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This has nothing to do with anything, but I wish that the placard girls in London's parade of nations had been outfitted as members of a historical costume parade. They could have cycled through British history in female fashion every 8-10 countries or so: original Britons, medieval attire, Elizabethan, Regency, Victorian, war-era, 70's mod, present day. I think it would've been a blast. Oh well.

I could've seen that working - I quite like the idea.

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it will be the most boring opening ceremony after atlanta :S

Fly over for a visit. There were some wonderful moments, but also quite a few disorganized looking head-scratchers. It wasn't terrible, but I have yet to speak to anyone on this side of the pond who

I will always see Beijings as a celebration that the Chinese beat their drums to the same beat and Londons a celebration that we each beat our drums to very different beats. Im certainly not trying

As for LA -- the entertainment section was titled "Music of America" -- so there was a clear organizing principle (something London lacked). LA did include many classic American icons -- marching bands, Gospel music, pioneers and square dancing, Gershwin and old Hollywood musicals, rock and roll.

This has nothing to do with anything, but I wish that the placard girls in London's parade of nations had been outfitted as members of a historical costume parade. They could have cycled through British history in female fashion every 8-10 countries or so: original Britons, medieval attire, Elizabethan, Regency, Victorian, war-era, 70's mod, present day. I think it would've been a blast. Oh well.

Our musical diversity is one of our tremendous assets to the world and that was great back in LA

The costumed idea for the placard girls would've be interesting and grant a nod to the past all the way to the present. But the volunteers apparently had a greater weight and were thus more inexpensive than costumes.

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Our musical diversity is one of our tremendous assets to the world and that was great back in LA

The costumed idea for the placard girls would've be interesting and grant a nod to the past all the way to the present. But the volunteers apparently had a greater weight and were thus more inexpensive than costumes.

If they were custom-made, yes. But surely there are PLENTY of rental houses that would've let out their costumes for a nominal fee to LOCOG.....

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Boyle's Indian-phile side overrode the choice for the "country-placard ladies." They were designed by a little-known designer of Indian descent. I was just waiting for the little country names above the heads to suddenly light up; and then explode in fireworx when GB marched in. But sadly, I was disappointed.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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This has nothing to do with anything, but I wish that the placard girls in London's parade of nations had been outfitted as members of a historical costume parade. They could have cycled through British history in female fashion every 8-10 countries or so: original Britons, medieval attire, Elizabethan, Regency, Victorian, war-era, 70's mod, present day. I think it would've been a blast. Oh well.

I'm afraid I can't agree. I think that would have looked very cheesy and not even unique to Britain. After all, it wasn't only the British who dressed in these different fashions throughout the ages. What you think of as medieval British, Elizabethan or Victorian fashions were in fact typical European-wide fashions of those eras. So how would parading in these different costumes of the past have been in any way significant to London or the UK?

Edited by Mainad
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Was expecting some nod towards the Norman conquest of 1066 rather than the cliched Romans or classic British royality.

Why the Norman conquest and not, say, the Anglo-Saxon or Viking conquests or the irony of how the Romans originally founded London in the teeth of fierce opposition from the ancient Britons followed by the story of how Queen Boudicca and her folllowers then burned it to the ground as soon as they had the opportunity? To complete the historical irony, there is actually a statue of Queen Boudicca, the destroyer of London, on the Thames embankment opposite the Houses of Parliament!

Boudiccastatue.jpg

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I wonder which opening ceremonies actually looked better on second viewing? ;)

LA? Atlanta. Sydney. Salt Lake. Beijing. B)

But did you already like those from the first viewing?

Which of them, if any, did you not like at the time but which you changed your mind about on second viewing? ;)

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I'm afraid I can't agree. I think that would have looked very cheesy and not even unique to Britain. After all, it wasn't only the British who dressed in these different fashions throughout the ages. What you think of as medieval British, Elizabethan or Victorian fashions were in fact typical European-wide fashions of those eras. So how would parading in these different costumes of the past have been in any way significant to London or the UK?

As someone who has spent a good deal of time studying costume design, I beg to differ. Yes, there are some similarities between countries during periods, but each country absolutely has distinctive traits. Why else would Shakespeare write about "French fashion"? The above comment would only be made by someone who has not studied the subject.

Incidentally, some of us found the phalanx of Seargeant Peppers, jiving nursemaids and romance via text message "cheesy" -- to use your turn of phrase. An elegant costume parade may not be to your taste -- fine, it's just a random thought -- but it sure as heck wouldn't be much worse than some of the stuff that did make the cut. It would've been a good deal more interesting than those shapeless photo collage get-ups.

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Must say that I agree totally with Athensfan's view of the placard bearer costumes; and I think many of them would too. They really weren't particularly flattering or 'wow'... although I guess you could argue that the attention at that point should be on the flagbearer rather than the placard bearer.

Part of the problem with the OC is that there were big cuts made to it timewise; there are bits of Green and Pleasant that were supposed to happen in the main show but ended up only being seen during the preshow (e.g. the football morphing to rugby and all the animal tending) and other segments being tweaked up to the final weeks as they worked with timings. I'm not sure any of those helped with cohesion! Incidentally - the flaming bikes that appeared in the Paralympic Closing were originally slated for the Olympics Opening along with the BMXs that were a late cut.

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As someone who has spent a good deal of time studying costume design, I beg to differ. Yes, there are some similarities between countries during periods, but each country absolutely has distinctive traits. Why else would Shakespeare write about "French fashion"? The above comment would only be made by someone who has not studied the subject.

Perhaps 'cheesy'' was not quite the right word to have used. I understand what you are saying and I respect your knowledge of costumes and fashion but I doubt the average Olympic viewer would have been able to appreciate the fine distinctions between 16th century Elizabethan and contemporary 16th century French fashion or similarly from other eras. Elizabethan male courtiers wore ruffs or lace collars and wide breeches, similar for the women except they wore hooped dresses rather than breeches. French courtiers of the time would have looked very similar. Only fashion connoisseurs like yourself would have been knowledgeable enough to appreciate the fine distinctions. Average Olympic viewers almost certainly wouldn't.

Incidentally, some of us found the phalanx of Seargeant Peppers, jiving nursemaids and romance via text message "cheesy" -- to use your turn of phrase. An elegant costume parade may not be to your taste -- fine, it's just a random thought -- but it sure as heck wouldn't be much worse than some of the stuff that did make the cut. It would've been a good deal more interesting than those shapeless photo collage get-ups.

Well, Sergeant Pepper was at least a uniquely English music album produced by a uniquely English musical group. I would hazard a guess that most viewers would have recognised and understood it . But I guess one person's 'cheese' is another person's 'caviar'. :)

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Perhaps 'cheesy'' was not quite the right word to have used. I understand what you are saying and I respect your knowledge of costumes and fashion but I doubt the average Olympic viewer would have been able to appreciate the fine distinctions between 16th century Elizabethan and contemporary 16th century French fashion or similarly from other eras. Elizabethan male courtiers wore ruffs or lace collars and wide breeches, similar for the women except they wore hooped dresses rather than breeches. French courtiers of the time would have looked very similar. Only fashion connoisseurs like yourself would have been knowledgeable enough to appreciate the fine distinctions. Average Olympic viewers almost certainly wouldn't.

Just for the record, I'm so NOT a fashionista. I'm an art director and history of costume was part of the education.

As I said, the placard girl idea was just a random thought. I don't mean to be crusading for it.

The point really wouldn't have been the costumes per se anyway. It would be a reminder of Britain's long and colorful history. There was a timeless quality to both Athens and Beijing that felt majestic. London could have followed suit and didn't. I missed the sense of the march of time and the ancient history connecting to the present.

There was some history in the OC, but it was very loose and non-linear. The focus was really on the last two centuries. I understand that London and the UK want to redefine themselves and escape some of the baggage of the past. But one countryman's baggage is a foreigner's wonderment. The UK may be tired of original Britons, Arthurian legend, Elizabethans and Victorians, but the rest of the world isn't. I'm not saying all that had to be represented, much less dwelt on, but it was disappointing to see it omitted. The idea of a historical costume parade was just a way of trying to acknowledge the very significant role Britain has played in world history for many centuries. For me, the OC really didn't do that.

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Just for the record, I'm so NOT a fashionista. I'm an art director and history of costume was part of the education.

Apologies for the misunderstanding.

As I said, the placard girl idea was just a random thought. I don't mean to be crusading for it.

The point really wouldn't have been the costumes per se anyway. It would be a reminder of Britain's long and colorful history. There was a timeless quality to both Athens and Beijing that felt majestic. London could have followed suit and didn't. I missed the sense of the march of time and the ancient history connecting to the present.

There was some history in the OC, but it was very loose and non-linear. The focus was really on the last two centuries. I understand that London and the UK want to redefine themselves and escape some of the baggage of the past. But one countryman's baggage is a foreigner's wonderment. The UK may be tired of original Britons, Arthurian legend, Elizabethans and Victorians, but the rest of the world isn't. I'm not saying all that had to be represented, much less dwelt on, but it was disappointing to see it omitted. The idea of a historical costume parade was just a way of trying to acknowledge the very significant role Britain has played in world history for many centuries. For me, the OC really didn't do that.

Maybe the ceremony was pitched a bit too much towards the modern with the endless emphasis on youth and the future perhaps at the expense of some of the historical past elements. Youth, the future and regeneration have been the constant themes of the 2012 Games ever since the original pitch to the IOC back in 2005. It would seem Danny Boyle and co wanted to build on that and also to emphasise aspects of British history and culture that are familar to us here in the UK but perhaps not so familiar to the rest of the world. I recall a lot of past discussion from the British posters on here about how they didn't want the ceremonies to be too 'quaint' and overloaded with images of too traditional and maybe clichéed aspects of British history like morris-dancers and beefeaters for example. They wanted a more modern approach to present a side of Britain that foreigners often don't know too much about.

As I said in an earlier post, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't! B)

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Honestly, I don't think that's true. It's totally possible to be cutting edge while still acknowledging the journey that got you where you are.

As you are an art director, I think I would be genuinely interested to see how you would have handled it! :)

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As you are an art director, I think I would be genuinely interested to see how you would have handled it! :)

I would LOVE to direct an OC, but I'm not really in the right field at the moment. I guess you never know what the future has in store....

I really like the way Athens used technology to convey history. The centaur, the fracturing Cycladic head with the projections of geometry and the cube guy were awesome to me. The film projected on the shards of sculpture was also beautiful. It was a great way of using today's technology to honor the past while still representing a rapidly changing, multicultural present. I seriously dug it.

In all fairness, London was in a difficult position for many reasons:

1.) London had to follow Beijing's jaw-dropping spectacle.

2.) British history is long, well-recorded and very well-known across the globe.

3.) There is an over-abundance of material and talent to work with -- far more than can fit in an OC.

4.) Present day Brits do not want to be constrained by the past, but want to embrace an fresh 21st century identity.

That's a quite a bit to balance and it would be pretty easy to put a foot wrong. Quite a tall order. I do think a better balance could've been achieved, but I acknowledge that it was a very, very difficult task.

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The UK is not commonly known for making good wine, is it? ;)

Actually, while French wine is known more for being the best.

UK wineries are seriously competing with the French ones in terms of quality and taste.

Source: Some TV show I was randomly watching

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Since we are still so caught up in discussing the ceremonies - here's a statement by British comedian David Mitchell I stumbled across yesterday on YouTube. Caution: It could hurt a lot of feelings on a board like this one! ;)

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