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Visions Of Eight Criterion Blu-ray Review

“Visions Of Eight” is filled with inventive POVs.

With the 2021 Tokyo Olympics fast approaching, Criterion has wisely released an Olympics centric title with 1973’s documentary on the 1972 Munich Olympics titled “Visions Of Eight.” The film is made up of 8 short films by 8 different filmmakers from 8 different countries. The filmmakers being Milos Forman, Arthur Penn, John Schlesinger, Kon Ichikawa, Claude Lelouch, Juri Ozerov, Michael Pfleghar and Mai Zetterling, 

“Visions Of Eight” kicks off with “The Beginning” by Yuri Ozerov which focuses on the waiting and the moments before the Olympics kick off. Next up is the weightlifter centric “The Strongest” followed by the pole vaulting focused “The Highest.” The fourth short is the aptly named “The Women” which is a tribute to the female athletes. “The Fastest” revolves around the 100 meter race” while “The Decathlon” focuses on that event (with other art showcases being spliced in if that makes any sense). “The Losers” is, well, about the losing athletes. Lastly, there’s “The Longest” which is all about the 26 mile marathon run. This segment also touches upon the tragic and horrific Israeli athlete murders that occured.

For those thinking “Visions Of Eight” might just be an Olympics puff piece or what not, it’s not. It’s very much an experimental documentary film. Sure, it’s a product of its time, but it’s also a fascinating showcase of 8 artists with 8 very unique perspectives (surely you must be getting that 8 is the keyword here). For example, “The Highest” isn’t just about pole vaulting. Director Arthur Penn created a really artsy, visual, intimate piece that somehow shows the sporting event in a new light. It’s hard to put into words, you just have to see it for yourself. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s “The Losers” which focuses entirely on the wide range of emotions that athletes experience upon losing an event. It’s a very voyeuristic piece that shows people at their most vulnerable. Basically, with this documentary, you (the audience) get a glimpse at all manners of the Olympics in ways you may have never thought of or seen before. That’s what makes it such a rewarding and special experience.


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The 4K digital restoration maintains the 70’s aesthetic while also providing a nice upgrade to the footage. 

Audio Track: Uncompressed Mono. How does it sound? Expect a quality Mono track.

* A booklet with credits, photos and artwork, an article from “Sports Illustrated” by George Plimpton, an excerpt from David L. Wolper’s own memoir, and an essay by author Sam Lipsyte.
* A newly recorded commentary by Ringer podcasters Amanda Dobbins, Sean Fennessey and Chris Ryan.
* “Visions Of Eight” trailer
* “Munich ‘72: The Making Of Visions Of Eight”- A brand new 54 minute documentary loaded with interviews, set stories, and an exploration of what was happening in 1972 globally. Fantastic extra.
* “On Location With Visions Of Eight”- A vintage promo film for “Visions Of Eight.”

July 4, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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