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I couldnt find the old topic so i startet a new one. I hope this is ok. The reason: nothing spectacular but still interesting. An article of Kathimerini . One of Greece's top leading newspapers.

Its about the Ceremonies, about Zhang Yimou and his meeting with Dimitris Papaioannou a view days ago.

Please excuse grammatical "errors" on my translation. I wil write fast because its a big article.

Waiting for a "chinese wonder"

Zhang Yimou has a very deep knowledge of the art of melodrama. His movies are full of passion, hate, tension. They can be spectacular with epic charakter but also minimalistic masterpieces. "Movies have to tell simple stories. In china we believe that deep philosofical meanings are to find in simple things" he says.

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be phantasmagoric, no question about that. The question is the ideologic behind them. Can he ignore the big problems of China? The extreme environmental pollution, the human rights issue? In the past he has showed that he fears no confrontation with the regime when it comes to ideas that differs from the "official" one. How will he deal with the power of his country which can change the balances in the world but with a high internal price?

Unfortunately our journalist Maria Katsounaki couldnt ask those questions to Zhang Yimou. "He is very busy", "He has no time". We asked many times for an interview until Mr. Yimou answered to them not by an personal interview but by Gianni Exarhou, General Manager of the Beijing Olympic Broadcasting. At the same time "Kathimerini" contacted Mr. Papaioannou to ask him for an interview on his impression after his meeting with Mr. Yimou

.......................................

Which impact will the Olympic Games have for Beijing in architecture, in culture, social life and economical issues?

— The Olympic Games have a great impact on every City that hosts them. The impact in Beijing will be more days with blue sky and clean air and more tourists.

I hope the people of Beijing will learn alot of this experience.

What do you think are the pros and cons of Beijing as a host of the Olympic Games?

— Beijing is totaly capable of hosting Olympic Games. China has a very long history, a geat culture and chinese are hospitable people. I am not sure about the cons: Maybe the traffic problems, the air polution? Perhaps it is the fact that the people here are so excited about the Olympics and so cordial that visitors should pay attention on not eating too much!

Is air pollution an issue that you care about?

— Yes absolutely. It is a serious problem that Beijing has to solve. But this isnt only a problem in China. It is an international problem. This is why pollution will be a small part of the Opening Ceremony.

On what will te Opening ceremony focus more? On traditional or modern China?

— On both. Long tradition but also strong development through very dynamic economical politcs. We will try to link great tradition with modern "glamour"

What is your opinion on the Athens 2004 Opening Ceremony?

— In my opinion those Olympic Games were the best ever. I was there, i met Dimitri Papaioannou. We met again in Beijing for a long talk. Beijing has to learn alot from Athens. The Opening Ceremony of Athens was a landmark. It changed the aesthetics, the style, the substance of the Ceremonies. It continual surprised the audience. I hope will can achieve the same. But the difference will be the soundtrack, the style of music.

Dimitris Papaioannou

Dimitris Papioannou is alot in China the last years. Not only for his play "Medea" that will be staged this year for the Cultural Olympics. There are also 2 other projects in Beijing and Shanghai but those are "top secret". He met with Mr. Yimou a view days ago.

What was your impression of Mr. Yimou?

— I first met Zhang Yimou when he was in Athens with the Chinese Team for the 8 min. handover. He was dejected, he never took of his black sunglasses, talked no word. Only at the end he gave me a collection of his movies. When he heard that i will be in Beijing asked to meet me. I met a totaly diferrent man. A smilingly, joyfull and open man. He told me that the pressure that he feels is gigantic. I understand that, because everything he does goes through the governemnt commission. Gianna was my opponent and contributor. He has a the government and its controll-committees. I believe that the vision of the Government of how modern China has to be presented, struggles him... He introduced me to a wonderfull team of choreographs, art directors, scenic and costume designers. ...he was quite tired but very friendly and warm-hearted.

What was your impression about how the Opening Ceremony wil be? Will it be as we expect it to be? Bombastic? Impressive in volume?

— I know some secrets, because i visit the Stadium. There is an architectural elementary component of the Ceremony which they adopted from our Ceremony. I laughed when i saw it... But the Ceremony will be much more massive in use of elements and space. But we talked more about the methology..

What do you mean with "methology"?

— About the cinematography, how to film the Ceremony, the use of the cameras. I introduced him to our model of "3D picture", explained him where we didnt complety achieved that. He is an excellent cinematographist. It was very flattering when he told me "I hate you. You are the reason for his nightmares. If you had done a Ceremony like the previous it would be an easy Game for me to play. I saw all the Ceremonies with Steven Spielberg. We agreed, yours was the best!"

Four years after Athens 2004, which is the biggest nightmare of an Olympic Ceremony Director like you and Mr. Yimou?

— A mechanic mistake. Like the mistake of Bjork not have been risen 6 meters high because the hydralic system didnt work... This is why nobody could see the fantastic dress Sophia Kokossalaki made for Bjork. Fortunately it was nothing that had an elementary impact on the Ceremony. Still it remains a nightmare. For Zhang Yimou? His nightmare is bigger then a dress.. China has invest much on this Opening Ceremony as a medium of presenting power.. China is a Giant, ready to overtake the world...

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The weird part is that it worked perfectly during the final rehearsal.

I wouldn't consider that weird -- it's only natural that things that don't work at the ceremony itself have worked at the dress rehearsal. Otherwise they would have fixed the problem for the ceremony, wouldn't they? ;)

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First of all: Many thanks to you, Savas, for making this translation for us. That must have taken a lot of time.

And now for some quotes from both interviews:

Is air pollution an issue that you care about?

— Yes absolutely. It is a serious problem that Beijing has to solve. But this isnt only a problem in China. It is an international problem. This is why pollution will be a small part of the Opening Ceremony.

How do they want to do that? Or did he simply mean the bad air quality in the stadium during the ceremony? :P Seriously, I think it's quite a surprise that the Chinese government allows such a rather self-critical segment for the ceremony.

What was your impression of Mr. Yimou?

— I first met Zhang Yimou when he was in Athens with the Chinese Team for the 8 min. handover. He was dejected, he never took of his black sunglasses, talked no word. Only at the end he gave me a collection of his movies. When he heard that i will be in Beijing asked to meet me. I met a totaly diferrent man. A smilingly, joyfull and open man. He told me that the pressure that he feels is gigantic. I understand that, because everything he does goes through the governemnt commission. Gianna was my opponent and contributor. He has a the government and its controll-committees. I believe that the vision of the Government of how modern China has to be presented, struggles him... He introduced me to a wonderfull team of choreographs, art directors, scenic and costume designers. ...he was quite tired but very friendly and warm-hearted.

Well, when I read that I feel really sorry for Zhang Yimou. He has to stage the maybe most political Olympic opening ceremony since Moscow 1980. We'll probably see a lot of propaganda, but hopefully it will be presented in a way that isn't too pushy.

What was your impression about how the Opening Ceremony wil be? Will it be as we expect it to be? Bombastic? Impressive in volume?

— I know some secrets, because i visit the Stadium. There is an architectural elementary component of the Ceremony which they adopted from our Ceremony. I laughed when i saw it... But the Ceremony will be much more massive in use of elements and space. But we talked more about the methology..

Ha ha! Mr Papaioannou, we already know that secret! It's obvious that he's talking about the big hole in the centre of the field. And I'm not too sure whether he was really in such a happy mood when he saw the hole. I suppose he rather thought, "Oh, you bloody copycats!" :lol:

Four years after Athens 2004, which is the biggest nightmare of an Olympic Ceremony Director like you and Mr. Yimou?

— A mechanic mistake. Like the mistake of Bjork not have been risen 6 meters high because the hydralic system didnt work... This is why nobody could see the fantastic dress Sophia Kokossalaki made for Bjork. Fortunately it was nothing that had an elementary impact on the Ceremony. Still it remains a nightmare. For Zhang Yimou? His nightmare is bigger then a dress.. China has invest much on this Opening Ceremony as a medium of presenting power.. China is a Giant, ready to overtake the world...

Once more, I feel sorry for Yimou. And I guess that with so many participants in the opening ceremony, there is a much higher danger that something goes wrong. Including the mechanism of the cauldron which I still expect to be innovative and breathtaking.

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Very interesting text I found in the french version of the CCTV website about the Opening Ceremony.

Sorry, it's in french only. I tried to find the same text in their english website, but without succes.

I hope, some of you will be able to read it.

Il ne reste que moins d’un an avant l’ouverture des JO 2008. L’année prochaine, toutes les énigmes qui entourent encore le plus grand événement sportif à avoir lieu à Beijing seront levées. Et nous verrons par exemple à quoi ressemble la cérémonie d’ouverture. De l’histoire centenaire du mouvement olympique, qu’est-il resté dans les mémoires, à part les performances sportives elles-mêmes? Le lac artificiel au milieu du stade à Athènes? La torche qui sort de l’eau pour venir allumer la flamme olympique à Sydney? Les cérémonies d’ouverture et de clôture des Jeux olympiques, suivies par des millions de téléspectateurs dans le monde, constituent, pour le pays d’accueil, autant d'occasions en or pour présenter leur histoire, leurs cultures et leurs progrès techniques. Dans cette émission d’En Attendant les JO, nous continuons notre exploration commencée la semaine dernière des cérémonies d’ouverture et de clôture des Jeux Olympiques et Paralympiques de Beijing.

Pour des milliards de téléspectateurs dans le monde, la cérémonie d’ouverture est la première impression que donnera le pays. Son succès peut influencer la réussite de l'évènement tout entier. Et le succès d'une cérémonie d'ouverture dépend surtout du moment où la Vasque olympique est allumée par la Flamme.

Zhang Yimou, metteur en scène des cérémonies d'ouverture et de clôture

"La réussite de la cérémonie d’ouverture c'est la moitié de la réussite d'une Olympiade. Selon notre groupe de création, le succès de l’allumage de la vasque représente la moitié du succès de la cérémonie d’ouverture. Allumer la Vasque olympique se fait à la fin de la cérémonie. Les spectateurs applaudissent et puis tout est terminé."

Le metteur en scène a donc attaché une importance particulière à l’allumage de la Vasque olympique mais sans en révéler aucun détail au public. Aux Jeux olympiques de Sydney, en 2000, lors d'une cérémonie qui exploitait les mêmes éléments, le feu, l'eau, la terre, tels qu'évoqués dans le design de la torche, l’athlète australienne aborigène Cathy Freeman avait « marché sur l'eau » avant d'allumer un cercle de feu qui s'est révélé être une vasque monumentale. La scène est restée gravée dans la mémoire des téléspectateurs.

En 1996 aux JO d'Atlanta, le célèbre boxeur Mohamed Ali, atteint de la maladie de Parkinson, a allumé la flamme olympique sous un tonnerre d'applaudissements. En 1992, durant la Cérémonie d’ouverture des Jeux Olympiques de Barcelone, le porteur de la flamme olympique a fait son entrée dans le stade et a embrassé la flèche qui lui était tendue par Antonio Rebollo, un archer paralympique. Une fois la flèche enflammée, l’archer a bandé son arc et, d’un tir incroyablement précis, a fait s'envoler la flamme vers la vasque olympique.

Lors des JO précédents, la flamme olympique s’éteignait en général sans cérémonie. Mais aux JO d’Athènes, l’idée de la faire éteindre par une petite fille a impressionné des millions de téléspectateurs. Depuis, la question de l'extinction de la flamme a pris de l'importance.

Chen Weiya, directeur-adjoint des cérémonies d'ouverture et de clôture

"La réussite de l’allumage de la Vasque olympique constitue la moitié de celle de la cérémonie d’ouverture. Pour la cérémonie de clôture, éteindre la flamme est aussi important. Quand la flamme olympique s’éteint, les participants peuvent ressentir toute l’ambiance de l’événement. Après la cérémonie de clôture, les athlètes venus du monde entier se séparent. Alors on veut leur laisser une ultime bonne impression."

Lors de la cérémonie de clôture des Jeux Olympiques, les athlètes défilent et le maire de la ville hôte remet le drapeau olympique au maire de la ville qui accueillera les Jeux suivants. La tradition se répète tous les quatre ans. Mais M. Chen Weiya a révélé que la future cérémonie de clôture sera quelque peu différente des précédentes.

Chen Weiya, directeur-adjoint des cérémonies d'ouverture et de clôture

"Le CIO a ses exigences concernant le processus des cérémonies. Dans ce cadre, on peut néanmoins ajouter quelques idées originales. Par exemple, nous avons introduit de nouveaux éléments créatifs que le COJOB et le CIO ont beaucoup appréciés."

En plus de la cérémonie d’ouverture des Jeux Olympiques, celle des Paralympiques est également très attendue. Le COJOB a choisi comme directeur général de la cérémonie Zhang Jigang, bien connu pour sa mise en scène du Bouddha aux mille bras, une chorégraphie couronnée de prix qui a été présentée à la soirée de gala de la veille de la fête du Printemps.

Les Jeux Paralympiques de Beijing lèveront le rideau le 6 septembre 2008 et se clôtureront le 17 septembre. Après les magnifiques cérémonies d’ouverture et de clôture des JO, il sera difficile de faire aussi bien pour les Jeux Paralympiques.

Zhang Jigang, metteur en scène de la cérémonie de clôture des Jeux Paralympiques

"Nous avons fait face à un grand défi pour la création des cérémonies d’ouverture et de clôture. Mais je suis sûr que ce sera une bonne surprise."

Aux Jeux Paralympiques précédents, les cérémonies d’ouverture et de clôture étaient souvent moins impressionnantes. Aux JO d’Atlanta en 1996, tout le monde a été ému au moment où le grand boxeur a allumé la Vasque olympique. Mais aux Jeux Paralympiques de la même année, l’ambiance était bien moins exhaltante. L’allumage lors des Jeux Paralympiques de 1992 n'a été qu'une répétition des JO mais sans l’effet de surprise initial.

Zhang Jigang, metteur en scène de la cérémonie de clôture des Jeux Paralympiques

"Nous n’avons aucune raison de copier les idées des autres. Il faut créer des cérémonies pour les Jeux Paralympiques qui soient différentes de celles des JO. Je veux qu’elles soient merveilleuses, même quand je les reverrai dans 10 ans."

Les projets de cérémonies des Jeux Olympiques et Paralympiques 2008 ont déjà été validés. Depuis août, les différentes équipes de création ont commencé à les mettre en oeuvre.

Zhang Yimou, metteur en scène des cérémonies d'ouverture et de clôture

"Nous sommes entrés dans la deuxième phase. Malheureusement, il pleut ces derniers jours. C’est inquiétant parce que ca interrompt les répétitions. Il nous faut répéter pas à pas pour être prêts à temps."

L’année qui vient sera une période très occupée pour Zhang Yimou et son équipe. Il est sous pression parce qu'on attend beaucoup de lui.

Zhang Yimou, metteur en scène des cérémonies d'ouverture et de clôture

"On attend depuis longtemps la cérémonie d’ouverture. Je suis certain qu'elle sera une réussite. Je représente notre équipe pour vous promettre le succès. C’est l’objectif de notre équipe depuis deux ans."

Le 8 août prochain, les Olympiades arriveront pour la première fois en Chine, un pays à l'histoire 5 fois millénaire. Nous sommes convaincus que l’équipe dirigée par ces metteurs en scène de premier plan nous offrira des spectacles magnifiques. Rendez-vous à Beijing le 8 août 2008.

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Thanks Chateau Petrus. I have translated the text to english in order to be viewed at best ;)

Although only less than one year before the opening of the Olympic Games 2008. Next year, all mysteries still surrounding the biggest sporting event to take place in Beijing will be lifted. And we will see for example what the opening ceremony. In the hundred-year history of the Olympic movement, what has remained in the memory, apart from the sporting performances themselves? The artificial lake in the middle of the stadium in Athens? The torch which leaves the water to come lighting the Olympic flame in Sydney? The opening and closing of the Olympic Games, followed by millions of viewers around the world, are, for the host country, as many golden opportunities to present their history, their cultures and advances in technology. In this issue of Attendant In the Olympics, we continue our exploration started last week of opening and closing the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing.

For billions of TV viewers around the world, the opening ceremony is the first impression that will give the country. Its success can influence the success of the event as a whole. And the success of an opening ceremony depends mainly when the Vasque is lit by the Olympic Torch.

Zhang Yimou, director of the opening and closing

"The success of the opening ceremony is half of a successful Olympiad. According to our creative group, the success of the lighting of the cauldron is half the success of the opening ceremony. Turn Vasque the Olympic is at the end of the ceremony. Spectators applaud and then everything is finished. "

The director has attached particular importance to the lighting of the Olympic Vasque but without revealing any details to the public. For the Sydney Olympics in 2000, at a ceremony which operated the same elements, fire, water, earth, as reflected in the design of the torch, the Australian Aboriginal athlete Cathy Freeman had " walked on water "before lighting a circle of fire, which has proved to be a monumental cauldron. The scene has remained etched in the memory of viewers.

In the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the famous boxer Muhammad Ali, suffering from Parkinson's disease, lit the Olympic flame in a thunderous applause. In 1992, during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Barcelona, the bearer of the Olympic flame made its entrance into the stadium and kissed the arrow which was prompted by Antonio Rebollo, an archer Paralympics. Once ignited the arrow, the archer was bandaged his bow and shot an incredibly precise, made fly the flame to the Olympic cauldron.

At the Olympics earlier, the Olympic flame died in general without ceremony. But at the Olympic Games in Athens, the idea of making off with a little girl has impressed millions of viewers. Since then, the question of extinction of the flame has become more important.

Chen Weiya, deputy director of the opening and closing

"The success of the lighting of the Olympic Vasque is half that of the opening ceremony. For the closing ceremony, extinguish the flame is also important. When the Olympic flame is extinguished, participants can feel whole 'ambiance of the event. after the closing ceremony, athletes from around the world are separating. So we want to give them one last good impression. "

At the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, the athletes parade and the mayor of the host city hands over the Olympic flag to the mayor of the city which will host the next Games. The tradition is repeated every four years. But Mr. Chen Weiya revealed that the future closing ceremony will be somewhat different from previous ones.

Chen Weiya, deputy director of the opening and closing

"The IOC has its own requirements concerning the process of ceremonies. In this context, it is nevertheless possible to add a few original ideas. For example, we have introduced new creative elements that COJOB and the IOC very much appreciated."

In addition to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, the Paralympics is also keenly awaited. The COJOB has chosen as director general of the ceremony Zhang Jigang, well known for his staging of the Buddha of a thousand arms, crowned with a choreography prize, which was presented at the gala evening on the eve of the festival of Spring.

The Paralympic Games in Beijing will lift the curtain on September 6, 2008 and will close on September 17. After the beautiful opening and closing of the Olympics, it will be difficult to do as well for the Paralympic Games.

Zhang Jigang, director of the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games

"We have faced a great challenge for the creation of the opening and closing. But I am sure that it will be a pleasant surprise."

In previous Paralympic Games, the opening and closing were often less impressive. For the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, everyone was excited when the great boxer lit the Olympic Vasque. But for the Paralympic Games the same year, the atmosphere was much less exhaltante. Ignition at the 1992 Paralympic Games has been a repetition of the Olympics but without the initial surprise effect.

Zhang Jigang, director of the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games

"We have no reason to copy the ideas of others. Must be created ceremonies for the Paralympic Games that are different from those of the Olympic Games. Whether I want beautiful, even when I seeing in 10 years."

The projects ceremonies of the Olympics and Paralympics 2008 has already been validated. Since August, the various creative teams have begun to implement them.

Zhang Yimou, director of the opening and closing

"We have entered the second phase. Sadly, it rains in recent days. It is worrisome because ca interrupts rehearsals. Repeat We need step by step to be ready on time."

The coming year will be a very busy period for Zhang Yimou and his team. It is under pressure because we had high expectations of him.

Zhang Yimou, director of the opening and closing

"It has long awaited the opening ceremony. I am sure it will be a success. Our team I represent to promise you success. This is the goal of our team for two years."

On 8 August, the Olympics arrive for the first time in China, a country with the history 5 times millennium. We are confident that the team led by these directors forefront we will offer magnificent performances. See you in Beijing on August 8, 2008.

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Well i think that the Chinise Government dont allows a sefl-critical part. In my opinion it will be rather a "Nature" section with a pointing finger to the "bad human" in general and not only China. Lets be honest; no Ceremony is self-critical. The only thing that happens is that there is a part (sometimes) where a "sensitive" issue becomes part of the ceremony or a part of culture or social life gets presented although this gets against the will of many people (like government, professors, high society etc.). Examples: Sydney and Aborigines: dum di dam di dum... what? was there something more to tell? Athens (CC): The Gypsies driving in the stadium with their Datsun full of watermelons or the "bouzouksidika" night-life section with the blond hotties dancing lasciviously and men throwing with carnations. There was politicians and professors who were outraged about showing this "cheap and inappropriate" content as part of Greek culture. For them Greek Culture is only columns and Sophokles.

I think the problem Zhang Yimou has is that the government wants a flawless ceremony which doesnt allows any signal of the tiniest weakness. A running and playing couple in love (Athens) is i think impossible in Beijing. Everything will be under perfect controll... So we will rather see 1000 children in perfect synchron moving etc...

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The French article actually says nothing important. The only "insider information" given about the ceremonies are that beside the necessary elements of the Olympic protocol, they'll include new creative concepts in the opening and closing ceremonies. Well, that's very surprising -- and I thought they would copy the whole ceremonies from previous host cities... ;) And the other "insider information" is that their preparations and rehearsals for the ceremonies are interrupted repeatedly by heavy rain.

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Found this video. Might give some idea of what to expect from the ceremony in August

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsDA_-vrbQ4

Hmmm. Good find.

However, I understand that those Special O's were produced by Birch and Atkins' rival, Don Mischer, who produced the Atlanta and Salt Lake Ceremonies. Notice the drum-banging opening sequence. Familiar? Yup, same thing as Atlanta and Athens. I doubt they'll repeat the same thing for Beijing.

Was told that Beijing would open with a boy (and/or playmates) and their kite(s).

But they would match or surpass the scale of these Special O's Ceremonies.

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Exactly, Savvas!

The closest toward anything self-critical on a political level that we've seen out of the Opening Ceremony IMO was in Atlanta when that huge thunderbird from the north came and darkly swooped and devoured the life out of the South. Bob Costas mentioned on NBC that the closest thing it could represent was of the Civil War, slavery, Jim Crow, and the racism/segregation, and how all of that hit the South hard. But even he acknowledged then during the broadcast as it was aired that such stuff like narrative and exposition would not have really any meaningful and symbolic place in Olympic pagentry. Nor was it meant to.

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Exactly, Savvas!

The closest toward anything self-critical on a political level that we've seen out of the Opening Ceremony IMO was in Atlanta when that huge thunderbird from the north...

Correction, Durban: I don't believe they said the T-bird cloud was from '...the north' (unless Bob Costas interjected that on his own). That alone would've made it controversial.

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Found this article on the BBC website regarding the Opening Ceremony

Games set for spectacular opening

The first hints of the content of the spectacular opening ceremony planned for the Beijing Olympics have been revealed by director Zhang Yimou.

But Zhang, China's most famous filmmaker and artistic director for the ceremony, would not divulge details of the lighting of the Olympic flame.

The three-and-a-half hour show will include Chinese opera and pyrotechnics.

"A large-scale fireworks display is something we must have," Zhang told the Chongqing Economic Times.

A full dress rehearsal for curtain-raiser will be held for the first time at the National Stadium on 10 July.

Zhang, best known for his films Hero (2002) and House of Flying Daggers (2004), said the programme would celebrate 5,000 years of Chinese history.

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Found this article on the BBC website regarding the Opening Ceremony

Games set for spectacular opening

The first hints of the content of the spectacular opening ceremony planned for the Beijing Olympics have been revealed by director Zhang Yimou.

But Zhang, China's most famous filmmaker and artistic director for the ceremony, would not divulge details of the lighting of the Olympic flame.

The three-and-a-half hour show will include Chinese opera and pyrotechnics.

"A large-scale fireworks display is something we must have," Zhang told the Chongqing Economic Times.

A full dress rehearsal for curtain-raiser will be held for the first time at the National Stadium on 10 July.

Zhang, best known for his films Hero (2002) and House of Flying Daggers (2004), said the programme would celebrate 5,000 years of Chinese history.

scotg, what's new or particularly revelatory about any of that? :o

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I know that theres nothing new here or it doesnt give away details, but i just thought id post it as it was a new story on the BBC website and some people may not know this information already.

Its not doing any harm

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Reports say opera, fireworks to launch Olympic Games

BEIJING (AFP) — Chinese opera, a massive fireworks display and a mystery ending will mark the highly anticipated opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics, media reported Wednesday.

Exact details remained closely guarded, but the ceremony's artistic director Zhang Yimou, China's most famous filmmaker, has dropped the first hints on the show's content, the Chongqing Economic Times reported.

The first full dress rehearsal for the sold-out event launching the Olympics will be held July 10 at the new National Stadium built for the Games, the newspaper added, in a report that appeared Wednesday on the website of the official Xinhua news agency.

China plans to use the August 8-24 Olympics as its coming out party and the opening ceremony is expected to be a stunning launchpad masterminded by Zhang.

The three-part programme to be broadcast around the globe and before some 90,000 spectators at the stadium would last about three and a half hours and conclude with the lighting of the Olympic flame, the report quoted Zhang as saying.

Only 10 people know how the flame-lighting would be carried out, he added.

"A large-scale fireworks display is something we absolutely must have" as part of a programme that will celebrate 5,000 years of Chinese history, Zhang said.

Besides the opera and pyrotechnics, other parts will focus on contemporary China and the Olympic movement, he said.

Beijing is not intent on producing the biggest and best-ever opening ceremony, but wants it to be spectacular, said Jiang Xiaoyu, the organising committee's vice president.

"We want to create pomp with extraordinary Chinese features, fuelled by hi-tech effects and audience interaction," Jiang was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

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"A large-scale fireworks display is something we must have," Zhang told the Chongqing Economic Times.

Except, what? about 1/4th - 1/5th of Birds Nest's seats seems to be located under the roofed or under the top tier areas, so either:

(1) most of the fireworks show will only happen in the middle area clearly visible to everyone; or

img214196309mj0.jpg

See how many seats will have partial/blocked sky views*

*(2) you're outta luck if you happen to be in one of the tucked-away sections. :P

Ha! Am glad I'm not going!

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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^Yeah; here's the view from those top tier areas:

2007101187144pv0.jpg

If they have fireworks on the roof's rim (like on Athens' stadium) and on outside locations, you'd still be able to see something, just not nearly as much as from ground level, obviously.

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As always with your negativity baron :lol:

Anyway, a more recent pic of the Bird Nest, now with almost all of the roof covered with the panels:

http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/2008011...pics_xob102.jpg

As for the fireworks show, i guess it would be two circles: one at the border of the visible roof for the spectators and the other one at the outer border of the stadia. I think Stade de France did something similar at the closing show of the 1998 World Cup. Not to mention the fireworks from places outside the stadium, like Athens 2004.

One of the recent OC fireworks who didn't convinced me was Sydney 2000. Just a typical ones behind the cauldron (and i think some at the aboriginal segment), but that's it, nothing spectacular, altought the rest of the show was epic.

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^Yeah; here's the view from those top tier areas:

2007101187144pv0.jpg

If they have fireworks on the roof's rim (like on Athens' stadium) and on outside locations, you'd still be able to see something, just not nearly as much as from ground level, obviously.

Yeah; that's more like it.

As always with your negativity baron

I was just being realistic and warning those who would have seats in those tucked-away areas...that you/they are not going to 'see' the 'spectacular' pyrotechics show Yimou & Co. have planned.

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The ceremonial big dragon I saw on youtube didn't enter into the cave where the fire rather lighting flashed atleast once but just made a turn-around at the center of the stadium. I really enjoyed watching the drumming, it was a fantastic dislay. The children song was absolutely melodious but they lacked coherence and their trainers did teach them how to move their hands in uniform very well.

All thesame, I thick the whole celeberation a pass mark! Atleast, they are doing it for the first time.

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