The Munich Olympics will see a departure in the method of handling the traditional Olympic movie. Heretofore, it has always been an individual responsibility, and the individual has been a native of the host country. This time David Wolper, Hollywood producer, will be in charge, and 10 directors from 10 countries will do segments of the final film. The directorial cast is exceptional: Claude Lelouch of France, Milos Formal! of Czechoslovakia, Kon Ichikawa of Japan, Yuri Ozerov of the Soviet Union, Arthur Penn of the U.S., John Schlesinger of Great Britain. Franco Zeffirelli of Italy, Ousmane Sembene of Senegal and Mai Zetterling of Sweden. A German director is still to be named.
Stan Margulies, co-producer for Wolper Pictures, says, "Each man—or better make that director, since Zetterling is a woman—will interpret the part of the Games that interests him most. Arthur Penn will concentrate on Bobby Lee Hunter, the South Carolina convict and prospective Olympic boxer [page 64]. Ichikawa, who did the entire 1964 film at Tokyo, will focus on the 100-meter dash. Mai Zetterling will do weight lifters, Sembene the role of the emerging African nations, and so on. There is no story, no shooting script, no continuity established. All that will come when the shooting is over, when each director is finished."
Wolper got the idea for doing the Olympics a year ago when he was in Germany finishing his film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. He was curious as to who might be doing the Olympic movie, inquired and found out nothing had yet been decided. The organizing committee had several applicants but had accepted none of them.
Back in California, Wolper and company mulled things and came up with the 10-director concept. "We went back to the Organizing Committee," says Margulies, "explained our idea and got the rights. I believe one of the things that clinched it for us was that we did not ask for a subsidy. Everyone else who applied did. All we wanted was the right to film the Games. They would put up nothing. We would use that good old American risk capital and gamble with our dough."
The film is budgeted for $2 million and is expected to be released early in 1973. "It's a project you dream about," says Margulies.
This sounds as if it came straight from Alice in Wonderland. In Texas Stadium this Friday college bands are playing four 15-minute quarters, sandwiched around a halftime show featuring the Dallas Cowboys. Shall we run that through again? Braniff International airlines is putting up $25,000 in music scholarship funds for a contest among bands from Grambling, Jackson State, Southern University and Bishop College of Dallas. Each band is on the field for 15 minutes. At halftime a squad of Cowboys led by Roger Staubach meets another squad led by Craig Morton in a 20-minute game of flag football, a variation of touch. Then back to the serious business of march, tootle and strut.
Almost makes you wish the football season hadn't ended so soon.
BROKEN FIELD RUNNER
Or did the football season ever end? Just the Other day a contest that was classic in certain respects was played during Kansas State's spring practice. Before an intrasquad game, Head Coach Vince Gibson asked Bob Hentzen of the Topeka Capital-Journal to coach the White team and David Wright of the Manhattan Mercury to coach the Purple side. It worked out beautifully for Gibson, who wanted to give the newspapermen a taste of what it is like to be a coach under pressure. With seven minutes to go, the underdog White squad scored a touchdown to narrow the score to 16-15. Now Acting Coach Hentzen had to make a quick decision: play it safe and go for a one-point kick and the tie, or gamble on a two-point conversion that could give him the lead. Hentzen opted for the kick, and when the game ended 16-16 he was sternly questioned by erstwhile associates in the sporting press who implied that he was chicken. With coachly aplomb, Hentzen said not at all. "There was plenty of time left," he rationalized in the way of countless coaches before him. "All afternoon we had showed our ability to move the ball. I was sure we could score again."