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Criterion Announces Its Biggest Box Set Ever, a Collection of Olympic Films


The Criterion Collection has emerged as the gold standard of boutique home-video releasing outfits, both in terms of their eclecticism and access. It seems like they’re always unveiling some big new project, whether it’s a restoration of an aging classic, a spotlight on a more obscure curio (their House disc remains a top seller), or a handsome release for current pictures. And a tweet today announced what may be their most staggeringly ambitious project, a box set the like of which dwarf any the company has attempted before. Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project has been suddenly supplanted as the must-have gift for the movie obsessive in your life.

Criterion has pulled back the curtain on 100 Years of Olympic Films, a comprehensive compilation of filmmaking about the global festival of sport. Take it by the numbers: over 32 Blu-rays or 43 DVDs, Criterion gathered 53 films that cover 41 editions of the Games, both in their summer and winter installments. Their official announcement offers a complete list of the films included in the hefty box set, featuring work from such filmmakers as Leni Riefenstahl, Arthur Penn, Im Kwon-Taek, and Masahiro Shinoda. In typical Criterion fashion, the set itself looks magnificent as well:

This is a serious windfall for Olympics geeks and movie nerds alike, grouping dozens of previously hard-to-find films in one package. And this isn‘t even an Olympics year! While the $319.96 price tag may put off some potential customers (“Meh, I’d prefer something I could actually afford,” says the one commenter on Criterion‘s announcement page), I’d expect the already-active preorder sale to go like hotcakes. 100 Years of Olympic Films will be available to the public on December 5.

Watch Benedict Cumberbatch’s Olympics Video

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