The opening ceremonies of the Olympics have rang in the start of the games in a most creative and unique way.
Danny Boyle, the Oscar winning director of “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Trainspotting”, was put to the ultimate challenge this year. According to Newser, Boyle knew that this task was going to be a daunting one. Beijing’s money-no-object Olympic ceremony of 2008 was incredible and the most costly in Olympic history. This did not deter Boyle. “Beijing is something that, in a way, was great to follow,” Boyle stated. “You can’t get bigger than Beijing, you know? So that, in a way, kind of liberated us. We thought, ‘Great, OK, good, we’ll try and do something different.’”
And “different” is an understatement…
The opening ceremonies kicked off this year with fighter jets streaming red, white, and blue smoke as they raced over the stadium. Then the opening ceremonies turned into a living jukebox of sorts playing an ever changing mix of rock and pop anthems paying homage to Britain. Such music ranged from The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. A stream of movie images also played a part in taking the audience on a grand voyage through everything British.
One of the highlights of the $42 million dollar show was how Boyle used “movie magic” to trick the entire audience into thinking that Britain’s beloved 86-year old Queen Elizabeth II had parachuted down into the stadium with none other than…James Bond. This being the first time that Queen Elizabeth II has acted on film. “The queen made herself more accessible than ever before,” Boyle said.
The most unique of Boyle’s ideas, however, had to be the actual lighting of the ceremonial Olympic cauldron. He chose seven teenage athletes for this tremendous honor. Together, these athletes touched their torches to trumpet-like tubes that spread outward into a ring of fire. The flames then rose upward to join together into one beautiful cauldron.
After the cauldron was lit, a magnificent display of fireworks erupted to fill the night sky. Paul McCartney then closed the ceremony with a “Hey Jude” performance in which he got the whole crowd to sing along.
This show would have been a truly wonderful show to see in person.