Sunday, July 29, 2012

Olympics Opening Ceremony

After Beijing opened their government pocketbooks to throw an extravaganza four years ago, what could the understated English do to top their opening ceremony? Rather than trying to do so, they simply showed us the contributions made by the English to the rest of the world.

It started out very nice with a pastoral scene looked over by Glastonbury tor.
But shortly after this they showed the Industrial Revolution. Was I the only one who was reminded of Tolkein's Scouring of the Shire? I was horrified to see the pretty countryside ripped up and replaced with smokestacks and molten steel.
Then they went into some silly soap opera about a pair of kids dancing to the music of the sixties through the eighties. I got the connection to British music but maybe you have to be English to care about the kids involved. I did enjoy the scenes shot on the house but the camera rarely lingered there.

Finally they came to the greatest British contribution to the world: Humor. And who better to show it than the masterful Rowan Atkinson playing Mr. Bean in the orchestra? Wish the copyright Nazis would allow me to include the video here but I guess that will have to wait.

Overall this was a successful project that stayed on budget while delighting the audience. Good job Danny Boyle!

On a personal note, I was thrilled because Glastonbury Tor is the setting for the climax of both of my novels.

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