Monday, March 20, 2023

Tokyo Olympics film debut in Japan; next to cannes

TOKYO ( Associated Press) – The premiere of the documentary film about the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics was shown in the Japanese capital on Monday to journalists and other invited guests.

Produced by Japanese director Naomi Kawase, the 120-minute film primarily looks at the Olympics from the point of view of athletes – but not just the winning athletes.

After Tokyo, the film will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday at the Bunuel Theatre, named after Spanish-born iconoclastic filmmaker Luis Buuel.

“The Olympics aren’t just about getting the prize, being first and going after the victory that’s in front of you right now,” Kavase said in a recent interview. “I also tried to portray the quest to be a winner in life.”

Kawas also made another film, called “Side B”, looking at events away from athletes. It will start on an unspecified date.

Kawas said that he made the film in two parts because, after the postponement of the Games due to the pandemic, his subject matter had become more complicated.

The film looks at refugee athletes and defecting athletes. She also touched on gender equality, athletes competing as mothers, and covered Yoshiro Morio’s resignation. As chairman of the local organizing committee.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Mori stepped down after making derogatory remarks about women five months before the start of the Olympics, saying they “talk too much.”

The 1964 Tokyo Olympics documentary by Kon Ichikawa, titled “Tokyo Olympiad”, is generally considered one of the most important in the genre. Also in that category is Lenny Riefenstahl’s “Olympia” from the 1936 Berlin Games.

Kawase said he was honored to follow in Ichikawa’s footsteps and try to show what is visible, and also what is not to be seen.

“I was fascinated by how human beings achieve the pinnacle of physical beauty,” Kavase said. “I realized they were so beautiful looking at them; all the athletes, not just the winners. And the time they put in to get there was beautiful too.”

The title of the Kawase documentary is simply “Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Official Film”. He was nominated in 2018 to produce the film, which sees turmoil leading to a postponement and opening in March of 2020 – largely without fans – on July 23, 2021 – and closing on August 8. .

In a summary, Cannes stated that the film took 750 days to shoot, with 5,000 hours of filming.

It captures “not only the athletes gathered from around the world, but also their families, people involved in the Games, volunteers, mediocre personnel and protesters shouting for the cancellation of the Olympics. The film draws from the passion and anguish that emanated from these Olympic Games.” shows it.”

Kawasey is highly acclaimed and became the youngest director to receive the Camera d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival with his 1997 film “Sujaku”.

His most famous recent films are “Sweet Bean” and “Still the Water”.

The documentary is financed by the International Olympic Committee and the local organizing committee, and is a requirement under the hosting contract.

Tokyo Organizing Committee CEO Toshiro Muto said that when Kawase was presented four years ago that the IOC owned the copyright of the film and “the right to make important decisions in the making of the film.”

Kavase said she has been influenced by Russia’s invasion or Ukraine, asking herself the meaning of entertainment in the midst of wartime killings.

“I hope that when people watch this film 50 years from now, 100 years from now, they will understand the importance of protecting that happiness – small enough that it can fit in the palm of your hand.”


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