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Everything posted by ike74ph

  1. I liked the lighting of the 4th cauldron. It really made up for a very embarassing moment 2 weeks ago. Sochi's presentation wasn't about Sochi, IMO. There wasn't a single scene/shot where the host city was featured. Very strange for a next host city. I was surprised they actually featured Moscow. Is Moscow bidding again? Just a thought. They should have featured some historical landmark at Sochi. I feel it's not a good omen. The show featured Canadians poking fun at themselves. I didn't understand some of it. Seemed like private jokes to me. South Park does a better job. Crappy cable went kaput after Michae Buble's number so I wasn't able to watch the concert. I believe this was better than the Opening. Btw, a very unemotional extinguising of the flame like Beijing. Am I getting jaded or it was done badly? See you in London.
  2. Maybe VANOC ought to have hired Zhang Yimou as a consultant for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
  3. I found the OC slow and at times boring. Oh yeah, the boos were actually drum beating. Furlong looked so serious so I thought he was being booed. I liked the orcas best but there was a lot of reminders of Sydney. Tap dancing with punky costumed Scotsmen, the faulty cauldron, etc. They also could not think of a better way of honoring the dead athlete. They could have at least showed his picture on the screen. It was ok for me. 6.5
  4. I agree with you. If it wasn't for LA I wouldn't have been interested in the Olympics at all. I was too young to watch the Moscow Games and probably also because the local channel didn't carry it. Our country boycotted them. But if it weren't for Moscow, there wouldn't have been such great expositions of culture. However, except for the torch lighting, the formal protocols have begun to bore current television viewers. The challenge has been to make the athletes parade faster without diminishing the athletes' (especially those who have little chance in winning) chance to shine even for less than a minute.
  5. It was spectacularly boring. Since I was watching the telecast over at CCTV (it's still the first group of singers here) a few hours ago, I had no idea the meaning of the first number. It was boring and been done before. The bikes were fascinating though but it reminded me of Southpark's Mr. Garrison's invention. The music wasn't fascinating either. I did like the fast way they did with the compulsory (for a lack of a better word) elements of the CC. Like the athletes entrance, where volunteers effectively cordoned off the athletes from the stage. The speeches, flag ceremonies, and athems were done very straightforward. Unlike other Games, this was the coldest extinguising of the Flame. It wasn't emotional. I usually felt sad when the flame dies. What the heck was that airplane staircase doing there? The gesture didn't work. The handover was also boring. It tried to be weird like Athens in 2000 but it was so not unexpected. Then Leona Lewis singing and some guitarist playing. It doesn't say much of what we can expect from Britain, even culturally. Maybe that's why I would like to have an OG done in Paris. France does show off and this occasion it would have been a good one. The bus opening up as a stage reminds me of Barcelona's galleon. I just hope the lucky guy who got the football had it autographed by Beckham. A lucky tree was presented in the centre of the field. Some difficult but already done routines. Boring. Then a concert w/ terrible pop music with equally terrible clothes. Can't London do away w/ concerts for a CC? We want a real show, LOCOG. Seoul at least had traditional dances en masse and a magical bridge (mess of a handover though). Barcelona was spectacular if you ask me. Sydney boring. Athens boring except for the harvesting part and the first song number. The banners were a nice idea though. I liked how it looked in the stadium. The final number with dancers dancing around the tower was very Moscow. Athletes weren't dancing like in previous CCs. It was more like of the Chinese celebrating. But who cares? They're tired and want to sleep and catch their flight tomorrow. They were also watching the performers. At least the concert and this CC was shorter than most. Athletes didn't have to stand long and televiewers didn't have to be bored longer than they can endure. The fireworks were stars by themselves. It had to, for the nation that invented them. It was the best so far in any OG. I guess the letdown was because of the lack of visual attractiveness of the OC. Maybe on a replay w/c I'll download later, I may get a more favorable opinion, like i did in Athens. But right now, there's still the Paralympic OC and CC to watch. So there's more to come until 2010. The year after the OG is always boring. No big events. 2010 there's the YOG, WOG, FIFA WC, and FIVB WCh. Until then.
  6. It could have sounded less forcefully in my previous post. Unhappy and noisy (those who air their opinions to the media) athletes makes the IOC uneasy. Although they cannot dictate their demands to the IOC, a collective noise hurts the IOC in many ways. From a business point of view, athletes are the clients of the IOC. IOC can bar anyone who they want. But they can't make athletes go to the host city either. The Chinese government, IMHO, was pressured by noises of boycotts and fears about poor athletic performances on Beijing's pollution. The Chinese would not even bother to clean up their environment if not for the Olympics. In subtle ways, China can be pressured to do something. Besides, they are so concerned with their image abroad that they had to do something about it. Guests may not dictate to their hosts, but hosts cannot force their guests to come if the conditions are not hospitable. Who's going to a party if you know you are going to be ignored or treated badly?
  7. All athletes have the right to march into the OC. That will be voted down by the athletes and no one wants to antagonize them as a whole. We're all aware how the athletes pressured the Chinese government on pollution. Imagine if they can't get in the OC. Nobody will march at all if some of their national team comrades can't march because of television viewers want a shorter parade.
  8. It's difficult to compress 5,000 years of continuous history into 50 minutes. You have to start w/ prehistory from the Peking Man's discovery of fire to the start of independent Chinese civilization then into kingdoms then unification under Qin Shi Huang Di. That's only the first 2,000 years. After that you have more dynasties like the Tang, Song, Ming, and Qing and then the republic. Almost all of their history is recorded. Australia's recorded history is only 200 years. Greece has a long history but there are some blips like the Roman rule and their virtual disapperance during the Ottoman era. Western philosophy toward istory is to leave it in the past. On the other hand, China's history is also its present. It is dynamic because history is being made and contant reference to history makes it a living history. It is static at the same time because it can mean the tradition can hinder innovation. Zhang Yimou's challenge was how to convey China's utterly long and continuous history without making a linear litany if they copied Clypsedra. So he reminded the world that China's 4 great inventions make modern (and maybe Western) civilization possible. At the same time, he wanted to show that China is modern and comparable to the West. Zhang also had to contend w/ 2 audiences, the domestic audience and the international audience. He had to make something that any ordinary Chinese could feel proud of their country but understandable to foreigners at the same time. The compromise may have let down some expectations but many would agree the OC was magnificent and lavish. China's history has been the rise and fall of dynasties so Zhang had to show something that was enduring throughout all of them.
  9. You can't put off the athletes' entrance. The OG is about the athletes, not the show. It's also mandated in the Olympic Charter and I doubt the IOC would change their minds. No athlete would agree not to march unless he has a competition early the next day. This is very important for small contingents. I really hate it when big contingents make a single line so they can hog the limelight longer, like the USA or Spain this year. The problem for broadcasters and organizers is how to make the athlete's march faster w/o spoiling their 30 seconds of fame. This is the uncontrollable part of the OC. The show and everything else they can control.
  10. I liked the scroll painting and the printing press music best. If only BOCOG would release a CD, they'd make more money.
  11. Opening Ceremonies should be understood from the point of view of the host country. It's an expression of their culture. I think that some opnions of those hating the Beijing OC is based on ignorance of Chinese and maybe Asian culture. Asians like the big and gigantic presentation while Europeans like small or personal scale ones with big costumes. If you would watch the first YOG in 210, you'd see that gigantic formations would be a central part of their OC. Same with India's CG in 2010. There is also a difference in style between the OC of Athens and Beijing since the directors had different backgrounds. Athens was more theatrical while Beijing was more cinematic. There is also the difference in the theme and message. Athens was about how man understood himself. It was more instrospective. It started from the Cycladic head to the DNA strand with Greek history in between. Beijing, as a later host, wasn't bound by that storyline, the same way Athens was bound to follow Sydney's. Imagine Mediterranean sea life on the water pool in the stadium. Beijing's OC had 2 parts: the Chinese civilization which westerners might not know what they contributed to the world; and the modern China which offers a lot to the world. IMHO, Athens was more of the past told in contemporary fashion. Beijing has future aspirations w/c they showed on their 2nd part. Athens was about philosophy told with modern techonolgy. Beijing was about technology with Chinese philosophy. Everything went right in Beijing's OC. I remember in Athens Bjork was supposed to soar above the Athletes. She didn't for some reason. Of course there was some "trickery" employed in Beijing. The little girl lipsynching I agreed sucked. I pitied the real singer because she had to be replaced by a prettier one. As for the footprints, I already had an idea because the fireworks didn't disappear and fall down as it should. And since the official reason of riskiness for the helicopter was IMHO plausible, I think it's really nothing to fuss about. Athens was the best OC at that time. But if I was watching inside the stadium, it would be a bit boring because there are some moments which were dead. Like after the rings were lighted, the only thing we see is the drummers exiting. And it may be difficult to understand the floats unless you're watching on TV. At least on TV it was a close up and that looked good. But if you're at the upper-most section, it's difficult to appreciate especially if you didn't study Greek culture. Also the music was adapted from originally published sources, except for Clypsedra. But it was wonderful nevertheless. Beijing's music was all original. And it was a visual feast. I think you have to be in the stadium to appreciate the scale of what they did. London has the challenge of raising the bar again. I'm sure they'll do something contemporary. I wouldn't expect them to do some Arthurian epic unless they're crazy enough. And no deep philosphy lesson like Athens. I'm sure they'll come up with something great and I hope they won't have a mess called the Atlanta OC. Los Angeles was a lot better despite some corny Hollywood stuff. Let's face it, we like Hollywood blockbusters. My sister even griped that Atlanta's OC was bad because they had no "culture" and the Games would be better if it were back in LA if only for the OC alone.
  12. The entire situation makes me recall the 1936 Olympics where Nazis tried to turn the Olympics into a massive propaganda coup. It's time for the IOC to make a firm stand against the Chinese Government to improve its policies on human rights. How can one enjoy the biggest gathering on the planet when the host country is suppressing its own people? If the Olympic Games represents the best of humanity, the current IOC leadership is certainly not fulfilling its vision.
  13. Hi. Here in East Asia we're quite used to big, spectacular shows by China. We know that the Chinese getting ready to make a show that will be remembered forever. Their presentation at the Athens Closing Ceremonies was a let down because of the small area they had to work with. You can't expect the Chinese to put up an Athens-like show because they're not good at it. A communist style rally is their forte is what they do best. Besides, how can you make a show about a 5,000 year old civilization with a billion-plus population with a "small" show. You're taking out a lot of ideas. If they don't put up a mass rally, then it will truly be a disappointment. P.S. No marching band. That was the most boring part in Sydney. P.P.S. Let the athletes march. The Olympics is all about them.
  14. The Philippines has the annual Palarong Pambansa (literally "The National Games"). It has two divisions running simultaneously: Elementary and Highschool. There is a bidding process and the athlete qualification is lengthy. Your school team/athlete has to win the city league then proceed to the provincial division. After that, you have to win the regional championships. Then you'll qualify for the Palaro (Games). Participating delegations are therefore regions, not provinces or cities. Sports include athletics, aquatics, volleyball, football, basketball, sepak takraw, gymnastics and tennis. Getting to play at this level is very prestigious and helps gaining slots at senior national teams as well as college teams. The athletes here are excellent at their level. It's really a fun affair but the accomodations can be quite dreadful.
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