Saturday, August 09, 2008

Olympic Opening Ceremony

For a girl without cable or satellite TV, I seem to be able to find a way to watch the things I want to watch.  The Olympic opening ceremony tonight was just such a thing.

Did you see it?  If yes, then you'll completely understand what I'm about to say.  If not, then hasten thee to an iTunes near you and download it.

Pageantry and precision are the two words I would use to describe the opening ceremony.  Now, I'm not talking about the tiresome parade of countries/athletes, I'm talking about the show leading up to that.

I've always been disappointed in the production of the opening ceremonies in the past; they've focused on a few people engaged in some sort of activity while the bedecked masses around them swirl or dance or sway...stuff too tiny to be impactful.

This was not the case with the Beijing Opening Ceremony.  

What I saw was stunning visuals, excellent execution, very strong precision, and big bold statements when there needed to be big bold statements.  The finesse wasn't lost at all in the large impact of it.  The costumes were gorgeous and detailed and the contribution of the individual was celebrated...but in a way that stressed the individual's importance in cooperative working to achieve a goal of this spectacular show.  

Since I was in marching band and drum corps, I get the idea that you can't have 128 people all doing different things, no matter how lovely, and have any sort of impact.  Well, in Beijing, each movement had 2008 people, all synchronized or otherwise very specifically hitting their set exactly when they needed to.  It was blissful to this girl's bleary eyes.

The technology of the production was also stunning, and the creativity of it was astounding.  

And so I say 'thank you, China", for getting this one right.  You celebrated your cultural and state heritage in a mind-blowing way and did yourselves proud. 


Spidey said...

i watched the entire ceremony and when they lit the torch i got goosebumps. it was spectacular.
the fireworks.....we will probably never witness anything like that again.
the young boy walking with chinas flag bearer. the big tall basketball player, i can't think of his name. what a sweet brave little man.
it was fantastic.

chenchy said...

I had chills.....and this was the first time I actually watched an opening ceremony from start to finish!

Now I want to be strung up by a wire and run the perimeter of a stadium. That was awesome!

Martha said...

It was, in the truest sense of the word, awesome.

Anonymous said...

i loved it, but I hated the way our president acted. This is not a political statement, as even if I liked the man and he acted that way I'd be saying this. It's just rude to attend an important international event and behave like a spoiled child who didn't want to be somewhere. at one point i wished they'd stop showing us his behavor and kept the camera on the show.

When you represent your nation, you sit up, smile and pretend to like being there, even if you don't want to. It's called class. I really felt bad for his wife, she sat politely and did a good job. If my guy or child were to behave that way, we'd be in the bathroom having a fight and i'd be sure to win (president or not). At other events, he's been behaving the same rude way, but stting next to his dad. His dad has been doing a good job of sitting and watching politely though.

i like the parade of nations. i like to see who is formal and who acts like they're going to a frat party. You don't get to be in that parade often, so how you act shows a lot. It was predictable by cultural attitudes how certain nations acted, and I found that interesting. i'm happy for countries that are only able to send one or two athletes or who are getting to attend the games for the first time. What a great olympics to get to have your first.

the show itself was very impressive, but a little too long for my attention span. I did not watch the first part of the opening or anything after the last country in the parade of nations. My friends and I watched the box portion and I insisted that it was people, and they kept saying "no, that's a machine" at the end when people came out, I kicked myself for not betting on it.

I thought it was a great blend of teamwork, technology and traditions blended together. I don't think they'll be able to top it next time and I'm glad I watched some of it.


Anonymous said...

I missed it but I read an interesting article that the fireworks were fake and what you were watching was partly recorded / computerized beforehand. -blu

Anonymous said...

NBC stated that the "footprint" fireworks at the start were fake but the rest were real about 5 different times and flashed it at the bottom of the screen at one point. other channels apparently did not know to, or forgot to report that the "footprint" fireworks were fake and so some people now feel cheated for some reason. These people should find something else to be upset about.


vq said...

Jenny, when you have a spare moment, would you drop me an email at my aol address? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Jilly - How about the little Chinese girl who sang? Except it wasn't her voice - the actual little girl who won the chance to sing wasn't deemed pretty enough - so they used her voice and a pretty girl's face.

vq said...

Never mind, Jenny--I think I figured out my problem (which was that I couldn't find YOUR email address.)

Jilly said...

I think they should have let the other girl sing, she was cute to me. The other girl is now preparing for her future role as a half-nake teenage ho and "singer" like that cyrus girl and b. spears.


UrbanStarGazer said...

I agree. The opening ceremonies are usually cheesy but this one was fab.