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Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Bit of British Humor

Here’s my extremely personal take on the Olympics Opening Ceremony last night. I stayed up until 2:00 a.m. to see all of it. Here are my impressions:

Things I loved:
-      - the children’s choirs—beautiful singing; two of the songs were hymns
-       - the grassy knoll, the tree that lifted up to reveal miners and other folk
-       - the “forged” Olympic rings that lifted up and showered “sparks”—ingenious!
-       - Queen Elizabeth II’s film debut with Daniel Craig and her corgis—absolutely beyond belief great—and very, very funny! Good on her, for her wonderful sense of humor, and on the blond Bond for doing his part as well! I laughed soooooooo hard!
-       - including children bouncing on beds (How fun is that!), the pearl button people, Mary Poppins (Ask my kids about her!), fabulous old-fashioned costuming
-       - The Chariots of Fire theme, especially the most important part played by Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean)—extremely well conceived and very, very funny! Such faces! I was holding my sides! Inserting Mr. Bean into the original movie footage was also very funny. (I find it noteworthy that they highlighted this movie, based on the life of committed Christian, Eric Liddell.)
-       - the lighted “Bond” motorboat with David Beckham aboard, speeding up the Thames to deliver the flame
-       - Sir Steve Redgrave jogging the last stretch into the stadium
-       - “Abide With Me” sung by Emili Sande, words not changed
-       - the honor guard of 500 people who actually built the Olympic park—nice touch, and well-deserved
-       - the seven teens lighting the “cauldron” whose “petals” were brought in with each country’s athletes by children. I think it’s great to involve young people and “pass on the torch” to them. (Love that the “cauldron” is in the middle of the stadium. I don’t remember ever seeing one there before.)
-      -  the fireworks!

    Things I didn’t like as well:
-       - Some of the music wasn’t to my taste. The Arctic Monkeys left me somewhat cold.
-       - I personally don’t appreciate rocking out music, sensuous dancing, and the “demons” and other ghouls in the last half of the show.
-       - Although the lighted doves on bikes were a nice touch, the grating music from my childhood kind of dimmed the effect for me. “One and one and one is three.” Duh!
-       - Sir Paul McCartney certainly knows how to milk it for all it’s worth. Again, although “Hey Jude” wouldn’t be on my personal favorites chart, you can’t deny he is an icon.

    Overall grade for Danny Boyle’s Olympic Opening Ceremony: A+  I think he caught the Britishness of Great Britain, its history, color, talent, youth, and best of all, it’s indomitable sense of humor—or should I spell that humour?

1 comment:

  1. I liked and disliked many of the same things.
    The Chariots of Fire segment was my favorite!

    But I thought the beginning was way too busy. I don't know if anyone in the stands could have seen what any of the individual people were doing except for the Jumbotron.

    The nightmares, giant blown-up villains, and giant baby were all kinda weird.

    And I did think the passing of the torch was a little anticlimactic. Usually everyone waits in anticipation to see which famous athlete gets to do the final honors, and while I can understand letting the kids do it, it was just a bit of a let-down for me.


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