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100 Years of Olympic Films, 10: Cortina d'Ampezzo, 1956
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.37:1 Standard
  • Italian PCM Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • None

100 Years of Olympic Films, 10: Cortina d'Ampezzo, 1956

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Giorgio Ferroni
2017 | 96 Minutes | Licensor: International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $399.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Release Date: December 5, 2017
Review Date: December 31, 2017

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SYNOPSIS

Spanning fifty-three movies and forty-one editions of the Olympic Games, 100 Years of Olympic Films: 1912Ė2012 is the culmination of a monumental, award-winning archival project encompassing dozens of new restorations by the International Olympic Committee. The documentaries collected here cast a cinematic eye on some of the most iconic moments in the history of modern sports, spotlighting athletes who embody the Olympic motto of ďFaster, Higher, StrongerĒ: Jesse Owens shattering world records on the track in 1936 Berlin, Jean-Claude Killy dominating the Grenoble slopes in 1968, Joan Benoit breaking away to win the Gamesí first womenís marathon in Los Angeles in 1984. In addition to the impressive ten-feature contribution of Bud Greenspan, this stirring collective chronicle of triumph and defeat includes such documentary landmarks as Leni Riefenstahlís Olympia and Kon Ichikawaís Tokyo Olympiad, along with captivating lesser-known works by major directors like Claude Lelouch, Carlos Saura, and Miloö Forman. It also offers a fascinating glimpse of the development of film itself, and of the technological progress that has brought viewers ever closer to the action. Traversing continents and decades, reflecting the social, cultural, and political changes that have shaped our recent history, this remarkable movie marathon showcases a hundred years of human endeavor.


PICTURE

Still making my way through Criterionís 100 Years of Olympic Films box set, disc 10 presents one film covering the 1956 Winter Games in Cortina díAmpezzo, Giorgio Ferroniís White Vertigo. The film is presented on this dual-layer disc in its original aspect ratio of 1.37:1 with a 1080p/24hz encode. The restoration was either done in 2K or 4K resolution.

Another colour film this one is an oddity in the set up to this point, though at least one other film later in the set shares a similar trait with it (Iím currently on disc 18 as of this writing). The other colour films up this point have all delivered colours that seemed to be balanced pretty evenly on the warm/cool spectrum but White Vertigo ends up leaning quite a bit on the warmer, yellow side of things, the snow taking on a yellow tint during a number of sequences. Since this look hasnít plagued the previous colour films it could be safe to assume itís supposed to look this way. The notes point out that Eastman Color negative was used for the restoration, with a hint they also referenced Ferraniacolor prints made for distribution. But even if this is how it is supposed to look it still throws off other aspects of the image. Blacks are explicitly effected by this, the balance thrown off making them more milky and gray, especially in the nighttime sequences. This in turn completely crushes out shadow detail, severely flattening the picture. I really donít know what to make of it, itís just so odd after how most of the other colour films in the set look so far. Itís not alone in the set so far though: spoiler alert, disc 12ís The Grand Olympics looks similar.

Getting past that I donít have much else to complain about. The clean-up job is pretty immaculate and I donít recall any bits of damage other than a bit of a flicker on the edge of the screen during an ice hockey match. The picture has also been encoded well, no obvious artifacts present and film grain, which is pretty fine, is rendered superbly, leading to sharp and distinct details when the black levels arenít crushing them out. Ultimately, it looks like a film for the most part, but that yellow tint throws things off.

7/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The audio is again presented in lossless PCM 1.0 mono. The music and narration sound fine, but again fidelity is limited, as is range. But like most of the films so far damage isnít a concern and it sounds quite clean.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

The only disappointing aspect to this set is that there are no on-disc special features to speak of. The set does come with an incredibly thorough 216-page hardbound book, featuring material on the restorations by Adrian Wood along with essays covering the films, all written by film scholar Peter Cowie. It also filled with photos from the various events. Cowieís essay for the film is one of the shorter ones in the book, admiring the look and its coverage of events, so I can only further assume the yellow tint is correct. (The grade given here refers to the supplements for the set as a whole, which, in this case, is just the included book.)

5/10

CLOSING

Generally the presentation is clean and doesnít present any noticeable artifacts, keeping a filmic look. The yellow tint and weak blacks admittedly threw me off.




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