DVD Review: Weekend of a Champion
In 1971 Roman Polanski spent the weekend with world champion Jackie Stewart as he attempted to win the Monaco Grand Prix. Like best friends the two hung out, and Jackie raced a few races. The only difference, was that Polanski had a film crew with him as he was making a documentary. This fly on the wall documentary of Jackie Stewart at the hight of his career is both gripping and oh so mundane.
It’s pretty much just Polanski and Stewart hanging out and chatting, driving the circuit and racing. Even the racing isn’t that exciting, mainly because Polanksi’s crew aren’t set up for recording the thrill of the race.
The thing that makes Weekend Of A Champion interesting is just how far the sport has come. Back in 1971, the Monaco street circuit still had road curbs. Solid, hard edged blocks that would puncture your tyre or break your suspension if you went over them. Non on the curb hopping that we see in motorsports today. The other thing you don’t see in motorsports today is the pit land being cars pulling up on the side of the track, and people wandering on and off the track, because there were few barriers. One crash in the wrong place and there would have been massive fatalities.
This is bought home in the new postscript where Polanski and Stewart sit down and reminisce. Stewart candidly pointing out that back in his time, the racing was dangerous and the sex wasn’t. Now it’s the other way around. Five of his best friends lost their lives racing, and about 70 people in total during Stewart’s career. These days no one dies in Formula One.
Interesting but ultimately yawn inducing, this is a DVD for motorsports fans, with an desire to see where the sport has come from.
Rating: PG Coarse language.
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