Monday, 30 July 2012

Olympic Opening Ceremony Nails

Hi Goddesses

Well, how was it for you ?    I have to say, I thought it was spectacular, but I think that is because I am British.  Put it this way - I've found pretty much every other Opening Ceremony boring, but this one made me very proud.

Firstly, let's take a moment to applaud the audaciousness of Danny Boyle, and give whoever chose him a pat on the back.  He's an insanely talented film director, always on the edge, so that made him a very unexpected choice for this project.  But I thought he put it all together with precision, power and eloquence.

On to my highlights, then.  I haven't managed to capture everything, and to be honest, I think I could do a whole other mani with my other favourite bits that aren't here - Mr Bean, music, Bond, her Maj picking her nails in a semi-coma - but for now, I've picked my most iconic moments.

The thumb depicts the hill that dominated the ceremony, the heart of our green and pastured land.  Who could have predicted that the Ceremony would start with a village of grass lol ?   Absolutely awesome, and I loved how it retained it's icon imagery right to the very end, when it was planted with the flags of the world.

The index finger is the Olympic rings which were forged from molten iron, and rose into the sky, to settle there, like burning clouds amidst a shower of fireworks.  Did anyone else think it was a very LOTR image, especially when the tree on the hill was ripped up to make way for industry?   I thought the making of these rings was just spectacular.

My middle finger is abstract, and also possibly my favourite part of the ceremony.   I generally can't stand songs like Abide With Me, but on Friday night, in the breathless and angelic hush of Emeli Sande, it was poetic, perfect and profoundly moving.    The song accompanied a balletic dance which started with the yellow-orange hues of winning the bid in Singapore, and then represented the bloodshed of 7/7, and was entrancingly enacted by a troupe of burgundy clad dancers.  Initally, I am sure they started in heart formation, hence the design on my finger.   Tears ?  Definitely.  Exquisitely moving.

The ring finger is the chimney - the symbol of the Victorian age which transformed England into the hub of the empire and the darling of the Industrial Age.  I also loved Sir Kenneth Branagh, and thought the choice of text from The Tempest was perfect - both in choice and delivery.

And finally ... well, it was all about the flame, wasn't it.  I am so glad it involved Sir Steve Redgrave, but how moving, that eventually it was entrusted to the new generation.   And what about that cauldron ?   A gorgeous spiral of copper kettles, lying flat it looked exquisite enough, but once it rose into the sky - wow oh wow oh wow.   Stunningly beautiful, and I hope it can be retained after the Games as a symbol of dreams, endeavour and artistry.

So, I loved it.  The Queen, not so much.  She was sat there with her typical frown, picking her nails at one point, and thus immediately losing the credit she gained for being part of the Bond stunt.   Beth laughed hardest at Mr Bean, but who wouldn't ?

There is something special about the Olympics and its symbolism, about the fact that Syria is welcomed as warmly as other countries, and that everyone has spent their entire life in training for this "One Moment In Time" - thanks Whitney.   Somehow, we become drawn in and transfixed by sports that would not even snag our attention at any other moment.  Mostly, I like the stories, and the tears.  I am a big softie, and sporting triumph is one of the things that consistently turns me to mush, from Sir Steve Redgrave and Mathew Pinsent hugging each other in victory; to Derek Redmond, in the shape of his life, broken and in tears, leaning on his father to finish the nightmare lap that his dream had degenerated into; from the modesty of Jonathan Edwards, to the big boy bravado of the sprinters - man, I love it all.

See you at the Closing Ceremony :)  Enjoy xx

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