I know there has been press coverage, and you may have been among the 3 billion who watched it on television on Friday evening, but I just had to post something about the opening ceremony of the 29th Olympic Games in Beijing.
Created by filmmaker Yimou Zhang (Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Raise the Red Lantern), it was an awe-inspiring spectacle mixing ancient tradition and 21st century technology. Nearly two years in the making, this was definitely the largest-scale event ever created by a filmmaker, and perhaps the largest multimedia event ever. Its fantastic Busby Berkley moments unfolded with jaw-dropping projection, suspension and performance techniques, and inevitably came back down to the subtlest, low tech moments (ink drawing, the sound of a single plucked string).
For those of you whose disinterest in sports or distaste for China’s politics prevented you from tuning in, I urge you (especially anyone interested or involved in film, video art, performance) to at least take a look at some of the photos online. (YouTube’s not really going to do this thing justice.)
I recorded the NBC broadcast, but I heard that the Canadian broadcast aired on cable channel 99 was longer and did not have commentary. If anyone recorded that version, please let me know. (Maybe we could do a little private viewing here?)