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Underwhelmed By The Opening Ceremony


kevzz
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it was majestic - but i have to say left me cold. the countdown was ok - as savas said there was no welcome to games as in athens.

i didn't feel that it was joyous and although athens wasn't joyous - athens moved me enormously.

the parade was dreadful - all in all i was underwhelmed. i guess it just didn't communicate with me - had to laugh when there was the bit about the green games - hello????????

all in all it was a great statement of power - but cold cold cold - it didn't involve the athletes in any way.

the bbc commentators (who annoyed the hell out of me) thought it was amazing and kept asking how will london live up to this? quite easily i think !

anyways i guess you can't please all the people all of the time!

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I believe the music when China came in is actually a Chinese music with chinese instrument. It just sounds like Mexicans.

They did play that Chinese tune when China came in. But when that was over and they were still coming, it was back to mariachis!

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i mean the artistic parts are a matter of taste and of mentality but this is unbeatable:

Welcome of the Athletes

Wow I never remembered it was so inspiring before! They really made it like the parade is the main highlight of the show! They even announce each country's name with energy and pride!

"The great moment has come!"

The music is very happy and lively too, full of energy. DJ Tiesto was playing there live the whole duration isnt it?

Kudos to Athens for this!

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And was it in Atlanta that the athletes emerge from the top of a slope and walk down to the stadium? I thought that whole approach of the team 'appearing' from top of a hill was quite clever.

That was MUCH better than Beijing. The announcer spoke with such passion! Very moving.

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Why dont they have floats for each nation for the parade............the parade of athelete would be done within the hour...it just takes too long!! i understand they the main people... but it could be done alot quicker if they were driven round. lol.

London 2012...put them on a open top red bus!!

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Yea, nothing beats DJ Tiesto, especially if you were 20 during those games like some people ;) . But I completely agree with Kevzz, there was something amazing about the athletes appearing over the slope of the ramp; very cinematic. Though to the credit of Beijing, the dresses on those sign carriers... WOW.

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Why dont they have floats for each nation for the parade............the parade of athelete would be done within the hour...it just takes too long!! i understand they the main people... but it could be done alot quicker if they were driven round. lol.

London 2012...put them on a open top red bus!!

Floats? Athens was the last time you are going to see floats.

So there well be 205 floats? And where will you keep those floats?

They put those Athens 2004 float-platforms on sale on eBay and NOBODY bought them. They must be rotting away in some Athens warehouse now.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Floats? Athens was the last time you are going to see floats.

So there well be 205 floats? And where will you keep those floats?

They put those Athens 2004 float-platforms on sale on eBay and NOBODY bought them. They must be rotting away in some Athens warehouse now.

You are wrong. Obama bought them to tour through Europe..

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I thought it was one of the best one's to be honest. I can imagine this ceremony lasting long in people's memories, where I've already forgot Athens and parts of Sydney's opening ceremonies. Maybe that's unfair because they were 4 and 8 years ago, where Beijings was 36 hrs ago.

The lighting of the cauldron was awesome.

The only shamefull aspect of the night was when George Bush got cheered. I know asian culture is brought up to be polite and respectful to guests, but really...... :rolleyes:

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The only shamefull aspect of the night was when George Bush got cheered. I know asian culture is brought up to be polite and respectful to guests, but really...... :rolleyes:

I know what you mean. I could not believe that the athletes from around the world cheered China's President. Politeness is one thing, but please . . . <_< that was shameful.

Edited by LA84
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Well, I loved it. As Ive mentioned here before, there are parts which Athens did better, but likewise, there are parts that Beijing did better than Athens. I mean, I guess it was more in the mould of the Sydney ceremony, it was less conceptual than the Athens event - but had far more technology than Sydney. It could be argued that Sydney's was just as mass produced as this one.

It should be noted though that there was a tribute of sorts to past host cities, each of the 29 burning footprints up the central axis was representing the previous 28 Olympiads.

To be honest, I remember post Athens that a heap of people on here were getting sick of that traditional segment.

Likewise, the pa addresses.

I preferred the Athens *voices*, to be honest, I dont really like a male voice in any of this stuff.

However, while Athens had some awesome lines, my favourite being *from the Olympic Stadium of Athens..... Goodnight*, Beijing did too. I think most of them were projected though. But still, some good ones.

- *Friends have come from afar - how happy we are*

- *The torrent dropping three thousand feet, straight to the valley floor. I think it must be the milky way, spilling to the earth from the heavens*

The thing is, in may respects, the Chinese were dammed if they do dammed if they don't.

Because they are *Communist China*, there are gonna be mega double standards.

Critics will bag the little girl on the piano saying it was so fake and stage managed - yet Ryan is never mentioned from Salt Lake, Nicky's overhyped perky grin whilst putting on zinc is not seen in the same light, the lil Gloria wannabe from Atlanta's Closing is a moving moment?\

Big double standards here. Likewise , its fine for Sydney to belt out Waltzing Matilda, or the stylised sounds of America the Beautiful to boom out in Salt Lake - but everyone gets freaked out when China performs a nicely worked version of a patriotic song.

And again, a few people complaining that they needed the commentators to understand what was going on. I think this is the case for most ceremonies. Somewhere along the way you need some explanations.

Surely most people would have been lost in Athens if it had not been explained, when a random woman was waving a marble head about. Now, when explained, it makes perfect sense and is very poetic, but it had to be explained first.

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I re-watched parts of this (since I did not watch all of it live) and need to revise my previous posts.

The technology and precision that went into this was second to none. Picture perfect.

The fireworks were spectacular.

I put aside my Western preferences and was impressed as to the show the ceremony put on for the Chinese people.

The Cauldron lighting I stand by what I said earlier. It has now moved to #2 on my list of all time best. It was like Lillehammers's cauldron wrapped in Atlanta's while the Los Angeles "drainspout" was attached for the actual lighting except, this time, it moved at lightening speed. Fantastic.

Bravo. B)

The soldiers who lifted the flag were highly disturbing with their goose-steps. Precision perfect but still -

I guess I kind of understand now why the people who attended Berlin '36 and Moscow '80 were so impressed. Precision perfect and except for those poor cheerleaders circling the track when the athletes entered (all who should receive medals for being able to do that for 2 hours! :o ) it just left me cold overall. Athens soothing blue and water was much better in that respect of making the rest of the world feel welcome.

I just realized this is my 8th SOG Opening Ceremony I have watched SOMEWHAT live in this case on 08-08-08 :o

I'd put this at about the 4th best of the ones I saw live (somewhat), 5th if I include Moscow which I did not see live.

Good job.

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The only shamefull aspect of the night was when George Bush got cheered. I know asian culture is brought up to be polite and respectful to guests, but really...... :rolleyes:

Certainly more polite than you. There's such a thing as being courteous to your guests -- after all, you invited them; and there is such a thing as being churlish. :angry:

Why would you invite someone to your house only to disrespect them? Then DON'T even invite them.

You've got a thing or two to learn about some basic respect for another.... let alone some diplomacy.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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I thought it was one of the best one's to be honest. I can imagine this ceremony lasting long in people's memories, where I've already forgot Athens and parts of Sydney's opening ceremonies. Maybe that's unfair because they were 4 and 8 years ago, where Beijings was 36 hrs ago.

The lighting of the cauldron was awesome.

The only shamefull aspect of the night was when George Bush got cheered. I know asian culture is brought up to be polite and respectful to guests, but really...... :rolleyes:

I watched on BBC and there's this moment I find amusing- when Iraq team entered the stadium and the shot move to Bush and his wife. They both look so uncomfortable, did not cheer and try to look very non-chalant bout it. His wife put on a very fake smile. Thought it's very cheeky of whoever controlling the camera shot to do that. :)

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Actually a shameful moment was as the Greek team entered the stadium the Chinese director of camera showed the ex-king of Greece and his wife (who is banned from Greece) while the delegation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakojianni was there. This was very disrespectful...

We were discussing the Opening Ceremony of Beijing in relation to the one of Athens in a Greek Forum and one member said something which was completely right.

For Greece the return of the Games was a highly emotional moment. So it was the most natural thing for the Opening Ceremony to be very emotional, romantic and fulfilled with the nostalgia of the Greek people. It was like the returning of a long lost beloved friend. This is why while the President declared the Games open, bells were ringing and the audience in the Stadium was waving with olive branches to welcome them home.

On the other hand the Chinese with a culture completely different, a political system which is enforced through collective behaviour created a ceremony which seems incomprehensive for western people but is nothing new for the Chinese. This explains why 9000 of the 14000 performers were soldiers and why the second man of the Ceremonies was Zhang Jigang, General of the People's Liberation Army.

However it is a bad habit to try to pick all the miscarried parts and not to concede the good parts. Criticism is only goof if it is constructive.

One thing more: It is very risky by Zhang Yimou to say “It will be impossible for London to surpass the Ceremony of Beijing in a technological level. Because the technology used in Beijing wasn’t new.

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One thing more: It is very risky by Zhang Yimou to say “It will be impossible for London to surpass the Ceremony of Beijing in a technological level. Because the technology used in Beijing wasn’t new.

I am sure he was misquoted and/or the translation was NOT correct. That doesn't make sense.

The technology he used was state-of-the-art. But a lot of the physical stagecraft -- humans in boxes, people seeming to "float" freely on the globe are actually tethered, performers 'flying' but hoisted by cables and pulleys, etc. -- are certainly several centuries old.

And actually, savas, I think there only half a dozen of you (of the regulars on this board) who were unimpressed by Beijing's OC. The other dozen or so have been overwhelmingly impressed by it.

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Please dont chnage what i said. I was very impressed by the Beijing Ceremony and there were some parts which i liked very much. I just said it didnt touch me emotionaly. There is a big difference...

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. there are so many elements that could still be explored in an opening ceremony.

using all elements

water: athens..id also like some rain in the future and the olympic rings to be formed by synchronized swimmers in a huge pool ala athens

fire: still so many options..lighting the entire inner rim of the roof as a cauldron!

earth: fill the stadium up with sand to create a desert

wind: large structures that move using wind only

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