Talk:2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony
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Abide with me/Memorial Wall/7/7 Bombings
I'm not sure that we can use this in the article itself, but I wanted to clarify that the "Abide with me" section of the Opening Ceremony was not exclusively a reference to the 7th July 2005 atrocities on the London Underground. I was lucky enough to be in the audience at the opening ceremony and I think it would be useful if I copy here the text of an e-mail that I, in common with all ticket-holders at the opening ceremony received on 14 July 2012. It was entitled "Add your touch to the Olympic Opening Ceremony" and "Include your loved ones in or Commemorative wall" it said:
"Olympic Opening Ceremony 2012
As you are an esteemed member of our audience for the evening, we would like to create, with your help, a commemorative board featuring a family member or dear friend who has passed away recently.
My Dad was a mad Olympics fan and would have been 91 on 27 July 2012, so I’ll be including him.
If you would care to email a photo of your loved one, we will do our best to include each one in this moment of remembrance. No animals on this particular occasion I’m afraid.
If you have purchased tickets for or on behalf of guests, friends and family they can also submit a photo, however, they must be submitted via the ticket purchasers email account. Please only attach one photograph to each email you send.
Thank you for considering this and, rain or shine, see you on 27th!
Submit your photograph to email@example.com by 18 July 2012. Photos should be no larger than 3MB in size.
Danny Boyle Artistic Director, London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony"
The "Abide with Me" segment, in my opinion, and it is only that, was a moment for everyone to reflect on the universal experience of mortality and loss, and was not limited to the horror felt by Londoners in the wake of the bombings of seven years ago- for example, it was a very apt moment for the relatives of the Israeli athletes killed in 1972 to remember and commemorate. Personally, I was nauseated by the reports of NBC'S reasons for removing this segment from their tape-delayed broadcast of the ceremony, but that's simply my opinion. I've not been able to find a media source to quote, so we're a bit stuck about using it in the article, sadly, but others may have more luck. Moldovanmickey (talk) 00:55, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
- Hi - that's a very good point, and one that is supported by the official media guide and other material issued to support the ceremony. Abide with me has long association with sport, particularly with tragic moments in sport, and I agree that it's clear from the guide that Boyle intended the memorial wall and the segment that followed to be a general memorial rather than being specific to 7/7. Arguably (and this is just opinion!) following the controvery about the ceremony not being the right place to include a minute's silence for 1972, Boyle managed to insert two separate minutes' into what was otherwise a lively upbeat ceremonial, with both of these defined in sufficiently general terms as to embrace memorial for 1972. Taking the argument to its limit one might speculate that the purpose was made deliberately ambiguous - but of course this could be for a variety of reasons: perhaps Boyle thought this would be artistically more appropriate (linking to his general liking for broad themes), or he wanted to produce something everyone could relate to their own personal loss, or he wished avoid having a 'badged' memorial section after the argument over 1972. Or it was a very subtle way to show up the IOC, we shall never know?
- As far as 7/7 is concerned, the media widely reported the link between the second memorial segment and 7/7 (and I believe the photos included some 7/7 victims, though I can't reference this?) - for example the BBC commentary notes were "Ladies and gentlemen, please pause silent for our memorial wall for friends and family who can't be here tonight. The excitement of that moment in Singapore seven years ago when England won the games was tempered the next day with sorrow from the events of July 7th that year. A wall of remembrance for those no longer here to share in this event" and in the TV broadcast more or less these words were used, if rearranged somewhat. The 7/7 reference was picked up widely by print and online media - including during the debate about NBC's coverage to which you refer - and since Boyle met personally with Huw Edwards and other BBC officials to brief them before the performance, I think we can say that the link was intended. So we tried in our few words to pick up both the general and the specific 7/7 link. Nevertheless, if you don't think the article's wording emphasises sufficiently the general nature of the memorial, please feel free to put forward a tweak to the wording? IanB2 (talk) 08:46, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
- In the Amy Raphael book Danny Boyle: Creating Wonder, Boyle is quoted as having asked Akram Khan to 'go away and think about mortality' as his brief for the dance/remembrance section. Boyle also said of it 'We knew that thousands of the fittest people in the world were about to walk into the stadium to tumultuous applause and standing ovation. There's nobody fitter than those athletes. They are at the peak of physical health .... But one day they will all die. Just like the rest of us. I thought 'Abide with Me' would be a wonderful way of reminding us of two things that we all share, but that nobody wants to talk about: birth and death. Everybody lives a different life between those two events, but there is no escaping our mortality. It was apposite to remind people of this ... It's a contrarian idea ... I wanted that contrariness to inform a moment in the opening ceremony, rather than just steaming forward in gung-ho fashion.'
- He also said of 'Abide with Me' - 'It was much harder to use in an original and striking way in the opening ceremony [than in his film 28 Days Later, which had also featured a simple version of the song sung by a woman] because of its long relationship with sport and its religious connotations. Emili and Akram did so brilliantly. Regardless of anyone's faith, it's a really important song. It felt like a lovely way of extending the section on remembrance.' (pp. 433-4).
- Boyle also talked about the minute's silence section in the Pandemonium part of the ceremony, and the photo montage, including his father's photo. However, he doesn't make any mention of 7/7 in all this. That might suggest it was framed as a general remembrance section, but with obvious events that would be at the forefront of people's minds (7/7 and 1972) given the context, though not made explicit.
- The section in the official programme makes no mention of those specific events either: 'This hymn was written by Henry Francis Lyte in 1847 on his deathbed. He passed away three weeks after finishing it. Its honest expression of the fear of approaching death has made it popular with people of all religions and none. It was Mahatma Gandhi's favourite hymn and it was the hymn that the band was playing on the Titanic when it sank. It has an indelible association with sport. It has been sung by tens of thousands of spectators at every FA Cup Final since 1927 and every Rugby Challenge Cup Final since 1929.' (Official programme p. 29). Stronach (talk) 08:23, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
This is certainly a good article, and I'm thinking it might be deserving of featured article status. It's certainly more comprehensive than any other article about the opening ceremony on the web. Thoughts? ProhibitOnions (T) 15:57, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
- I think it should be considered as well. --Another Believer (Talk) 15:52, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
- I agree, this article should be considered for FA.--Dingowasher (talk) 22:59, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
One mystery solved and another created..
Danny Boyle's own cut of the ceremony is showing tonight on BBC3. This has resolved the mystery of how Frankie contacts June after she loses her phone, as Danny has sensibly included the shot of June's friend handing June her phone, when Frankie calls - this shot didn't make the BBC coverage nor the ABS version on Youtube.
interestingly tonight's footage also included a very brief shot of someone standing inside the tube trains being projected onto the large house, whilst "going underground" was playing. Was this someone in particular, I wonder?
- A the phone was her sisters. The tube train I have a funny feeling, although it wasn't seen particularly well, that it was Mayor Ken. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 22:12, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
- It was indeed Ken Livingstone. In the BBC Olympics DVD box set there is an extra of the who animated sequence of 'Thanks Tim...' which was projected onto the house, and Ken can be very easily spotted. Only appropriate he gets a reference considering the work he did to get London the Games as Mayor.--Richj1209 (talk) 13:45, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
One thing I want to add to the article but now can't remember where I read/saw it - Danny Boyle said he wanted to do a tribute section to the BBC, another great and much-loved British national institution, in the ceremony, but reluctantly had to drop the idea because it would be seen as biased, as the BBC was the event's broadcaster. Anyone got any clue where he said this? I have a feeling it was in a video interview rather than a print one, but can't be sure. Stronach (talk) 10:29, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
- I have't come across that anywhere - although there's enough historic TV footage in the ceremony to suggest he effectively built the tribute in, anyway. The biggest late cut was the BMX bike section, but I am not sure how that would have fitted into the programme? IanB2 (talk) 10:59, 28 July 2013 (UTC)