Beijing show liberated us, says Boyle

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle said he had felt liberated rather than daunted by Beijing 2008's spectacular opening ceremony as his quirky but impressive show opened the London Games in style.

In front of 80,000 spectators and VIPs, women in smocks and bonnets shepherded sheep, geese and cows on landscaped grass in the "Isles of Wonder" vision dreamed up by Boyle as the ceremony got under way in a party atmosphere.

It featured jaw-dropping moments of drama and comic interludes, celebrating Britain's musical and cultural heritage and the cherished National Health Service.

The "Slumdog Millionaire" director said it was impossible to do anything bigger than the show in Beijing, which stunned the world with its sheer scale.

"Beijing, in a way, was something that was great to follow," he said.

"Up to Beijing you could look back and there's clearly an escalation. The shows get bigger and bigger and bigger, and you can't get bigger than Beijing.

"So that, in a way, kind of liberated us. We thought: 'Great. OK. Good. We'll try to do something different then'."

Boyle said he hoped there was an "innate modesty" about the London's ceremony but added: "It is not unspectacular and unambitious -- quite the reverse.

"But there is a sense of modesty about it. You have to learn your place in the world and that's a good thing. You have to sit among the other people of the world and where best to express that than athletics, as a warm-up for athletics?"

He said Britain, which used to be the most powerful nation on earth, was being forced to come to terms with a reduced role in the world.

"You know, this is our land, really. These are our islands. And this will be the last time we get something like this. There has to be a modesty.... You can't get grandiose with this job because you are following Beijing," said Boyle.

"It is a late call for our nation, I think because we are learning our new place in the world," he added.

"One hundred years ago we were everything and obviously the Industrial Revolution is partly about that, but there's a change."

"We don't have as many resources and that's fine, that's a good thing, really. And the world has changed in terms of Europe since then. You have to be sensible about it," he added.

When it was put to him that the show seemed "like an LSD trip through British consciousness", Boyle said: "I don't think it's eccentric but then I wouldn't because I'm British."

"But others might think it is," added Boyle. "I think some people who have seen it think there is that element in it. If it is there, I'm very proud of it, you know."

Boyle also said Friday would have been his late father's birthday, saying one of the reasons he took the job was "because my dad was a mad Olympics fan, seriously, a lunatic."

His father died about 18 months ago.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Mercy pleas for Indonesia death row inmates as families arrive
    Mercy pleas for Indonesia death row inmates as families arrive

    Families of foreign drug convicts set to be hauled before the firing squad in Indonesia issued desperate mercy pleas on Saturday, as France warned of "diplomatic consequences" if one of its nationals is executed. Consular officials and relatives were arriving at a town near Nusakambangan, the high-security prison island where Indonesian executions are carried out, and where all of the death row convicts are now congregated. The foreigners -- two from Australia, one each from Brazil, France …

  • United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot
    United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot

    The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington's next phase in its Asia "pivot", deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia "pivot" has already seen U.S. Marines rotating through the …

  • China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit
    China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit

    China's creation of new island footholds in contested seas will hover over a Southeast Asian summit that has become an annual test of the region's nerve in standing up to its massive neighbour. The South China Sea hot potato drops this year into Malaysia's lap as the rotating chair of the 10 member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and host of Monday's meeting. ASEAN states Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts of the strategic South China Sea, but Beijing …

  • Philippines, China trade accusations over sea threats

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines accused China of aggressive maneuvers against its reconnaissance plane and fishermen in disputed seas where Beijing has stepped up construction of artificial islands, but China reiterated its claim on the strategic waterways. …

  • Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others
    Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others

    Indonesia has ordered preparations for the execution of 10 drug convicts, including Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, as the Philippine government filed yesterday a second appeal for judicial review of the case to save the maid from death by firing squad. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) of Indonesia released an official letter dated April 23, instructing prosecutors to prepare for the execution of 10 convicts, the Jakarta Post reported yesterday. The execution would be conducted after the …

  • Business groups back K to 12 program
    Business groups back K to 12 program

    The government’s K to 12 program adding two more years to basic education received support from various business groups yesterday. However, they urged relevant government agencies to deal with issues regarding the implementation of Republic Act 10533, the Enhanced Basic Education Act or K-12 Law. In a statement, business groups led by the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) said RA 10533 is a milestone piece of legislation that intends to bring the Philippines up to par with the rest of …

  • Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th
    Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th

    Switzerland is the happiest country in the world, while the Philippines placed 90th, according to a global ranking of happiness unveiled in New York on Thursday. Switzerland was followed closely by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada. The 2015 World Happiness Report is the third annual report seeking to quantify happiness as a means of influencing government policy. The United Nations published the first study in 2012. …

  • Asean leaders want binding sea code with China
    Asean leaders want binding sea code with China

    Southeast Asian leaders will seek to speed up plans for a binding code of conduct with China governing behavior in the disputed South China Sea at a summit next week, Malaysia’s foreign minister said Friday. Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said a massive flow of Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to neighboring countries will also be discussed at the two-day summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which starts Monday. Anifah said leaders are expected to raise concerns …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options