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Visions of Eight

Screening on Film
Directed by Milos Forman, Kon Ichikawa, Arthur Penn, Claude Lelouch, Yuriy Ozerov, Michael Pfleghar, John Schlesinger, Mai Zetterling.
West Germany/US, 1973, 35mm, color, 110 min.
Print source: HFA

An omnibus film comprised of individual segments created by eight different directors, Visions of Eight ambitiously brings together an artistically and internationally diverse range of auteurs in documenting the tragic 1972 Munich Olympics. Each filmmaker selected an individual subject: Mai Zetterling lingering on the loneliness of the weightlifter, Claude Lelouch painting the chaos and catastrophe of the loser, Milos Forman mischievously combing through the exhausted competitors of the decathlon.

Of particular interest to this program is Kon Ichikawa’s individual study of the men of the 100-metre dash, a race that, he ponders, “somehow represents modern human existence.” An extension of Ichikawa’s original quest in his own Olympic film—to cinematically capture moments in the Olympic spectacle imperceptible to the naked human eye—the fastest men in the world are recorded in extreme slow motion and subsequently transformed. Flesh bounces and undulates in strange contortions, capturing the grotesque strain of superhuman athleticism on the human form.

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Japan’s Olympic Cinema

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