Jump to content

Opening Ceremony


Recommended Posts

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.

No, you SHUT UP! Go write your own book if you want.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Athensfan: "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."

And yet, like the rugby clips, Churchill was given just a few seconds of airtime. I think Britain's strength in this case was also its weakness- vast swathes of British history and culture are, to a greater or lesser extent, shared with the world, so much that every cultural reference included in the London Opening had behind it a whole bunch which became glaring omissions. Thus we get the ridiculous situation of "Doctor Who" fans moaning because there was no more than a passing nod to the TARDIS, fans of rock and pop bands moaning because their faves were omitted altogether, and so on.

Additionally, that "greater or lesser extent" was bound to cause problems. Some British cultural references, such as rugby football, are extremely well known and emotionally significant in some parts of the world, yet meaningless in others- so how should they be treated?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Athensfan: "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."

And yet, like the rugby clips, Churchill was given just a few seconds of airtime. I think Britain's strength in this case was also its weakness- vast swathes of British history and culture are, to a greater or lesser extent, shared with the world, so much that every cultural reference included in the London Opening had behind it a whole bunch which became glaring omissions. Thus we get the ridiculous situation of "Doctor Who" fans moaning because there was no more than a passing nod to the TARDIS, fans of rock and pop bands moaning because their faves were omitted altogether, and so on.

Additionally, that "greater or lesser extent" was bound to cause problems. Some British cultural references, such as rugby football, are extremely well known and emotionally significant in some parts of the world, yet meaningless in others- so how should they be treated?

in short, you can't please everyone. it is better to do your own thing and be dammed by the minority than compromise to please all of them and eventually it will not please anyone, including yourself

also, the whovians moaned about it because we were promised a bit more than the TARDIS sound. where was supposed to be a sequence in the 'big house' where all the doctors faces (1-11) would appear but it was cut i don't know why.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Athensfan: "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."

And yet, like the rugby clips, Churchill was given just a few seconds of airtime. I think Britain's strength in this case was also its weakness- vast swathes of British history and culture are, to a greater or lesser extent, shared with the world, so much that every cultural reference included in the London Opening had behind it a whole bunch which became glaring omissions. Thus we get the ridiculous situation of "Doctor Who" fans moaning because there was no more than a passing nod to the TARDIS, fans of rock and pop bands moaning because their faves were omitted altogether, and so on.

Additionally, that "greater or lesser extent" was bound to cause problems. Some British cultural references, such as rugby football, are extremely well known and emotionally significant in some parts of the world, yet meaningless in others- so how should they be treated?

The problem isn't Britain's wealth of material to choose from. The problem is Danny Boyle's inability to create a strong through-line that conveyed a compelling story. He clearly had no clue how to structure the show and threw moments in willy-nilly with little regard for thematic continuity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Illustrado:

"you forgot to add that during the remembrance portion of 'pandemonium', the audience were signaled to stand in respect."

I did say that if I had had more time, then I would have come up with other examples.

By the way, the audience (or at least my section of it) were not motioned to stand up.

The audience did so spontaneously. I don't think the organisers expected or anticipated it.

Volshy:

Hello! My take on the 'rugby inclusion' is the same as yours. I think it was no more than to just include the other UK nations, especially the Welsh, who are doing rather well in Six Nation tournaments, at the moment, I believe :-))

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Athens had the best opening ceremony :)

In my view, it had one of the worst! I've seen every one since 1976 and Athens' was the least enjoyable, in my opinion!

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

Well, we are never going to agree on Olympic ceremonies because, for me, London's was the best of all time. It beat my previous favourite of Barcelona in 1992.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem isn't Britain's wealth of material to choose from. The problem is Danny Boyle's inability to create a strong through-line that conveyed a compelling story. He clearly had no clue how to structure the show and threw moments in willy-nilly with little regard for thematic continuity.

I totally disagree.

It was one of the very few Olympic Opening Ceremonies WITH a consistent thread!

The unifying theme was revolutions: industrial and technological. The event programme (and media guide) explain this very well and the audience were then dependent upon their commentators for explanation, if they hadn't appreciated the overriding theme themselves.

I don't want to get into dissing the Beijing OC because I loved it but there really wasn't an overarching theme to the narrative, other than perhaps, "We're a very big international player now and we can do BIG things!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I totally disagree.

It was one of the very few Olympic Opening Ceremonies WITH a consistent thread!

The unifying theme was revolutions: industrial and technological. The event programme (and media guide) explain this very well and the audience were then dependent upon their commentators for explanation, if they hadn't appreciated the overriding theme themselves.

I don't want to get into dissing the Beijing OC because I loved it but there really wasn't an overarching theme to the narrative, other than perhaps, "We're a very big international player now and we can do BIG things!"

Uh, except perhaps taking you through the major eras in Chinese history - and the four Chinese inventions that have altered human history - paper, compass, gunpowder and printing. There was a theme, it was time and progress. Similar somewhat to what London was angling for, except I think Beijing, despite the immense grandeur, kept narrative more simple than London did, and it was far more digestible for an international audience.

Narrative issues aside, London's ceremonies peaked far too early with the coming together of the rings at the end of Pandemonium. For me, watching on TV, I had just witnessed one of the (if not THE) greatest piece of stadium theatre ever conceived..... and then suddenly it got very, very boring.

Edited by runningrings
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

^^Ok, I take your point about the 'time and progress' theme and perhaps that was not made clear in the BBC coverage which i will have watched.

I'm obviously not going to agree with your points about the 'very, very boring' elements of the London ceremony after the forging of the rings, however?

Was the Head of State in a James Bond-skit boring?

Was the Mr Bean sketch boring?

Did not London attempt to liven up the - traditionally boring - athletes' parade with a soundtrack including 'Mr Blue Sky' and 'Stayin' Alive?'

What did you find 'boring' about the NHS/children's literature segment? Was J. K. Rowling's reading not long enough? Was Voldemort too short? Weren't there enough Mary Poppinses?

Was the lighting of the Cauldron 'boring?' From where I was sitting, all I heard were gasps of astonishment. The Chinese woman net to me turned to me and said: "That's amazing," as the petals rose up and the woman from Texas on the other side of me couldn't say anything because she was in tears.

Were the fireworks at the end to the strains of Pink Floyd, 'boring?'

You may not have liked what happened after the forging of the rings sequence but I find the use of the word 'boring' to describe much of what happened afterwards, very curious indeed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@runningrings: I think Beijing, despite the immense grandeur, kept narrative more simple than London did, and it was far more digestible for an international audience.
Narrative issues aside, London's ceremonies peaked far too early with the coming together of the rings at the end of Pandemonium. For me, watching on TV, I had just witnessed one of the (if not THE) greatest piece of stadium theatre ever conceived..... and then suddenly it got very, very boring.


Agree with your suggestion about both Beijing and London having themes of "time and progress", and with the first sentence quoted above (apart perhaps from replacing "despite" by "with help from"). Beijing was designed so that, if you liked the first five minutes, you were likely to enjoy the whole thing, because the dramatic devices (vast scale, dazzling colour, superb co-ordination of performers) were similar throughout. The catch with that approach was, for me, that I never really engaged emotionally with Beijing at any level beyond "Wow".

London was designed to invert that, so "Pandemonium" was followed by a very different coup de théatre: the arrival of the Head of State. And that was followed by, in effect, a complete change of target audience, starting with the Kaos Choir singing. Judging from admittedly limited evidence, children had quite a bit of fun with both "Second to the Right" and Rowan Atkinson. "Frankie and June" switched audience yet again, but was wildly over-ambitious (though if you could disengage your brain a little and just go with the flow, it was still fun in a Jive Bunny sort of way, and it did have something of an emotional kick at the end) ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No doubt about that. Athens (and Beijing) set the standards really high...

Hmmmm. One was low and the other, Beijing, was HIGH!!

London/Boyle just tried to throw too many things together (the double countdown, the double "In Memorian" moments :blink:, the underused bell, the mosh pits, the cricket, the Jarrow boat, the suffragettes, the NHS, the internet, that freak fetus :wacko: , the LEDs, etc....) that it looked like a jumbled-up mess. Just crammed too many ideas in there.

Beijing used just 4 items...and spun magic around that. London's was a junkyard of 1,001 ideas. I guess each was reflective of their corresponding societies and way of life.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess as a nation we do have far too many ideas and punch our weight in so many areas.

If only we had given the world less music, culture, inventions, creativity, poetry, art, ideas, literature... I could go on. It could have been a more simple ceremony.

Personally I wouldn't have had it any other way : )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess as a nation we do have far too many ideas and punch our weight in so many areas.

If only we had given the world less music, culture, inventions, creativity, poetry, art, ideas, literature... I could go on. It could have been a more simple ceremony.

Personally I wouldn't have had it any other way : )

:blink: Oh my...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Too much source material is not the problem, it didn’t hamper Beijing or Athens from conceiving brilliantly executed shows.

Beijing, I agree did. Athens didn't. It just leaves me totally cold.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me it was quite the opposite... As much as i ADORED the visual beauty and the jaw dropping moments of Beijing, Athens was the only openning ceremony that made me think and feel deeply emotional... Universality and humanity were so mastefully integrated (in an otherwise greek spectace), that i could almost feel proud of just being human...

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@paul: "Too much source material is not the problem, it didn’t hamper Beijing or Athens from conceiving brilliantly executed shows."

You may have misunderstood the nature of the "source material" we're discussing here. Neither Athens nor Beijing could do much in the way of showing people around the world things which were familiar to them in their everyday liives, and sending the message "you got that from us".


@baron-pierreIV: "Beijing used just 4 items...and spun magic around that. London's was a junkyard of 1,001 ideas. I guess each was reflective of their corresponding societies and way of life. "

I'd substitute "memory chest" for "junkyard"- but yeah.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beijing, I agree did. Athens didn't. It just leaves me totally cold.

SOULMATE, where have you been all this time?? B)

(Well, it didn't really leave me cold but more perplexed and sad that DP seemed to have taken the cheap, easy way out and did NOT use the vast resources at his command for something more daring and exciting than a mere mannequin tableau. He didn't need humans for that thing; they could just as easily have been theme park Audioanimatronic figures. So how could it have been about 'humanity' when he dehumanized the very concept of humans as versatile performers??? :rolleyes: And the whole lake concept was completely under-used. Such a waste of $25 million installing the whole set-up for a few minutes' wonder.

But we've been there before...)

See, ya got me started again... :lol:

Edited by baron-pierreIV
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@paul: "Too much source material is not the problem, it didn’t hamper Beijing or Athens from conceiving brilliantly executed shows."

You may have misunderstood the nature of the "source material" we're discussing here. Neither Athens nor Beijing could do much in the way of showing people around the world things which were familiar to them in their everyday liives, and sending the message "you got that from us".

@baron-pierreIV: "Beijing used just 4 items...and spun magic around that. London's was a junkyard of 1,001 ideas. I guess each was reflective of their corresponding societies and way of life. "

I'd substitute "memory chest" for "junkyard"- but yeah.

ok, that's a contradiction.... The Brits are saying that they had nothing to prove and there were not trying to show off (compared to the "insecure" Athens and Beijing)...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SOULMATE, where have you been all this time?? B)

(Well, it didn't really leave me cold but more perplexed and sad that DP seemed to have taken the cheap, easy way out and did NOT use the vast resources at his command for something more daring and exciting than a mere mannequin tableau. He didn't need humans for that thing; they could just as easily have been theme park Audioanimatronic figures. And the whole lake idea was completely under-used. But we've been there before...)

See, ya got me started again... :lol:

You forgot to use the word "pretentious" as in your previous 15.674 posts about Athens OC. This is an unacceptable omission :angry: Next time, please be careful! :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@JMarkSnow2012: "Neither Athens nor Beijing could do much in the way of showing people around the world things which were familiar to them in their everyday liives, and sending the message "you got that from us"."
@LOUIS: "ok, that's a contradiction.... The Brits are saying that they had nothing to prove and there were not trying to show off (compared to the "insecure" Athens and Beijing)..."

There are different types of "showing off". By definition, a cultural presentation is a form of "showing off" but there are additional messages which can be sent. The UK happens to be the source of much of the world's common culture, but London's additional message was that the "stiff upper lip" is not the defining characteristic of modern Britons; Beijing's was that China chooses not to take over the world; Athens' was that modern Greece can recapture the glory of Ancient Greece (or go bust in the attempt; whatever).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@JMarkSnow2012: "Neither Athens nor Beijing could do much in the way of showing people around the world things which were familiar to them in their everyday liives, and sending the message "you got that from us"."

@LOUIS: "ok, that's a contradiction.... The Brits are saying that they had nothing to prove and there were not trying to show off (compared to the "insecure" Athens and Beijing)..."

There are different types of "showing off". By definition, a cultural presentation is a form of "showing off" but there are additional messages which can be sent. The UK happens to be the source of much of the world's common culture, but London's additional message was that the "stiff upper lip" is not the defining characteristic of modern Britons; Beijing's was that China chooses not to take over the world; Athens' was that modern Greece can recapture the glory of Ancient Greece (or go bust in the attempt; whatever).

To put it politely, that was a lopsided comment, if not xenophobic...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...