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For me, I thought it was to show a sport that links all 4 nations but also divides us as we all support our national team. Rugby is a far more friendly rivalry than football could ever be, that was how I saw it.

I have to admit I didnt find it nescassary, the choirs were doing a grand job of linking all the nations with their own song but I suppose adding the sporting aspect put a different spin on it.

I think when people are confused by the inclusion suddenly it becomes a bigger deal. The clips were a matter of seconds but for the guys that didn't get it it seems they lasted an eternity.

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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

And you are right there was lots of interactivity. I wanted to wave my pixel a bit more though, but when we did, what an effect. People stood for Bradley Wiggins too, and the incredible cheer for Team GB, we stood up then as well.

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But come on, guys. As the opening of the Games? Seriously? A moment would've been fine, but we got more rugby than anything else in Green and Pleasant (which was supposed to be about the UK's pre-industrial agrarian society). I loved the hymns. Truly. I loved the Green and Pleasant set. Why cover up all of that with contemporary rugby footage? A real waste, in my opinion.

Yea...but so what? RUGBY was not a sport played at the 2012 Olympic Games. Again, another instance where Danny Boyle pushed his weird views on the IOC. That and cricket have NO place in the OC because they are not on the 2012 summer slate. This is perhaps the only Opening Ceremony which made explicit references to sports NOT on the official summer menu. Bizarre.

I want to try and clear this up.

(1) Rugby has as much to do with the Olympics as James Bond does. [Acutally even more now given its inclusion in Rio 2016].

.... the rugby clips were a message to the 4 nations of the UK - a chest-beating flag-waving moment if you like..

.... while James Bond "spoke" to the international audience.

[and thankyou to OlympicFan2004 for highlighting the inclusion of host-nation/region-specific non-Olympic sports in previous Olympic Ceremonies.

Incidently, I'd be quite happy to see a 20 second clip of memorable SuperBowl moments in a future US Games OC]

(2) THIS IS IMPORTANT.... the Four Nations Choirs sang the following beautiful RUGBY-RELATED hymns.

Jerusalem,

Oh Danny Boy,

Guide Me Oh Thou Great Redeemer (Bread of Heaven)

Flower of Scotland.

Now (bear with me)....

Despite being English, I only know "Jerusalem" from a rugby context (shame on me!). It has become the unofficial England anthem amongst its rugby union supporters and is clearly heard on the TV broadcasts when England play.

Ditto "Guide Me Oh Thou Great Redeemer (Bread of Heaven)" - one of my favourites. I only know it from watching rugby union on the TV starting in the 1970s. It is sung with huge gusto by the Welsh rugby fans.

Again, "Flower of Scotland"... exactly the same in that I only became aware of it in a rugby context. And now both the Scotland Rugby Union and Football (Soccer) teams sing it as their official anthem.

"Danny Boy" - not sung in a rugby context by the Irish but a well-known Irish song anyway.

---------------------

So to understand that segment (the Four Nations Choirs) is to understand the UK and it's sporting heritage and culture.

Rugby has produced great moments to Northern Ireland (who play with the Republic of Ireland as one nation: "Ireland), Wales and Scotland and England (and France!).

If YOU were trying to find a sporting reference that could play alongside the 4 hymns, making strong, uplifting references to our 4 nations, ... which SPORT would you chose?

Football/soccer? Nope. Doesnt work anywhere near as well as rugby.

Cricket? Nope.

Athletics?

Hockey?

Boxing?

Nothing works as well in this context as RUGBY.

The crucial point here is that our 4 home nations compete as 1 nation at the Olympics: UK ("TeamGB").

So an Olympic sport wouldn't work AT ALL.

The whole idea of the segment is to say: Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland! THIS IS FOR YOU AS WELL.

------------------

Asking both

"why rugby?" and

"what the hell does rugby have to do with the Olympics?"

are both legitimate questions in my opinion.

I hope I've answered both.

For me, I thought it was to show a sport that links all 4 nations but also divides us as we all support our national team. Rugby is a far more friendly rivalry than football could ever be, that was how I saw it.

I have to admit I didnt find it nescassary, the choirs were doing a grand job of linking all the nations with their own song but I suppose adding the sporting aspect put a different spin on it.

I think when people are confused by the inclusion suddenly it becomes a bigger deal. The clips were a matter of seconds but for the guys that didn't get it it seems they lasted an eternity.

Spot on Davey.

I say again, that the clips lasted a total of 17 seconds.

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volshy, I DON'T follow rugby...never have, never will...so that portion still makes no sense for me being in the OC. But I appreciate your trying to explain it -- altho it's too long-winded and AFTER the fact. I mean everything can be explained away AFTER the fact. It has to make sense at the moment it happens. NOT after. Most people move on with life after one viewing.

Re DANNY BOY, I know u qualify it; but please...pinning it as a 'rugby song' is a stretch...unless it's sung by Irish teams. We all know it to be a grand/ or father's farewell paean to his young son going off to battle.

The thing with PANDEMONIUM is that Boyle tried to throw everything in...including the kitchen sink. It strikes people 2 ways: acceptable to those who can appreciate it as disorder, as intended; or a thumbs-down for people who would rather see more orderly and carefully choreographed routines...a la Beijing. Perhaps Boyle could have struck a balance. I didn't like the dismantling of the set in full view. In previous Ceremonies and, normally in stage productions, you hide the assembly and disassembly of the sets. It's all part of the magic of putting on a show. But he went full blown in this. It was almost like a bad Hieronymous Bosch painting sprung to life. Just IMHO.

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volshy, I DON'T follow rugby...never have, never will...so that portion still makes no sense for me being in the OC. But I appreciate your trying to explain it -- altho it's too long-winded and AFTER the fact. I mean everything can be explained away AFTER the fact. It has to make sense at the moment it happens. NOT after. Most people move on with life after one viewing.

Re DANNY BOY, I know u qualify it; but please...pinning it as a 'rugby song' is a stretch...unless it's sung by Irish teams. We all know it to be a grand/ or father's farewell paean to his young son going off to battle.

<SNIP>

Note I did say: ""Danny Boy" - not sung in a rugby context by the Irish but a well-known Irish song anyway."

I don't know any other well-known Irish song that would have worked so well. Do you?

Again, the whole point of the clip was

(1) "Welcome to the United Kingdom and our isles of wonder... In case you need reminding we are 4 nations: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales"

(2) "to the people of our 4 nations - this is for all of you!"

Nothing more, nothing less.

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I think it was MORE than just using 'rugby' as a unifier for the 4 states. Music and language is another one. And actually, the use of DANNY BOY also stretches to include the full IRISH REPUBLIC, as was done in bringing the Torch Relay over there. It shouldn't be limited to just rugby.

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volshy, I DON'T follow rugby...never have, never will...so that portion still makes no sense for me being in the OC. But I appreciate your trying to explain it -- altho it's too long-winded and AFTER the fact. I mean everything can be explained away AFTER the fact. It has to make sense at the moment it happens. NOT after. Most people move on with life after one viewing.

Re DANNY BOY, I know u qualify it; but please...pinning it as a 'rugby song' is a stretch...unless it's sung by Irish teams. We all know it to be a grand/ or father's farewell paean to his young son going off to battle.

The thing with PANDEMONIUM is that Boyle tried to throw everything in...including the kitchen sink. It strikes people 2 ways: acceptable to those who can appreciate it as disorder, as intended; or a thumbs-down for people who would rather see more orderly and carefully choreographed routines...a la Beijing. Perhaps Boyle could have struck a balance. I didn't like the dismantling of the set in full view. In previous Ceremonies and, normally in stage productions, you hide the assembly and disassembly of the sets. It's all part of the magic of putting on a show. But he went full blown in this. It was almost like a bad Hieronymous Bosch painting sprung to life. Just IMHO.

well the way i see. the assembly and disassembly work for me. the allegory of the ripping away of the green and pleasant land .piece by piece, to create this 'factory' that represents the industrial revolution will not work if hid the things that happened during the pandemonium. even if you show cracks you can still make magic.

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Exactly. The Tai Chi sequence was molded into entertainment. In Green & Pleasant, it was played as it was...a sport per se. :wacko:

That was not how you phrased it originally. You spoke about London as probably the first Olympic opening ceremony making explicit references to a non-Olympic sport. And as I showed, this is wrong. Also I don't know what the big difference between performing the respective sport live or on tape is then. All in all, this is a completely overblown debate for me. We're discussing about a few seconds of video, for heaven's sake!

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That was not how you phrased it originally. You spoke about London as probably the first Olympic opening ceremony making explicit references to a non-Olympic sport. And as I showed, this is wrong. Also I don't know what the big difference between performing the respective sport live or on tape is then. All in all, this is a completely overblown debate for me. We're discussing about a few seconds of video, for heaven's sake!

Well, why doesn't it become 'over-blown' when you keep jumping all over me because something I said initially doesn't jibe in your understanding the 2nd time around? With a discourse following that trend, how can IT NOT become overblown? :blink:

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Pffffffffffffft. The most pretentious AND misguided one. :P

It has sentimental value for me because it was the first Olympic i watched, and my country's flabearer was one of my favourite athletes :D

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It has sentimental value for me because it was the first Olympic i watched, and my country's flabearer was one of my favourite athletes :D

Well, that DOESN'T make it the best ceremony for those trivial reasons. You have to watch MORE than a few and in the proper context of how Ceremonies developed, in order to make such a judgment. Start with LA 1984...include the Winter ones as well, then come back and say that Athens 2004 was the "best." ;)

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Well, that DOESN'T make it the best ceremony for those trivial reasons. You have to watch MORE than a few and in the proper context of how Ceremonies developed, in order to make such a judgment. Start with LA 1984...include the Winter ones as well, then come back and say that Athens 2004 was the "best." ;)

of 4 i watched, that's the best for me......when i find time, i will watch past for sure....but i think 1st games nothing can replace

London wasn't bad, but lighting the Olympic flame was disasterous :D

Beijing was great, but a bit leave impression of ''too much''.

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pcelica: "London wasn't bad, but lighting the Olympic flame was disasterous."

:D I'll treat that as a flimsy excuse to introduce another thing which intrigued me when rummaging through the life of Baron de Coubertin: religio athletae

http://www.la84foundation.org/SportsLibrary/Olympika/Olympika_1993/olympika0201g.pdf

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A couple thoughts:

1.) To those defending the atmosphere inside the stadium, that is something I would never attempt to address because I wasn't there. I'm inclined to believe it was electric because there is always such excitement surrounding the opening of the Games. Whether you're waving a light, ringing a bell, upholding giant swaths of blue fabric or doing nothing but watching, you feel like you're part of something special.

2.) Regarding volshy's comparison of James Bond and rugby, I see a couple of key differences. The James Bond sequence was delightfully conceived entertainment featuring a British icon with international resonance -- really two British icons, including the Queen. The rugby footage was just a couple of bland clips taken from matches that had zero meaning for most of the world. Also, James Bond wasn't selected as the opening moment of the Games. The rugby followed right after the countdown and bell.

3.) There are many ways to evaluate the effectiveness of an OC. Possible criteria are: personal emotional experience, creative concept, sensory impression, meaning to the host nation, meaning to the global audience. London had some great moments and some weak moments. There is disagreement about which predominated (and even which moments were which) because we viewed the OC through such different lenses. I know my feelings about it and I'm aware of many of yours, but I don't think there's any point in trying to argue our perspectives to some point of consensus. It's not going to happen.

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There is disagreement about which predominated (and even which moments were which) because we viewed the OC through such different lenses. I know my feelings about it and I'm aware of many of yours, but I don't think there's any point in trying to argue our perspectives to some point of consensus. It's not going to happen.

Which is why one POV and set of criteria is needed to ajudge the matter. Thus, my standards can be used as the barometer for anything ceremonial!! B)

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A couple thoughts:

1.) To those defending the atmosphere inside the stadium, that is something I would never attempt to address because I wasn't there. I'm inclined to believe it was electric because there is always such excitement surrounding the opening of the Games. Whether you're waving a light, ringing a bell, upholding giant swaths of blue fabric or doing nothing but watching, you feel like you're part of something special.

2.) Regarding volshy's comparison of James Bond and rugby, I see a couple of key differences. The James Bond sequence was delightfully conceived entertainment featuring a British icon with international resonance -- really two British icons, including the Queen. The rugby footage was just a couple of bland clips taken from matches that had zero meaning for most of the world. Also, James Bond wasn't selected as the opening moment of the Games. The rugby followed right after the countdown and bell.

3.) There are many ways to evaluate the effectiveness of an OC. Possible criteria are: personal emotional experience, creative concept, sensory impression, meaning to the host nation, meaning to the global audience. London had some great moments and some weak moments. There is disagreement about which predominated (and even which moments were which) because we viewed the OC through such different lenses. I know my feelings about it and I'm aware of many of yours, but I don't think there's any point in trying to argue our perspectives to some point of consensus. It's not going to happen.

i want to address the 'intentional audience' BS of this tread. if cultural references for the host country are to be understood immediately by the whole world, then what the point of doing an OC. you're just reinforcing the the facade that tourist adverts try to project. surely there are cultural references on other OC's that are were unrecognizable. but with the help of commentators ( which automatically excludes NBC) and a bit, you can understand it in time

so don't say the whole world did not understand it therefore it sucked. it has cultural importance to the UK so it matters

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Well, that DOESN'T make it the best ceremony for those trivial reasons. You have to watch MORE than a few and in the proper context of how Ceremonies developed, in order to make such a judgment. Start with LA 1984...include the Winter ones as well, then come back and say that Athens 2004 was the "best." ;)

Oh, baron. Shut up and learn to accept that others have different opinions to your own and are entitled to base them on whatever they like. Nobody questioned your right to compile a book of your all your valuable thoughts and feelings on the topic, so it might be wise for you to reflect upon, rather than reject, the reasons others have formed a view different from your own. Just a thought.

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i want to address the 'intentional audience' BS of this tread. if cultural references for the host country are to be understood immediately by the whole world, then what the point of doing an OC. you're just reinforcing the the facade that tourist adverts try to project. surely there are cultural references on other OC's that are were unrecognizable. but with the help of commentators ( which automatically excludes NBC) and a bit, you can understand it in time

so don't say the whole world did not understand it therefore it sucked. it has cultural importance to the UK so it matters

I did not say "the whole world didn't understand this, therefore it sucked."

What I said was that a few flat tv clips of games that people don't recognize make no emotional impact. The Green and Pleasant set and hymns were gorgeous and DID make an emotional impact. Why not let them speak for themselves? I think it's a great idea to educate the international audience about the host's culture, but you need to make sure you do it in an intelligible and engaging way (such as the wild mock battle in the Seoul OC or the Chinese printing press or the Greek art history parade). A few random tv clips competing with a gorgeous set and beautiful, meaningful music just didn't compute.

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I actually think it would be very disappointing if a host pandered solely to stereotypes. I didn't think the Bond sequence was stereotypical though. I thought it was creative and fun. The nod to Churchill was my favorite part of the entire OC. Made me cry.

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