09 August, 2008


So here's the thing.

Every Olympics, I watch the opening ceremony live. And every Olympics, I forget just how extraordinarily long the entry of the athletes is. It's phenomenal. I'm watching, having had nearly 1 1/2 hours pass since the athlete entry started, thinking that we must be getting close to the end - and then the commentators reveal that we've just hit the halfway mark. At 2.30 in the morning, it's enough to cause you to lose your will to live.

The problem is that there is nothing inherently interesting about watching people walk around a stadium. The first hour is so spectacular, and then the show stops dead. After 30 minutes of the entry, you've had enough. After 3 hours, even non-Chinese viewers like myself were cheering like madmen at the arrival of the Chinese athletes - less out of excitement to see these people, more out of joy that this bloody ordeal is finally over and there's a promise of going to sleep in the near future.

Still, it was a phenomenal ceremony, some incredible images on display, and an impressive achievement. I always enjoy the spectacle, the general show-off-ness of the opening ceremony, and that was all on display last night. You'll have already seen the pictures or the videos, and will have formed your own opinion, so there's not really much point in saying anything.

But, there was one particular comment by the New Zealand commentators that I found interesting. And it will probably prompt me, in my next film festival post, to again skip ahead a few films, and talk about a film that's particularly relevant. So that's coming up, just as soon as I get some more sleep.

Good night.

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