×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ping Pong

Competition docu "Ping Pong" follows eight players from around the globe as they participate in an international summit: The difference is that this is table tennis for seniors, with octogenarians on the youthful end, and one contestant still a contender at 100. Engaging if unremarkable, Hugh Hartford's polished pic is a crowdpleaser that's already gotten theatrical release in the U.K. and Canada while touring the fest circuit. It should rack up further sales as a broadcast item.

With:
With: Les D'Arcy, Rune Forsberg, Sun Yong Qing, Terry Donlon, Dorothy DeLow, Lisa Modlich, Ursula Bihl, Inge Hermann. (English, German, Mandarin, Japanese dialogue)

Competition docu “Ping Pong” follows eight players from around the globe as they participate in an international summit: The difference is that this is table tennis for seniors, with octogenarians on the youthful end, and one contestant still a contender at 100. Engaging if unremarkable, Hugh Hartford’s polished pic is a crowdpleaser that’s already gotten theatrical release in the U.K. and Canada while touring the fest circuit. It should rack up further sales as a broadcast item.

The protags are introduced on their home turf as they prepare for the World Over-80s Championships in Inner Mongolia, where the sizable stadium and enthusiastic audiences suggest table tennis is taken quite seriously. Spotlit players are lifelong Brit sports fanatic Les D’Arcy, still weightlifting at 89; his countryman Terry Donlon, bouncing back after serious health issues; Germany’s Inge Hermann, introduced to the sport as nursing-home physical therapy; plus another German, a Swede, a Texas-residing Austrian war bride, and hosting regional champ Sun Yong Qing. They’re all overshadowed, in terms of media attention, by Aussie centenarian Dorothy DeLow, though the attendant fuss doesn’t help her game. Ingratiating personalities drive this slick, upbeat package.

Ping Pong

U.K.

Production: A Banyak Films presentation in association with Britdoc and Channel 4 of a Hartford Brothers production. (International sales: Channel 4, London.) Produced by Anson Hartford, Hugh Hartford. Executive producers, Maxyne Franklin, Beadie Finzi. Directed by Hugh Hartford.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Hugh Hartford, Anson Hartford; editor, John Mister; music, Orlando Roberton; sound, Daniel Chu Owen; sound designers/re-recording mixers, Richard Lewis, Steven Parker. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, Nov. 19, 2012. (In San Francisco Documentary, Hot Docs, Calgary, Warsaw film festivals; Doc NYC.) Running time: 76 MIN.

With: With: Les D'Arcy, Rune Forsberg, Sun Yong Qing, Terry Donlon, Dorothy DeLow, Lisa Modlich, Ursula Bihl, Inge Hermann. (English, German, Mandarin, Japanese dialogue)

More Film

  • Lucas (Jonah Hauer-King) and Bella (Amber)

    China's Bona Film Boards Brad Pitt's 'Ad Astra,' 'A Dog's Way Home' (EXCLUSIVE)

    China’s Bona Film Group is co-financing Brad Pitt space adventure “Ad Astra,” one of several films in a strong slate of international movies the company plans to release in the Middle Kingdom over the next year. Bona has also acquired Roland Emmerich’s war spectacular “Midway” and is investing in “A Dog’s Way Home,” the sequel [...]

  • Aquaman 2018

    Film News Roundup: 'Aquaman' Sets Pre-Sales Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Aquaman” sets a pre-sales record, “Bohemian Rhapsody” hits a milestone, and SAG-AFTRA promotes four executives.  PRE-SALES RECORD “Aquaman” has set a pre-sales record for Atom Tickets, topping “Deadpool 2,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Black Panther.” “Clearly, ‘Aquaman’ has captured the attention of movie fans with its larger-than-life adventure that must [...]

  • 'Liga' Kicks Off At Ventana Sur's

    Ventana Sur: 'La Liga' Kicks Off at Buenos Aires' Animation!

    Spain’s Quirino Awards, Argentina’s Animation! and Mexico’s Pixelatl Festival, three key events in Ibero-American animation, will join forces to create La Liga (The League), as announced Wednesday at an Animation! round table hosted by the Quirino Awards, titled “Iberoamerican Alliance Models.” Speakers included Quirino Awards promoter José Luis Farias, Mexico’s Pixelatl director José Iñesta, Gonzalo [...]

  • The Quake Review

    Film Review: 'The Quake'

    Roar Uthaug’s 2015 “The Wave” revived the pleasures of the 1970s disaster-movie cycle in a form that seemed purer than the never-quite-dead genre’s recent Stateside incarnations — most of which seem to involve Dwayne Johnson in a generic pileup of CGI perils. “The Wave” wasn’t high art, but it was entertainment that delivered some standard [...]

  • The Mule trailer

    Film Review: Clint Eastwood in 'The Mule'

    From Dirty Harry to … dirty grandpa, Clint Eastwood certainly has a type of character that he plays best, and “The Mule” finds him squarely in his comfort zone, appearing as a surly old horticulturalist who, at age 90, has become perhaps the most reliable drug runner for the Sinaloa cartel, evading detection for nearly [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content