With the London 2012 Games around the corner, is proud to offer “Faster, Higher, Stronger: The Olympics on Screen,” a series celebrating and exploring the on-screen legacy of the Olympics.
The Games have evolved to become much more than simply the world’s foremost sports competition, with issues involving global politics and nationalism often vying for attention with the events on the field. The series will examine all that the Olympics represent – a forum for athletic and physical achievement, a grand spectacle and mass media event, and a reflection of global politics and national identity.
The series, which runs from July 20-26, includes an eclectic mix of offerings, such as family films (Cool Runnings, Miracle), Oscar-winners (One Day in September), classics (Walk, Don’t Run, Visions of 8), and documentaries on both Olympic medalists (Jesse Owens, Strong!) and aspiring ones (Warrior Champions, China Heavyweight). Special events, such as filmmakers Q&As, appearances by former Olympians, panels with sports writers, historians and other experts will supplement many of the screenings.
Ilya Tovbis, Director of Programming at The Picture House, explains what brought about the series: “The Olympics remain unrivaled as the premier sporting event in the world – one full of triumphant storylines, graceful feats of unbelievable athleticism, and a true testament to the human spirit. More broadly, the event brings together a multitude of nations in a celebration of diversity and peaceful coexistence, letting millions of viewers put aside political conflict, ethnic strife, and everyday concerns, at least while the flame flickers.
Naturally, the Olympics are not without their darker moments too, when the political or nationalistic implications of the competition threaten the sanctity of the proceedings (such as at the 1972 Munich Olympics) or racial undertones stain moments of glory (Jesse Owens’ struggles at the 1936 Games). The Olympics are a drama of epic proportions, with the world truly their stage – and what better way to capture the grandeur and vitality of the games then on the Big Screen? We’re confident that our series offers something for everyone and captures the Olympics as a unique, all-in-one political, athletic, social and cultural event.”
Ticket prices and film schedules are available here.
Shaun Assael, a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine, has spent more than a decade covering doping in Olympic and professional sport. His most recent book, Steroid Nation, offers a definitive look at how steroids spread through American culture, from the earliest days of the cold war through Venice Beach and into today's headlines. Shaun will discuss doping in the Olympics on Thursday, July 26 at 6:30. The discussion is free.
A multiple Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Laurens Grant recently won a Primetime Emmy as the producer of the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentary Freedom Riders, the first feature-length documentary to tell the story of the 1961 freedom rides that helped end segregation. Grant had the honor of working with Director Stanley Nelson on the film. Grant has also co-produced two four-hour specials for PBS: Slavery and the Making of America: Seeds of Destruction for which she won an Emmy; and Latin Music USA: The Chicano Wave. Grant has also produced and directed documentaries for A&E, The History Channel and has directed films in Africa and Latin America. Before working in documentary, Grant was a foreign correspondent in Latin America. She headed up the Panama bureau for Reuters, and wrote about Latin American politics and culture for many publications including Newsweek, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Cheryl Haworth became the youngest athlete ever to win an Olympic weightlifting medal when she won the bronze medal in the +75 kilograms division in 2000 in Sydney, Australia. While Haworth instantly became one of the sport's top young stars, her ascent began in 1999 when she won the Pan American Games and placed fourth at the Senior World Championships.
Introduced to weightlifting while strength training as a softball player in 1996, within two years she had won her first two Junior National titles and placed fourth at the Junior Worlds as a 15-year-old. In 1998 Haworth set her first American records and went on to claim all of the American School-Age, Junior, and Senior records in the +75 kilograms division as well as all of the Pan American records at +75 kilograms. During her career, which began at the age of 14, Haworth remained undefeated in U.S. competition, where she won 12 consecutive Senior National titles, beginning with her first in 1999.
Craig and Brent Renaud
Brothers Craig and Brent Renaud have directed and produced award-winning films for HBO, NBC, Discovery, PBS, CBS, MTV and ESPN in places like Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Bolivia, China, Pakistan and Juarez. Their films Off to War, Dope Sick Love, and Little Rock Central; 50 Years Later have earned the Renaud brothers an Emmy and Director’s Guild nomination, an Overseas Press Club Award, an International Documentary Association Award, the National Education Writers Association TV Documentary Award, and top honors at the San Francisco International Film Festival and the Tokyo Video Festival.
Julie Wyman is an award-winning filmmaker as well as a performer, writer, and professor. Her 2004 film, Buoyant, screened at NY MoMA, Walker Arts Center, La Jolla MoCA and at festivals internationally. Her full-length documentary, A Boy Named Sue (2000) aired on Showtime, MTV’s Logo TV, and screened at festivals internationally, winning the 2001 Sappho Award for Best Documentary and receiving a nomination for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s Media Award for Best Documentary. Wyman’s writing has been published in the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest and will be included in a forthcoming edited volume entitled Scholarly Acts. Wyman is also a member of the artist/activist collective BLW whose performance work, cited in Artforum International, January 2008, has been featured at venues including the Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Southern Exposure Gallery, San Francisco, Pilot Television, Chicago, and the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford. Wyman holds a BA from Amherst College and an MFA in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego. She has served as an Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Queens College, CUNY and the University of Hartford and is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Filmmaking in the Technocultural Studies Department at UC Davis.
Dave Zirin is an American political sportswriter who is currently the sports editor for The Nation magazine and the author of The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World. Zirin will discuss the book, which focuses on the fallout from John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s Black Power salute during the medal ceremony for the 200-meter dash at the 1968 Mexico City Games.