Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Beijing opening ceremonies

It was hard not to think of military precision when watching the Beinjing Olympics opening ceremonies. The majestic choreography was awesome, wondrous, and not a little intimidating. At over $300 million, it was the greatest live action movie ever made, and it took no less than Zhang Yimou, the director of such epic dramas as Hero, to direct the whole thing.

My gods, the scale and intensity, the use of light as a paintbrush, the glory of China's 5000 years represented through pageantry, song, and dance. It was really breahtaking, and I think that opening ceremony is not likely to be topped for years. It even had tolerable Beijing opera singing.

I had the oportunity to watch the whole thing on HDTV and watching the 2008 taichi performers, I had to understand the militaristic thrill, the sheer shiver of fear that occured watching such synchronized and determined youths. A friend asked why they didn't use elderly taichi masters, and I said, "They couldn't - they had to present China's flowering youth and might."

Not to mention that whomever planned this was a true marketing master - the closing of the opening featured Yao Ming, the gentle giant, and a 9 year old survivor of the Szechuan earthquakes who managed to free himself, and then went back to save 2 classmates. A truly adorable kid, with just a shock of hair missing to represent his trauma. But otherwise lively and the camera loved him. No better way to represent the innocence and liveliness of China. Man, the conductor of this orchestra understood at once how to still a deep sense of respect, intimidation, and wonder at China's finesse. And I wondered if the government had told the director to do this or if he had intuitively understood all that the ceremonies had to convey, and my friend thought he had. REally masterful propaganda. Also, what's with calling Taiwan "Chinese Taipei"?!?!?

But the beautiful symbolism and imagery is just beyond compare. Money was clearly no object in putting this spectacular spectacular together.

Below, one of the most wondrous parts of the ceremonies. They have super amazing clothes with electrical light up circuitry! I could just watch this part over and over again. We all agreed that this was the only opening ceremonies we ever wanted to own on dvd.



  • At 10:06 PM, Blogger Phenmetrazine said…

    >it was the greatest live action movie ever made

    That's funny, I can think of a lot of live action movies I could watch repeatedly, but this thing was sterile and overly perfectionist. The little lip sync stand in is just one case in point. Yeah I recorded it, but don't feel the urge to watch it again anytime soon.


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