Saturday, August 09, 2008

Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Gala

CN 2008. D: Zhang Yimou. Global hdtv transmission watched at normal definition on Finnish YLE TV2, 8 August 2008, with Finnish commentary. The cultural-historical gala some 70 min before the parade of the 204 national teams. - Zhang Yimou has selected a Romantic concept to his global gala ("One World - One Dream"), with a message of universal brotherhood, an emphasis on childhood, peaceful cultural achievement (music, writing, painting), the joy of sport available to all (tai chi), the concept of "Olympics for the people". - The gala starts with breathtaking aerial views and wonderful montages of traditional Chinese life. A focus on the great Chinese inventions (powder, fireworks, the sun dial, the compass, navigation, printing, the production of paper, the use of ink, silk design, the kite) and cultural traditions (Confucius, traditional music, tai chi). The giant's footsteps from the square of the celestial peace to the olympic stadium (the Bird's Nest). 2008 drummers sing the Confucian welcome call, in friendship to strangers. Star clusters transform into circles of dreams, flying fairies lift the five olympic circles. I joined in the Chinese national hymn, "The March of the Volunteers". The whole city is lit with all-time fireworks. Among the imagery: the Great Wall, peach blossoms (love of peace), the return of the 800 terracotta warriors, the Silk Road, 08.08.08 the lucky day in China, luminous acrobats create huge patterns of stars and birds, taigonauts (Chinese astronauts) defying gravity, the giant globe emerges as in a space odyssey, and acrobats become globetrotters doing cartwheels in impossible angles, folk dances in many forms, colours and masks. "True China does not quite look like this", was the deadpan comment of the female Finnish commentator. - Manipulations revealed afterwards: the small girl's voice dubbed by another singing girl; images of fireworks partly previously shot footage on better weather.

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