LOS ANGELES, April 8 — With Oscar winner Danny Boyle, director of Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours, heading up the creative direction of the Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics, it’s not surprising that a theme of film is emerging for the Games, starting when Britain’s film icon James Bond kicks off the event on July 27. Reports on April Fools Day that Daniel Craig would parachute into the arena to kick off the Opening Ceremonies were confirmed, revealing that the appearance would be in a short film, The Arrival, directed by Boyle.
Queen Elizabeth II personally invited 007 to appear in the short, which includes scenes at Buckingham Palace, according to The Sun. Craig took a break from Skyfall, the next James Bond film opening November 9, for the stunt.
While the Opening Ceremonies program is being kept under wraps, details are being released about the London 2012 Festival, running June 21 — September 9 as the finale of the UK-wide Cultural Olympiad, with news of films being presented.
The British Film Institute has announced the re-release of the classic Oscar winner Chariots of Fire. A digitally re-mastered print of the 31-year-old film will be screened in the UK on July 13.
The film follows a pair of runners who make it to the 1924 Paris Olympics against all odds in a story of athletic achievement resonating with the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Ben Cross, Ian Charleson and Ian Holm starred and Hugh Hudson directed it.
Also, commissioned films are in the works from a venture with the BBC and Film4 for the Festival, including a short by director Asif Kapadia’s, who won a BAFTA for Senna.
Part of the film program features British productions premiering at the Edinburgh International Film Festival June 24, to be shown the next day in London via a live simulcast to 50 theaters. Mike Leigh’s A Running Jump starring Eddie Marsan and Lynne Ramsay’s The Swimmer are included in the event. Also, restored versions of Alfred Hitchcock’s early silent British films will get a special presentation. The BBC will broadcast Shakespeare plays starring the UK’s preeminent actors Jeremy Irons, Ben Wishaw, Tom Hiddleston, Patrick Stewart and John Hurt. Music concerts, dance performances and the visual arts will also be part of the program to celebrate British culture, including Cate Blanchett on stage. — Afp-Relaxnews