Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby The Write Profile » 28 Jul 2012, 07:01

fueryhk(redux) wrote:Whilst I think it is absurd for GB to be spending enormous amounts of money on hosting things like the Olympics and World Cups when education and the health service are being cut to ribbons, think Danny Boyle and his team did everybody proud last night.


That's probably my sentiment too. In fact, I think maskedman's reaction to the opening ceremony, paradoxically, means Boyle got most things just right. It was a bizarre mix of the eccentric, the kitsch, the surprisingly savvy and the grandiose. And there were certain sections- the industrial revolution section in particular- that were visually quite powerful. And there were a lot of well-intentioned if somewhat bizarre sections too- the tributes to British children's literature, the NHS and pop music of the last 40-odd years to the present day. Let's face it, I think it got the complicated relationship with its own jingoism just right. It never was going to condemn the nation, and as pomp and circumstance goes, it felt like it actually bothered to throw something of a difference out there. It was certainly far less nauseating than Sydney 2000's opening ceremony, and definitely less sinister than Beijing 2008 .
Last edited by The Write Profile on 28 Jul 2012, 08:49, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby The Write Profile » 28 Jul 2012, 07:09

Btw, did anyone happen to *ahem*record the event on DVD? I would happily see it again.
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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby never/ever » 28 Jul 2012, 07:13

Don't hosting nations usually counteract the spending-thing with the 'boost for the economy and tourism'-adagio?
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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby fire and fueryIre » 28 Jul 2012, 07:29

never/ever wrote:Don't hosting nations usually counteract the spending-thing with the 'boost for the economy and tourism'-adagio?


Don't think that can has carried much water since Montreal in 1976...
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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby Molony » 28 Jul 2012, 07:44

Hugh wrote:What happened with the vocals at the start of Hey Jude? It seems like Macca was going to reinforce his own vocals with pre-recorded ones but it all went a bit wrong.

As sad as I am to say it - and I really am very sad to say it - he needs to call it a day now.


I agree. He really struggled, and his performance was restrained. Overall, however, I think that the ceremony was a triumph. I don't buy the business of 'sweeping things under the carpet'; who is going to highlight shortcomings in an event such as this? I was also quite impressed by the Arctic Monkeys and they've never been a band that appeals to me.

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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby The Write Profile » 28 Jul 2012, 07:52

fueryhk(redux) wrote:
never/ever wrote:Don't hosting nations usually counteract the spending-thing with the 'boost for the economy and tourism'-adagio?


Don't think that can has carried much water since Montreal in 1976...


Incidentally, this Vanity Fair feature captures much of this very concern in the built-up to the London 2012. Granted, it was published before the most recent mayoral elections, but it's a superbly written and researched piece that lifts the lid on many the organisational snafus and budget blowouts, plus the bizarrely frantic and ad-hoc begining to the hosting campaign.
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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby Zong » 28 Jul 2012, 08:13

Regarding questions of flag waving jingoism etc. I've always found it stupifyingly self evident that it is just as absurd to work oneself into a tizz being ashamed of a place of birth one had no choice in as it is to be blindly proud of it. Such considerations therefore don't bother me in the slightest and I find it confusing people seem to feel they have to declare either pride or shame when neutrality makes far more logical sense.
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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby Bungo the Mungo » 28 Jul 2012, 08:18

Zong wrote:Regarding questions of flag waving jingoism etc. I've always found it stupifyingly self evident that it is just as absurd to work oneself into a tizz being ashamed of a place of birth one had no choice in as it is to be blindly proud of it. Such considerations therefore don't bother me in the slightest and I find it confusing people seem to feel they have to declare either pride or shame when neutrality makes far more logical sense.


You're talking about entirely natural reactions, tho' - it's not like people sit down and decide which way to go when questions of national pride are raised. Opinions about one's own country can be the strongest opinions one can have, so I can't imagine feeling neutral is very common!

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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby Tactful Cactus » 28 Jul 2012, 08:19

I feel asleep around D in the parade of athletes, I missed the end. The ceremony was quite good, it was certainly a spectacle but alot of it felt like amateur dramatics.

The one truly cinematic moment was when the forged iron evolved into the Olympic rings. That was terrific and spine tingling.

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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby the masked man » 28 Jul 2012, 08:42

The Write Profile wrote:
fueryhk(redux) wrote:Whilst I think it is absurd for GB to be spending enormous amounts of money on hosting things like the Olympics and World Cups when education and the health service are being cut to ribbons, think Danny Boyle and his team did everybody proud last night.


That's probably my sentiment too. In fact, I think maskedman's reaction to the opening ceremony, paradoxically, means Boyle got most things just right. It was a bizarre mix of the eccentric, the kitsch, the surprisingly savvy and the grandiose. And there were certain sections- the industrial revolution section in particular- that were visually quite powerful. And there were a lot of well-intentioned if somewhat bizarre sections too- the tributes to British children's literature, the NHS and pop music of the last 40-odd years to the present day. Let's face it, I think it got the complicated relationship with its own jingoism just right. It never was going to condemn the nation, and pomp and circumstance goes, it felt like it actually bothered to throw something of a difference out there. It was certainly far less nauseating than Sydney 2000's opening ceremony, or as sinister as Beijing 2008 .


H'mm, I got pretty opinionated last night, but this post actually sums things up pretty well. It was, a very British affair, for both good and bad reasons. I realise that my fantasy vision of an Olympic ceremony would probably never happen, and that may even be a good thing

I will say this; I woke up this morning with 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor' running round my head. I may not enjoy much modern British indie, but however you cut it, that is one hell of a song. I also kind of liked that a modest song about fancying a girl working on a supermarket checkout somewhere in the north was presented as representing some kind of peak for British pop. The song seems almost impossibly parochial, and yet this band has sold a lot of records all over the world. I guess it's just a song that is capable of cutting across cultures.

Despite the severe lack of metal, I did enjoy the quickfire journey through British pop music as a whole. Much as I hate nostalgia, I got a Proustian rush from the segue of 'Blue Monday' and 'Relax'. Where did I put those madeleines?

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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby savoirefaire » 28 Jul 2012, 08:42

In hindsight, I thoroughly enjoyed the performance by Akram Khan and his company to Emeli Sande's rendition of the hymn "Abide with me". It was really, really beautiful.
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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby Bungo the Mungo » 28 Jul 2012, 08:44

Something for everyone, then, to summarise.

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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby Diamond Dog » 28 Jul 2012, 09:21

Tactful Cactus wrote:

The one truly cinematic moment was when the forged iron evolved into the Olympic rings. That was terrific and spine tingling.


Yes. On reflection, that really was an amazing moment - that involved real innovation and not a bit of mega sized balls too.
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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby never/ever » 28 Jul 2012, 09:38

The Write Profile wrote:
Incidentally, this Vanity Fair feature captures much of this very concern in the built-up to the London 2012. Granted, it was published before the most recent mayoral elections, but it's a superbly written and researched piece that lifts the lid on many the organisational snafus and budget blowouts, plus the bizarrely frantic and ad-hoc begining to the hosting campaign.


Thanks for the link- it is indeed a very fine article! Had a massive laugh when I read this passage:
"This same senior government official also recalled that, on a bathroom break, the prime minister struck up a conversation with the man at the next urinal, believing the stranger was an I.O.C. member. Blair asked the man how he was doing and what he was up to that night, chattering suavely until finally the man, who showed no sign of recognizing Blair, apparently concluded that the prime minister was hitting on him, zipped up his fly, blurted in disgust, “Why are you asking me these questions?”—and bolted."
:lol:
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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby andymacandy » 28 Jul 2012, 10:03

Diamond Dog wrote:
Tactful Cactus wrote:

The one truly cinematic moment was when the forged iron evolved into the Olympic rings. That was terrific and spine tingling.


Yes. On reflection, that really was an amazing moment - that involved real innovation and not a bit of mega sized balls too.

I agree-a truly memorable effect, perhaps a signature to the Games.
I thought the whole ceremony was excellent-it encapsulated the pageantry that our history demands, but also the quirkiness, and self-parody that we seem to be known for.
I thought Rogge's comments on Britain's place in the sporting world were very interesting.Of course, he is going to blow smoke up our collective arses, but it was fascinating to hear how we may be perceived by the outside world.

I would like to know what the piece of music was that accompanied the footage of the torches progress.It doesn't seem to be on the playlist.
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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby fire and fueryIre » 28 Jul 2012, 10:24

The Olympic rings above the stadium were fabulous.

Think credit must also go to DB and his co-workers for pulling off such a great show on a budget of only a third of the one Zhang Yimou had in Beijing and with talents in the UK costing a lot, lot more than extras from the Chinese army...
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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby trans-chigley express » 28 Jul 2012, 10:42

Are these big opening ceremonies a recent event or have they always been done? I can't remember any before Sydney. Anyway I really enjoyed it, completely different but just as good as the Beijing one. Everyone I've spoken to in Hong Kong about today gave it a thumbs up too.

I still think not playing Enola Gay for the Japanese team was a missed opportunity for a comedy gaff to rival the North Korea one the other day.

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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby brotherlouie » 28 Jul 2012, 10:47

I wonder how the non-GB press have covered the opening event. I assume that notes explaining bits and bobs that might be seen as peculiar to the GB/UK were made available to help the commentators.

In reflection, I liked the way it actually functioned in the way that British culture has operated for a long time: "We came up with this, you might not like it yet, or understand it and to be honest we're not 100% but here it is."

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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby andymacandy » 28 Jul 2012, 10:48

Did anybody else see the German premier giving their team a salute that looked awfully like a "Heil Hitler"?
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Re: Olympics Opening Ceremony Thread

Postby trans-chigley express » 28 Jul 2012, 11:25

Dances With Difficulty wrote:
andymacandy wrote:Did anybody else see the German premier giving their team a salute that looked awfully like a "Heil Hitler"?


Indeed.


Check out Camilla and Boris behind him.




:lol:

Camilla and Boris probably can't believe what they're seeing. They should have played the Dambusters March over the PA. Another missed opportunity!