From commodity fetishes to symbols : Danny Boyle's simulations of British culture in the London Olympic Games opening ceremony / Martine Lambert-Charbonnier

Lambert-Charbonnier, Martine

Hosting the Olympic Games in 2012 was a wonderful opportunity for Britain to advertise for its position as a hub in the global leisure economy. The Games opening ceremony, which was watched by 900 million viewers on television worldwide, presented a great opportunity for the mediatisation of British culture in ways appealing to domestic and global consumers. As a film director, producer, screenwriter and theatre director with international recognition, Danny Boyle was best positioned to create a show that both conformed to Olympic ethos and displayed British cultural and technological contributions to the world. This essay analyses his show as a modern ritual that re-visits Britain’s history and culture as a trajectory from the pre-industrial to the post-industrial age and investigates consumerism from the birth of manufacturing to the digital revolution.

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