This is a documentary about Sir Frank Williams and his racing team.
Actually, it is split into three main themes. The first tells the story of Frank and his rise to fame as one of the greatest privateer teams ever in Formula 1. A lot of the story is also devoted to his wife, Ginny, without whom the team probably would not have survived. Then there was the tale of Sir Frank’s car crash which left him a quadriplegic, and his recovery which Ginny had a lot to do with.
While there was plenty of Formula 1 history there were a few blanks including nothing more than a few seconds of Ayrton Senna’s death, and very little about the team’s successes apart from the early eighties. But, the rest of the story was well told and focussed mainly on Sir Frank, Ginny, and their daughter Claire who is now running the team.
Ginny died from cancer in 2013 so there is only archival footage of her. There is some footage though of her talking to a writer friend which reveals a lot about Sir Frank himself. What is clear about him is that he cares for very little except motor racing.
So this is an excellent watch for Formula 1 fans, and the human side to the story may appeal to those who are not. Either way it is a well made and told story, and an excellent start to another year of film watching.
Date watched: January 6th
Film count 2018: 1
This is a Formula 1 documentary mostly about the history of F1 safety. I found it at Tsutaya.
It is very well made, has lots of footage I have never seen before, and interviews with many drivers past and present.
Some of the footage is hard to watch though, Formula 1 was an incredibly dangerous sport in the 60’s and especially the 70’s. So many drivers lost their lives because of almost non-existent safety in the cars and on the tracks. There was also the attitude in many drivers that the danger was what made the sport great, and that dying is preferable to slower but safer cars. Jackie Ickx was one of these drivers and he made no apologies for it, but drivers like Emerson Fittipaldi and Niki Lauda were champs. Niki tried to stop the race he had his accident in, but most drivers including Ickx insisted it go ahead.
A very good watch for an F1 fan, but it is gruesome in places.
Date watched: May 10th
Film count 2015: 66
I was really looking forward to watching this, even though it is a Ron Howard film which made me a bit wary.
But, as it turns out, Ron did a jolly good job on this. The action scenes were pretty dashed good, and the story was engaging, and rather good fun.
The actors who played Niki and James did a great job. A chap by the name of Simon Taylor did the voice for Murray Walker or “English race announcer” as the credits named him. He absolutely nailed the voice, it wasn’t until I checked on the interwebs that I found it wasn’t actually Muzza. Props to Simon there.
It was obviously over-dramatised in places, but it didn’t matter as it was a jolly good yarn whether it was factual or not.
Date watched: January 31st
Film count 2014: 22
Here is a video of the actual race at Suzuka where James won the championship.