Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bold, bonkers, brilliant and British was Gary Lineker's take on the Olympic opening and despite all that carping on twitter about puerile BBC commentary, the overall verdict seems summed up in the Guardian: "It's been a terrific night, a glorious ceremony, a rousing history lesson and far and away the best film that Danny Boyle never made." Certainly fantastic spectacle - who could forget those glowing white cycle-birds and the towering cauldron - but for me what was inspired was the theatricality: drama with characters, storyline and heart. Well done Mr Branagh, stepping forth as both Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Caliban in an extraordinary sequence that apparently baffled the world. For me it had just about everything: our www lives, grime, disability, suffragettes, CND logo, fantastic big-up to the NHS, and overall an unmistakable political edge: Tory tweeters were apparently apoplectic at "the most leftie opening ceremony I have ever seen!" ~ "Not even communist China were so brazen as to extol their nationalised stranglehold on their country so blatantly." (I got all this from the G too, in a piece that ends "But a stranglehold the nation loves is called a hug.") All that was missing was a sequence of policemen kettling protesters, which was on as a Fringe event outside.
Critical Mass, who tweeted the picture, praises Danny Boyle for "a ceremony "that bore a closer resemblance to the country we recognise than most of us had expected. We’d like to thank him for placing collective action, dissent, humour and – above all – our public services at the heart of his story... However... a peaceful mass cycle was met with police aggression, pepper spray, violence with truncheons, kettling and multiple arrests." Back to Dizzee Rascal & Gary L: Bonkers, and British.
(Full playlist here.)


Esdragon said...

Crysse, you've said everything brilliantly that I said myself, to Skip last night and to Michael several times. Can't get it out of my head, Never witnessed anything like it- ever. I had tears, I felt 'patriotic'! The only thing you missed - and I suppose it was my own background- but the bucolic beginning rapidly overtaken by smoking chimneys and pollution, as my own memories tell me, from witnessing struggling family farmers, with with cuttlery-making sheds in their back yards. But within all that, the enormous pride I personally felt, coming from Sheffield, for our metal crafters, smelting , beating and forging rings of gold. Better than any medal, for me. Thanks Danny Boyle. Pure genius.

Crysse said...

Thanks Esme - yes, hugely impressive to see the march of the industrial Revolution with all its grime and towering chimneys across the rural idyll of Arthurian landscape... I think that's when I realised we were witnessing something unique and very special. xc