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Opening Ceremony


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@baron-pierreIV

You don't care about the details? The Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games?

But you spend SOOO much time & energy discussing the damn thing!

Let's face it, this show just wasn't for you and we should just leave it there.

I can't help but ask... What did you think of Underworld's 2 original compositions and the soundtrack in general? The CD did very well worldwide (top 10, maybe #1, in nearly 70 countries), although not in the US.

Yeah...yeah. I didn't realize this was a test. :angry: Unlike others here who get all kvelled w/ Ceremonial soundtrax, I don't. I feel Ceremonies are primarily visual and the audio/music portion over which the TV commentators talk over anyway, are just entirely auxiliary. Just don't throw in rock or rap or what I consider 'non-music' choices :angry: , and we'll be fine.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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In which case, London 2012, Danny Boyle and Underworld raised the bar with respect to Olympic Opening Ceremonies.

Watching on TV, and with the BBC commentary team doing a pretty decent job, in the middle section of Pandemonium I thought "what is this wonderful music?"

And from what I've heard from people who were there, boy, did they feel that music.

For now, goodnight my friends. Hello Sanj, Mark, Matt :-)

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Yeah, but all Americans know it was really Al Gore who invented the internet!

How anyone can argue that the NBC coverage was anything other than dire when:

(a) the commentators clearly hadn't read or digested the media guide properly;

(B) were unaware of who Sir Tim Berners-Lee is (showing blatant contempt live on air, in my view) and

© omitted parts of the Ceremony such as the Sande tribute to the fallen

...to name but a few indiscretions is totally beyond me!

The difficulty that any producers now face is that as time goes on, it is increasingly difficult to be original and spectacular with such stadium-based events.

If a Ceremony contains one or two elements that make me go 'wow,' then in my view, that represents a successful and worthwhile production.

London certainly had a few such moments. I don't wish to denigrate Beijing at all as, on the whole, I found the Ceremony amazing. however, there is one part that I found very disappointing and in my view, London beat it hands down in this regard.

I refer to the lighting of the cauldron. I'm afraid, I think that Beijing's was just rather silly! A runner being winched up to the perimeter of the stadium and then pretending to run around until he reached a rather bland-looking cauldron. Just didn't do it for me. On the other hand, London's lighting of the cauldron was deserving of the much over-used term 'spectacular.' It was original both in it's conception and design. It was full of metaphor in the notion of the nations coming together in a transitory Olympic-period and as for the music, it was just sublime!

One other segment of the Ceremony that really did make me go 'wow!' literally, I hasten to add, was the creation of the rings. It was a really dramatic piece of theatre - not at all too slow, as some have suggested - the culmination of an incredibly painful period in British history. The musical score that accompanied this segment was one of the best ever heard in such Ceremonies, in my view. (I don't blame non-Brits for this at all but some people's comments on here betray a staggering ignorance of some aspects of British culture and history.)

This isn't to mention the elements of British humour evident within the Ceremony (again, much mis-understood on this board.) What other nation on Earth would have pretended to have thrown it's 86-year-old Head of State out of a helicopter?!

I still think Beijing is my favourite Ceremony of all time. As for Athens, I can take it or leave it. Very little to commend it in any regard, frankly.

So, I return to my original criteria. Did, in this ever more difficult to please, 24/7-media dominated-world where it is ever more difficult to be original, the London 2012 Opening Ceremony contain a few original concepts or elements which appealed to the home and an international audience?

To paraphrase from Obama on this, the day of his inauguration, "Yes, it did."

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Hi John!

Some thread this! I think I'll have a good read tomorrow. Lots of interesting comments to say the least.

Pandemonium? In a word, stunning, with Underworld's And I Will Kiss literally shaking the stadium. And I should know as I was there.

Well, as you know, I was there as well but according to some people on this thread, the music doesn't count. Any analysis must totally disregard it. Yeah, right.

As you've indicated, anyone who thinks that, wasn't being shaken to their core by "And I will Kiss" or being moved to tears by "Caliban's Dream" on the sultry night of 27th July last year!

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How anyone can argue that the NBC coverage was anything other than dire when:

(a) the commentators clearly hadn't read or digested the media guide properly;

( B) were unaware of who Sir Tim Berners-Lee is (showing blatant contempt live on air, in my view) and

The Al Gore comment was continuing a long-running joke.

To be fair to the Americans, though, the internet, like all good ideas, has no shortage of "fathers" wanting to claim paternity. The Europeans always like to cite TBL and the work of CERN. Americans point back to DARPANET. It's probably more fair to say that it's the work of more than a few people that has brought us the net as we know it today.

It is fair enough, though, that the NBC audience should have been told who TBL is.

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@baron-pierreIV

You don't care about the details? The Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games?

But you spend SOOO much time & energy discussing the damn thing!

Let's face it, this show just wasn't for you and we should just leave it there.

I can't help but ask... What did you think of Underworld's 2 original compositions and the soundtrack in general? The CD did very well worldwide (top 10, maybe #1, in nearly 70 countries), although not in the US.

@volshy. Please go back over many pages of this thread. I've pretty much said what I've felt about the London 2012 OC and have nothing more to add...and/or I would just be repeating myself. If I didn't comment on a particular facet of it, either I wasn't interested or had no feeling one way or another about said aspect. I think we've (or the regular posters at least) have pretty much said all there is to say about 2012. But thanks for asking me just the same.

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@Volshy...I DON'T really care about the details. And I purposely misspelled some of those because this time, I couldn't take all the trivial details Boyle threw in there, with a serious face. So...sue me. :P

for a man who's flogging a book about opening ceremonies, you should know the details.

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for a man who's flogging a book about opening ceremonies, you should know the details.

I do KNOW the details...but (i) this is an internet chat forum...I come here for fun...NOT always serious discussion; (ii) am still not sure if I will create a newer volume to include London. There are many considerations I have to weigh whether to proceed with that or not. So if I don't, then does it matter whether I get the London details right or not?

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Yeah, but all Americans know it was really Al Gore who invented the internet!

I think only Al Gore ever knew that, but serve it up it if feeds your angle.

Other good topics to consider…anything TULSA, NBC or apparently Meredith Viera.

Well, as you know, I was there as well but according to some people on this thread, the music doesn't count. Any analysis must totally disregard it. Yeah, right.

As you've indicated, anyone who thinks that, wasn't being shaken to their core by "And I will Kiss" or being moved to tears by "Caliban's Dream" on the sultry night of 27th July last year!

music was the best part of the show. DB should stick to audio and I guess cinema........but those film bits were nothing different that we havent seen before either.....so maybe JUST stick to the audio bit.

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Whoever keeps talking about NBCs commenter’s:

Most of the American fanboys here probably watched the live feed on BBC like me…and then got a second dose on the NBC re-run. So we got plenty of BLAH-BLAH-BLAH-BLAH-BLAH in both English and American accents. In truth….it really didn’t matter getting the odd bit of extra history and context, the show spoke for itself….in clearly confused terms.

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@baron-pierreIV: " I think we've (or the regular posters at least) have pretty much said all there is to say about 2012."

And yet, mysteriously, I'm gaining new insights by participating actively in this discussion.


By the way, a friend has kindly added the main #nbcfail material from my rambling analysis of the London Opening to his website, with his own introduction:
http://www.pastpresented.ukart.com/nbcfail.htm

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Curiously the Baron has yet to add his 2 cent worth on my Sir Tim Berners Lee reference

What do u want me to say? So what then? Do you want me to do cartwheels, or lose sleep over it? It was noted and I moved on. I mean, like everyone else, I can pick and choose what I would consider a 'wow' moment or not, don't I?

But since you pressed me, coming at the end of the absolutely uninspired, WTF? Frankie-June sequence, his unveiling was so post-climatic. It was like...who cares if he's Sir Ralph Waldo Emerson?

Also I think u're saying about the 'exports'? I am sure Boyle wanted to avoid that because then his show would come out as direct comparison to Beijing (which blatantly exploited China's 4 BIG contributions to world civilization), which I think he tried to avoid. So I didn't think including TBL (What's with the 3 names???) was anything significant or jaw-dropping. And it was confusing because he was mixing real-live people with roles played: Kenneth Branagh playing Islamabad Brunei Kingdom (yeah.yeah)...then Daniel Craig playing James Bond...but a stuntman playing QE2; then Rowan Atkinson playing Mr. Bean imagining himself as Harold Abrahams; then Voldemort and the hydrocephalic baby, and then the F-J travesty unfolded, it was like...how cares about the unknown man at the end of that number? Maybe only the appearance of ALice in her Upsidedown World would have validated the sheer confusion that Boyle had unreeled for the world.

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First, let me start out be saying I don't like ceremonies, most of which have nothing to do with slam dunks or power plays or world records. Second, I probably should have said this earlier. While I don't like ceremonies (The Olympics are a sporting event first, and I prefer the sports events,) I did find it hilarious that they threw in a clip from The Cosby Show in the Franky and June part. That is one of my favorites shows of all time, and I met Bill Cosby back in 1997 when he performed at KSTATE University in Manhattan, Kansas.

"Wear when I'm dead."

"Take the sunglasses off.....put the sunglasses back on."

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First, let me start out be saying I don't like ceremonies, most of which have nothing to do with slam dunks or power plays or world records. Second, I probably should have said this earlier. While I don't like ceremonies (The Olympics are a sporting event first, and I prefer the sports events,) I did find it hilarious that they threw in a clip from The Cosby Show in the Franky and June part. That is one of my favorites shows of all time, and I met Bill Cosby back in 1997 when he performed at KSTATE University in Manhattan, Kansas.

"Wear when I'm dead."

"Take the sunglasses off.....put the sunglasses back on."

Yeah, that part was hilarious and random, adding to my not understanding of whats going on AT ALL. :lol:

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First, let me start out be saying I don't like ceremonies, most of which have nothing to do with slam dunks or power plays or world records. Second, I probably should have said this earlier. While I don't like ceremonies (The Olympics are a sporting event first, and I prefer the sports events,) I did find it hilarious that they threw in a clip from The Cosby Show in the Franky and June part. That is one of my favorites shows of all time, and I met Bill Cosby back in 1997 when he performed at KSTATE University in Manhattan, Kansas.

"Wear when I'm dead."

"Take the sunglasses off.....put the sunglasses back on."

Then y r u even chiming in a topic about Ceremonies? And the one spot that tickled your fancy was a retread from sitcom...not even an original piece created especially for the event? :blink::rolleyes: Jeez, it takes all kinds.

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Volshy: I did mean ABC and thanks for your answer to my honest question. I suspected as much.

JMarkSnow: the point is that the OC should not be dependent on language in order to be understood. The images and music should communicate eloquently on their own. Your point about wanting more extensive verbal footnotes shows that London failed at this. Whether or not Athens and Beijing were to your personal taste or not, they succeeded.

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It was an Opening ceremony with funky bits, good bits, bad bits, confusing bits, messy bits etc etc. I think the fact that it wasn't trying to present some pompous grandioise image of the UK is refreshing and perhaps a more realistic portrayal of most British peoples views on where we stand in the world. There are aspects of it I was was impressed with and some bits I knew were going to be difficult for an international audience to understand.... frankly it was a moment in history and its gone.... it actually doesn't mean very much in the grander scheme of things. It's not as if people weren't aware of London and the UK's cultural contributions to the world...they're fairly well documented and to a certain extent taught in schools around the world. In that context there was no need and no desire for the OC to present a detailed British history lesson to the world audience. I can understand that some people wanted more pomp and circumstance but we have Royal weddings, jubilees, state funerals and coronations which do that.... the Olympics was something different and I think it was important it was more focused on people and popular culture.

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