東京オリンピック [Tokyo olympiad] (1965)

»Citius, altius, fortius«

A slowly rising sun juxtaposed with the demolition of old houses sets the tone for this deliberate mix of carefully staged scenes, charmingly shameless ethno-kitsch, and modernist docu-snippets – often with cameras intentionally too close or too far away, effectively creating dramatic presence.

Filled with surprising, enjoyable, and intriguing paraphernalia for the contemporary archaeologist: the pre-1978 greek flag, East and West Germany competing as one joint team, snazzy hat fashions, unexepected lack of care in keeping nation flags off the ground, obsolete high jump techniques, tender portrait of lonesome Tchad athlete, desperate-sounding paeans to world peace, etc. Very interesting in comparison with Riefenstahls »Olympia«!

A severe lack of dramaturgic coherence unfortunately turns most of the movie somewhat haphazard and aimless, despite the strict chronological treatment. It is also far too long to hold my attention. Not in my book.

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