Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Capital Celluloid 2012 - Day 212: Tue July 31

Olympia (Riefenstahl, 1938): Whirled Cinema, 260 Hardess St, Brixton, SE24 OHN.

What more appropriate film to watch and discuss in the middle of the Olympics than one of the most controversial pieces of cinema ever? Documentary film-maker Alexandre Hamel will be the special guest to discuss propaganda, film and the Olympics on what promises to be a fascinating evening. You can read more about the event here.

Chicago Reader review:
'Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi-backed documentary on the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It's quite good when Riefenstahl limits herself to a slightly heightened reporting (as in the Jesse Owens footage), but extremely kitschy when she begins mooning over the athletes' bodies. The philosophical implications of her abstracting, idealizing images are not comforting. Though less overtly political than her notorious Triumph of the Will, the film is no less ideological in intent and execution. The brilliant rhythmic editing is the work of Walter Ruttmann (Berlin: Symphony of a Great City), who here applies the theories of his mentor, the great Russian revolutionary filmmaker Dziga Vertov, to some very un-Vertovian ends.' Dave Kehr 

You can find a link to the memorable diving sequence here.

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