A spectacle of magnificent proportions and remarkable intimacy, Kon Ichikawaâs Tokyo Olympiad
remains one of the greatest films ever made about sports. Supervising a team of hundreds of technicians using more than a thousand cameras, Ichikawa captured the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo in glorious widescreen images, using cutting-edge telephoto lenses and exquisite slow motion to create lyrical, idiosyncratic poetry from the athletic drama surging all around him. Drawn equally to the psychology of losers and winnersâincluding legendary Ethiopian marathoner Abebe Bikila, who receives the filmâs most exalted tributeâIchikawa captures the triumph, passion, and suffering of competition with a singular humanistic vision, and in doing so effects a transformative influence on the art of documentary filmmaking.
- Audio commentary from 2001 by film historian Peter Cowie
- New introduction to the film by Peter Cowie
- Eighty minutes of additional material from the Tokyo Games, with a new introduction by Peter Cowie
- Archival interviews with director Kon Ichikawa
- New documentary about Ichikawa featuring interviews with cameraman Masuo Yamaguchi, longtime Ichikawa collaborator Chizuko Osaka, and the directorâs son Tatsumi Ichikawa
- An essay by film scholar James Quandt