sat 27/05/2017

Olympics

Race

With the Olympic Games starting in three months, it’s time to cash in with those inspiring stories of competition. Jesse Owens embodies the Olympic spirit, winning four track golds at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, comprehensively refuting Hitler’s...

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Eddie the Eagle

By finishing last in the ski jumping events at the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988, Eddie Edwards became the epitome of the plucky no-hoper, a mediocre amateur equipped only with British true grit. He epitomised a curious strain in the national...

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Unbroken

This year's award-courting survival picture (after 2013's All Is Lost, and 2012's Life of Pi) is based on the genuinely remarkable story of Olympian Louis Zamperini. It's a tale of heroic resilience in the face of an onslaught of adversity, helmed...

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DVD: Berlin 36

Sporting dreams and the Second World War are both bottomless narrative mines. German-Jewish high-jumper Gretel Bergmann’s attempt to compete in the German team at the 1936 Berlin Olympics unites these genres, but it’s no Hitler-era Chariots of Fire....

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DVD: A London Trilogy – The Films of Saint Etienne 2003-2007

The default word for these films, made by the band Saint Etienne with their collaborator and former guitarist Paul Kelly, is "poignant". As elegiac visual poems which capture the always-evolving environment of London, they certainly are expressive....

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Elbow, O2 Arena

Elbow are responsible for a remarkable conjuring trick. Earlier this year their song “First Steps” stirringly soundtracked the BBC’s Olympic credit sequence, and then at the Closing Ceremony they serenaded the athletes into the London 2012 stadium...

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The Last Night of the Proms, Benedetti, Calleja, BBCSO, Bělohlávek

The BBC Symphony Chorus did a mass Mobot. A posse of medal-winning rowers and sailors led the encore of Rule, Britannia. The Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja entered in Team GB trackies. It has been, we can probably agree, a summer unlike others we have...

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The Olympic Games, BBC

“It was almost undescribable but I’ll give it a go.” Anyone from the group of athletes we have come to know as Team GB might have given voice to the thought, but the words happened to belong to Ed McKeever, one of the less charismatic of the freshly...

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theartsdesk Olympics: Suspense and Sensuality in Ozon’s Swimming Pool

As a director François Ozon perpetually confounds, with a string of diverse films to his name (the intense 5X2 and the gambolling Potiche to name but two) and this effort from 2002 is characteristically capricious - is it crisp, contemplative drama...

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theartsdesk Olympics: Football and Film - United or Damned?

Football and film: what is that? Let’s agree that it has not always been the happiest relationship. If you’ve observed Brian Clough’s brief encounter with the Leeds squad in The Damned United, you'll get the picture. They really ought to be best...

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theartsdesk Olympics: En Garde! Fencing on Stage and Screen

Is that a sabre you see before you? It could be if you’re talking any of multiple stage and screen versions of Hamlet, the Shakespeare play that puts centre-stage arguably the most esoteric of all Olympics activities: fencing. (Well, OK, beach...

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theartsdesk Olympics: Swimming Movies

Uncontrollable mirth is the response of many onlookers to the Olympic spectacle of synchronised swimming, though it is (they say) a discipline which demands formidable strength and technical accuracy. Be that as it may, it probably wouldn't exist...

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