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Ok here's my take on the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony
Something that i think a lot of us feared would be a total embarrassment on a global scale. Danny Boyle was the man put in charge of the ceremony and so far I have to say I have been damn impressed with what i've witnessed. Here's my ongoing thoughts on the ceremony, made as it happened live!
To start it all Bradley Wiggins, winner of the Tour de France just last week, is rolled out (not literally) to ring the bell that signals the start of the opening ceremony. Nice touch indeed to give Wiggo some screen time - presumably he's straight off to bed considering the road race is at 10am tomorrow!
As it stands we still have no idea who is going to light the torch, all we can hope for is that this is awesome, visually impressive and that along the way there's some Bhangra and Dubstep, and possibly a mix of the two. (and probably Rizzle Kicks)
Ok well this isn't a convincing start, the stadium looks like the Shire from Lord of the Rings, but here comes Kenneth Brannagh playing Ismbard Kingdom Brunel, King of the British Industrial Age and the builder of modern Britain, a man who made whatever the hell he set his mind to. As he brings out a mass of grubby workers and chimneys rise out of the earth 5 rings are forged and come together to for the Olympic rings. Very nicely done Boyle
Video Interlude featuring Daniel Craig as Bond, one of our finest exports walking through… wait is this Buckingham Palace. Bond has an appointment with…. The Queen! Seriously. Fuck yeah! THIS IS AMAZING. Bond and Queenie get in a helicopter and make their way to the stadium! Only to supposedly parachute from the helicopter with Union flag parachutes, a la The Spy Who Loved Me. Then Queenie is formally introduced to the crowd. Nice touch, we all kinda know the Queen has a sense of humor and its pretty amazing to have her involved in the actual ceremony production.
Ok this is weird, we have a cross up celebration of the NHS and Childrens literature, summed up by Great Ormond St Hospital, who as you probably don't know receive all the royalties from Peter Pan by JM Barrie. Combining all these aspects is a master stroke from Boyle who makes it interesting and engaging, tho it is all pretty weird. The section is introduced with a reading from JK Rowling and to the music of Tubular Bells. Giant villains of childrens literature haunt the stadium. Spot Voldemort, The Child Catcher and Cruella Deville - dark stuff. Then a shitload of Mary Poppins rain down from the sky, superbly done - i still have no idea where they came from! It's only right that we celebrate the NHS like this. We give the system a lot of shit but if you need em, they will sort you out. They are badass.
What's next…. London Symphony Orchestra playing Chariots of Fire…. err with Mr Bean. I know Bean is a big global success but i've always found the character really embarrassing, like a dancing parent.
2 houses have appeared, there's a storm (that wasn't predicted by Michael Fish). awesome UK inside joke - nice touch. Also some TV clips from over the decades. Then its time for the kids to go out and party - and we move into a musical montage. This section is really good on TV as there are graphics of status updates, tweets and instagrams telling the story of the couple that we focus on. Our ears are treated to music from the likes of the Beatles, Bowie, Queen, Sex Pistols, New Order, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Sou2 Soul, The Eurythmics, Happy Mondays, Prodigy, Underworld and live performances by Dizzee Rascal, Muse and video of the late Amy Winehouse.
Was awesome - but i've never seen so much spandex on tv in that 70s medley. NEVER AGAIN
The whole set is capped off with the raising up of the house, underneath is Mr Tim Berners Lee, creator of the World Wide Web - now all the social media stuff makes complete sense. And he did in fact tweet on stage. And seeing as i'm watching the ceremony streaming on my iPad, I owe him a lot. In fact this could quite possibly be the most connected Olympics yet, with just about everything being available to view online.
Ok now we get a boring bit. Torch journey montage - but livened up with Beckham driving a speedboat up the thames, accompanied by one of our young brit female footballers. Very Bond-like.
Take a moment to remember people who passed away. Sorry but this kills the momentum of the ceremony… but that's nothing compared to the dullness of watching country after country stream into the stadium which is what's happening now. With each nation bringing Petals that apparently will have some significance later on.
I will try and update this tomorrow with the rest of my thoughts, but i have to say i think we held our own with the opening ceremony and it wasn't the total embarrassment that we all feared. Boyle done good!