August 9th, 2008

Wow! Zhang Yimou rocks! That was a spectacular opening ceremony! I loved it. I loved the amazing choreography, the attention to detail, the precision, the art, the engineering, the camera work. It was fascinating, incredible, mesmerising.

I do have to say, though, that after the brilliant photographs of the fireworks practice runs that have been published, the actual fireworks didn’t seem quite so brilliant, but that can’t be counted as a complaint. I loved the helicopter run with the fireworks exploding from Yongdingmen up Beijing’s north-south axis through Qianmen, the Square, Forbidden City, Gulou up to the Olympic Green. That was so cool.

Then the parade of the athletes started and things started to go a bit downhill. Can’t blame Zhang, though, there are certain Olympic rituals that have to be included. But as for the parade: What was Dashan doing in the Canadian team? 相声/crosstalk isn’t an Olympic sport. And it was a bit of a surprise to see countries like Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino and Monaco. And Somalia. Geez, how does Somalia manage to get a team together? How long has it been since they had a stable, functioning government? I’m not complaining, though, I’m impressed.

And I’m inclined to agree with Stuff’s Marc Hinton– the Kiwis looked smart. Great uniforms.

And somebody needs to teach ol’ Vlad Putin to smile. He should perhaps go talk to W. about that- at least the Bushes managed to look enthusiastic.

And after all that and the Olympic rituals (am I the only one totally creeped out by the neo-pagan quasi-religious aspect of the Olympics?) was the torch and the lighting of the flame. Now, it was cool to see Li Ning fly up into the air and run along the rim of the Bird’s Nest, but still, after that awesome ceremony it was all a bit anti-climactic. I dunno, lzh and I were decidedly underwhelmed.

Anyway, congratulations to Zhang Yimou and his utterly incredible team. That was a brilliant ceremony.

3 Responses to “spectacular!”

  1. Micah Sittig Says:

    am I the only one totally creeped out by the neo-pagan quasi-religious aspect of the Olympics?

    Make that two of us then. I think it’s the European influence.

  2. wangbo Says:

    It’s good to know I’m not alone.

  3. Matt Schiavenza - Opening Ceremonies- The Day Has Finally Come Says:

    […] brother, and a group of about 40 Chinese and foreign patrons. On the whole, I have to agree with Chris’ take: it was pretty spectacular. I liked some parts more than others (the Chinese singer Liu Huan […]