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SeriousPotato

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Everything posted by SeriousPotato

  1. Wanted to give a shout-out to the countdown video from Beijing 2022 Opening.. 4:16-7:49 The cinematography, the music, the art direction.. sooooo beautiful, I can't get enough of it. Maybe my favorite Olympic segment from the 2018-2022 period?
  2. It drives me crazy they didn't choose Isao Tomita's rendition of Bolero for the torch relay, to connect with Tomita's rendition of Claire de Lune for the extinguishing segment. Bolero was a strange choice to begin with, but at least using Tomita's rendition gives both a Japanese connection and a circular tie to the ceremonies. The idea is so close.. but not quite! Grr.
  3. Oops, I meant to say "cauldron glitch".. Dislike the inability to edit.
  4. My partner and I did the same just a couple weeks ago! Some of our takeaways: -If any ceremony fit the word "extravaganza" it's Sydney. -I forgot just how huge that ceremony was--it recalibrated my thoughts on Beijing being clearly "the biggest." Sydney felt on-par. That Olympic band was insane! -I forgot how long and awkward that glitch actually was. Still, what a beautiful concept. -It furthered my thoughts that fireworks are nice but overrated and best left for the Closing. Sydney had "just right" use of fireworks. Save the money for costume design, lighting, and props. -By the end my partner and I were both like, "another song?!" Just one-too-many 'centerpiece' songs. -Any conversation of "best-ever" that leaves out Sydney would be crazy-talk. There're aspects that haven't aged as well, but one cannot deny the triumph of sheer human effort, precision, and layers of ideas put into it.
  5. You and I sound very alike. Agreed, Brazil has an insanely rich musical heritage and while lauded for its music the ceremony was only about 10% as rich as it could have been given proper time and budget. I'd love to have seen, say, a showcase of all the unique musical instruments, or symbolic explorations of Latin rhythms. Olympics2028 just for you, here's one of my favorite Brazilian classical pieces with choir I think would feel right at home in an Olympic ceremony, from the great Francisco Mignone. There's more than one way to do things, and while I enjoyed Rio's ceremony as-is, I would have also loved to have seen a daylight, Barcelona-style ceremony with jaw-dropping props and massive cast of performances, taken to a maximalist degree like no other. So much potential, for a brighter day maybe. I have an appetite for it, don't know if the rest of the world does these days. But like Olympian1010 said, I appreciated the social themes, concern for the environment, and the story of downsizing for the time and occasion. If Brazil's economy was booming, and the world was in happy place, the ceremony would have been different. I think that's one aspect that greatly assisted Sydney 2000: The world seemed to be in a collective happy place; with the new millenium, the promise of the internet, the post-Cold War consensus and relative peace in the world (falling crime rates, death rates from famine, disease, and war) compared to other time periods. I see London 2012 as a sort of last hurrah of this global euphoria, but here is where you can feel that cracks in the collective happiness and spirit for growth are showing through the mildly darker tone, and deliberate attempt to scale back things a little from Beijing. Sochi was a great Winter ceremony, but it was around here that, to my eyes, the general tension and mistrust in the world began to accelerate exponentially, and in each proceeding ceremony this tension is ever-more palpable. Part of what makes it so hard to fairly compare ceremonies. There's so much crucial context. I wish I could hop in an alternate-universe machine and give every city a year-2000 Olympics (or what would be the "golden" year?) and see how it looks. My eyes are biased, but that's just my impression.
  6. What makes a successful Olympic ceremony to me: - It should feel like a world event of great importance - Its scale should feel appropriate - Its emotions should feel earned - It should be idealistic, presenting a defined and optimistic point-of-view - It should be honest: that is, remaining true to the artist(s) directing it, and true to the ideals of the host country, and its cultural heritage in that place and time - It should push the envelope and surprise in some way - It should also feel familiar, through rituals and protocol followed with thought and discipline - It should not be cheap nationalism, instead honoring cultural heritage through a rich, deep, meaningful artistic approach. - It should be inclusive such that everyone, even if they don't care for the ceremony as a whole, has a least one thing or moment they are deeply touched by. - The Parade of Nations should be snappy. - The speeches should have something real and important to say (that is, not just pandering to what people want to hear). It's not dumb, I think it's a good point. Choirs (thoughtfully composed and applied) are visually an expression of camaraderie, and musically gives grandeur and a sort of religious-neutral spirituality to a composition. It's a powerful tool for an Olympic ceremony.
  7. Good phrase. It is very true. How one receives each ceremony will also depend in how exposed one is to the host nation, and the context surrounding the particular time/place. Language barriers can make understanding especially hard. If you have visited or will ever visit Brazil, I think the Rio ceremony will make more sense and you will appreciate it more, because the references and the performers will have a new gravity. Perhaps that is why I like Rio's, I've visited Brazil almost annually since 2017, and so each viewing I feel I see new things I didn't see before. Names like Paulinho da Viola, and Elza Soares carry greater weight, and there is more emotional connection.
  8. For me, it's... whichever one I happen to be watching. I think one can make a strong argument for all of them except Tokyo, the only huge misfire. Okay, you put a gun to my head and I'm forced to choose? Rio 2016 is my favorite, in that I've re-watched it by far more than any other ceremony. The tight-pacing, the music, the interesting cultural aspects and tone-of-voice seems to never lose its appeal for me. But then, Beijing 2008 is my favorite, because of how it most feels like an important world event unfolding before my eyes. Thousands of years of history coming to a once-in-a-lifetime climax. But really, Sydney 2000 is my favorite, because of its ambitious scope and giddy-fun atmosphere. OK, seriously: Athens 2004 is my favorite. It's the one that gives me the most potent dose of awe and wonder. The same feeling I imagine astronauts speak of when they view the Earth from space and suddenly realize how beautiful and precious life on earth is.
  9. Wait........ you're telling me that political motivations are behind the bids?? What?! No!
  10. Why hasn't Barcelona gone after another Summer Olympics? The Winter Games seems like square-peg, round-hole. But a Summer Games, especially in today's world, seems a lot more realistic and rewarding.
  11. I gotta level with you, O2028.. Your postings reflect an ignorant and uncurious person who, when confronted with anything you don't understand that might be even slightly challenging, lashes out in hostility. You seem to genuinely think the world revolves around you. These things you call funky are things that have deep and profound reverence in their home countries. What you're calling ugly and stupid is a phantasmagoria of a whole nation's childhood memories and intimate feelings of home being shared on a world scale. You don't have to always like it, but show some basic respect for it.
  12. So what they don't have a renowned Athletics or rugby team; not following how that makes the two aforementioned stadiums white elephants. Ultimately my point is that you have perfectly fine comments to uplift Japan and advocate your point; there's no need, or reasoning for that matter, to turn Greece and Brazil into punching bags to do so.
  13. Uh oh. Somebody said something about Rio's stadiums and now SeriousPotato has to chime in. MaracanĂŁ hosts 45 games per year on average. It could go to 70 if Vasco relocates as proposed. Compare to a typical NFL stadium with 9-12 games per year. https://www.instagram.com/p/CZtvMS0MhlA/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clube_de_Regatas_do_Flamengo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluminense_FC And aside from Maracana, Rio's Olympic Stadium hosts 30-35 matches per year, with Botafogo. https://www.instagram.com/explore/locations/278991825865705/estadio-olimpico-nilton-santos/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botafogo_de_Futebol_e_Regatas Sorry, I don't mean to pick on you. It's just silly to me how widespread this claim is.
  14. Agreed. I want to believe. Perhaps it'll all feel more real when the mascots, Look of the Games, torch, medals, etc. are unveiled.
  15. I think the unity of the two could be strengthened in protocol adjustments of the ceremonies. Step 1: What if at an Olympic Opening Ceremony, the cauldron is designed to hold two flames in some creative way. The Olympic-side flame is lit and the Games begin. Step 2: At the Olympic Closing Ceremony, the handover is not to the next Olympic host, but to the Paralympic athletes and Committee. The Olympic cauldron stays lit. Step 3: At the Paralympic Opening Ceremony, a Paralympian lights the Paralympic side, completing the cauldron, the Games begin. Step 4: At the Closing Ceremony, the combined cauldron is extinguished and one united handover to the next host city begins. It seems the problem is more about the anti-climactic "start-stop-start-stop" flow. The path of least resistance, to me, would center around making the ceremonies feel like one cohesive unit.
  16. I'd like to hear more from athletes and organizers: what exactly are the problems with the current format? The current solution certainly doesn't please everyone, but it doesn't seem to be a bad solution because they align with the Olympics, while also broadcasting an important mission of their own.
  17. The Closing was better than the Opening. Overall, I enjoyed Beijing's ceremonies about the same as 2018; more than 2020; but a major step down from the golden 2000s era. The IOC has got to stop interfering with the artistic direction, it really shows.
  18. Oops, I forgot 1936.. that was actually when "mass-scale" started, but after World War II, 1948-1976 the ceremonies were simpler again, each getting incrementally larger and more innovative.
  19. It's a good question (and AustraliaFan raises a good point this discussion should probably be taken to a different thread). There isn't (to my knowledge) a unified term for the particular kind of dreamlike storytelling and theatrical rituals that you see in Ceremonies. I'd be inclined to just call it Ceremonial Theatre. The "Cirque du Soleil" style that you're responding is an agglomeration of many influences that date back centuries, from avant garde theatre, to the big-top circus, to Carnival and Latin festivals, and also to ceremonial rituals from the African continent just to name a few. There's not really one genesis point, virtually every human culture around the world has variations of ceremonial theatre in its history. http://edito.nicematin.net/AM/images/Carnaval-Nice-60-80%20(7).jpg These all possess much of the same style of dreamlike storytelling that influences both the Olympic Ceremonies and Cirque du Soleil. I'd avoid referring to it as "Cirque du Soleil" though. It's like calling traditional Polynesian art "Moana-style" art after the Disney movie. Well, the Polynesian art came thousands of years earlier than the Disney film. It was Disney that was influenced by it, not the other way around. That's Peter Minshall's costume design. He worked 1992, 1996, and 2002 Opening Ceremonies. He also did the 1987 Pan American Opening Ceremony in Indianapolis. He's a Trinidad Carnival artist and he's been active for a long time, since 1976. A quick way to think about it: 1980 was when the artistic segments of the Olympics became mass-scale, 1992 was when they became more dream-like in their storytelling. But this is only in relation to the Olympics; mass-scale performance and dream-like storytelling like below existed long before 1980 and 1992 in other non-Olympic festivals and performances.
  20. What you're calling "Cirque du Soleil" has a different, simpler name: Theatre. That's been around for a long time stretching back to Ancient Greece and even before that. Artists have been doing all these things you call "Cirque du Soleil" for a very long time before actual Cirque du Soleil formed. You may not associate art with the Olympic Games, but art and sport have always been intertwined. Every Olympic Games has a vast cultural program, including music, fine art, graphic design, performance, sculpture, architecture, and more. The Ceremonies involve theatrical rituals, and the modern large-scale Ceremony format goes back to 1980, 4 years before Cirque du Soleil formed. This isn't just a modern thing, the Ancient Olympic Games were a place that artists of all practices came together to display their work. If the Olympic Games were simply about athletes, they'd be called "World Championships" and the symbol might be, say, a bar-bell or something. But the Olympics are more than that, hence why the symbol is not of a barbell, but of 5 rings interlocking. You're linking to the producers which is a different crew, different job than who leads the creative direction: in Athens' case, Dimitris Papaioannou, a Greek theatre director. You can see some of his other work here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rK-PLdnQZg&ab_channel=DanceUmbrella There were an enormous number of Greek artists and performers involved in the production, from the creative team building the high-level ideas, to the people creating and directing the props, costumes, choreography, music, and so on. So your linking that, to say that the production was not really Greek, is like saying "Stephen King didn't write this book. His keyboard did!" You're very quick to say that this is wrong and that is wrong and you don't like it; yet you seem to lack basic understanding of what it is you're criticizing and why it is the way it is.
  21. This reflects my thoughts pretty well (although I'm a bit harsher and I'd say 5.5/10). I went in with very low COVID expectations and in turn was pleasantly surprised. On the bad side, yet again, it feels like creativity has been replaced with sugar-rush technology, sweet and devoid of nutritional value. It's sucking the humanity out of the artistic segments.
  22. Olympics2028, you strike me as the kind of person that goes to a rock concert and complains that there's too much rock music.
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