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Underwhelmed By The Opening Ceremony


kevzz
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Yes it was good the whole show is very 'Chinese' and no reference to the Athens past. But to me, the whole show doesnt celebrate the Olympics as an event that binds people together. It is purely a propaganda tool to showcase the Chinese culture and history. They forgot to create a joyful, happy atmosphere for the athletes. It all felt very cold and soul-less to me.

The irony is that a ceremony involving thousands of obviously wam and soulful human beings dancing their heart out is considered cold and soul-less, when all I remembered of the Athens games was the burning rings in an empty water-filled field and a parade of props with the few humans visible hardly smiling.

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:) Those kids will be absolutly knackered this morning!

Still I have to admit that it was a good effort by China, but I feel that these ceremonies are fast becomming more nationalistic as time goes on. The last ceremony of this type was in Sydney2000, just too over the top!

I would say you can expect this to happen especially when it is being held in a city for the first time, and even more so if its the first for an entire country. It was the first for Sydney, and was the first for the entirety of China, so it could hardly be unexpected that they will be determined to showcase themselves to the world.

I believe it will be inevitable that the games will return to China in future, most probably in any of its other mega cities like Shanghai and Guangzhou, by which time I doubt the nationalist image will be as prominent.

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I was underwhelmed. A few good elements and some spectacular fireworks but things were overdone. The scroll concept resulted in a lack of the full space being used, even if the roof was used. The use of space was far from ideal.

and where is the bloody dragon?

some scenes were just dull or dead.

athens was better and sydney was better than athens. therefore sydney still holds the number 1 spot.

The poor Chinese. Show a dragon and people criticises them for being cliché/1980s/conformist/communist yadda yadda yadda. Fail to show one and people criticises them for being dull/dead/soul-less yadda yadda yadda. No doubt they can't please everyone, but its kinda funny reading some reactions here! 8D

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After seeing Beijing's show, the Athens pool appears so gimmicky to me now. Really, what was the point?

Also, synchronized swimmers on fire, forming the 5 rings!! :lol:

Athens's pool is not gimmicky at all. Water is an important element in Greek's culture and this element is used metaphorically as the source of life throughout the whole ceremony. I think it's very meaningful and poetic use of water in such kind of event.

Talking about gimmicky, nothing can beat Beijing's ultra-gimmick in lighting the cauldron. To me, that's really extra.

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Athens's pool is not gimmicky at all. Water is an important element in Greek's culture and this element is used metaphorically as the source of life throughout the whole ceremony. I think it's very meaningful and poetic use of water in such kind of event.

Talking about gimmicky, nothing can beat Beijing's ultra-gimmick in lighting the cauldron. To me, that's really extra.

I understand the marine connection and all that. But just to throw in a pool for the sake of 'impressing' -- without, except for the few rabbits pulled 'outta the hat,' really utilizing it to the maximum -- is gimmicky for me. It was vastly underused. If you were digging a 30-meter hole (which it was) plus putting in all the other escape tunnels and the membrane controlling the 'lake,' etc., etc., I really EXPECTED more effects and greater and more ingenious use of the 'lake.' Ok! Wow! They got a lake in there!! Now what will they use it for? What wonders will it reveal? OK, so they've found a way to drain it to accommodate all the athletes...AND? )

In contrast, Beijing's infield underground stage was put to its MAXIMUM usage and overall EFFECT. The forever-changing scroll, the platform which presented the 'moving blocks,' the stage disgorging that 100-or so-foot globe, etc. etc. But the meat of Athens's show was the "Klepsydra" portion which could've happened WITH or WITHOUT the lake.

Yeah, Beijing's lighting is gimmicky, but I would allow them that. After that awe-inspiring earlier Ceremony, I don't see how else Yimou & Birch could have done any less, considering the scale they put their show in. Besides, it is almost imperative and de rigeur now to attempt the most unimaginable m.o. to light the cauldron!!

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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I understand the marine connection and all that. But just to throw in a pool for the sake of 'impressing' -- without, except for the few rabbits pulled 'outta the hat,' really utilizing it to the maximum -- is gimmicky for me. It was vastly underused. If you were digging a 30-meter hole (which it was) plus putting in all the other escape tunnels and the membrane controlling the 'lake,' etc., etc., I really EXPECTED more effects and greater and more ingenious use of the 'lake.' Ok! Wow! They got a lake in there!! Now what will they use it for? What wonders will it reveal? OK, so they've found a way to drain it to accommodate all the athletes...AND? )

In contrast, Beijing's infield underground stage was put to its MAXIMUM usage and overall EFFECT. The forever-changing scroll, the platform which presented the 'moving blocks,' the stage disgorging that 100-or so-foot globe, etc. etc. But the meat of Athens's show was the "Klepsydra" portion which could've happened WITH or WITHOUT the lake.

Yeah, Beijing's lighting is gimmicky, but I would allow them that. After that awe-inspiring earlier Ceremony, I don't see how else Yimou & Birch could have done any less, considering the scale they put their show in. Besides, it is almost imperative and de rigeur now to attempt the most unimaginable m.o. to light the cauldron!!

To me, the pool was already fully utilized though it's only for the first few segments. Most importantly, it had done it's job by wowing TV audiences around the world on the opening shot, where everyone's jaw dropped when they see a pool in a stadium (I know mine did!). I can never forget the rings of fire in the water, the boy on the boat, the drummer taking it's first splash into the water, the red centaur strolling slowly across the pond, the couple flirting into the water, the pregnanant woman stepping in with thousands of lights in the water like the milky way. Arent all these enough to create a lasting image for the ceremony? It's all these subtle experiences that will stir the imagination of viewers, not the army parade in Beijing.

I dont think anything can be more perfect than that. Sydney's use of water in the cauldron lighting was ingenious but bit 'rough-edged'. Athens mastered it.

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To me, the 'lake' just didn't connect with, as I said, the 'main content' of the show, which was the "Klepsydra." It wasn't even used to say, tie in, a major naval battle in Greece's history, if indeed the sea is so tied to the host nation.

The rings on fire? Well, I guess it was a continuation of the rings that also were set on fire in Salt Lake's ice at the end of its OC. So I guess one could interpret that as picking up, 2 years after, from Salt Lake's OC.

The centaur? Yes, one good mythologic element --put in there just to give a scale to the head.

Anyway -- it's rather moot rehashing what's past.

My point is, for all the expense and genius that went into throwing in a lake, it really wasn't used to maximum effect -- and they had to REALLY stretch for such far-off ideas (yeah, like the pregnant woman, the DNA). As you've read in the other threads, the man behind Athens show DOESN"T even like the Olympics!! So I can clearly see the disconnect there.

What Olympic sport requires an athlete to keep his balance on a revolving cube? :blink: I can see that on a game show -- but not in an present Olympic concept.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Og Baron, my mentor...

The Lake of water was:

- The contrast to the Olympic Rings of Fire which represent the power of the Olympism. It is so strong that even it can brun on water.

- The sea for the little paper boat to move on and the Naval Band to walk by...

- The source of inspiration for the Cycladic Head of the Cycladic civilisation to rise from

- The mirror to reflect the broken pieces of the cycladic, floating in air representing the univers

- The Hellenic sea for the broken pieces to lie on to represent the isalng of greece

- The night beach for the erastes and their play of love

- The sea to surround the Passage through time as the sea surrounds hellenic civilisationsince it existence

- The source of live that surrounds the eart to give birth to the olive tree and the element that accompanied the choros of the performers that move in circle

The hole was for:

- the cycladic head to rise from

- the cube to rise from

- the entrance for many performers such Eros

- the olive rtee to rise from

- the globe of the names of all the Olympic Cities projected on it and the floating torch bearers flying to it to rise from

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savas, I know and saw all that.

I just don't go for all that symbolic, less-is-more stuff in a stadium=sepctacle sense. It didn't deilver ALL THE POTENTIAL it could've.

Did you really need water to show that DNA effect? No.

Did "Klepsydra' really need the water? No. They just walked into the water at the end. But to what purpose I don't know.

And the fact that you have to issue lengthy explanations for the motivations MEANS that the conveyance of his deas, vision WAS NOT clear and subject to many interpretations.

My take: it failed to live up to WHAT COULD'VE BEEN a far greater show.

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Klepsydra wasnt the main part of the Ceremony. It was just a part of it. It was the passage throught time. Before that there was the Countdown, the Olympic rings, the Arrival and the walk of the President, the Allegory. After that there was the book of live, the Olive tree, the Parade of the Athletes, Oceania, the Olympic cities of the past........ and lighting of the torch. The Ceremony of Athens didnt had the need to present such things like a naval battle just for the stupid ones to understand "ah cool,... this is supposed to be the sea..."

And as for your daft attempts to distort Papaioannou words: He said the "i dont like the Olympic Game as they have been a plattform for staging supershows!!!"

So cut it off..

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I just don't go for all that symbolic, less-is-more stuff in a stadium=sepctacle sense. It didn't deilver ALL THE POTENTIAL it could've.

It depends on what you concider to be a spectacle and if it was meant to be a spectacle as people were used for the Ceremonies to be

Did you really need water to show that DNA effect? No.

Yes because water is the source of life, like oxygene is

Did "Klepsydra' really need the water? No. They just walked into the water at the end. But to what purpose I don't know.

Yes because the sea has always has been an extreme source of inspiration for the hellenic civilisation

And the fact that you have to issue lengthy explanations for the motivations MEANS that the conveyance of his deas, vision WAS NOT clear and subject to many interpretations.

It was not clear for you this is why i am trying to explain

My take: it failed to live up to WHAT COULD'VE BEEN a far greater show.

According to Papaioannou it could have been a better ceremony. But this is in the nature of art. afterwards there are always things that you would change. Zhang Yimou already said that he wasnt satisfied with the result, only 1 day after the show

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Here we go again. WHY DO YOU HAVE TO INSIST that everyone else see it the wayyou do?

I DON"T HAVE TO. My mind is NOT yours and yours isn't MINE.

I AM PERFECTLY ENTITLED to judge the show as I saw it.

So, NO -- YOU CUT IT OUT!!!

No you dont have to.. I am not trying to force you to have my point of view. I am trying to explain to you.

The cut it out is for the distorting of the saying of Papaioannou just to make it fit in your point of view

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same old same old. it has this symbolism and that symbolism. all these symbolisms that werent in the commentators brief. sure there was symbolism all over but if a commentator is only given a sheet talking about hercules and his mother and breast milk,then dont expect every single symbolism to be picked up around the world. this coming from somebody who preferred athens ceremony.

the water was underused FULL STOP. the huge head and marble rock structures floated in mid air then rested on the water.

a 120m by 75m water body could surely be put to more use. that little boy travelling across on a boat showed the possibility to recreate an ancient ship battle. lost city of atlantis etc.

i still look forward to the hooded youths the most, for the london 2012 handover segment.

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I felt that this show was awesome, but perhaps I’m biased because I’m Chinese myself. I somehow wondered how people would think that those people who preformed are soulless? I mean those were people who sacrificed 10 months of their live to perform 7 minutes. Do they felt that it was wasted? I probably think not, they feel proud that they could give their share to this Olympic games.

The one I especially like was the little girl with that guy on the piano. She was so cheerful, it really adds atmosphere to this suppose to be happy Olympics. Or that other little girl singing live in front of I don’t know how many people, but that takes guts and I respect that. Many of the other parts felt symbolistic, yet beautiful with the peaceful & happy mindset. The only downside was the sound quality, that was pathetic. Also the parade was hell boring, but I never liked that anyways.

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I felt that this show was awesome, but perhaps I’m biased because I’m Chinese myself. I somehow wondered how people would think that those people who preformed are soulless? I mean those were people who sacrificed 10 months of their live to perform 7 minutes. Do they felt that it was wasted? I probably think not, they feel proud that they could give their share to this Olympic games.

The one I especially like was the little girl with that guy on the piano. She was so cheerful, it really adds atmosphere to this suppose to be happy Olympics. Or that other little girl singing live in front of I don’t know how many people, but that takes guts and I respect that. Many of the other parts felt symbolistic, yet beautiful with the peaceful & happy mindset. The only downside was the sound quality, that was pathetic. Also the parade was hell boring, but I never liked that anyways.

somebody just thinking why Chinese are so organised and controled, so they think the mindset were not humans.lol

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Wat den een sin Uhl, is den Annern sin Nachtigall

this is a North-German saying, which is literally translated with "One man's owl, is another man's nightingale" or better "One Man's garbage, is another man's treasure"...

You can't debate about taste - taste is totally subjective - I saw all the ceremonies from Sarajevo 1984 until Beijing 2008 and in my point of view all ceremonies had fantastic moments and amazing ideas - and it is wonderful when the host countries are trying to introduce their culture into the opening ceremony.

I think that China wanted to create a kind of showcase of its culture and its abilities - it was very impressive, but I have to admit that overall the ceremonies of Sydney 2000 are still my favourite Summer Ceremonies - since the Aussies had been able to push the right buttons at me.

But again: One Man's garbage, is another man's treasure!!!

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I think that China wanted to create a kind of showcase of its culture and its abilities - it was very impressive, but I have to admit that overall the ceremonies of Sydney 2000 are still my favourite Summer Ceremonies - since the Aussies had been able to push the right buttons at me.

That's because you're partial to Oz, CAF. ;)

But I really think Beijing has set the bar so high now that it'll be impossible to top in terms of lavishness.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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I thought the OC was amazing. I was particularly in awe of the Columns(not many people mentioned that), and of course the torch lighting, fireworks, scroll, Umbrellas etc. I do have a couple of criticism though.

1) It was visually enthralling but at the same time I still got more enjoyment from Athens and Sydney. I thought Athens was elegant and Sydney was exciting and emotional. I will look back on Beijing as expensive and lavish. I guess what I am saying is that the emotion was lacking for me.

2)The Music in my view was awful. I thought it was the biggest let down of all.

3)It did go on a bit and found myself getting bored. Something I never normally suffer from as far as ceremonies are concerned.

On the whole though, how can you possibly say that the OC was bad. It was spectaular and the scale had to admired. I enjoyed it.

Edited by Lee
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2)The Music in my view was awful. I thought it was the biggest let down of all.

I am particularly surprised by this comment, for we apparently do have a few who actually asked for the soundtrack for they love it! I personally did not even take notice of the music until I realised people are gushing over it, and so I watched the OC all over again and I must say I do like some parts of it...especially the maritime segment. ;)

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I was a bit disappointed withe the opening myself as I expressed in another forum. The thing is, somehow the "opulence" was missing. It still was pretty good but I expected so much more grandure.

I think a large part of it may have to do with which network you were watching it on too. Down here, I watched it on CBC Toronto. While the commenmtary was very good the camera crew did an awful job of breaking for ads at really important points. NBC's coverage was way better but strangely, the ceremony was edited and some of the segments were left out. It was only after seeing some clips from the opening that were being used as "fillers" did I realised that the full ceremony was not carried.

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