runners along the coast

Sapporo Winter Olympics
(Sapporo Orinpikku)

Directed by Masahiro Shinoda.
Japan, 1972, DCP, color, 167 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.
DCP source: International Olympic Committee

A peer among radical artists like Shuji Terayama and Nagisa Oshima, Masahiro Shinoda colors the Olympic documentary with striking unconventionality, his idiosyncratic experimentation with sound and vision producing a highly stylized look into the events of the 1972 Sapporo Olympics.

A filmmaker interested in the unsung and the marginal, Shinoda incorporates stories beyond that of the glorified athlete––the man in charge of maintaining the ice, who lays his cheek on the frozen tracks with tender care every night; the coaches of long-distance skiers, picking up empty cups discarded by athletes in the snow. What results is an aesthetically striking yet delicately intimate portrayal of the subtle emotions underlying the Olympic spectacle.

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