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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.