MoC box set?

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 155 Tokyo Olympiad

#48 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:46 pm

Which Ichikawa movies have you seen that you consider dour? I would say almost all of the films I've seen have glints (or more) of humor -- okay, maybe not much in Otouto (if I recall properly from 8 or so years ago).

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: 155 Tokyo Olympiad

#49 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:51 pm

Just the Criterions, and you're right- as much as the actual narrative of both Fires on the Plain and Burmese Harp are almost unbearably dark, there's a lot of humanism and a touch of humor to both of them. But I'd say that of Bergman, too, and Bergman still strikes me as being largely an enormously serious man, and that's sort of the picture of Ichikawa I had in my head.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: 155 Tokyo Olympiad

#50 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:55 pm

Unfortunately, Ichikawea's funniest films are not available. True, even at his funniest, there are touches of darkness (viz. It's Hard Being Two) -- but the humor is pretty clear in things like Ten Dark Women, Crowded Streetcar, The Hole (etc.) despite the dark moments in those films.

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