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Opening Ceremony


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it was geared for the brits because the brits are cynical and negative in events like these. so DB has to please the brits for the success of the games

:rolleyes: Of course not. How stupid would that be. The show's content is vetted a year or so before with the IOC. Do you not think the IOC would say: we have a global product, why should the show be geared only for the host country of 60 mill; and maybe 25 mill watching it? We have a global product here and we will be exposed to at least 1 billion viewers. We owe it to a global audience and to our TOP sponsors.

The IOC Charter encourages the host nation to tell its story but if the Ceremonies people know what they are doing, they will tell it in terms that can be understood and enjoyed globally, as I'm sure DB tried but did not succeed completely.

Ilustrado, u don't know what you're talking about. :rolleyes:

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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:rolleyes: Of course not. How stupid would that be. The show's content is vetted a year or so before with the IOC. Do you not think the IOC would say: we have a global product, why should the show be geared only for the host country of 60 mill; and maybe 25 mill watching it? We have a global product here and we will be exposed to at least 1 billion viewers. We owe it to a global audience and to our TOP sponsors.

The IOC Charter encourages the host nation to tell its story but if the Ceremonies people know what they are doing, they will tell it in terms that can be understood and enjoyed globally, as I'm sure DB tried but did not succeed completely.

Ilustrado, u don't know what you're talking about. :rolleyes:

I disagree, Baron (see above). And I thought that as a performer in the Atlanta 1996 opening ceremony, you'd probably know best that Olympic ceremonies are not only geared for the global audience, but also for the home audience. Atlanta 1996 had it's patriotic elements, too (for example the "Strike Up The Band" routine before (or shortly after?) the playing of the "Star-Spangled Banner").

EDIT, for clarification: "I disagree, Baron (see my post #1794 above)."

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I disagree, Baron (see above). And I thought that as a performer in the Atlanta 1996 opening ceremony, you'd probably know best that Olympic ceremonies are not only geared for the global audience, but also for the home audience. Atlanta 1996 had it's patriotic elements, too (for example the "Strike Up The Band" routine before (or shortly after?) the playing of the "Star-Spangled Banner").

EDIT, for clarification: "I disagree, Baron (see my post #1794 above)."

:blink: Of course, there are all those elements. They are in EVERY OC. It's all part of the prescribed protocol parts. DIdn't u read my post? Of course, u start building from a show which Tells AND SHOWCASES the host country's culture. I thot that would be so obvious that I didn't have to point that out? :blink:

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@baron-pierreIV: "Of course, u start building from a show which Tells AND SHOWCASES the host country's culture."

In the course of these discussions, it has gradually occurred to me that in the London opening, the cultural presentation (from the start to "Frankie and June") had one theme- Britain as a source of cultural revolutions and innovations- but the ceremony as a whole, including the cultural presentation, had the wider theme of the individual's life and achievements in the context of history. In addition to the chronological threads running through the whole ceremony, which I described a few weeks ago, throughout the cultural presentation there were elements which seemed chronologically misplaced (Beatles in the industrial revolution; old-fashioned radio music and the quaint caption "BBC News and Newsreel" appearing on the audience pixels as a clearly 21st century mum and son walked from their modern car to their modern house) but were actually intended to emphasise historical continuity, with London's last Olympic year, 1948, as a focal point.

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Being there my impression wasn't this is messy, my impression was this is incredible. Im sure Martin feels the same, what do you think Martin? Messy or incredible?

I just checked the video, I wished I hadnt commented now, that video gave me a headache. No Olympic ceremony can be judged from such a video, ridiculous

Exactly! I don't think anyone who was there would say that it was anything other than amazing.

I also don't know of anyone who didn't like the Ceremony albeit that I have mainly talked to British people.

It looked bad on TV.

No it didn't! That is a sweeping and silly generalisation.

I do think that some parts looked better than others and I do think that the blame for that lies with OBS.

I would challenge you to look back at the end of the 'Pandemonium' section where the rings come together or the lighting of the cauldron where the petals come together and maintain your view that those elements look, as you say, 'bad!'

See, and yes, it's moot -- I would rather they had worked on putting the whole meadow set 'together' -- rather than ripping it apart. In any theatrical presentations, the audience always gets awed and wows when a super-complicated set comes together...when all the pieces fall into place. I understand DB tried to approach it differently, but for me, it didn't work. Instead of positive energy building up; it was bringing in negative energy instead. (And I understand it had to set the stage for Pandemonium; but maybe they could've found a different way to stage it.) Anyway, I hope the Russians and Brazilians return to the more 'regimented, disciplined' formats. I would've felt cheated of my $$$ if I went and paid to see London in person. Just my 2 quid.

Why would they have 'assembled' the countryside after the 'Industrial revolution' segment when that, historically, is not what actually happened?!

I think there's a basic misunderstanding of what the 'Pandemonium' section was all about on the part of some people here.

By the way, I did pay to see the Opening Ceremony and far from feeling 'cheated,' I think it's one of the best experiences of my life!

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Hmmmthats what a lot of the Brits here have said, and I keep wondering what that means. Like the rest of us are not all unaware of modern British culture and I personally was NOT expecting or wanting a Beijing style army of choreographed Beefeaters dancing around giant props of Big Ben and the London Eye (although that most clichéd use of landmarks did indeed happen in the closinggo figure who that was for.

But I still dont know what that means that the ceremony was geared to Brits. There really wasnt anything that mysterious or insider about the imagery or what was happening. I guess it might be that some babies can only be loved by their mother.

p.s. Were still talking about this ceremony because it was weird and recent, and because its interesting what different people saw in it.

I agree completely with the "some babies" comment. I suppose I've been trying to be charitable...

I do think, however, that the NHS, children's lit, pandemonium and Frankie and June sections resonated more with present-day Brits. I suspect there was a stronger visceral identification for them than there was for us. Sure foreigners have some intellectual understanding, but these parts of Britain's story and cultural flavor are just not as moving or meaningful to internationals.

I suspect that stronger emotional identification enabled Brits to internally construct for themselves a sort of through-line connecting the various segments of the ceremony and making a kind of sense out of them. The subject matter and styling (or lack thereof) of the show made this difficult if not impossible for internationals.

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Random thought: I was surprised by the presence of a segment on children's lit (particularly at the expense of the world's best known adult literary canon). But it was even more surprising that they skipped the work of some of the best and most beloved authors: Beatrix Potter, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis... Just very odd choices all the way around.

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I agree completely with the "some babies" comment. I suppose I've been trying to be charitable...

How can you completely agree with something which is demonstrably not true?

Enough people from every continent have said they've liked this ceremony. I think it's fairly clear that a vast majority of Brits liked it very much, and the reception outside the UK ranged from brilliant to a completel mess. I suspect that that's actually more or less true for every Olympic ceremony with perhaps the exception of Beijing which was hard not to be amazed by because of its sheer scale.

Anyway, as I've already said, I'm not of the mind to pick apart a one-off show like this, but some odd things are said in this thread sometimes.

Edited by RobH
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How can you completely agree with something which is demonstrably not true?

Enough people from every continent have said they've liked this ceremony. I think it's fairly clear that a vast majority of Brits liked it very much, and the reception outside the UK ranged from brilliant to a completel mess. I suspect that that's actually more or less true for every Olympic ceremony with perhaps the exception of Beijing which was hard not to be amazed by because of its sheer scale.

Anyway, as I've already said, I'm not of the mind to pick apart a one-off show like this, but some odd things are said in this thread sometimes.

Look, millions of people watched the show worldwide. You can find exceptions to every rule and of course there will be done people in every continent that really liked the OC.

The fact is that every Brit I know (on and off of these forums) thought London's OC was the best thing since sliced bread.

I have yet to meet a single American who really liked the show. The reviews range from, "It had a couple good moments" to "it was a train wreck and I couldn't sit through it. What were they thinking?" I have friends elsewhere in Europe and Asia who also found it lacking. In fact, I don't personally know a soul who isn't British that liked the OC.

You may not like reading that, but that's my experience. Sorry.

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You can find exceptions to every rule

I think there are more than enough people who aren't British who said they liked it, many on this forum, so putting their opinions down as "exceptions" is pretty silly and seems quite dismissive to me.

Edited by RobH
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I think there are more than enough people who aren't British who said they liked it, many on this forum, so putting their opinions down as "exceptions" is pretty silly and seems quite dismissive to me.

Okay. How about "minority"? I am not putting anyone's opinion down. In fact, I've tried my best to imagine how others arrived at a different point of view.

I'm just discussing who liked the show vs. who didn't. In my experience, overall London's OC found disproportionally more favor with British people than it did the rest of the world.

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Look, millions of people watched the show worldwide. You can find exceptions to every rule and of course there will be done people in every continent that really liked the OC.

The fact is that every Brit I know (on and off of these forums) thought London's OC was the best thing since sliced bread.

I have yet to meet a single American who really liked the show. The reviews range from, "It had a couple good moments" to "it was a train wreck and I couldn't sit through it. What were they thinking?" I have friends elsewhere in Europe and Asia who also found it lacking. In fact, I don't personally know a soul who isn't British that liked the OC.

You may not like reading that, but that's my experience. Sorry.

non-brit. love it so :angry:

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Random thought: I was surprised by the presence of a segment on children's lit (particularly at the expense of the world's best known adult literary canon). But it was even more surprising that they skipped the work of some of the best and most beloved authors: Beatrix Potter, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis... Just very odd choices all the way around.

the authors you listed did not have storng villain to fit the narattive, with the expection of c.s. lewis (but i think putting the ice queen with be a stretch) also did you not see the queen of hearts during that segment?

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the authors you listed did not have storng villain to fit the narattive, with the expection of c.s. lewis (but i think putting the ice queen with be a stretch) also did you not see the queen of hearts during that segment?

You're totally right about the Queen of Hearts. I forgot her for a moment. My apologies.

For me personally the "narrative" for that segment didn't work, so swapping it out wouldn't have been a big loss.

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What's the big deal here? So if it is true that people outside Britain didn't like the ceremony, so what? I hardly see Britain being laughed at by the rest of the world, in fact if anything it's stature has increased exponentially as it shackled off its stereotype of stiff upper lip tea drinking posh Victoriana and is now seen as quite a friendly progressive youthful and creative society.

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What's the big deal here? So if it is true that people outside Britain didn't like the ceremony, so what? I hardly see Britain being laughed at by the rest of the world, in fact if anything it's stature has increased exponentially as it shackled off its stereotype of stiff upper lip tea drinking posh Victoriana and is now seen as quite a friendly progressive youthful and creative society.

OK, that's why the Brits should stop being so defensive about the OC. They just have to accept that many (in my experience, the vast majority) viewers overseas didn't like it. Btw, speaking of stereotypes, please stop being a typical self-deprecating British :D

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They just have to accept that many viewers overseas didn't like it

We do. Can you and others accept the opposite, that many abroad loved it, without dismissing those points of view as exceptions or calling it a baby only its mother can love?

Seems there is only one group on here who are making up spurious "majorities" based on a few friends whilst dismissing opposing points of view as "exceptions" to a rule they've just made up.

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OK, that's why the Brits should stop being so defensive about the OC. They just have to accept that many (in my experience, the vast majority) viewers overseas didn't like it. Btw, speaking of stereotypes, please stop being a typical self-deprecating British :D

is there a survey or poll to prove this statement. or is it more a IMHO statement based on a circle of friends and a few people here

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it now, London was Magnificent.

There is no way a show on the scale of any OC can not be spectacular, amazing, fantastic, and emotional. People all over the globe and particularly all our British friends were justifiably lifted to exciting heights of pride, emotion, and awe; and I felt all those things to a degree. It was also chaotic, maybe by design, and I’ll admit I was longing for a bit more pomp and order somewhere (not throughout).

I’m disappointed at the director’s choices, I’m a little mad (angry) at the missed opportunities. The ceremony did not hold a lot of surprises or technical wonders that surprised us, a giant puppet teetering around an arena looked particularly amateurish.

Pandemonium was the pinnacle of the event for me, and the forged rings coming together in that glowing iron effect, it was brilliantly chaotic and spectacular!

Organized chaos was effective in that segment; it got a bit tedious as an overarching technique that was employed throughout the entire show.

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For me...and I know this is all Monday morning, post-mortem quarterbacking...really the missed oppty was a chapter on GB and London's standing up to Hitler's blitzkreig. Those hanging "clouds" were so underutilized; and I always saw them as the (again, I'm not sure of the right term) decoy dirigible balloons hanging over wartime London.

If they had asked me, this is how I would've done it: OK, air raids, darkness, sense of foreboding...and then segue INTO the children's Literature sequence. So, while London was being "bombed," the children of London were distracted and able to survive with the wealth of juvenile literature that English authors have churned out -- as if making the best of a nightmare. And then maybe having that actor who played Churchill in the closing, "read" to the beleaguered children of London instead of J.K. Rowling. Yeah, I'd keep the NHS idea there too since it was so beloved an idea by Mr. Boyle (he must've had this nurse fascination).

So a couple of things would've been accomplished and narrated: a great and recent chapter in UK history; a great melding of 2 ideas; the first time (I think) a specific conflict has been retold, dramatized and referenced in an Olympic ceremony (Voldemort could've been made to look like Adolf H. too, and the last laugh would've been on him as the Mary Poppins team deflated him!!), and it could've segued into a small salute to London 1948. I mean so many birds would've been "hit" by one stone.

But then again, they didn't ask me. So it goes...

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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For me...and I know this is all Monday morning, post-mortem quarterbacking...really the missed oppty was a chapter on GB and London's standing up to Hitler's blitzkreig. Those hanging "clouds" were so underutilized; and I always saw them as the (again, I'm not sure of the right term) decoy dirigible balloons hanging over wartime London.

If they had asked me, this is how I would've done it: OK, air raids, darkness, sense of foreboding...and then segue INTO the children's Literature sequence. So, while London was being "bombed," the children of London were distracted and able to survive with the wealth of juvenile literature that English authors have churned out -- as if making the best of a nightmare.

I like that idea Baron, could definitely have worked.

There was talk a few months before the ceremony of a big recreation of the Blitz. Mind you, there was talk of lots of things so who's to know whether it was considered or if it was just paper talk.

Edited by RobH
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