Olympics to start with future of humankind
By Tan Yingzi (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-03-13 07:20
Ten thousand smiles from children all over the world - that is the image the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games will leave its audience with, as a symbol of the bright future awaiting all humankind.
"It will be a very touching moment of the ceremony," renowned Chinese film director Zhang Yimou, who has been tasked with designing the opening and closing ceremonies, said yesterday.
The Beijing Games organizers started collecting photographs of smiling children on Sept 4 last year.
"We have plenty of pictures and every few days I look through the new photos," Zhang said.
"When I look at them one by one, I feel so warm and moved. The smiling faces all look so beautiful to me," he said.
Since he thought it was a mission impossible to present all of 5,000 years of Chinese culture and history in the short time allowed by the ceremony, Zhang decided to choose a few elements that could be appreciated by people worldwide, especially youth.
"We are going to tell a human-interest story in a simple way during the performance - which will be about 50 minutes long - such as who we are and why we are one family," he said.
As the color red has become a signature of the director, having been used frequently in his films such as Red Sorghum, Hero and House of Flying Daggers, Zhang will also use the color in the ceremony.
"Red is my favorite color and you will see it in the opening ceremony," he said. "But there must be more than one color at the ceremony. It should look very colorful and splendid."
Thanks to the contributions of many outstanding artists and directors from home and abroad, Zhang said his team has completed the creative planning stage of the opening ceremony, despite the recent withdrawal of Hollywood director Steven Spielberg as one of its art advisors.
The mass rehearsals of the opening ceremony with more than 10,000 actors and actresses have started at several locations in the capital's suburbs.
"I liked the opening ceremony of the 2004 Athens Games very much and we are trying to do better," he said.
"It is what the whole team is aiming for."
But facing the weather during the opening ceremony is proving to be the biggest headache for the director. Based on meteorological records of the capital in the past 50 years, conditions such as high temperatures and mugginess, heavy rain and thunderstorms, occur frequently in August.
"What troubles me most now is heavy rain on Aug 8. If it really happens, some performances in the air will have to be canceled, as well as some hi-tech machinery operations," Zhang said.