Jump to content

Recommended Posts

For the record, I found moments to enjoy in London's show as well. The Green and Pleasant set was magnificent. Parts of Pandemonium (the parts focused on the Industrial Revolution) were awesome. Happy and Glorious (the segment that gave Rogge the adjectives for London's Games) was my favorite. The Churchill statue made me cry and the Queen's entrance was a 100% original delight.

However...

The bell was a dud. I did not like the rugby plastered anachronistically all over Green and Pleasant. The transition to Pademonium was too long and messy and the parade around the perimeter was a confusing historical hodge-podge that was, once again, very anachronistic.

Unlike Baron, I thought the NHS section was terrible. Cheesy, bad choreography and really added nothing meaningful. The fetus was awful. Exactly the sort of thing I would expect of a bad Anerican OC -- not the Brits.

Mr. Bean was just ok. An odd choice for a stadium where scale is so important.

Frankie and June was a trainwreck. Super sloppy choreography, very dull story. Some great music, but in ultra short clips.

The doves were kind of interesting, but seemed disembodied from the rest of the show.

The cauldron lighting was just ok for me and was definitely diminished by the fact that it had been built up so much by the secrecy. Way, way too many people. It was a quiet, intimate denouement rather than a rousing climax. Which I suppose is fine, if that's your cup of tea.

Don't get me started on what happened to the cauldron AFTER the OC....

I have huge respect for the arts in Britain. For me, despite great moments, the overall impact of London's OC was, at best, mediocre. That surprises me enormously when I think of the wealth of talent in the UK. I truly believe Danny Boyle was the wrong man for the job.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 2.6k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

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

"But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."

Carl Sagan

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

"But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."

Carl Sagan

:lol::lol:

Aww jeez my nose hurts. You owe me a coke.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Athensfan: "The bell was a dud."

That's an interesting cultural thing. Britain is full of bells (the majority of pre-1914 Anglican churches have a tuned set of 6 or more), most of which are rung quite frequently, but you hardly ever see them, because belfries tend to have wooden slats keeping birds out of the openings. The Olympic bell (which I suspect was included partly to smash Berlin's 1936 size record) was mostly used in the same way- heard quite a lot, but hardly ever seen.

@Athensfan: "I did not like the rugby plastered anachronistically all over Green and Pleasant. "

It wasn't rugby (no H goals) and therefore it wasn't anachronistic- as I think I may have posted before, traditional football games permitting carrying and throwing of the ball have been played for centuries in Britain, and some local versions associated with particular festivals survive to the present day.

@Athensfan: "the parade around the perimeter was a confusing historical hodge-podge that was, once again, very anachronistic. "

Again, not anachronistic, if you accept that the Industrial Revolution had a fairly clear start (with the development of large-scale iron casting linked to the development of large machines), but a very diffuse end (a period of astonishing inventiveness, giving developments such as radar, jet engines, nuclear fission, electronic computing etc. was followed by a gradual decline, partly because the United States came out of World War 2 much better able to exploit such technologies commercially).

@Athensfan: "The fetus was awful."

I think we may be close to agreement on that one !

@Athensfan: "Mr. Bean was just ok. An odd choice for a stadium where scale is so important. "

I think that was part of the joke- setting a world record for the smallest activity to entertain a stadium, the 2cm movement of Rowan Atkinson's umbrella tip. And because the humour was almost entirely visual, if you closed your eyes, you got a mostly very nice orchestral performance of "Chariots of Fire" (the "Isles of Wonder" album version omits the ending). Win-win.

@Athensfan: "Frankie and June was a trainwreck"

I guess I can meet you half-way on that one; as I've said before, it was wildly over-ambitious, but to this day I can't bear to watch most of the Closing Ceremony, which had the opportunity to do the same sort of thing without the time pressure, and ended up being what most Brits were praying the Opening Ceremony wouldn't be.

@Athensfan: "The doves were kind of interesting, but seemed disembodied from the rest of the show. "

The symbolic release of doves is part of the fixed protocol, which must take place between the Parade of Nations and the cauldron lighting. Recent versions of the protocol state "Live animals should not be used." At least the section linked to sport AND British creativity (the rear-wheel drive "safety bicycle" from which most modern styles descend was developed in Britain, as was the pneumatic tire).

@Athensfan: "The cauldron lighting ... was a quiet, intimate denouement rather than a rousing climax."

As I noted in connection with the Ali appearance, that whole final section was "sober and reflective". I do suspect that's actually closer than most these days to the spirit Baron de Coubertin originally intended.

@Athensfan: "I truly believe Danny Boyle was the wrong man for the job."

For the international audience, that may be true. However, I see from old posts that when Boyle was first proposed as director back in 2010, the Baron dismissed him because he was only known for "Slumdog Millionaire". That may have been true in most of America, but to some moviegoers, Boyle had been known for years as one of the most crazily exciting directors around, right from his first features "Shallow Grave" and "Trainspotting". What made him in some ways more interesting was that he couldn't do Hollywood: "A Life Less Ordinary" and "The Beach" both felt wrong, whereas the British horror "28 Days Later" was a belting return to form.

So, there are plenty of British stage and film directors who could have done a good international show, but somehow LOCOG sensed that the Brits themselves might not want that, particularly after all the hassle around London to please the IOC, sponsors etc. Given the contrast between the spirit of Britain on 26 July 2012 and the spirit on 28 July 2012 which lasted throughout the Olympics and the Paralympics (brilliantly promoted in Britain as the climax to the summer, and easily living up to the hype) I think LOCOG made the right call. If some of the innovations from the London Opening start showing up, suitably tweaked to overcome the recognised problems, in future OCs, then Danny Boyle may even have the last laugh internationally.

@baron-pierreIV: "I doubt your "shadow puppets" would take the breath away of 80,000 people like it did that August night 17 years ago."

That raises the interesting point that imaginative devices like that shadow performance actually don't show up too much in later OC's because nobody wants to be seen as copyists!

Link to post
Share on other sites

The major reason LOCOG offered the job to Boyle was because Seb Coe liked SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and its Indian slant, and Coe has an Indian grandparent...so voila!! Not because Boyle was qualified to stage an important stadium spectacle.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Folks, why is it still so difficult for you to accept different opinions? JMark is maybe very explicit in stating his support for the opening ceremony's concept, but that has the same justification as your critical comment above (which was quite lengthy itself, by the way), Athensfan. That bitching against each other leads to absolutely nothing.

Anyway: I'm sure that Boyle has set a new standard for opening ceremonies at least in one regard - in the way he dealt with the duration of the parade of nations. The idea of using drummers to speed the whole procedure up was so simple and yet so effective. Even if the parade took "only" 15 minutes less than, for example, Athens' parade, it really felt much shorter and less tedious than previous Summer Games parades. So I wouldn't be surprised at all if Rio (in a land famous for drumming as well) simply copied London's drummer concept for its own parade - or at least evolved that idea.



P.S. And there's no "truth" regarding the judgment on an Olympic opening ceremony. The way such a ceremony is perceived always depends on personal opinions and tastes. And just like you don't own the "truth" about London's OC, JMark doesn't either. No one owns that "truth", it's practically impossible.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

@baron-pierreIV: "The major reason LOCOG offered the job to Boyle was because Seb Coe liked SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and its Indian slant, and Coe has an Indian grandparent.."

That was certainly a reason- but significant enough for Coe, a rather "strait-laced" right-wing (by British standards) politician to demand that LOCOG hire Boyle, a leftfield, left-wing (by any standards you care to name) director?

I think it was more a case of LOCOG collectively recognising that Boyle's idiosyncratic vision and known genius for teamwork could provide the beginnings of an antidote to the corrupt Olympic feeding frenzy which was clearly in evidence by 2010.

@Olympian2004: "just like you don't own the "truth" about London's OC, JMark doesn't either."

That's correct- but the main reason for the length of my posts is that I try to publish the results of my research, rather than my opinions (my response to the Baron above, about LOCOG decision-making which will almost certainly never be publicly explained, being a notable exception, an opinion based mostly on the observation that, as Games time approached, the need for the "antidote" became more and more apparent).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Folks, why is it still so difficult for you to accept different opinions? JMark is maybe very explicit in stating his support for the opening ceremony's concept, but that has the same justification as your critical comment above (which was quite lengthy itself, by the way), Athensfan. That bitching against each other leads to absolutely nothing.

Anyway: I'm sure that Boyle has set a new standard for opening ceremonies at least in one regard - in the way he dealt with the duration of the parade of nations. The idea of using drummers to speed the whole procedure up was so simple and yet so effective. Even if the parade took "only" 15 minutes less than, for example, Athens' parade, it really felt much shorter and less tedious than previous Summer Games parades. So I wouldn't be surprised at all if Rio (in a land famous for drumming as well) simply copied London's drummer concept for its own parade - or at least evolved that idea.

P.S. And there's no "truth" regarding the judgment on an Olympic opening ceremony. The way such a ceremony is perceived always depends on personal opinions and tastes. And just like you don't own the "truth" about London's OC, JMark doesn't either. No one owns that "truth", it's practically impossible.

BLASPHEMY, F!!

j/k.

U're right. I do agree about shortening the Parade of Nations...but I hope they can do it without the drummers. Just limit the doggone sizes of the LARGER delegations of which there are only 15 or 16 anyway. That would cut an additional 20 minutes...w/o the use of drummers. I know why faster will pipe up..Just dump those extra athletes. Let them HOG the Closing instead!!

OK, we must now preserve our energies for the Sochi ceremonies. Oh wait...there will be the Moscow and Barcelona mini-ceremonies this summer. So Sochi is still far away... :lol::lol:

to the corrupt Olympic feeding frenzy which was clearly in evidence by 2010.

Huh? What r u talking about, JMark?? :blink:

Link to post
Share on other sites

@JMarkSnow2012: "to the corrupt Olympic feeding frenzy which was clearly in evidence by 2010."
@baron-pierreIV: "Huh? What r u talking about, JMark??"

Comments in reports of the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts on the Games preparations, like these from 2008:
"There are over four years to go until the start of the Games but £500 million (18%) of the programme contingency has already been used."
"The Olympic Delivery Authority is having difficulty generating supplier competition for some venues."

Still, the good news is that the latest report (March 2013) found a £377 million underspend. Hooray.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@JMarkSnow2012: "to the corrupt Olympic feeding frenzy which was clearly in evidence by 2010."

@baron-pierreIV: "Huh? What r u talking about, JMark??"

Comments in reports of the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts on the Games preparations, like these from 2008:

"There are over four years to go until the start of the Games but £500 million (18%) of the programme contingency has already been used."

"The Olympic Delivery Authority is having difficulty generating supplier competition for some venues."

Still, the good news is that the latest report (March 2013) found a £377 million underspend. Hooray.

And what on earth have those got 2 do with the quality/content of an Opening Ceremony??

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

Olympian, the whole point is that we've already been over all this many times. Nobody's view will change. There's no point in rehashing everything. It was a mistake in my part to bother and I shouldn't be too surprised by the response. If you review this thread, however, I think you will note that JMark does have a predilection for extremely lengthy posts that attempt to justify his view with endless small details. His right, of course. I'm just finding the whole thing tedious now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@baron-pierreIV [re 2 quotes from UK Public Accounts Committee]: "what on earth have those got 2 do with the quality/content of an Opening Ceremony??"

In the UK, everything to do with the content.

Almost from the outset there was a perception that the Olympics would be an unstoppable cash-hoover, sucking in as much money from the British public as the usual big-business suspects could con out of the authorities. Add to that the certainty that the mood would get worse when the Olympic Laws kicked in, and a Beijing-style celebration of mass control, or even King Arthur on ice, really wasn't going to cut it. The London Olympics pretty much had to start with a celebration of the poor bloody infantry, and that needed somebody like Danny Boyle, with the usual OC suspects kept at arm's length as far as possible (the late request for a doubling of the total Olympic/Paralympic Ceremonies budget to 80 million quid nearly put a dent in even that simple plan).

@baron-pierreIV: "Wonder what JMark does in real life?? Answer only in THREE words, JMark."

BA, Dip. Lib.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Whenever I see a giant baby I'll think of the London 2012 opening ceremony. It'll be fascinating to see if future ceremonies copy the giant baby idea, then and only then will we really know if Danny Boyle achieved a lasting legacy in ceremony style. No robotic hoard of Chinese performers could have ever unfolded that accordion head with such emotion unencumbered by in-your-face precision and accuracy.

travel-blog-i-heart-museums-australia.jp

Link to post
Share on other sites

Olympian, the whole point is that we've already been over all this many times. Nobody's view will change. There's no point in rehashing everything. It was a mistake in my part to bother and I shouldn't be too surprised by the response. If you review this thread, however, I think you will note that JMark does have a predilection for extremely lengthy posts that attempt to justify his view with endless small details. His right, of course. I'm just finding the whole thing tedious now.

No, I haven't noted, and frankly: I couldn't care less. Why? Because you're right: The whole thing is getting extremely tedious now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Continuing my Danny Boyle and/or Frank Cottrell Boyce related posts, the BBC showed an extended version of a "The Culture Show" Special this week, dedicated to the work of Danny Boyle and featuring an interesting piece on the Opening Ceremony.

For those in the UK, it's on the BBC iPlayer and available here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01sffdk/The_Culture_Show_2012_2013_Danny_Boyle_Man_of_Wonder_Extended/

For those outside the UK and cos I'm such a nice guy to you all, I've recorded it for you! Yay me!

Here is the relevant audio (11 mins in total):

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9M7ZYkOjhHeMXhkNDJuTENDbEk/edit?usp=sharing

and here is the VIDEO (again, edited version, 11 mins long) - 500Mb though... sorry about that.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9M7ZYkOjhHedGVfQW13bXVqa00/edit?usp=sharing

Enjoy!

John

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

×
×
  • Create New...