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Duller than dull

And I don't need to be force-fed Climate Change propaganda from one of the most polluted places in the world with human faeces and corpses floating in their city

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Just because the Brazilian Government is at fault, doesn't mean the organisers should be. They're pleading to the whole world, not just for the sake of Brazil, but the whole of humanity.

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OK, saw it to the end--even though I fell asleep after Italy; and then woke up at Rwanda.  And that's a fake cauldron.  It's a separate sculpture pasted on to the actual cauldron.  Show was pretty; but it didn't give me goosebumps.  

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2 hours ago, thatsnotmypuppy said:

149374700-fijis-flagbearer-josateki-naul

The Fijian 2012 guy may not be twinky enough for the majority here?

ooh he's hot too!

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I would rate the ceremony 4 / 10

pros:

1.ribbon segment

2.3d building projection

3. flight fly over rio city

4.giselle

5.fireworks

 

Cont

1.countdown

2.anthem

3.No large prop everything to light and smaller scale

4.culture segment 

5.poncho dress for marshal

6.lighting the cauldron

7.cauldron shape

8.color scheme too vibrant does not represents games look 

9.Feel more to festival event rather than sport event opening ceremony

10.olympic rings to small and too simple

11.athlete stay on the field upon the rest of the ceremony is a mistake.

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I thought the ceremony was nice, on par with Atlanta and Barcelona, but very Brazilian. I like the first part (first 90 seconds) of the environmental part, then it was like beating a dead horse.

7 minutes ago, LatinXTC said:

ooh he's hot too!

The King of Rio 2016, lordie be that man gives me the vapers!

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4 hours ago, Lord David said:

A sublime ceremonies with an 70's vibe. There should have been more athletes marching during the Parade of Nations. So what if it ends at midnight! Just deal with it! You're watching it on TV at the village anyways. You just allow for another hour before you return to the village.

A good way of highlighting the need to act on climate change. The video showing the effects on major cities woth rising sea levels could have shown more cities though.

A nice cultural segment showing the diversity of Brazil and its major multicultural facets.

An interestingly done Opening on a clear budget. Everything, announcments, anthem etc seemed to be compressed. 7 out of 10.

 

Trust you to want to take the longest and most tedious part of the ceremony, the parade, and want to make it longer and more tedious!

Otherwise, for once I agree with all you said! :P

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Just watching the BBC "standard" version now, and I'm SOOOO glad I chose the commentary-free version last night.

"Witter witter witter witter spoiler witter witter ..."

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1 hour ago, baron-pierreIV said:

OK, saw it to the end--even though I fell asleep after Italy; and then woke up at Rwanda.  And that's a fake cauldron.  It's a separate sculpture pasted on to the actual cauldron.  Show was pretty; but it didn't give me goosebumps.  

The cauldron lighting was perfectly clear about what the actual cauldron was, and that the Howe creation was just there as a reflector.

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5 hours ago, illustrado said:

i still don't get the upside down peace sign symbol

It was supposed to be an endangered  rainforest tree, wasn't it?

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4 minutes ago, JMarkSnow2012 said:

It was supposed to be an endangered  rainforest tree, wasn't it?

still don't get it. as the plebest of plebs, i should gave been the rings. not this new symbol.

k.i.s.s. people

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31 minutes ago, JMarkSnow2012 said:

Just watching the BBC "standard" version now, and I'm SOOOO glad I chose the commentary-free version last night.

"Witter witter witter witter spoiler witter witter ..."

However, they did get in a succinct dig at NBC's tape delay during their wittering about team USA in the parade!

 

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15 minutes ago, illustrado said:

still don't get it. as the plebest of plebs, i should gave been the rings. not this new symbol.

k.i.s.s. people

Yes, at that point in the ceremony it should have been the rings. Which suggests to me they were making a sly political point.

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5 minutes ago, JMarkSnow2012 said:

Yes, at that point in the ceremony it should have been the rings. Which suggests to me they were making a sly political point.

in that case they failed in both aspects. 

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Thinking about the cultural performance while we're only half-way through the Parade repeat- for the stadium audience I think it would have been seriously reliant on the projections to give it scale. Way too few performers in some sections.

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1 hour ago, Sir Rols said:

Trust you to want to take the longest and most tedious part of the ceremony, the parade, and want to make it longer and more tedious!

Otherwise, for once I agree with all you said! :P

By having a good chunk of athletes stay out of it, left some huge gaps on the ceremony field. It just needed to be a bit more fuller.

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I managed to stay up for the whole show last night hence why I'm really tired.

The show itself wasn't that bad. Wasn't as good as London 4 years ago but it's still on my approved list

But tbh, the ceremonies really need a longer artistic segment because that 2 hour athletes parade just wastes the whole show.

And I do admit, for a cauldron that small and eco-friendly, it can make a pretty spectacular sight with the sculpture behind it.

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I'm up, still half-asleep but I have coffee and hobnob biscuits.

Weaker than most recent ceremonies for me, but I think that reflects how strong they were rather than any glaring weaknesses with Rio. A fun, pared down ceremony which never shied from its themes.

  • Countdown - the silver cushions and dancers were mesmerising - strangely minimalist and worked stunningly with the projected countdown.
  • Anthem - nicely done, very cool, but the audio feed seemed a bit dodgy at this point for me, which was annoying.
  • Story of Brazil - the cords were so original and beautiful and had an Athens vibe but with a Brazilian flavour. The arrival of the Europeans and immigrants was fantastically staged and the parkour bit was so well done. The plane was amazing and subsequent video sequence rounded this off well.
  • Music segment - hmmmm......Girl from Ipanema was cool as. After that, strangely sterile and never really built to the climax I expected. Most of the floor empty with just projections. Not what I would've expected from a section about Brazilian music. This could've done with some Boyle-ian chaos!!
  • Global warming segment - I have no problem with uncontroversial causes being highlighted but this felt like a lecture - didn't feel well integrated even though I applaud them for using such a large audience to get this message out.
  • Parade - loved the trikes! Refugee team deservedly got a huge cheer - a successful new idea from the IOC. Well done all involved in making that happen!
  • Rings - a new woodland being grown from the athletes' seeds. Beautiful legacy. Was worried for a few moments the rings would be formed from giant cabinets (!). Breathed a sigh of relief when the leaves sprouted out and it did look great from above. Wow, firework rings too!
  • Speeches - Next...
  • Carnival - excellent, but couldn't they have merged this with the earlier music segment to stop the floor being so empty for most of it?
  • Cauldron - Lighting well staged in a packed stadium. De Lima deserved his moment in the spotlight, nice choice. Unsure if I think it's intricate and interesting, or too fussy and less than the sum of its (two) parts. Again though, they stuck to their green-credentials so well done.

A solid 7/10. Well done Brazil!

Edited by Rob.

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The first hour was quite amusing. Colourful and rythm. After the parade everything was toooooooooooooo slow and boring. It seems that it's not enough with two speeches so they have made up an award as well. Did you notice that most of the athletes left before the ceremony was finished? 5/10.

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I have only just seen the Opening Ceremony, as I didn't exactly have the wherewithal to stay up through the night for it. In random order (of varying importance), here are the things that stood out to me about Rio's first greeting to the world.

ATTITUDE: I have to concede that I remain sceptical about Rio 2016 and, much more ominously, the International Olympic Committee's incapability to learn from its mistakes and seize the opportunities to improve the wider standing of the Olympic Games. That said, I genuinely liked the understated, quieter, less stellar tone of this Opening Ceremony. The Brazilians were not out to out-firework, out-drum and out-populate (in terms of artists on the pitch) previous Olympic hosts. No one was expecting a Danny Boyle-style extravaganza replete with pop cultural references, paeans to beloved British institutions and Britain's role in the world. Equally, Brazil is (for all its political chaos) not a tightly controlled dictatorship. So both Beijing and Sochi were not really a fair yardstick to measure Rio 2016 by anyway - especially as neither China or Russia's governments are really accountable to their electorates for any profilgate & lavish spending, tearing down low-income areas or mismanaging the construction of infrastructure facilities and stadiums. Therefore, Brazil's yardstick was closer to ceremonies like Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. In a way, the attitude taken by Rio is a somewhat defiant version of the "lightness of being", happy-go-lucky spirit demonstrated by the Opening Ceremony of Sydney 2000. There was less nationalism than during the Athens OC, though Rio 2016 was somewhat similar in its parochial focus. I liked that the fireworks were toned down, that the outfits were colourful and the choreography kept within human and relatable confines.

SPEECHES AND OPENING: The less said about these, the better. Nuzman was understandably happy, but the exuberant address seemed a tad misplaced, given the palpable problems widely reported about even yesterday. No one was expecting a full-scale "Oh god, what have we done?", of course not. But a more finely calibrated and understated address would have been more in line with the current situation in Brazil and Rio. Thomas Bach gave the same boring, boilerblate speech that he is renowned for. His reference to athletes defending Olympic values was particularly galling in light of the Russian doping scandal and the IOC's inability to stand up to Russia's NOC. The first part of his speech was a tiresome, insincere and somewhat tone-deaf attempt at ingratiating himself into the hearts of Brazilians. Whilst the entire idea of the refugee teams is certainly a noble concept, Bach mentioning it so prominently looked like he was fishing for applause and approval from the public. An oblique reference would have done - especially as mentioning the refugee athletes so prominently appears like a cynical attempt to piggyback on a serious problem and use it as a gimmick to distract from the IOC's severe problems, as well as the very problematic run-up to Rio 2016. Good to see interim President Michel Temer booed and heckled by the public. He had it coming, especially after replacing a problematic Rousseff administration with an even more corrupt cabinet (and probably being embroiled in the Petrobras scandal himself). A national embarassment, really - and one that the IOC couldn't hide, despite Bach's blatant non-reference to the head of state in his speech. This must be the first time for a very long time that the IOC President did not formally ask the sitting head of state to open the Games. Oh, and one last thing (sorry, I do admit I'm not his biggest fan): Have you noticed how the announcer (just like in Sochi) reminded us all of Bach's 1976 fencing gold medal in Montréal? Exaggerated sense of self-importance?

HISTORY: Good! I genuinely enjoyed the references to Brazilian history, which gave a neat overview to the country's early beginnings, the life of its indigenuous people and its colonization by the Portuguese. There was a telling gap after that period, though. Not much about the history of modern Brazil, which has seen admittedly darker days (the military dictatorship of the 1960s and 1970s particularly standing out here). There were certain historical sections that stood out in the London (Industrial Revolution), Beijing (Silk Road, Terracotta Soldiers, Drummers), Athens (Greek mythology and the development of the Games) and Sydney OCs (the Outback, Nature, the Flame) at first glance. Not so in Rio. At least none that stood out to my eyes straight away.

CULTURE: The music was positively infectious and it was evident that the spectators in the stadium sincerely enjoyed the rhythm and beats of the bossa nova and the samba performances in the Maracaná. Gisele Bundchen walking to "The Girl from Ipánema" will be an iconic image, combining two icons of Brazilian life in one moment. Genius! The rooftop performances over the imagined Rio skyline somewhat lost me at times, but were gracefully short.

CLIMATE CHANGE & REFUGEES: Sorry, I just needed to get this off my chest. First of all, both these topics are controversial across wide swaths of the (Western) world. Kudos for Rio 2016 for taking on climate change and the IOC for creating the Refugee Team. The climate change portion was, in my view, necessary and right. It IS probably one of the top 3 challenges of our lifetime, so it's good to see that it was given a meaningful section in the ceremony. However, given the additional construction in Rio and the state of the waters in Guanabara Bay and the destruction of the Brazilian rainforest, it just rang a tad hollow. I have already expressed my critical view of Bach reminding the audience about the refugee athletes. I'm still a bit split about the Refugee Team decision. It felt a bit driven by the understandable revulsion and sensationalized reporting around last year's refugee crisis. Whilst the climate change section looks like a "greenwash" of Rio's real environmental record prior to the Olympics, the refugee team looks like a heartwarming story intended to distract from the systemic corruption, cheating and abuse among a substantive section of the Olympic athlete populace. If the Olympic Movement is to endure, it can't jump on every trendy hashtag campaign, but has to follow up its warm words and ceremonial set pieces with consistent, real action. Props to the IOC for creating the Refugee Team, but the implications for the Olympic Movement will need to be discussed (i.e. will we institutionalize refugees? Will that also include political dissidents, say against China's dictatorial regime? Or only those fleeing war?). As for climate change: Well, the Olympic Games themselves need to be substantially downsized, even if that is not on the cards. Otherwise this whole climate change shtick is just that - a shtick.

ANTHEMS: The national anthem was absolutely beautiful. I have heard a range of performances of the Brazilian national anthem, but in its understated, reserved and yet passionate tone, this version was genuinely something special. The Olympic Anthem being performed by a children's choir isn't exactly an original idea, but I was surprised that the performance was entirely in English - I would have expected to see at least some Portuguese being spoken. Better than London's instrumental version, worse than Athens' and Sydney's Greek renditions of the Olympic Hymn, though. That said, Sydney has a vibrant Greek-Australian community and Athens, well, is the capital of Greece - two locations predestined for a beautiful Greek rendition. Somewhere in the middle of recent Olympic Hymns, I'd say.

PARADE OF NATIONS: Too long, too many officials still permitted to walk. I was genuinely hoping for the Russians to be booed and heckled, but it was nonetheless an understated reception, especially when compared to teams like Germany, Chile, Colombia, France, Australia, the US, Portugal, the Refugee Team and (most obviously) Brazil. The Brazilian public appears quite fair, not as super-patriotic as the US audience when Olympic Games are held in their backyard or nationalistic as the Greek spectators at Athens 2004. It might be an idea to cut the number of people actually walking onto the pitch to a maximum of 50 per delegation, with everyone else following onto the pitch once the parade is complete (guided to predesignated locations by the volunteers). Just an idea, really - especially in order to get the best out of the parade in this attention-starved era of smartphone usage, memes and social media. And yeah, Russia shouldn't even be there at all. So that also marred the overall impression for me, though that's the IOC's fault, not Rio 2016's.

OLYMPIC FLAME: I'm glad Rio has returned to the "famous athlete" narrative, and given his tragic loss of a possible gold medal in Athens 2004, Vanderlei de Lima was the perfect choice to light the flame. Once again, the entire flame ritual was, well, very understated. There was no massive buildup to the Flame's arrival, unlike in London 2012 (with Beckham arriving on a boat only to hand it to Steve Redgrave and him handing it to five young athletes). There were no references to the flame arriving during the ceremony itself. Even the handover upto de Lima was somewhat swift.

OVERALL: A nice, understated ceremony. Still way too long due to the long parade of nations. Yes, there were good moments here and there - and I'm sure some of my view on this has been coloured by recent controversy. But this Opening Ceremony did not strike me as one giant "WOW!" moment. But maybe it doesn't need to. Maybe this is Rio just saying: "Let's get away from the gigantic structures and the massive self-indulgence à la Beijing and Sochi!" If so, good on them! A competent, decent job!

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4 hours ago, Gonzo said:

Duller than dull

And I don't need to be force-fed Climate Change propaganda from one of the most polluted places in the world with human faeces and corpses floating in their city

Not really "propaganda", but scientific facts on which there is widespread consensus among those who have actually studied this subject for the past few decades. The only ones to disagree are a decisively small minority of scientists with deep connections to the fossil fuel industry, the Koch Brothers and our friends from Fox News - and a certain orange-haired loudmouth billionaire who thinks this is all a hoax. Just because it doesn't fit your narrative doesn't mean it's wrong or inappropriate to raise it.

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1 hour ago, Lord David said:

By having a good chunk of athletes stay out of it, left some huge gaps on the ceremony field. It just needed to be a bit more fuller.

I don't know what you could do though. Apart from the athletes competing first thing the next morning, I don't think any athlete who wanted to be there would have missed out. You can't pad out an already bloated athlete quota for the games just to make the stadium at one event look more full. Maybe they could have organised the field a bit differently to make it look more packed, but honesty, dragging out the parade even more is not the answer.

30 minutes ago, Rob. said:

Carnival - excellent, but couldn't they have merged this with the earlier music segment to stop the floor being so empty for most of it?

Now I do like that suggestion. If there was weakness for me with the musical segments, yes, it was that there could have been some more engagement and action on the floor beyond the projections.

But, hey, woulda, coulda, shoulda.

Edited by Sir Rols

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