Criterion releases 100 years of Olympics footage

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Donald Sosin

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Criterion releases 100 years of Olympics footage

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 3:35 pm

https://www.criterion.com/current/posts ... mpic-films

Very happy to have contributed 6 hrs. 20 min. of music for the 1912 Stockholm and 1924 Paris films. Really beautiful footage, wait till you see...

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SilentsPlease

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Re: Criterion releases 100 years of Olympics footage

PostThu Aug 10, 2017 3:48 pm

6 hours 20 minutes for just two films? Were such lengthy silent films for sports events usual back then? I can't find any info, including at IMDb, about these films, even the most basic info like running times. Some of the films are so obscure that Criterion's description simply says "director unknown." Donald, you are probably one of the few living persons to have seen these rarely seen films. The exorbitant price of this set will probably mean you may remain one of a few to have seen them ever. Let's hope some of these will show up in streaming. If they want people to see these films (and your good work), releasing an outrageously-priced set is not the way to go. Some of the more recent films actually show up in this Youtube channel, which seems to be an official Olympic channel. This film for the 1948 Olympics is in 1080p, looks restored, and its closing credit says it was restored by "Olympic Archival Bureau" in 2000, so this may be the version used by Criterion.
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Jim Roots

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Re: Criterion releases 100 years of Olympics footage

PostFri Aug 11, 2017 8:10 am

Finally! A Criterion release that I don't want to buy!

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Red Bartlett

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Re: Criterion releases 100 years of Olympics footage

PostFri Aug 11, 2017 8:20 am

What exactly is an Olympic film anyway? Obviously the games were filmed over the years -- but were these directed, released productions? Or is Criterion and the Olympics partnering to MAKE these productions now and tell some sort of story?

A little bit of both or none of the above?
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Criterion releases 100 years of Olympics footage

PostFri Aug 11, 2017 10:54 am

The answer is out there... Some are finished films, like Olympia and Visions of Eight. A bunch are the Bud Greenspan films made after each Olympics in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Some are just footage, newsreels or footage taken during the events. The point is to represent as many Olympics in whatever way they were recorded at the time.
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Christopher Jacobs

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Re: Criterion releases 100 years of Olympics footage

PostFri Aug 11, 2017 12:20 pm

SilentsPlease wrote: The exorbitant price of this set will probably mean you may remain one of a few to have seen them ever. Let's hope some of these will show up in streaming. If they want people to see these films (and your good work), releasing an outrageously-priced set is not the way to go.


Hmm... Let me see. $400 for 6253 minutes (104.2 hours) = $3.84 per hour of Blu-ray content. $400 for 53 movies on 32 Blu-ray discs = $7.55 per movie and $12.50 per disc. I don't see anything close to exorbitant or outrageous about that as a list price, when it will be routinely discounted and will also be on a half-price sale from both Criterion and Barnes & Noble at various times.

$400 is roughly the price of a used 16 print of a single two-hour feature film, or maybe two or three obscurities nobody wants but specialist collectors.

For fans of sports and/or the Olympics, this set is a genuine bargain! (I enjoy the Olympics and historic films of any kind, but am not a huge sports fan, so for myself, I would most likely buy it during one of the half-price sales. $200 for 32 discs is only $6.25 per disc and $1.92 per hour, an amazing bargain.)
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SilentsPlease

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Re: Criterion releases 100 years of Olympics footage

PostFri Aug 11, 2017 5:13 pm

Christopher Jacobs wrote:
SilentsPlease wrote: The exorbitant price of this set will probably mean you may remain one of a few to have seen them ever. Let's hope some of these will show up in streaming. If they want people to see these films (and your good work), releasing an outrageously-priced set is not the way to go.


Hmm... Let me see. $400 for 6253 minutes (104.2 hours) = $3.84 per hour of Blu-ray content. $400 for 53 movies on 32 Blu-ray discs = $7.55 per movie and $12.50 per disc. I don't see anything close to exorbitant or outrageous about that as a list price, when it will be routinely discounted and will also be on a half-price sale from both Criterion and Barnes & Noble at various times.

$400 is roughly the price of a used 16 print of a single two-hour feature film, or maybe two or three obscurities nobody wants but specialist collectors.

For fans of sports and/or the Olympics, this set is a genuine bargain! (I enjoy the Olympics and historic films of any kind, but am not a huge sports fan, so for myself, I would most likely buy it during one of the half-price sales. $200 for 32 discs is only $6.25 per disc and $1.92 per hour, an amazing bargain.)


Firstly, you are ignoring the actual WORTH of the individual films, which varies widely. Only THREE films are bona fide classics: Olympia, Tokyo Olympiad, and Visions of Eight. Many of the other films, as I mentioned, we know nothing about. Third, as I also mentioned, several of the later Olympic films can be viewed for free at the official Olympic Youtube channel. Fourth, some of these films are sure to be available to stream online at Netflix, Hulu, Filmstruck, etc. Some may even be shown on TCM (or other paid TV channels) during the Pyeongchang Olympics, which is just around the corner. I understand the worth of a "collector edition" to some people, but this is a "sucker" edition, just like Criterion's Essential Art House 50-film set several years ago.

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