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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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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

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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off current topic: is anyone on this board a working men and women or one of the 'industrialist' in the pandemonium section? i need to know the steps in you choreography. (because i'm going to use it for my exercise routine)

re-posting this because it was buried in the tread.

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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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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.

That's exactly it. It should be self-explanatory visually; no need for overly detailed narration. What if you're watching as a group, all talking & joking...there shouldn't be the imposition that you all have to shut up to listen to lengthy narration to explain arcane facts and complicated narrative. Occasionally, there might be a need to point out who this figure is or was -- and I think both Athens and Beijing did require some explanation. Like I didn't (to this day) know why a Cycladic was picked to rise out of the water (other than it was a simple enough mass to hide the 2 further wonders inside; or that man on the cube, and a few other items). For Beijing, I knew about the paper and gunpowder, but claiming the printing blocks was a stretch; and OK, I'll grant them the compass, altho non-Chinese sailors and navigators had astrolabes & other similar devices to be able to navigate.

of the last decade's ceremonies, probably Albertville, Barcelona, Sydney, Salt Lake and Vancouver required the least amount of "explaining" to do. World Cup 2010's Closing was very self-explanatory as was Melbourne 2006 -- and they still held wonders despite that.

The Frankie-June story for London might've worked in a proscenium theatrical setting, but in a large arena scale, an intimate love-story told via personalized social media was lost and fell flat. And the images of hip youngsters, etc., were things you had all seen before -- just different costuming and maybe choreography. But the basic story-telling images weren't exactly new. It just wasn't grand enough and of a Ceremonial scale.

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@Athensfan: "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. "

Are we talking about the same Beijing OC? The one where the British commentators could hardly keep up with their explaining of the Chinese history being portrayed? Without the commentary for Beijing, the only message most Westerners got was "wow, they're well trained- and there's a whole lot of them too". I think Athens did do that better, but after the promise of the opening drum duet, it seemed to lose passion.


@cormiermax : [re The Cosby Show] "Yeah, that part was hilarious and random, adding to my not understanding of whats going on AT ALL"

Well, I guess that's the last time an OC will make any concessions to American culture. Did nobody spot that the clips from Cosby and Modern Family (and a British sitcom) referred to the same situation that was being played out in the stage household, emphasising its universality? The same reason so many American movies featured in the kissing montage...


@baron-pierreIV: "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"

It was (of course) a bit more subtle than that. China's "four great inventions" contributed much less to world civilisation than they should have, thanks to isolationism. The magnetic compass, for example, was almost very probably re-invented independently in Europe, long after China. The inventions which triggered the Western industrial revolution: processing coal into coke, and smelting metal in a blast furnace, both also seem to have been invented in China but not utilised to their full potential, then re-invented, apparently independently, in the West. Similarly China gave the world moveable type- but not the printing press. One of the London Opening's many responses to the Chinese seems to have been a reminder that Britain was not isolationist, so British contributions to the world's culture tend not to have to be re-invented, just imitated (with or without the relevant patent/copyright royalties).

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@baron-pierreIV: "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"

It was (of course) a bit more subtle than that. China's "four great inventions" contributed much less to world civilisation than they should have, thanks to isolationism. The magnetic compass, for example, was almost very probably re-invented independently in Europe, long after China. The inventions which triggered the Western industrial revolution: processing coal into coke, and smelting metal in a blast furnace, both also seem to have been invented in China but not utilised to their full potential, then re-invented, apparently independently, in the West. Similarly China gave the world moveable type- but not the printing press. One of the London Opening's many responses to the Chinese seems to have been a reminder that Britain was not isolationist, so British contributions to the world's culture tend not to have to be re-invented, just imitated (with or without the relevant patent/copyright royalties).

Mark, see post just previous to yours.

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Baron, it's so fun to agree with you. Sincerely. I think it's happened twice in one week!! Just FYI, the Cycladic head opened to reveal a Kouros which opened to reveal a classical sculpture. The Cycladic head is one of the earliest artifacts of human history. The Kouros came centuries later and the ultra-naturalistic classical sculpture was the final piece of the progression. In addition to tracing chronological developments in art history, it gave a sense of developing humanity -- a key theme of the ceremony. Plus the Cycladic head made a super cool projection screen for Pappaioannou's nod to Greek mathematicians.

JMarkSnow, I can imagine that you want to point the finger at that lengthy explanation above as proof of your point. There's a difference, however, between narrative that enhances the viewing experience and narrative that is absolutely essential in order to comprehend it. (Incidentally, Baron hates Athens' OC. I still don't get his viewpoint, but there it is. All the explanation in the world won't win him over. Best to use a different example to make my point.) There was certainly much to amplify in Beijing's opening ceremony, but even if you had no idea that the printing press was a printing press, even if you didn't know the full significance of the naval scene or the children gazing up at whale projections, it was an awesome and engaging sight. Much of it could be understood very well intuitively and the bits that weren't as obvious were still gorgeous and captivating. The commentary added a layer of understanding, but the show still worked without it. I can't say the same about London.

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...how about that bell!?

tumblr_m469h3VFdS1rvcjd7o1_400.jpg

A red herring. Some months later, I realize its only purpose really was to hold the "1948 space" where the cauldron would eventually sit during competition. Otherwise, I don't see what value it added to the OC.

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