Olympia at Broadway — a rare treat for cinema-goers

   
   
Olympia 
05 Jul 2012 15:38:55.523

PA 197/12

Nottingham’s Broadway cinema is giving film fans the rare opportunity to see Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia, commissioned by Hitler to document the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Widely recognised as one of the greatest films of all-time, Olympia is controversial due to its political context.

The film set a precedent for both future Olympic films and televised sport and Riefenstahl’s groundbreaking filmmaking techniques — including unusual camera angles and close-ups — went on to become industry standard.

The screening takes place on Tuesday 17 July, when an academic from The University of Nottingham will put Olympia in context in what’s believed to be a UK first — taking philosophy into the cinema.

Click here for full story
Getting philosophical

Professor Stephen Mumford, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, will explore key philosophical questions about whether the film can still be considered beautiful, despite its association with Nazi propaganda.

“It still deserves our attention, even though at times it may be an uncomfortable watch,” he said.

“I can understand why it is rare for Olympia to be screened — it was a Nazi film — and some elements could be considered to be glorifying Nazism,” said Professor Mumford. “But it was mainly a film in praise of athletic beauty and filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl was afforded a high degree of independence.

“It raises the question in philosophical aesthetics of whether an ethical flaw becomes an aesthetic defect as well. Is the imagery beautiful but wrong, or does its wrongness stop it being beautiful?”

Regular event

Café Philosophique will be a regular event in Broadway’s calendar, combining both contemporary and classic films with the expertise of philosophy academics from the University. Future themes will include philosophy of the body, justice and fairness, and literature and the mind.

Professor Mumford said: “I have high hopes for Café Philosophique. It’s a wonderful opportunity to take philosophical ideas outside the University. Many people are interested in these things and realise the value of philosophy.

“We have a duty as academics to satisfy the desire people have to learn. It’s not just fee-paying students — everyone sees the appeal of enlightened thinking and wrestles with difficult ideas. Philosophers can help disentangle the complex issues.”

Key partners

Caroline Hennigan, Programme Director at Broadway, is equally excited about the collaboration and further diversifying what the cinema offers.

She said: “We view The University of Nottingham as one of our key partners in the city. Being given rare permission to show Olympia really thrilled me as a film programmer. There aren’t many occasions when cinema has something truly unique to offer — and this is one of those occasions.”

But Olympia is just the beginning and Caroline hopes that cinema goers will be excited by the combination of cinema and philosophy.

She said: “It’s an innovative and potent mix of film and academia. I’m not aware of anything quite like it in any other cinema in the country and I look forward to further collaborations with the University.”

Time, date and price

The first Café Philosophique evening is on Tuesday 17 July. Professor Mumford’s 30-minute talk begins at 6pm followed by Olympia Part 1: Festival of Nations. After the screening audience members will be invited to chat about the film in Broadway’s Mezz bar.

Olympia Part 2: Festival of Beauty will be shown on Wednesday 18 July at 6pm and cinema-goers can retain their ticket for Part 1 for entry to Part 2.

Full details and ticket information can be found at http://www.broadway.org.uk/events/film_cafe_philosophique_presents_olympia  

— Ends —

For up to the minute media alerts follow us on Twitter

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United KingdomChina and Malaysia. It is also the most popular university in the UK by 2012 application numbers, and ‘the world’s greenest university’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

 Credits

Fraser Wilson - Communications Officer

Email: fraser.wilson@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 846 6691 Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Related articles

New Hollywood partner to work with University Film Institute

Published Date
Thursday 11th October 2012

Watching sport: what kind of fan are you?

Published Date
Friday 29th July 2011

Follow your heart and Study What You Love

Published Date
Monday 12th November 2012

New exhibition gives a voice to WWII refugees

Published Date
Friday 17th August 2012

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
C Floor, Pope Building (Room C4)
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798
email: communications@nottingham.ac.uk