thu 14/11/2019

Olympics

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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theartsdesk Olympics: The Wrestler

What of the star sportsman whose glory days are behind him? It seems an absurd question to pose, with the sun barely set on the theatrics of Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony, but for Randy “The Ram” Robinson it’s everyday existentialism.Of course it's...

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The Opening Ceremony, BBC One

Oh to have been a fly on the wall at the Palace. “Your Majesty, we’ve had a request from a Mr Boyle. It concerns the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games.” “I’m already opening the blessed thing, aren’t I? What else do they want?” “Ma’am, they just...

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Gallery: Collecting the Olympic Games, British Library

As London 2012 finally settles into the blocks for its two-week dash after seven years of preparation, the British Library has cast a nostalgic look back to the two previous Olympiads hosted by the city, in 1908 and 1948. The story the images tell...

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Bert and Dickie, BBC One

Nearly there. In one more day the phoney Games will be over and the real drama can begin. For the past weeks the television schedules have jostled with documentaries about past Olympians and current ones, while Chariots of Fire has been going for...

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theartsdesk Olympics: Football under Hitler's eyes

A football team normally heads out onto the pitch determined to win – unless, perhaps, the match has been fixed. Or unless they’ve been under Gestapo pressure to lose. That was what happened at the legendary “Death Match” in Kiev in August 1942. A...

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Twenty Twelve: The Finale, BBC Two

So that’s all over then. Which isn’t good. The gnawing anxiety for followers of Twenty Twelve, the programme whose theme song is “There may be trouble ahead...", has been whether real-life events would become so like it - or even worse, more like it...

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theartsdesk Olympics: Steve Prefontaine (times two)

Movies often come unwittingly in pairs, whether you're talking Capote and Infamous (both about Truman Capote) or Valmont and Dangerous Liaisons (both adapted from the epistolary novel by Laclos). And so it was that the late 1990s saw the...

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Tom Daley: Diving for Britain /Absolutely Fabulous, BBC One

Jane Treays's previous film about diver Tom Daley was 2010's The Diver and His Dad, which followed the amphibious teenager as he sat his GCSEs and defended various titles. Ominously, it also charted the progress of his father Rob's struggle against...

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theartsdesk Olympics: Athletes at the opera

Triumph, despair, glory and struggle: the Olympic Games might technically be a sporting event, but in spirit and essence they are pure drama. Film-makers may have shouted loudest about this discovery, generating hit after Olympic-themed hit...

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