Tokyo Olympiad | Chicago Reader

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Kon Ichikawa's documentary on the 1964 Olympic Games, the first to be held in Asia, was so unconventional that officials were disappointed with it, at least before its 1965 release brought worldwide acclaim. Edited from over 70 hours of footage shot by 164 different cameramen, the film offers some displays of athletic elegance, but Ichikawa focuses more on the psychology of athletes—poised to leap, enduring a long run, or failing to clear the bar—and considers not only the runner who comes in first but also the one who comes in last. Though it's visually choppy, with some disruptive zooms, the 'Scope format matches the subject's scale, and Ichikawa's emphasis on shared human experience is compelling. In Japanese with subtitles. 170 min.

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