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Well, for that "Welcome to Atlanta" number, yeah. But you know, what history could Atlanta really draw on? The South (and the US) are relatively young compared to the 1,000 year-old history of China or several hundred years of the UK? That's what the producers had to work with and made the best of it. The "Call to the Spirits," (Cirque du Soleil was the consultant on that number), the "Summertime" sequence (the allegories of the Sun and the Moon and the butterflies), and the Lantern/Homage show to ancient Greece were as good as any other recent Ceremonial highlights. I doubt that David Atkins or Danny Boyle could've made it better.

for me it's quite the opposite. i loved the 'welcome to atlanta' number. the rest are a bit of a mess

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i think your referring to Atlanta 1996. the said, i do think the showing the blitz in OC might be a bit awkward to the germans....and the italians.

Well - I think the idea to include a certain war in an Olympic Ceremony is a very sensitive issue:

Some examples:

Athens 2004: I wonder about the reaction of Turkey, if the Opening Ceremony would have included a segment about the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-22

Montreal 1976: what would have the USA said, when Canada would have shown a segment about the "Canadian Campaign"...

Atlanta 1996: why was the Atlanta Campaign of the Civil War not included in the Opening Ceremony of 1996, altough it is a very important historical issue of the host city.

Seoul 1988: the Korean War of the 50s of the last century

Beijing 2008: why wasn't the Japanese invasion during WWII mentioned?

Barcelona 1992: the Spanish civil war wasn't mentioned altough Barcelona was the capital of the Republicans?

New York ????: the New York and New Jersey campaign of the American Revolutionary war might be interesting for a proposed Olympic Opening Ceremony of a New York Olympics

... but back to London 2012 - I wouldn't have had a problem if there had been a segment about "war" in general, but a segment, in which the beholder can link to a certain war to it, wouldn't be "appropriate" for the Olympic Games - and I would like to add that I am very aware what happened in the UK and around the world during WWII - furthermore I am very aware that the UK would have saved my life, if I had lived in the time of 1933-45, but I am German, too and I wonder how the organisers of London's OC would have been able to show the air raids of the Luftwaffe without linking it directly to Germany...

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Atlanta 1996: why was the Atlanta Campaign of the Civil War not included in the Opening Ceremony of 1996, altough it is a very important historical issue of the host city.

It was alluded to, CAF. That big "Thunderbird" cloud at the end of the Summertime number really was the Civil War laying waste on the Southern landscape.

[utube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAz2qXK-K9c [/utube] (starting at 1:30)

But they fudged it by using the imagery of a native American concept, the Thunderbird because it was very theatrical. But there's no escaping that that's meant to be the Civil war period; and there's no pointing of who the good or the bad guys are.

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It was alluded to, CAF. That big "Thunderbird" cloud at the end of the Summertime number really was the Civil War laying waste on the Southern landscape.

[utube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAz2qXK-K9c [/utube] (starting at 1:30)

But they fudged it by using the imagery of a native American concept, the Thunderbird because it was very theatrical. But there's no escaping that that's meant to be the Civil war period; and there's no pointing of who the good or the bad guys are.

It is an allusion, which is not obvious to everyone, but that is still something different, since the USA is one country with one team at Olympic Games...

Furthermore you are watching the OC on TV in one TV-channel, in which the commentator have an impact, how the beholders in the one country see the scene...

Edited by Citius Altius Fortius
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I just imagine the fun to see a segment of the "Великая Отечественная война" as a German in Sochi next year...

"Великая Отечественная война" is the Russian phrase for WWII (they don't use World War, but "Big War of the Fatherland")

Edited by Citius Altius Fortius
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Yes. But they didn't have to include it...in which case there would've been a big, gaping hole in the chronology of the events they were trying to depict. And yes, it was an internal strife...but I don't think the IOC should shy away from depicting or mentioning other conflicts in their Ceremonies. ANd I'm sorry that you're from Germany, but the IOC anyway penalized the Central/Axis nations after both world wars by banning the aggressor countries for a few years. So I don't see why they should hide that part of history. And it can be done in a non-provocative manner.



Furthermore you are watching the OC on TV in one TV-channel, in which the commentator have an impact, how the beholders in the one country see the scene...

Like all ceremonies, they issue "Fact Sheets" (just a general outline) to the commentators so that they are guided factually about what is happening in the show. So I don't think only the NBC commentators were talking about it. All the other nations were also given the same Media Guide. Now, if they wanted to omit anything, then that was their choice but then they weren't doing their viewers any favors by not relating the synopsis or flow of the show.

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How should the IOC define that? How does the IOC know how people react? I just can say that I would have feared about my safety with 20 drunken Serbs sitting next to me during the London OC

That's why they should hire professionals w/ experience in Ceremonies to do it. And most of the concepts are also tested,Martin.

But don't bring out your flag or wear the Deutsland colors. Discretion is the better part of valor. ;)

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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And it can be done in a non-provocative manner.

Exactly. I think if Danny Boyle had gone for a very literal telling of the history of East London from the C19th to today - which could've been a very possible narrative for the ceremony - missing out the Blitz would have been a nonsense. You don't even have to literally show the planes if you're that worried, everything could be suggested theatrically. As you said Baron, told from a child's point of view with the literature stuff woven in could've been fantastic (just as an example). There's more than one way to skin a cat.

The point is, it wouldn't be thrown in like a history lesson about WWII as that would look wrong in an Opening Ceremony. Instead, show it as part of the history of the area regenerated by the Games. A history of the East End as seen through the eyes of generations of people living there. I think Boyle could certainly have pulled that off if he'd been inclined to take that route with the ceremony, and I don't think it would've been at all inappropraite.

Edited by RobH
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it kinda undermines the Olympic movement, with is world peace vibe; coming to gather of nations and competition through sport and not war, if the host country showcases a war that they won and other country loss.

that said, i do think the commemoration of the two great war during the pandemonium segment was appropriate. as it did not invoke victory rather sadness to the fallen victims of these war that i think is a universal element of these OC.

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Like all ceremonies, they issue "Fact Sheets" (just a general outline) to the commentators so that they are guided factually about what is happening in the show. So I don't think only the NBC commentators were talking about it. All the other nations were also given the same Media Guide. Now, if they wanted to omit anything, then that was their choice but then they weren't doing their viewers any favors by not relating the synopsis or flow of the show.

Yes, there are such "fact sheets" - I just wonder what the Turkish commentator would have sticked to it, if in Athens a segment about the expulsion of Greeks from Smyrna had been shown, which is called Izmir today

But don't bring out your flag or wear the Deutsland colors. Discretion is the better part of valor. ;)

why was a German team invited anyway, when you couldn't show that you support it?

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Obviously the minute's silence, close up on the poppy and the entire stadium standing in tribute to those lost in the world wars went completely over the heads of some people.

I don't think so. I think we're talking here (specifically) about the idea of a Blitz recreation, and whether that would've worked or even been appropriate for an Opening Ceremony.

It's a moot point, but it does pose the question just how far things can be pushed with an international audience, and how far you have to respect sensitivities.

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Exactly. I think if Danny Boyle had gone for a very literal telling of the history of East London from the C19th to today - which could've been a very possible narrative for the ceremony - missing out the Blitz would have been a nonsense. You don't even have to literally show the planes if you're that worried, everything could be suggested theatrically. As you said Baron, told from a child's point of view with the literature stuff woven in could've been fantastic (just as an example). There's more than one way to skin a cat.

The point is, it wouldn't be thrown in like a history lesson about WWII as that would look wrong in an Opening Ceremony. Instead, show it as part of the history of the area regenerated by the Games. A history of the East End as seen through the eyes of generations of people living there. I think Boyle could certainly have pulled that off if he'd been inclined to take that route with the ceremony, and I don't think it would've been at all inappropraite.

Rob, I have no problem at all, when the UK remember their loved ones, but how could the the British hosts could have guarantee my safety and physical integrity as a German - when 20 drunken Serbs, who suffered a lot under the Germans during WWII, sititng next to me during the OC...

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I don't think so. I think we're talking here (specifically) about the idea of a Blitz recreation, and whether that would've worked or even been appropriate for an Opening Ceremony.

It's a moot point, but it does pose the question just how far things can be pushed with an international audience, and how far you have to respect sensitivities.

if the NHS segment was not strictly about children lit, the nightmare sequence could have gotten a dalek and all the nuses wore a gas mask or a siren noise the the beginning of the thing.

Exactly. I think if Danny Boyle had gone for a very literal telling of the history of East London from the C19th to today - which could've been a very possible narrative for the ceremony - missing out the Blitz would have been a nonsense. You don't even have to literally show the planes if you're that worried, everything could be suggested theatrically. As you said Baron, told from a child's point of view with the literature stuff woven in could've been fantastic (just as an example). There's more than one way to skin a cat.

The point is, it wouldn't be thrown in like a history lesson about WWII as that would look wrong in an Opening Ceremony. Instead, show it as part of the history of the area regenerated by the Games. A history of the East End as seen through the eyes of generations of people living there. I think Boyle could certainly have pulled that off if he'd been inclined to take that route with the ceremony, and I don't think it would've been at all inappropraite.

i think he did. it's called 'pandemonium'

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Obviously the minute's silence, close up on the poppy and the entire stadium standing in tribute to those lost in the world wars went completely over the heads of some people.

Oh, Dar. Pls do not insult people's intelligence. Do u really think it went unnoticed? I think people with a great sense of history would've reacted to it more prfoundly than say, people under 20, to whom a sense of history still has not yet developed. It was OK; but I think a few detonations and "exploding heads" would've given a much clearer message. After all, they did it in Athens...to great acclaim!! :lol:

all the nurses wore a gas mask or a siren noise the the beginning of the thing.

I like that, ilustrado!! INSPIRED!! You're on my team for Tah-reno 2026!!

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Oh, Dar. Pls do not insult people's intelligence. Do u really think it went unnoticed? I think people with a great sense of history would've reacted to it more prfoundly than say, people under 20, to whom a sense of history still has not yet developed. It was OK; but I think a few detonations and "exploding heads" would've given a much clearer message. After all, they did it in Athens...to great acclaim!! :lol:

I like that, ilustrado!! INSPIRED!! You're on my team for Tah-reno 2026!!

it's a doctor who reference look up 'doctor who the empty child'

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Yes, there are such "fact sheets" - I just wonder what the Turkish commentator would have sticked to it, if in Athens a segment about the expulsion of Greeks from Smyrna had been shown, which is called Izmir today

But, Martin, why would a Greek show feature the expulsion of its "citizens" from a land that wasn't theirs to begin with anyway? I don't think that's a very good or realistic example. Besides, what did philosopher George Santayana say: unless you learn from history, you are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past.

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@ Rob, I didn't follow the thread the whole time - did Danny Boyle actually think about a "Blitz segment"?

I would like to tell you something "personal" - I am a person, who really loves the UK and I have a lot of friends all over the UK.

One day I had been invited to a wedding in the UK...

It was the second wedding in the UK and I was glad that my english friends invited me and I felt very honoured, too!

I arrived in Glasgow - the wedding was in a very small village in the scottish country-side and a bus was hired, which should bring the guests from Glasgow to this village - the bride gave me the adress from where the bus started. It was the house of a friend of hers - I went to the house and I was totally in "wedding mood" - there were a lot of people from everywhere around the world - everyone introduced him/herself to each others - I had a lot of fun and I felt in heaven - everything changed in one second

I introduced myself to a guy, who was my age (20/19 or something like that - its long time ago) - he told me his name and from which city/country he came from - like I have said the guests where from all over the world - I shaked his hand and introduced myself to him in the same way...

His only reply was:

I HATE GERMANS...

Well - I can differ between something meant seriously or something meant funny - I do not expect that everyone likes Germans, but I think you should know when you should be polite - I suppose you can imagine how I felt in that situation - I wasn't prepared for that - my "wedding-mood" was gone immediately - when you are invited to a party and you get such "welcome" you don't feel invited anymore...

I tried to get back into "wedding-mood" again, but the whole wedding was under a shadow for me...

I think when somebody isn't polite at a wedding is one thing, but when you are a host of an international event with an audience from all over the world you have the responsibility that everyone can feel welcomed

Edited by Citius Altius Fortius
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But, Martin, why would a Greek show feature the expulsion of its "citizens" from a land that wasn't theirs to begin with anyway? I don't think that's a very good or realistic example. Besides, what did philosopher George Santayana say: unless you learn from history, you are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past.

... because Greeks are very proud that their country became independent after a very very very very long period under muslim/ottoman rule - Greek lived since the antique in Smyrna and Constatinople and you should ask Greeks if they still esteem Smyrna or Constaninople as Greek or Turkish?

The Greeks were expelled by the Turks right after the Greco-Turkish war (which was right after WWI) - by the way the Turks were expelled from Greece too - and that expulsions were not very friendly...

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@baron-pierreIV [on NBC's version of the London Opening]: "If it's the ONLY version that U.S.audiences will bother to see, then how can one know whether it's better or worse?"

You're right, most people can't. Given that it was worse, to an almost malicious (and in the case of some nations in the Parade, actively malicious) degree, that's worrying.


@baron-pierreIV [on "Frankie and June"]: "It had a very much been there-done it feel to it."

Interesting. In a sense that was to be expected, as it was partly a parody of the Beijing opening (dancers making formations around a big video display), but are there any other specific antecedents you were thinking of?

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@ Rob, I didn't follow the thread the whole time - did Danny Boyle actually think about a "Blitz segment"?

I'm sure a few papers ran wiith the story that it was going to happen. I don't know whether they made that up or whether it was actually considered. For the life of me I can't find any links now though, but I'm sure I read it a few months before the ceremony!

I'm not sure what relevence an idiot at a weeding has to a hypothetical artful interpreation of the history of the East End. I'm sad there are idiots like that around and sorry to hear what happened, but I'm not sure what you want me to say.

I'm sure - no, actually, I'm certain - an episode in history like the Blitz could be potrayed in a way that isn't unwelcoming or divisive. You just need the right angle on it and a certain amount of sensitivity to the subject matter and your audience.

Edited by RobH
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