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The_Torch

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Posts posted by The_Torch

  1. Frankly, I was expecting a lot from the Beijing's opening ceremony, and the more you expect the greater disappointment you will get.

    Perhaps it's the impression that Zhang Yi Mou; with his tasteful elegance and timeless aesthetic of his films will be translated into a live event with cinematic quality. And it didn't.

    The countdown started with full excitement and grandiosity, but quickly dragged on to become a dull segment of thousand drummers. The very first rhythm is lost and there never seemed to be a high point of the performance (except for the cauldron).

    It all looks like a military parade with absolute precision. Individual qualities of its people are cast aside and each of them is made to perform like a machine. Intricate and gorgeous costume lost its uniqueness and appeal when 2,008 performers are all identical. No doubt the precision of the formation is admirable, but it took away the soul of the human performer behind it. It is breathtaking and grand yet suffocatingly controlled.

    The floor/ roof video technology is impressively advanced, but they were overused to tell the story/ filled with images that at some points they became distracting and patronising at times for trying to explain too much.

    The cauldron lighting is unexpected of course, but felt a bit too similar to Atlanta's. The cauldron lighter seems uncomfortably-hanged and is swallowed by the scale of the video and structure. The running is too long which culminates in an underwhelmed way of lighting the cauldron through a roughly made gutter.

    But praise must be given to the Chinese for putting together such a well choreographed and disciplined performance. But I was expecting a ceremony which move away from the cliche China and presenting to the world a country is more advanced than we thought. In the end, they want the world to know that one world means one China.

    We must have been watching different ceremonies, because I thought it was a triumph. The 'scroll & picture' narrative was wonderfully imaginative and very symbolic. Furthermore, the ceremony was that much better for not being just like a conventional Olympic ceremony. It was refreshing not to see a segment on the birth of the Games or Athenian culture. We've been there and done that at every ceremony already. This made a refreshing change.

    Instead the Chinese offered us a slice of their past, present and future (albeit selective and santised). They stayed true to themselves and the theme, and for me, everything flowed perfectly. Indeed it didn't feel anyway as near as segmented or as confused as other ceremonies I've watched.

    The lighting of the Torch was stunning. It was original, innovative and visually effective, and it wasn't a 'cauldron' on top of the stadium, but a Torch.

    I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the global contention is that the ceremony was the best yet. Indeed those were the words of ITV news in the UK.

    If you ask me, London will do very well to even get close to what Beijing presented to the world.

  2. Thanks for your very condensed review, Torch.

    This comment of yours is interesting. Yeah, I think it can be skipped once in awhile, but for those being exposed to the idea of the Olympics for the first time, such a reminder of "Athenian/Greek" origins is signifcant, especially because the whole idea of history is VERY MUCH a part of the Olympics. And that's what makes it so special -- the continuation of a rite several centuries old, celebrating universality, peace and brotherhood.

    Agreed. I'm sure we'll see a definitive return to tradition and history in London. Though I'm certain that British history could easily be told in a similar fashion that Beijing presented.

    The news stations here are reporting the ceremony, quite rightly, as a triumph "...surpassing all others" (ITV News/Channel 3) They made the point that London simply doesn't have the 'whatever it costs' budget that China has allowed for the Games. LOCOG say they are confident they can provide a spectacular ceremony, it just won't be on the scale seen in Beijing. A different, but spectacular opening ceremony, they are suggesting.

    The mind boggles as to what Beijing will present in the Closing ceremony. Equally amazing, I should imagine.

    Can't wait. :rolleyes:

  3. I thought the opening ceremony was a triumph of ideas, imagination and innovation. It has to be my favourite ppening ceremony after Barcelona 1992.

    The narrative of the ceremony was genius in my opinion, with the 'Scroll & Picture' theme used to great effect in sharing the past, present and future of China (albeit a very abridged and sanitized version)..

    It felt fluid from the very beginning, and kept my attention throughout. The special effects and images on the rim of the stadium were wonderful. The fact that the rim eventually formed part of the scroll and Olympic Torch was a real stroke of successful imagination. Simply a triumph!

    Moreover the 'Picture' idea was the most original thing I've seen in any ceremony yet. What a great idea to have the athletes footprints form part of the final picture. Very symbolic and very effective.

    It was SO refreshing not to be reminded of the origin of the Games themselves. How many times have we had to sit through 'Athenian/Greek' segments trying to educate us as to where the Games began. China decided to tell their story, and their story alone, and that's why it worked in my eyes. It didn't feel disjointed or muddled at all.

    The 'global' music used during the athletes parade confused me slightly. Especially the continuous Scottish Bagpipes. :unsure: It seemed very misplaced somehow, though I appreciate the sentiment behind it. but that really is the only part in my mind that made me feel uneasy.

    The torch itself reminds me of the one used in Atlanta - and there was us expecting a Bird or Phoenix. :P

    However, this all makes me very worried about London's ceremonies. LOCOG really will have to think outside of the box to get anywhere close to what I've just witnessed on television. I wouldn't like to be in Seb Coe's position, that's for sure.

    Well done Beijing. Breathtaking! :rolleyes:

  4. What's going to be interesting here is that as much as the Chinese will try to 'control' everything -- they won't succeed. SOmething will turn up to scuttle their TOTAL CONTROL paranoia. And then to see their 'damage control' measures would be even more interesting.

    ANd I'm NOT going to miss a $300 million production. God, that's like a "Titanic" and a half movie!! You can bet that's not going to happen again -- not in London, not in Sochi, not in 2016.

    $300 million! Good Lord! Is this a direct result of Speilburg advising on the ceremonies? The Chinese really are going to do their best to shove these Games down our throats whether we like it or not. I read somewhere that they've spent over $20+ billion on staging the Games. Simply ridiculous, and hardly an example to prospective hosts on how to budget!

    Well enjoy it while it lasts people. You WILL NOT be seeing anything like that in London. Mind you, thinking about it, London's £9 billion isn't that far behind when converted into Dollars. This is all wrong. The IOC have to take a step back before the Games once again corrupt a host city. I feel a 'Montreal' coming on....

    To return to the subject matter. Yes I do care that the Games run smoothly for the sake of the movement as a whole and what it represents. However, I wouldn't care so much if the Chinese are mildy humiliated during the Games for their actions.

    Personally I'm looking forward to the ceremonies, as they're the best part of the Olympics for me. Of course, I'm even more intrigued to see what London 2012 will present in the closing ceremony. ;) I have a feeling I'll be sitting there watching with a cushion in front of my face the world is confronted with the three B's. BECKHAM on a BUS with a BROAD. (meaning David Beckham on a London Routemaster Bus, with Leona Lewis the token Broad/female)

    Bring on the circus....

  5. I've just seen the front cover of The Evening Standard newspaper and its says something to the effect:

    'It's Official : Wembley will not stage the FA Cup'

    Thank goodness they finally made the decision!  Im not bothered either way, just as long as it's not rushed and completed to the highest of standards.

    The press will have a field day over this...but for me...no biggy!  :P

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