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16 Ratings

Weekend of a Champion

Directed by Frank Simon
United Kingdom, 1971
Documentary, Sport


Weekend of a Champion is a little-known documentary from Roman Polanski, following Formula 1 racing champion Jackie Stewart on the weekend of his victory. Acclaimed but unreleased, Weekend screened at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and is slated for release on Netflix.

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Weekend of a Champion Directed by Frank Simon
Weekend Of A Champion serves as a terrific primer on auto racing. Its climactic chronicle of the actual Grand Prix is a bit pedestrian (forgive that pun), due to the nature of Monaco’s street circuit; Simon and Polanski just can’t secure many worthwhile angles on the action.
November 21, 2013
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…This time capsule of ‘70s sideburns and shaggy haircuts is no biopic. Rather, it’s a vintage flashbulb moment of two men at the peak of their talents, one on his way to securing his second world championship, and the other between the twin triumphs of “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Chinatown.” A charming coda of contemporary footage finds the friends reviewing Mr. Stewart’s late-career role in improving the safety standards of a sport that, he says, once killed two out of three drivers.
November 21, 2013
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A lifelong enthusiast of motor sports and then a close friend to Stewart, Polanski appears to have produced and financed Weekend of a Champion almost as a pretense for an all-access pass to the track. But the result is a pleasure, perhaps as much for audiences as for Polanski; it’s a chance to luxuriate in the atmosphere of world-class Formula One, here a lavish free-love party interrupted now and again by a few laps on the track.
November 20, 2013
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