← Back to Reviews

White Vertigo




White Vertigo, 1956

This documentary covers the action at the 1956 winter Olympics in Italy.

Despite having lost interest in the Olympics in the last few years, I have enjoyed several documentaries of the older games. That said, this one didn't quite hit the mark for me.

Something that several Olympics documentaries do that I just don't care for is spending a lot of time on the opening and closing ceremonies. I'm not all that into pomp and circumstance, and I start to get antsy when I'm 20 minutes into a sporting documentary and I've yet to see any sports.

The actual coverage of the competition is okay, but the format chosen for the film---cutting back and forth between two different sports---takes a lot of tension out of the proceedings. Then there's the stylistic choice to announce the results as we are watching the events. As a skier prepares to go down the hill, the narrator will say, "And here's Smith, about to place 6th."

I was very charmed by the footage of the figure skating. It's also interesting to see the relatively older age of the competitors. There are some enjoyable (if a bit goofy) sequences showing the athletes lounging around their cabin-like accommodations in their matching outfits.

Nothing awful, nothing special. A handful of unfortunate old-timey racist/sexist remarks.