It's great! Britain. Danny Boyle is a legend!
I am still marvelling at his Olympic "Isles of Wonder" four full days later. I have struggled in vain ~ I fully intended to keep quiet on this topic and leave all the comment to professional bloggers and journos. I simply can't, such is my delight and amazement ~ I need to blurt it all out...
All that detail, the art direction, set design, music, vision ~ absolutely cinematic in it's ambition. How I loved the narrative, "this is new"! From the opening sequence and the overhead shot of our "Green and Pleasant Land", bucolic, complete with cottage, village green, geese, sheep, cricket and seemingly the cast of Larkrise to Candleford all the way through to the burnished copper brilliance of the Olympic fire-flower it was a triumph.
The costumes were so brilliantly realised throughout the piece, the colour and mood shifts between each of the acts, reinforced by the soundtrack and lighting...it made me long for closing credits, so that all involved could be congratulated.
Thanks to that drum beat, Dame Evelyn Glennie and Underworld the ceremony moved relentlessly onwards towards the Industrial Revolution. Dark, brooding, smoke filled ~ somewhere between a Lowry painting and a Big Country album cover!
Those industrial chimneys being ripped from the earth as the green and pleasant literally rolled away, workers forging 5 rings ~ amazing visual effects to pull off in an arena, live ~ and those rings levetating in the night sky, sparks flying...awe inspiring.
Corgis, not just run of the mill corgis, comic corgis, Royal corgis! Bond, Her Maj. and a waving Winston Churchill...
At this point I began to think, "how on earth is he going to follow this?" Of course! The NHS ~ brilliant. Showing his working class credentials and flexing some political muscle, good for you Danny. Again the art direction superb, costumes and fabulous lighting. The colour palette in this section was perfect, cool clean crisp pastels and pure white light. The Stars? Children and real NHS staff ~ masterstroke.
And so to literature, a celebration of children's writing. JK Rowling, the Child Catcher and Voldermort...thank heavens for all those gorgeous Mary Poppins, although I must confess I was secretly hoping for The Doctor.
Next, a race through film, TV and music all tied together by a boy meets girl story...luckily they had social media to bring them together. And all thanks to Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the web who was revealed to great applause.
The memorial to the victims of the London bombings (that happened the day after it was announced London had was to host the games) was stunning. Mesmerising coreography by Akram Kahn and a beautiful performance of "Abide with me " by Emeli Sande.
After the triumphant entrance of Team GB to the strains of David Bowie's 'Heroes" came my highlight. Those Dove bikes accompanied by the Arctics playing "Come Together" so cool! Perfect after the the supreme efforts of "Le Wiggo". I hope Mr.Spielberg enjoyed the dove bike that took flight ~ I loved that nod to him ~ the camera work on that was great too.(Love this article with more insight .)
Ok, Ok I know enough of the gushing. This post is packed so full of superlatives I suspect some will read it scornfully, and that's fine. I simply want to come back to this in the future weeks, months and years and try to remember some of the incredible images and theatre we witnessed and how wonderful it all was.
As Seb said "...this is our time...and we did it right."
Final words to Danny Boyle
"Beijing is something that, in a way, was great to follow."
"You can't get bigger than Beijing, you know? So that in a way, kind of liberated us. We thought OK good, we'll try to do something completely different."
You certainly did that Danny! It's a great big thumbs up from this tiny corner of the "Isles of Wonder".