Today: May 20, 2024

Olympics And Film

Much as the 2012 London Olympics will be about competing nations in sport and athletics, it will also be about Britain, its cultural grounds and importantly our film industry.

Much as the 2012
London Olympics will be about competing nations in sport and athletics, it will
also be about Britain, its cultural grounds and importantly our film industry.
Never
a country to do things half arsed, the Cultural
Olympiad
will be hosting a festival of cinema events to celebrate Britain
and the games.

In April Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle, who is directing the opening ceremony, announced that Daniel Craig will be appearing in a
short Bond film, The Arrival, for
the. Having been granted special
access to Buckingham Palace by the Queen herself, Craig’s 007 must fly to the
Olympic stadium in Stratford (by helicopter, naturally) to open the Olympic
Games. 2012 marks the 50th year of the Bond film franchise, with
this specially created short whetting the appetite of fans in the run up to the
23rd Bond film Skyfall,
which sees Craig’s 3rd gig as the secret agent.

From new instalments to a much loved classic, Chariots of Fire (Main Picture) will see a fresh face
for its Olympic makeover. Digitally restored after a £150,000 brush up thanks
to the British Film Institute, Hugh Hudson’s 1981 Oscar winning
feature will be back in cinemas from the 13th of July. The film
follows two sprinters, one a Scottish Christian and the other an English Jew,
competing in the 1924 Paris Olympics, and will also be taking to the stage from
the 9th of May to the 16th of June as a play, as suggested
by Hudson himself.

The London 2012
festival
starts on the 21st of June and runs through to the 9th
of September and has a beefy portion of film based fun for visitors from home
and afar. Leading the programme is a selection of one off screenings of early
silent films from one of Britain’s most renowned directors Alfred Hitchcock. Straight from the BFI national archives, the
restored films will be accompanied by live scores from contemporary artists as
they shown across the Barbican and Wilton’s Music Hall from the 28th
of June to the 21st of July. Artists participating include award
winning Indian-British composer Nitin
Sawhney
and rising vocalist Daniel
Patrick Cohen
.

Also commissioned for the festival is a new short film from Senna director Asif Kapadia. Premiering at this year’s Edinburgh Film Festival, Kapadia’s Odyssey joins Mike Leigh’s a
Running Jump
, Lynne Ramsay’s The
Swimmer
and Max Giwa’s What If
in a series of Olympic based films for the occasion.

Leigh’s films have shaped strands of the contemporary
British film industry for the last 30 years, with Secrets and Lies and his most recent Another Year, starring Jim
Broadbent
, contributing to a reputation of honest character anchored
features. A Running Jump stars Eddie Marsan and Sam Kelly and follows a mismatched family’s sport orientated lives
in east London. The film’s venue during the Olympics has yet to be confirmed
but will be running from 21st of June to the 9th of
September, along with the other short films showing at the event.

Lynne Ramsay’s
adaptation of We Need to Talk About
Kevin
was shamefully ignored at the Oscars but received a nomination at the
2012 BAFTAs and gained monstrous critical acclaim. Ramsay’s contribution to the
festival this summer follows a swimmer taking on the waters of Britain to a
solidly domestic soundtrack and soundbytes from local scenes to capture a
feeling of what it means to be a part of Britain.

Street Dance 3D
director Max Giwa directs a modern
take of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” for the games. The piece, which
celebrates urban youth culture, is said to be heavily influenced by Wim
Wenders’ Wings of Desire and will
star Noel Clarke and George Sargeant.

To find out more details about the London 2012 festival
visit their website HERE

Admittedly there’s only one place to be for the full extent
of the London 2012 celebrations but there are similar film based events
happening all over the country, for example Peterborough’s July Olympic themed Children’s Film Awards, so keep your
eyes peeled for local events too.

Beth Webb - Events Editor

I aim to bring you a round up of the best film events in the UK, no matter where you are or what your preference. For live coverage of events across London, follow @FilmJuice

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