DVD Review “Weekend of a Champion”

weekend-championActors: Jackie Stewart, Roman Polanski
Directors: Frank Simon
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
DVD Release Date: May 20, 2014
Run Time: 90 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1/2 out of 5 stars

“Weekend of a Champion” is a lost film from one of the world’s greatest filmmakers and given a new life after 40 years, being restored and including new footage. Roman Polanski produced this and also stepped in front of the camera for a thrilling inside look at racing great Jackie Stewart’s attempt to win the 1971 Monaco Grand Prix. This film has been nearly forgotten and is quite hot coming off its return to movie screens. Polanski recently found, restored and recut the film along with adding a new epilogue showing Polanski and Stewart revisiting the events of the film in present-day Monaco.

Official Premise: 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 only special feature included on this DVD is a trailer, which is a little disappointing. If Polanski spent the time to recut and restore this film, I would have loved to see a little bit of new extras as well. Obviously if you could the new epilogue that this is a little bit different. If you had a chance to see this film back in the day, you will find that the new footage features Polanski and Stewart today talking about their friendship over the last 40 years as well as the changing of racing and life in general. A real treat for any Polanski fan and Grand Prix fan for sure!

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