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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education


ISBN 9781844574704
Publication Date March 2012
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher British Film Institute
Series BFI Film Classics

In this new edition Taylor Downing provides an indispensible guide to one of the most controversial films ever made, Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia. Incorporating discussion of new material and new archival information about its development, Downing also gives a film-maker's insights into the logistical and technical problems faced by the production.

TAYLOR DOWNING ?is a television producer who co-founded Flashback Television in 1982 and has run it as a successful independent production company for many years. He has produced well over 200 documentaries on a wide range of subjects over the last twenty years, including many award-winning history programmes and a series about the Olympic movement. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, Spies in the Sky: The Secret Battle for Aerial Intelligence during World War II (2011) and Churchill's War Lab: Code Breakers, Boffins and Innovators: The Mavericks Churchill Led to Victory (2010). He regularly writes and lectures on television and history

The Olympic on Film 1896-1932
Riefenstahl Before 'Olympia'
Production and Finance
Setting Up
The Prologue and Opening Ceremony
Track and Field
Festival of Beauty


"...it's hard to think of what more a reader would want without straying too far from the film in hand. This is as thorough and detailed an account of a classic as you could hope for." - The Digital Fix
'...this is a timely updated edition of filmmaker Downing's excellent study of Leni Riefenstahl's controversial documentary about the 1936 Berlin Olympics.' - P.D. Smith, The Guardian
'Taylor Downing's passion for history, his knowledge of film and its pedigree and his empathy for the Olympic Games are all apparent in this very clear, concise and very readable account of Leni Reifenstahl's classic film...I can't recommend this outstanding piece of historical analysis and thoughtful judgement of a film-maker enough.' - Stewart Binns, Archive Zone
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