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Finally watched all of it. Was NOT impressed. I dunno; Boyle's antsy, nervous manner and Boyce's almost sycophantic way really made it difficult and distracting for me to process what they were saying...which really wasn't much. I much preferred the presentation of the different Technical heads of the various departments more than this. Still don't think Danny was the right choice for the job even though "Pandemonium" and the NHS sequence are 2 of the best segments in Opening Ceremony history for me.

It's 1 AM my time; am turning in.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Here's something less cerebral for the Baron, the second half of Pandemonium from a hidden camera worn by one of the drummers on the edge of the infield (who apologises for mis-setting the timestamp; the lack of #savethesurprise on the jumbotrons confirms that this is the actual OC, not a rehearsal).

The video is one of the worst I've ever seen, but if you watch it on the biggest screen available, with the volume at maximum, it's also one of the best (and it does feature the aforementioned overlooked carnival dancers near the end, so stick with it).

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/\/\ Thanx a lot (sarcasm), Jmark. That's pretty awful!!

Just summing up all the post-show analyses Boyle/Boyce have put in, and I've tried to put myself in their heads in the creative process. I understand what they tried to achieve and to a great extent they did. But this departing from highly disciplined/beautiful routines of past Ceremonies, and especially of Yimou...a fellow filmmaker, just doesn't work for me. Boyle tried to make it cinematic...but the evening just didn't have a seamless flow through it. It was very obviously episodic and kinda choppy. And it's great to have the use of so many cameras, camera angles etc., But I don't know...Boyle seemed to take away the POV....as in past Ceremonies...was that you (as a TV viewer) are seeing a show that a few thousands were lucky enough to score tickets for, and that in bringing you the show, you are able to share the special evening. But with DB's 800 cameras and angles, you are seeing something from a scatter-brained, scatter-shot, disorganized brain (of Danny Boyle) rather than from the $2,000 seat that your few fellow earthlings are seeing. He tried to change it from a stadium spectacle to a crazy MTV production.

Also, the genres were all over the place. Where there was visual, stunning beauty as in Beijing and, in a more modest scale, in Vancouver, DB had Serene and Pleasant, and then popping balloons and what were they? Handicapped children attempting to mouth God Save the Queen?? And then the Shock-and-Awe Deconstruct of the Pastoral scene to Industrial Hell (that was really good). But I also kept thinking, they practiced this disorganized (but really choreographed and supposedly coordinated) chaos for 11 weeks? :blink: It came off more as "Whatever" rather than "Pandemonium."

It was just different and a little jarring and, had it been me, I wouldn't have picked that grimy face of Britain's history to bring up front and center in an Olympic ceremony. I missed seeing the steely British resolve and spirit that got London through the Blitzkrieg and WW2. I was with Jeremy Hunt in...where was WW2? And Boyle/Boyce should not have been too quick to dismiss Hunt's concerns and reactions to their pre-show Visualization. He had legitimate concerns. And here is where I found a great imbalance in the OC's flow and fabric. Pastoral and Pandemonium were just chockful of ideas and historical references (too much for one sequence...but granted, I'll play along); Children-NHS (I still can't accept that an Olympic show would single out/honor a specific institution (the Greater Ormond Hospital -- and I once did have a cousin's wife work there as a nurse in the late 80s) which HAD NOTHING TO DO with the Olympics whatsoever (or at least that I am aware of) and then tying it in with the darker flights of fancy of children's literature?? One could almost infer that being confined at said institution would make a child subject to such nightmares and discomfiting visions. (Again, I would have tied in this section more with the shock of the bombs rained on London in WW2). OK, the Queen...all that fooling around with Bean and "Chariots of Fire" parody...OK, fine. And then from all those moments touched by reality...to then jump into another full-scale production number based on a what-if? blossoming digital love-affair (with an OBVIOUSLY very forced, very PC-mixed-race pairing) was just too contrived and gratuitous (Oh, it's running on almost 9:00pm and we haven't gotten our PC-number quota in, so let's do it...). They tried to squeeze so much faux energy from this number with awful, discordant costumes and choreography, it started to atrophy my brain and my enjoyment. And then Emilie Sandie (sp?) and that I don't know how to describe her number but it was quite mesmerizing in its own way... All in all, it was just too scatter-brain and way too much, a mish-mash, a hodge-podge which therefore in hindsight, just too seemingly disorganized - as if created without too much forethought or planning (which it was not). Truly, a little less might have been much more.

Moving forward...

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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@baron-pierreIV: "this departing from highly disciplined/beautiful routines of past Ceremonies, and especially of Yimou...a fellow filmmaker, just doesn't work for me. Boyle tried to make it cinematic...but the evening just didn't have a seamless flow through it."

I suspect we may return to "seamless flow" next year, but I think it was refreshing to see a different sort of logic applied- there has been perhaps a bit too much seamlessness in recent OCs.

On the Jeremy Hunt thing- given that the central "parochial" theme of the presentation was Britain's creative contributions to the wider world (and even that theme had to be treated very selectively indeed), other aspects of British history like our tendency to beat our more populous neighbours in wars were simply not relevant. And given the underlying "universal" notion of inclusiveness, just recruiting 9000 people from the armed forces was never going to be a suitable way to form the core cast; instead a fair number of local children are going to be able to say, long after their childhood is gone, "I was in the Olympic Opening Ceremony".

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It was just different and a little jarring and, had it been me, I wouldn't have picked that grimy face of Britain's history to bring up front and center in an Olympic ceremony. I missed seeing the steely British resolve and spirit that got London through the Blitzkrieg and WW2. I was with Jeremy Hunt in...where was WW2?

Just to pick out this item (because we have discussed the other issues to death already - and we won't convince each other of one's own personal taste anyway): I think the moment of silence they held for all victims of all wars (including WW2) was far more intense than any "Blitzkrieg/London's resolve" segment probably could have achieved. It had an universal message, it was powerful also because it marked a strong contrast to the preceding energetic and loud performances of the first part of "Pandemonium" and it was even powerful enough to lead many members of the audience (without being asked to do so) to stand up. And it also was a very British segment, due to the poppies, the uniforms of the soldiers and the traditional remembrance of the victims of war.

Plus: Just like the segment that you were missing, it actually showed British resilience as well: Despite the interruption by war right in the middle of industrial revolution and despite the war's serious consequences (namely the loss of life and infrastructure), the survivors picked themselves up and started working again - even more energetic than before. And they worked so hard that they achieved great things - as it's symbolised by the forging of the Olympic Rings, the proof that London became the first city that hosted the "senior" Olympic Games three times. That moment shows to all those workers: Without your contribution, without you changing Britain from an agricultural country to an industrial superpower, without your resilience and your will to pick yourself up again, it would have been impossible to stage a third edition of the Olympic Games within just a little bit more than 100 years.

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Overall I agree with Baron's assessment. It's especially baffling that they rehearsed Pandemonium for 11 weeks yet it looked like a traffic melee and there's video evidence of people using the wrong exits and needing to abandon planned choreography to help move turf. 11 weeks? Really?!

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It's especially baffling that they rehearsed Pandemonium for 11 weeks yet it looked like a traffic melee and there's video evidence of people using the wrong exits and needing to abandon planned choreography to help move turf. 11 weeks? Really?!

Uh-oh, here we go again. See my posts #388451 #388574 #388645 and #388711.

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PS: I'll add the detail that, because of concerns about rain in particular (remember that those "Working Men and Women" were doing actual, hard, physical work with heavy materials, not making pretty patterns), flexibility was the keynote of the performance. The drummers, for example, did not have a full and fixed routine, they were trained instead to perform a variety of small routines on request. The music "And I Will Kiss," which was shorter in the live performance than on the album, would have been extended if necessary.

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Athensfan, one can rehearse a ceremony even a thousand times and for a thousand weeks, and still something can go wrong in the final performance. I suppose there hasn't been just one Olympic opening ceremony where everything went pitch perfect.

And unlike Vancouver's cauldron glitch, the moment when a streaker interrupted the organising committee president's speech at Torino's closing ceremony, the moment when one of the "Strictly Ballroom" dancers accidentally hit the camera with her foot at Sydney's closing ceremony, the "glitch" (if one can even call it that way) with the turf during the Pandemonium segment in London even wasn't noticed by the general public, probably not even in the stadium itself.

We all know that you have your problems with London's OC, particularly that you found it messy, and that's fine - no one denies you your opinion. But repeatedly picking on one particular mistake during that OC (and deducing that that mistake is a sign of bad preparation) is quite petty and pretextual.

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Athensfan, one can rehearse a ceremony even a thousand times and for a thousand weeks, and still something can go wrong in the final performance. I suppose there hasn't been just one Olympic opening ceremony where everything went pitch perfect.

And unlike Vancouver's cauldron glitch, the moment when a streaker interrupted the organising committee president's speech at Torino's closing ceremony, the moment when one of the "Strictly Ballroom" dancers accidentally hit the camera with her foot at Sydney's closing ceremony, the "glitch" (if one can even call it that way) with the turf during the Pandemonium segment in London even wasn't noticed by the general public, probably not even in the stadium itself.

We all know that you have your problems with London's OC, particularly that you found it messy, and that's fine - no one denies you your opinion. But repeatedly picking on one particular mistake during that OC (and deducing that that mistake is a sign of bad preparation) is quite petty and pretextual.

Of course mistakes happen, but that segment (and indeed almost the entire OC) LOOKED seriously under-rehearsed. How do whole crowds of people start going for the wrong exit after practicing 11 weeks? The overall impression coupled with some of the video evidence just leaves me quite surprised that 11 weeks didn't deliver a sharper, more polished show.

I'm not going to go into this again. JMark -- you loved it and London can do no wrong. We got it. I'm not going to retread this with you.

Olympian, there's a world of difference between a glitch and a whole OC looking sloppy.

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PS: I'll add the detail that, because of concerns about rain in particular (remember that those "Working Men and Women" were doing actual, hard, physical work with heavy materials, not making pretty patterns), flexibility was the keynote of the performance..

They rehearsed IN RAIN as well in Dagenham. Or did you miss that clip which said that "...rehearsals were going on in rainy Dagenham..." and cast members were rehearsing with their numbered ponchos and plastic raincoats as well. So they were ready, rain or no rain. JMark, u're also making an excuse "...that those "Working Men and Women" were doing actual, hard, physical work with heavy materials," But that's what they were SUPPOSED TO DO. Danny Boyle recruited thousands (as they have done in ALL PREVIOUS CEREMONIES) to carry out his vision of Deconstructing, not a Pyramid...but a landscape.

What "flexibility"....when all of this is timed to music and a specific beat? JMark, I don't think you know what you are talking about. These things are rehearsed to where the last chicken and pig will go...if they knew what they were doing. U can't have one group alter their timing and movements willy-nilly and at the last minute, because it will impact the placements and timing of the other sections. Didn't you see how they are all lined up in the bowels of the stadium, jostling for the cue in line...whether coming or going? That's why there are hundreds of unseen sherpas directing traffic in all the behind-the-scene corridors of the stadium. Believe me, I've experienced it first-hand.

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@baron-pierreIV: "They rehearsed IN RAIN as well in Dagenham. Or did you miss that clip which said that "...rehearsals were going on in rainy Dagenham..." and cast members were rehearsing with their numbered ponchos and plastic raincoats as well. So they were ready, rain or no rain. JMark, u're also making an excuse "...that those "Working Men and Women" were doing actual, hard, physical work with heavy materials," But that's what they were SUPPOSED TO DO."

It was because they rehearsed in rain at Dagenham that they accepted the simple physical reality that the materials they were handling (particularly the live turf) would be both heavier and slippier if it rained during the Opening, and would take longer to shift. On the night, it did rain quite heavily for a while, but it stopped a few minutes before the segment started, which meant that the astroturf was OK, but the live turf retained the water.

@baron-pierreIV: "What "flexibility"....when all of this is timed to music and a specific beat? JMark, I don't think you know what you are talking about. These things are rehearsed to where the last chicken and pig will go...if they knew what they were doing. U can't have one group alter their timing and movements willy-nilly and at the last minute, because it will impact the placements and timing of the other sections. Didn't you see how they are all lined up in the bowels of the stadium, jostling for the cue in line...whether coming or going? That's why there are hundreds of unseen sherpas directing traffic in all the behind-the-scene corridors of the stadium. Believe me, I've experienced it first-hand. "

http://www.mikedolbear.com/story.asp?storyID=3252
Quote from Mike Dolbear, drum co-ordinator for the London Opening:
"We never taught them the structure of the 17 minute song but would just count to them the changes in their ears. This also gave us the flexibility to be able change the length of the track without anybody having to know, which was important as it was going to be live TV and anything could have happened on the night."

The track existed electronically, downloaded to the stadium via FTP from Abbey Road Studios, rather than on disc, so it was genuinely possible to make live choices about its precise form. To maximise flexibility, Evelyn Glennie and her stage group were instructed via a separate radio channel from the stadium volunteer drummers.

Baron, what you have experienced first-hand is how they used to do it- London pioneered new ways of doing an OC, and I hope that the future will learn from what worked in 2012 and what didn't*.


*Hi Athensfan, how's them straw men doing?

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@

http://www.mikedolbear.com/story.asp?storyID=3252

Quote from Mike Dolbear, drum co-ordinator for the London Opening:

"We never taught them the structure of the 17 minute song but would just count to them the changes in their ears. This also gave us the flexibility to be able change the length of the track without anybody having to know, which was important as it was going to be live TV and anything could have happened on the night."

The track existed electronically, downloaded to the stadium via FTP from Abbey Road Studios, rather than on disc, so it was genuinely possible to make live choices about its precise form. To maximise flexibility, Evelyn Glennie and her stage group were instructed via a separate radio channel from the stadium volunteer drummers.

Baron, what you have experienced first-hand is how they used to do it- London pioneered new ways of doing an OC, and I hope that the future will learn from what worked in 2012 and what didn't*.

Flexibility of the 'drummers' in that they could use or improvise a beating rhythm they wanted to?? Is that what was asked of them? But they still had to appear and be at certain positions at certain moments in the whole scheme of things? If so...then that's why, instead of the quality of 'flexibility,' it came off more as "...whatever" to me. And if it was free-reign, free for all, then they just made things harder for themselves. I certainly hope this 'poor' excuse of 'it's the different way' to do it' will NOT be the norm for the future. Look at the way the athletes now march in. It used to be in such regimented formations...but then it was fun to watch. Today, they are nothing but amorphous, straggling hordes of 'look at me' attention-huggers, lollygagging and mugging for their 20 mins of fame, HOLDING up the f*cking parade, and making the whole evening one long dragged-out, messy affair. It just looks all so sloppy. Now if you're telling me that the 'undisciplined' mojo of London 2012 aka Danny Boyle show is London's contribution to the genre of sports Ceremonies, then indeed it is rather sad.

What made Olympic ceremonies so special (and copied by the other regional meets) was harnessing the energy and resources of 10,000 performers and some 2,500 backstage and creative people into ONE unforgettable night of spectacle never before seen and will be happening only for ONE NIGHT. Part of what made Beijing 2008 so jaw-dropping was the synchronization of 897 human-powered printing blocks whose shall-we-say, puppeteers practiced TEN months to give the world that unique treat--and something like that would never be seen or attempted again. Whereas; and I know it is a different dynamic in our democratic societies, you are accepting and passing off the somewhat poor excuse that "... we'll present a 'let the performer do their own thing' or 'whatever the performer feels like doing'... as the innovative,new way for ceremonies? Huh? :blink: Let the inmates run the asylum? Let the footman dictate battle strategy instead of the generals and tacticians??

People pay good money to see the Rockettes because of their precision and they have built a worldwide reputation because of that. But if you're telling me that a 'do-your-own-thing' mantra is now an accepted way of doing things, then Lord help us all. Why even bother to sign up and vet 15,000 performers almost a year in advance? Why not, in the name of "let's-do something fresh and NEVER done before..." (code for, we can't really match the ingenuity of Beijing) just release 8,000 performers onto the field. Tell them to do their own thing for 15 minutes and see how that turns out?? It'll be a fresh approach!! :blink: Amateur would be more like it and you shouldn't charge $3,000 a seat for anything like that.

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@baron-pierreIV: "Flexibility of the 'drummers' in that they could use or improvise a beating rhythm they wanted to?? Is that what was asked of them?"

No; as I indicated yesterday, they had a variety of set routines, so that the radio controllers could count them in to a particular routine at an appropriate moment; this is actually more visible in the Parade of Nations, because more medium shots were used there. On which subject-

@baron-pierreIV: "Look at the way the athletes now march in. It used to be in such regimented formations...but then it was fun to watch. Today, they are nothing but amorphous, straggling hordes of 'look at me' attention-huggers, lollygagging and mugging for their 20 mins of fame, HOLDING up the f*cking parade, and making the whole evening one long dragged-out, messy affair. "

Very true- but don't attach guilt about that to London. The London Parade was a good quarter hour shorter than Atlanta's (or Athens'); the shortest for quite a long time, in fact. And part of that was down to the use of those drummers, who were called on to provide a strong beat whenever a team seemed to be slowing down too much. Flexibility!

@baron-pierreIV: "Part of what made Beijing 2008 so jaw-dropping was the synchronization of 897 human-powered printing blocks whose shall-we-say, puppeteers practiced TEN months to give the world that unique treat--and something like that would never be seen or attempted again."

It was a brilliant and beautiful feat, no doubt about it- but the same effect could easily have been achieved mechanically. That was part of what London was trying to say- if you want precise, repetitive movements, you can use machines, like those weaving looms seen during Pandemonium (from the 1760s, the Brits were even making lace by machine). Beijing's "ingenuity" was nothing of the sort; it was just an adaptation of the sort of drill discipline that the Brits used to beat the French 300 years ago (and, I suppose, the Chinese 200 years ago).

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It was a brilliant and beautiful feat, no doubt about it- but the same effect could easily have been achieved mechanically. .

Of course, it could've been. But the point and the punchline at the end revealed that it was NOT!! How corny and pointless would that have been? That it was good old fashioned human elbow grease, great memory skills and the ability to follow the voiced-in directions over 5 or 6 positions, is a tribute to the aptitude and dedication of the CHinese which made have them the world's 2nd largest economy now. You diminish the Chinese's great efforts by that remark, JMark. THAT is what Olympic ceremonies are about -- not some pseudo-disorganized number trying to portray Disorder and Chaos when you know it is well-rehearsed, and upon hearing all the hysterical, panicked backstage directions, apparently it was NOT. That makes it even more laughable compared to the put-nose-to-the-grindstone attitude of ZImou and his crew who GOT the job done cleanly and professionally. No excuses, no cop-out stories.

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ok....

baron, you know that this OC is about disorder. correct?

so they are you criticizing the disorder? it's like saying the only bad thing about the sun is it's too hot.

the has to portray disorder because the section is called pandemonium.

i know you like you OC to be neat and in rows. you might get it in rio but hot on this OC

also, athansfan, don't you think that there was also panic and chose in the control box at the athens OC? you'll say there is'nt but we don't have recording of the BTS. lucky there are BTS stuff on this OC so you can make mountain out of anthills.

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I don't think there was "panic in the control box" in London. I think there was evidence of some pretty basic confusion on the part of the performers and that is surprising considering the lengthy rehearsal.

Saying "we were trying to be sloppy" doesn't cut it. The whole OC was that way. It really looked more like ineptitude from Danny Boyle than a considered artistic choice. If you simply can't deliver something clean and sharp you've got no choice but to offer something "casual" and try to pass it off as purposeful. That's what London 's OC looked like to me.

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Saying "we were trying to be sloppy" doesn't cut it. The whole OC was that way. It really looked more like ineptitude from Danny Boyle than a considered artistic choice. If you simply can't deliver something clean and sharp you've got no choice but to offer something "casual" and try to pass it off as purposeful. That's what London 's OC looked like to me.

Exactly. The Olympics are all about being the best you can be -- not oh geez, we can't beat Beijing at this game, so let's try something loose and frazzled, like going dreadlocks over carefully groomed hair -- just to be cool and different. Not really a high enough aim.

It all comes down to -- if it's something you can do in your living room or backyard, then it really isn't of Olympic calibre. If you can't stage it at home -- like 897 printing blocks of Beijing or the human bridge of Moscow, or the synchronized Temple of Zeus of Atlanta...or the rising cauldron of Sydney...or the 84 pianos of LA -- then you got an Olympic show.

Who here was trying to learn the steps of Pandemonium for their living room and bathroom mirror?? That you shouldn't charge to see....

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@JMarkSnow2012 [re the amazing Beijing printing block sequence]: "the same effect could easily have been achieved mechanically."
@baron-pierreIV: "the point and the punchline at the end revealed that it was NOT!! How corny and pointless would that have been?" ... "You diminish the Chinese's great efforts by that remark, JMark. THAT is what Olympic ceremonies are about -- "

Pausing only to note that this was a case where NBC did better than BBC (who revealed the "punchline" half-way through!)- my point, as indicated in the rest of that post by me, was that there's more to celebrating a nation's culture than training lots of people to make patterns which could more easily have been done by machine. Celebrating the host nation's culture is what the artistic sections of Olympic openings are supposed to be about. China celebrated order and discipline (try counting the number of different sequences which involved people moving in huge and precise patterns); Britain celebrated creativity and emotional connection.

@baron-pierreIV: "if it's something you can do in your living room or backyard, then it really isn't of Olympic calibre."

What, like forming the acronym "GOSH" with hospital beds? Or turning an entire farm, complete with animals, into an industrial landscape? Or simultaneously displaying formations of hundreds of people showing a "peace" symbol, a Smiley, and a nest of five five-pointed stars. Or representing doves as scores of cyclists with gently flapping, glowing wings? Or [insert favourite London Olympic moment here] ...

Others have already dealt with the "panic and hysteria" straw man. Really !...

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Londons ceremony, certainly wasn't an all fur coat and no knickers kind of ceremony.

The fact people are still discussing and disecting it nearly a year down the line is incredible. Watched it again Saturday, I still well up when it pauses to remember the dead of all wars. Incredible stuff.

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Exactly. The Olympics are all about being the best you can be -- not oh geez, we can't beat Beijing at this game, so let's try something loose and frazzled, like dreadlocks over carefully groomed hair -- just to be cool and different. Not really a high enough aim.

It all comes down to -- if it's something you can do in your living room or backyard, then it really isn't of Olympic calibre. If you can't stage it at home -- like 897 printing blocks of Beijing or the human bridge of Moscow, or the synchronized Temple of Zeus of Atlanta...or the rising cauldron of Sydney...or the 84 pianos of LA -- then you got an Olympic show.

Who here was trying to learn the steps of Pandemonium for their living room and bathroom mirror?? That you shouldn't charge to see....

i am and i still have not mastered the chisel hammer routine.

if a can turn my backyard into the a Victorian foundry in less than 15 minutes, we will not be chatting right now. because i'll be enslaving poor street eurchins to do my laundry.

also by your definition, the temple of Zeus sequence is not in the Olympic caliber, if i want shadow puppets i will buy a flashlight.

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@baron-pierreIV: "if it's something you can do in your living room or backyard, then it really isn't of Olympic calibre."

What, like forming the acronym "GOSH" with hospital beds? Or turning an entire farm, complete with animals, into an industrial landscape? Or simultaneously displaying formations of hundreds of people showing a "peace" symbol, a Smiley, and a nest of five five-pointed stars. Or representing doves as scores of cyclists with gently flapping, glowing wings? Or [insert favourite London Olympic moment here] ...

I NEVER said I disliked the show as much as Athensfan did. I really do like Pandemonium, the NHS sequence, Pastoral....yes, the glowing wings. If you will dig up (since u are wont to do anyway) my earlier evaluations, I gave it a 65 per cent. It's just that with you & volshy keep bringing out the post-show clips w/ Danny Boyle, I have just become more super-analytical about it. These post-show clips just reveal that Boyle's got feet of hardened concrete to me. There's just something about Boyle that has failed to convince me that he was the right man to do the job. There were great moments but the bad points of the show could've been so much better. And finally, the excuse being bandied about now on this very thread: it was meant to be "disorderly" as the new Olympic ceremonial mantra is the poorest excuse for despoiling a whole mise en scene since the Industrial revolution. Perhaps Danny's next film should be: How to Waste 11 Weeks. ;)

Londons ceremony, certainly wasn't an all fur coat and no knickers kind of ceremony.

The fact people are still discussing and disecting it nearly a year down the line is incredible. Watched it again Saturday, I still well up when it pauses to remember the dead of all wars. Incredible stuff.

Well, Davey, we don't have much to discuss until February next year. And of course, I understand your feeling. You were part of it, as I was with Atlanta 1996. But as more and more of the creative thinking behind the show comes out, I am really more puzzled about the whole process. From what I can piece together -- Danny tried to bring his cinematic vision, expertise to the affair and take it in a new direction but it was the choice of some of the basic material that I found questionable. And contrasted with the Closing (which was a big pop-rock-star affair, of which I am not a big fan of) which I found surprisingly enjoyable, it becomes even more of a conundrum.

Maybe that's it. There's a whole shift of the Ceremonial paradigm: Boyle tried to make the Opening discomfiting, thought-provoking and purposely jagged while turning the Closing into a joyful breeze. Not that I agree with it, but if that were 2012's only contribution to the evolution of the genre, then I acknowledge and accept it. But didn't Athens 2004 already do that? :blink::wacko: .

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1. i am and i still have not mastered the chisel hammer routine.

2. if a can turn my backyard into the a Victorian foundry in less than 15 minutes, we will not be chatting right now. because i'll be enslaving poor street eurchins to do my laundry.

3. also by your definition, the temple of Zeus sequence is not in the Olympic caliber, if i want shadow puppets i will buy a flashlight.

1. Should I even bother?

2. That's precisely my point. (See above.)

3. I thought u might nitpick on that point. U probably could but can you employ 8 "athletes" and 6 "Nike" goddesses to perform a similar routine that was shown that night? The concept was simple but it took master showmanship to bring it off as excellently as it was done that night. I doubt your "shadow puppets" would take the breath away of 80,000 people like it did that August night 17 years ago. And of course, since u haven't read my book, let me then share a passage about the reaction to that particular sequence from someone who would've been Atlanta 1996's harshest critic since they lost the honor to stage the Centennial Games...

(A few days after the ceremony, I got the chance to visit the Athens 2004 hospitality suite at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. When the Greek hostess learned that I was with Ceremonies, she gushed on endlessly to me about this sequence. She became quite animated and expressed her great approval of the “Greek Temple/Urn” moment (as if in the presence of someone who could manipulate the upcoming 2004 selection site vote). Nonetheless, the appreciation was very gratifying.)

Watch it -- masyado kang ma-kulit!! ;)

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