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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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... 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...

CAF, I'm sure this situation repeats in many similar instances. The point is...and I am sorry for your personal experience you related above...which I am sure has also happened to ALL sorts of nationalities ...I think some form "of conflict" can be recreated in an Olympic ceremony. It doesn't have to be EXPLICIT (which the IOC would not allow anyway), but it can be done to enhance the theatrical narrative of the evening. And it's not false or libelous or invented since it uses history as a basis. And I mean war is a fact of life, and we shouldn't (or at least that's the way I feel) whitewash it. Shall we sugarcoat the Holocaust or the atrocities the Japanese committed on the conquered peoples of Asia? And I don't want this to go into a long-winded discourse on the morality of war since it is a thread about Ceremonies, but I feel we owe it to future generations to portray historical truth. And again, done in a theatrical context. Otherwise, we would all be living in a Ahmadinajad world of denial where to him such a sad chapter in history, the Holocaust, never happened. He is such a fool. I mean "battles" are told in movies, in ballet, why not in Olympic Ceremonies if it fits tastefully and coherently with chosen theme of the evening by the host?

1. @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.

2. @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?

1. Well then, I guess you and your fellow self-righteous brother, MadHatter or whatever his moniker is, better get cracking on installing DIRECT BBC links to over 120 million American households so that they get to see that approved version of Olympic ceremonies starting with Sochi in February 2014. Just don't let NBC know...and I won't tell either.

2. Huh? Which sequence in Beijing was that? Gee, I really don't want to strain to replay that uninspired sequence all over again. Not unless you'll pay me. :D

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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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, but I'm not sure what you want me to say.

I am very aware that the first hit of a V1 was at the East End and I have absolutely no problem at all to talk with british people about WWII or WWI in person, but at an international event were thousands of people meet you don't know what can happen.

I know for sure that the bride would have never expected that one of her guests is an idiot - that was one person on a wedding with 200 people - how is the host of party of 60,000 or more people is able to guarantee that there is not an idiot, who start attacking somebody else - like the 20 drunken serbs next to me?

By the way the Serbs were nice, but can I be sure when e.g. a V1 is shown or when it is said that East End was destroyed - how can Danny Boyle be sure that the 20 drunken Serbs don't know that the Germans destroyed East End during WWII?

It's not fun sitting in a stadium and waving a German flag, when you are watching a "Blitz segment" during an OC - with thousands of people...

Edited by Citius Altius Fortius
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So essentially the ceremony would have been better if it had more war in it.

Riiight.

The NHS segment was chronologically set after the war, what with it being the NHS that was an invention of Post-War Britain. To have kids or nurses in gas masks just wouldn't have worked.

The tribute was enough. The ceremony took us from where we came, what we went through and where we are going. It didn't need further mention of the Blitz anymore than it did the Great Fire of London or dancing Beefeaters.

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... 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?

I always thought it was telling that in the Athens OC wagon train of Greek history they had tableaux of just about every conceivable period of OLD Greek history - Minoan, Archaic, Mycenean, Classical, you name it, but then when they got to the Byzantine period they then proceeded to skip over a millenium or so of Turkish rule to next come up with the 19th century taverna. They didn't even acknowledge their war of independence.

Personally, I thought the minute's silence and the poppies in London's was a tasteful and fitting way to acknowledge the 20th century wars without being too explicit or offending any guests. I'm not sure an Olympic OC would have been a fitting ocassion to bring out a full scale reproduction of the Luftwaffe assaulting the London docks any more than a recreation of the Wounded Knee massacre would have been appropriate in SLCs, the hunting of the Tasmanian aborigines would have fitted in Sydney's or the Rape of Nanjing or the Boxer siege of the Peking diplomatic quarter should have been acknowledged in Beijing's.

I wonder if we'll get a recreation of the Donner party feasting on each other, or actors playing Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky bringing prosperity to Nevada, in a future Reno-Tahoe OC? Or an Istanbul Ceremony starting with a Trojan Horse full of Greeks being wheeled into the stadium, who then proceed to put the stadium settings to the torch with the Olympic flame?

Edited by Sir Rols
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Or an Istanbul Ceremony starting with a Trojan Horse full of Greeks being wheeled into the stadium, who then proceed to put the stadium settings to the torch with the Olympic flame?

The Turks actually brought out a Trojan horse for one of their recent Ceremonies. I know Ikarus posted it on the Ceremonies thread. I think it might've been for the last world basketball champs in Turkey.

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Don't forget that the London Opening did make a reference to the Second World War- the statue of Churchill smiling and waving as the theme from "The Dambusters" was played (a movie about a British bombing raid on German dams, which drowned quite a lot of people).


@baron-pierreIV : "I guess you and your fellow self-righteous brother, MadHatter or whatever his moniker is, better get cracking on installing DIRECT BBC links to over 120 million American households"

To a fair degree, the links already exist, but you've sort-of inverted the sense of my comment. The actions of NBC were indistinguishable from the actions of a tyrannical regime with total control of broadcasting, presenting a distorted version of foreign material for political purposes.

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