A 'LOST' FILM FROM ONE OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST DIRECTORS RETURNS AFTER 40 YEARS, RESTORED AND WITH NEW FOOTAGE
WEEKEND OF A CHAMPION
Roman Polanski's Thrilling Look at Racing Great Jackie Stewart's Attempt to Win the 1971 Monaco Grand Prix Arrives on DVD From MPI on May 20, 2014
A nearly forgotten film by Roman Polanski, made at the height of his fame, has resurfaced to thrill fans of the director as well as lovers of auto racing. WEEKEND OF A CHAMPION is Polanski's you-are-there look at racing great Jackie Stewart as he competes in the renowned Monaco Grand Prix. Fresh from its triumphant return to movie screens, the film comes to DVD from MPI Home Video May 20, 2014, with an SRP of $24.98.
In 1971, Oscar-winning filmmaker and racing fan Roman Polanski (The Pianist, Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby, Tess) spent a weekend with world champion Formula One driver Jackie Stewart as he attempted to win the Monaco Grand Prix, one of the premier events in the sport. Polanski was given intimate access to Stewart's world for three days, both on the track and off. The result was an extraordinarily rare glimpse into the life of a gifted athlete at the height of his powers.
The film, produced by Polanski and credited to documentary director Frank Simon, premiered at the 1972 Berlin Film Festival and played throughout Europe. But it then sat dormant for 40 years until Polanski restored and recut the film, adding a new epilogue showing Polanski and Stewart reminiscing in present-day Monaco, having a conversation about their friendship, the evolution of racing, and life in general. The revitalized film premiered as an Official Selection at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and went on to a successful theatrical U.S. release.
Mike D'Angelo of AV Club raved, "WEEKEND OF A CHAMPION serves as a terrific primer on auto racing." The Hollywood Reporter's Stephen Dalton said, "[It] begins as a motorsports movie but ends up a portrait of two wily elder statesmen who have survived into their 70s by skill, stealth and sheer luck." Said the New York Daily News' Elizabeth Weitzman, "Polanski and Stewart reunite at the film's end to reminisce, but it's the original footage that thrills." "Even when he's talking technical ... Stewart's engaging, no-nonsense good humor shines through," said Screen International's Jonathan Romney.
WEEKEND OF A CHAMPION
Street date: May 20, 2014
Running time: 90 minutes