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Opening Ceremony


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Barry mate

You've missed the point again. They were not a "cheap trick", far from it. I'd have thought that from all the interviews Danny Boyle has given recently you'd have got a sense (if you hadn't already) where he's been coming. His sense of inclusivity for example.

Taking our music festivals as inspiration (the Glastonbury Tor?), they served a very PRACTICAL purpose in allowing a small number of people from the local area to experience the show very close up. That's it. That's all. They played virtually no role in the TV broadcast. It was simply a nice & memorable & thematically relevant way for some very lucky locals to experience the evening.

The mish pits were NOT there to add "dramatic value" to the show. Not at all.

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Barry mate

You've missed the point again. They were not a "cheap trick", far from it. I'd have thought that from all the interviews Danny Boyle has given recently you'd have got a sense (if you hadn't already) where he's been coming. His sense of inclusivity for example.

Taking our music festivals as inspiration (the Glastonbury Tor?), they served a very PRACTICAL purpose in allowing a small number of people from the local area to experience the show very close up. That's it. That's all. They played virtually no role in the TV broadcast. It was simply a nice & memorable & thematically relevant way for some very lucky locals to experience the evening.

The mish pits were NOT there to add "dramatic value" to the show. Not at all.

No, I DIDN'T miss it! Obviously, Boyle's intentions missed the target. I am NOT OBLIGATED to know everything British on seeing what is supposed to be an INTERNATIONAL show. It is the CEREMONIES' creators who failed to consider that they are catering to an int'l audience that will NOT get all the obscure local references. So, stop with this ridiculous 'You missed it' B/S! Boyle & co. were presumptuous in thinking that everyone would get all their 'local' references. If one were supposed to take a course on British history and mores to prepare for this show, well, I certainly missed the notice and didn't get the check for the reimbursement of the course.

DUH!!

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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A couple of sources on London OC performers which I hadn't noticed before:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Stronach/Pandemonium

and

http://www.lankatown.com/content.aspx?cid=361 (the author "Udara" modestly does not give his surname, but the cast list indicates he is Udara Yapa, who has played cricket for the University of Westminster).

PS:

@baron-pierreIV: "trapped"

No.

And please read volshy's message #2195 more carefully- your response was ludicrous.

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Oh, bullsh*t, Mark. R u in Danny Boyle's class? U guys are not communicating properly...so that the other party gets it. That's what was wrong with the OC. Sheer arrogance in thinking that EVERY earthling out there watching the show...was supposed to get EVERY reference conveyed by DB. If that isn't sheer arrogrance and supreme presumption, I don't know what is. :P

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Barry darling,

It is <YOU> that's presuming that Danny Boyle and his team were being presumptive regarding the international audiences knowledge of British culture & history.

How was I to understand all the references to Chinese culture & history in 2008? I wouldn't presume to. And I don't recall a seething anger & resentment on my part towards its director for not making it easier for me to.

I certainly wouldn't expect any Opening Ceremony to be 100% understood by the international audience. Why should it?

Maybe, just maybe they present an opportunity for the international viewer to go off & learn a little more about the host city & country.

Again, as a TV viewer, you weren't really meant to notice the mosh pits, so why make an issue out of them? Seems like criticism for criticism's sake.

Any chance to stick the boot into Danny Boyle & his team.

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Barry darling,

Again, as a TV viewer, you weren't really meant to notice the mosh pits, so why make an issue out of them? Seems like criticism for criticism's sake.

Excuse me for having eyes to see and a brain to think. I guess I should just watch an OC when I'm asleep so I don't see things I'm NOT supposed to see NOR wonder why those people are even there. Maybe this should've been the warning flashed on TV screens the world over before the show started: WATCH & ENJOY AT YOUR RISK?? :blink:

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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No, I DIDN'T miss it! Obviously, Boyle's intentions missed the target. I am NOT OBLIGATED to know everything British on seeing what is supposed to be an INTERNATIONAL show. It is the CEREMONIES' creators who failed to consider that they are catering to an int'l audience that will NOT get all the obscure local references. So, stop with this ridiculous 'You missed it' B/S! Boyle & co. were presumptuous in thinking that everyone would get all their 'local' references. If one were supposed to take a course on British history and mores to prepare for this show, well, I certainly missed the notice and didn't get the check for the reimbursement of the course.

DUH!!

i didn't understand the half the references form atlanta 1996, or sydney 2000 or athens 2004 or beijing 2008. so why are you treating the OC differently? london is not just about kings and queens and castle. if that's what you are expecting than i can't help you with your argument.

and what if an obscure country would host the games? surely it is much better to have an OC with it's own flavor than catering to the international audience.

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i didn't understand the half the references form atlanta 1996, or sydney 2000 or athens 2004 or beijing 2008. so why are you treating the OC differently? london is not just about kings and queens and castle. if that's what you are expecting than i can't help you with your argument.

and what if an obscure country would host the games? surely it is much better to have an OC with it's own flavor than catering to the international audience.

Sorry, can't help you there. U're on your own.

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Sorry, can't help you there. U're on your own.

But he's not alone with that opinion by far. I also wouldn't have understood all the cultural references in previous Olympic ceremonies (even not in "your" ceremony in Atlanta) if I hadn't had the help of the TV commentators. If you wanted only ceremonies with blatantly obvious content and - even more so - generic stuff that has a universal meaning, they would probably be pretty darn boring. Even Lillehammer 1994 (a ceremony which, I believe, you praise a lot, too) had a lot of "What the hell is this?" moments, especially the trolls or the other references to Nordic sagas. That's the local flavour every ceremony actually depends on - it's like the salt for a soup.

And as you probably know best: Modern ceremonies are always made for TV - and the spectator in the stadium audience maybe has the slight advantage of getting views that the TV viewer doesn't get, but in the end, he's always disadvantaged because he doesn't notice details that the TV viewer gets to see (unless maybe he sticks his eyes to the stadium's jumbotrons, but what's the point of that if you paid dozens or even hundreds of bucks for getting the live and not the TV experience?).

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Addendum: I'm actually very glad that they included uniquely British elements into their ceremonies. Otherwise, I wouldn't have learned what the Glastonbury Tor is, who Isambard Kingdom Brunel was or what a splendid composition the "Dam Busters March" is. This is a very interesting aspect of every Olympic ceremony for me: That you learn so many new things about a host country that you actually believed to know pretty well already. Sometimes this can be boring (like when they had that tiring endless row of Greek pop songs at Athens' closing ceremony), but in most cases (like in London's) I find this interesting and refreshing for my grey cells. So sometimes there's nothing wrong about "What the hell is this...?" moments in a ceremony, since they keep your brains active. ;)

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My experience was a bit different. I didn't need commentators to explain Glastonbury Tor, Brunel or Dambusters.

My problems were not going to be helped by any amount of commentary. Why are we watching rugby throughout Green and Pleasant? Why is a phalanx of Sergeant Peppers joining the Industrial Revolution? Why are nurses and children jumping spastically on beds? Why is there a giant, scary looking fetus in the infield? I know who Tim Berners Lee is, but who are Frankie and June and why am I supposed to care about this so called love story via text message? What is this barrage of images being projected on this house and am I supposed to be getting something out of it?

No script was going to pull all that together in a satisfactory way.

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Sergeant Peppers was, as I already told you, actually understandable due to the other cultural elements in the Pandemonium segment. It showed how Britain developed into the nation we know today, not only by industrialisation, but also by social and cultural change.

And did the jumping kids and nurses really need explanation? They were simply having fun, that's all (as a contrast to when Voldemort and the other dark creatures appeared in the children's nightmares).

The fetus on the infield actually was explained to the TV audience (at least here in Germany). Okay, it probably wasn't explained in any way to the stadium audience - but as I said: You have such disadvantages as live viewer compared to a TV viewer, in any opening ceremony (regardless whether it's London, Beijing, Athens etc.).

And even if the Frankie and June segment was rather lengthy, generic and boring to me as well: I understood the connection between Tim Berners-Lee and today's smartphone/social media-using youth. The connection was already in the segment's title (which was displayed on the stadium's jumbotrons as well): "Frankie and June say... Thanks, Tim" - they thanked him for providing them the technology for using smartphones and social media.

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@athensfan: "Why are we watching rugby throughout Green and Pleasant?"

I can think of a couple of answers to that. The first is that maybe we aren't- Britain has a very long tradition of community football games in which the ball can be carried as well as kicked. The second is that Baron Pierre de Coubertin's other claim to sporting fame is that he was the man who first spread Rugby Football beyond the British Empire.

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@athensfan

Why rugby ?

For a very similar reason that there were 4 anthems/hymns at the start:

Jerusalem - England

Danny Boy - Northern Ireland

Flower of Scotland - Scotland :-)

Guide Me Of Thou Great Redeemer - Wales.

Given that we are a political union of 4 nations (the above), the use of rugby imagery & the 4 anthems was a way pulling all 4 nations together and reminding all of us (in particular Scot, Wales, & NI) that not only was is it a London Games but a Games for the whole of the United Kingdom.

And rugby is a sport that all 4 home nations have had success & famous moments in, in the last 30 years or so.

Certainly to this UK citizen, I thought the use of rugby and the hymns was an excellent way of bringing everyone together at the start of the evening.

That Six Nations tournament is fairly big you know ;-)

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I don't doubt there is some sort of justification for every decision. If they did a segment where Paddington Bear and Mick Jagger sample bangers and mash, sticky toffee pudding and fish and chips together there would be some sort of off-the-wall explanation for it.

Any way you slice it, there were a lot of strange choices.

We will never agree on the Sergeant Peppers. I understand what you are saying, but the concept should've been applied much more consistently if they were going to be anachronistic. It was a very jarring note in an otherwise more or less consistent segment.

As for the rugby (or whatever it was), we saw far more of it than the gorgeous Green and Pleasant set. It heavily dominated the visuals that accompanied the hymns -- the very first cultural portion of the show. Why in the world would Danny Boyle (who exercised so much personal control over the filming) dwell on this sport that wasn't even on the program for London's Games to such an extreme? It seemed bizarrely disproportional.

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@Athensfan: "As for the rugby (or whatever it was), we saw far more of it than the gorgeous Green and Pleasant set. "


Aha! I was forgetting that different audiences have different concepts of the "Green and Pleasant" section. It had started at 20:12 hours UK time, immediately following the Red Arrows flypast, and was principally intended as a warm-up for the stadium spectators (including live action farming activities, dancing, cricket, football and an unexpected "holding the ball" variant of football, chasing round the running track). Hence the stadium spectators.exclusively saw a great deal of Green and Pleasant action, among other entertainments and speeches. A little of it was shown by some broadcasters, and the musical performances all appear as extras on the BBC DVD set. For the main "live to the world" TV broadcast beginning at 21:00 hours UK time, the last few minutes of "Green and Pleasant" were mostly just a backdrop to the introduction, which was about space rather than time, reminding international viewers that the UK is a federation, not a single nation state (hence the four separate national teams playing the Baron's favourite sport).



@Athensfan: "We will never agree on the Sergeant Peppers. I understand what you are saying, but the concept should've been applied much more consistently if they were going to be anachronistic."


The concept was applied with absolute consistency. The track paraders in "Pandemonium" were representative of social movements which arose during the Industrial Era. There were some from before 1948 (the key year for the whole 2012 opening), one from 1948 (the Empire Windrush) and one from the tail end of the Industrial Era (the Peppers, representing the youth idealism of 1967). The NHS section was basically set in 1948, the year it was founded. "Frankie and June" had brief references to events before 1948 (the early days of the BBC) and in 1948 (BBC TV Newsreel, and the signature tune from the world's longest running radio soap opera, based on an idea from that year) but concentrated on events after 1948, and the rise of post-industrial society in the UK. Hence the three dramatic presentations are symmetrical around the year 1948.
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@Athensfan: "As for the rugby (or whatever it was), we saw far more of it than the gorgeous Green and Pleasant set. "

Aha! I was forgetting that different audiences have different concepts of the "Green and Pleasant" section. It had started at 20:12 hours UK time, immediately following the Red Arrows flypast, and was principally intended as a warm-up for the stadium spectators (including live action farming activities, dancing, cricket, football and an unexpected "holding the ball" variant of football, chasing round the running track). Hence the stadium spectators.exclusively saw a great deal of Green and Pleasant action, among other entertainments and speeches. A little of it was shown by some broadcasters, and the musical performances all appear as extras on the BBC DVD set. For the main "live to the world" TV broadcast beginning at 21:00 hours UK time, the last few minutes of "Green and Pleasant" were mostly just a backdrop to the introduction, which was about space rather than time, reminding international viewers that the UK is a federation, not a single nation state (hence the four separate national teams playing the Baron's favourite sport).

@Athensfan: "We will never agree on the Sergeant Peppers. I understand what you are saying, but the concept should've been applied much more consistently if they were going to be anachronistic."

The concept was applied with absolute consistency. The track paraders in "Pandemonium" were representative of social movements which arose during the Industrial Era. There were some from before 1948 (the key year for the whole 2012 opening), one from 1948 (the Empire Windrush) and one from the tail end of the Industrial Era (the Peppers, representing the youth idealism of 1967). The NHS section was basically set in 1948, the year it was founded. "Frankie and June" had brief references to events before 1948 (the early days of the BBC) and in 1948 (BBC TV Newsreel, and the signature tune from the world's longest running radio soap opera, based on an idea from that year) but concentrated on events after 1948, and the rise of post-industrial society in the UK. Hence the three dramatic presentations are symmetrical around the year 1948.

You're seriously saying that a bunch of day-glo Sergeant Peppers and inflatable yellow submarines made perfect sense and fit right in? You tell yourself whatever you have to, mate.

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