August 12, 2008

"The main consideration was the national interest. The child on the screen should be flawless...."

"... in image, in her internal feelings, and in her expression. In the matter of her voice, Yang Peiyi was flawless, in the unanimous opinion of all the members of the team."

The 7-year-old won the "grueling competition " to sing "Hymn to the Motherland," but a member of the Chinese politburo didn't like her teeth: "So we made the choice. I think it is fair to both Lin Miaoke and Yang Peiyi - after all, we have a perfect voice, a perfect image and a perfect show, in our team's view, all together."

39 comments:

vbspurs said...

Good. The Chinese have a sense of occasion and the importance of presentation, which Americans used to have before the 1960s.

That's why Jackie Robinson was chosen over Josh Gibson, the Mercury 7 astronauts were the best of the best, and Audrey Hepburn had Marni Nixon singing for her.

Singin' In the Rain's whole premise is based on what the Chinese did. Bravo.

Cheers,
Victoria

Original Mike said...

Officials have already admitted that the pictures of giant firework footprints which marched across Beijing towards the stadium on Friday night were prerecorded, digitally enhanced and inserted into footage beamed across the world.

Yah, so? Who was complaining about this? (Potential answer: someone dopey enough to have assumed that was real-time)

ricpic said...

Whazamatta, slan eye buck tooth Chinee na goo enuf?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Whaaaa?

The Olympics are a facade? What in the Potemkin Village is going on here?!

First the performance enhancing drugs, then the fake fireworks, and now lip syncing?

The Chinese...they're just like us!

Beth said...

VB -- you win! Marni Nixon was my first thought.

Ron said...

But Vic, Marni Nixon was used to dub Hepburn by the studio, over her objections! (Some of Audrey's original singing is used in the DVD, I think) Harrison was live miked! No dubbing for Rex, oh, no...

Ann Althouse said...

Movie musicals are better when the singing is live, such as the death scene in "Evita" and Rex Harrison in "My Fair Lady." But these are movies and are not presented as live. We know what we're getting. If you present it as live, on the other hand, it should be live, and it's better live. It's thrilling.

Jim said...

Is Milli Vanilli available for the closing ceremonies?

madawaskan said...

You know I don't get all this preoccupation with the fake footprints, the fake lipsynching-or even the drum core...

Was I the only one bothered by the patently obvious-

When was the last time at a Olympics you saw the host country's military jackbooting all over the place with the Olympic flag?

{while looking like they were wearing lip gloss..}

Why the hell is nobody writing about that?

Maybe it happens all the time and I never noticed...[I drink a lot]

Like the time the Canadians had the Royal Mounties ride in on horses with the flag and then tossed it up the flag pole.

Or-remember the time when the Norwegians had their Navy float it in and torpedoed it up there with a flame thrower...

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...

VB (and Beth): Bingo! What I came in to write, too.

Jim said...

I thought they would march in with Bazookas and Kung Pao it up there.

madawaskan said...

Oh look-

They stole the damn idea from the Italians-

Here is the Italian force jackbooting it in with white go go boots and lip gloss-

The Italian Troops Kicking it Old Schoool

reader_iam said...

Now, I do think that it's a little different, in that I feel for the kid who won the "grueling" contest, after all, and also I think the teeth thing is no big deal.

But it's not like this is uncommon, or unusual, or limited to the Chinese, so it's not some shocking big deal.

reader_iam said...

Maybe the girl's family can write a book telling their story ... using a ghostwriter, of course.

Randy said...

I imagine that the girl who won the competition and sang the song is ecstatic despite not actually appearing. It is her voice after all, and she's only 7.

SteveR said...

I heard her little sister is pregnant.

SteveR said...

the one they showed

john said...

Me Chinese, me play joke, me go pee pee in your Pepsi, the official sponsor of the Communist olympics.

MadisonMan said...

I long for the olden days of Communist Countries where important stories like this were routinely squashed.

Donna B. said...

I thought the singer was cute.

AllenS said...

If you let Pamela Anderson sing, nobody would look at her teeth.

Reference: Ad, top right column.

veni vidi vici said...

Why didn't they just invite Roseanne Barr to sing the anthem? You know, for honor, dignity, decorum...

LutherM said...

Why do the Beijing Olympics remind me of games before I was born - BERLIN 1936?
Certainly it's the show masking the realities.
Maybe it's the authoritarian nature of the governments.
Maybe it's stories like "The real singer wasn't pretty enough".
Maybe it's because the host nation is winning a lot of medals, and, incidentally, has a LARGE professional army.

Of course, I'm not in Beijing, so what I know is filtered through media sources.
My impressions of the Berlin Olympics come from one of the greatest documentaries I've ever seen - "Olympia" by Leni Riefenstahl.

(My impressions of the Third Reich and of Red China are based on a study of recent or contemporary history)

(As for documentaries, the best was "Triumph des Willens"; although the Marcel Ophuis film "Le Chagrin et la pitiƩ", {"The Sorrow and the Pity"}, is great, and a good deal more subtle. It also has the classic British quote by Sir Anthony Eden, "One who has not suffered the horrors of an occupying power has no right to judge a nation that has.")

P. Rich said...

"16" year old pre-pubescent Chinese female gymnasts, anyone? Works, I suppose, when the State has complete control of their lives from age 3. And maybe we should save a little nostalgia for the kind and benevolent Mao. He was a 60's kinda guy too, and I understand red was his favorite literary color. The trend seems to have hung around for this carefully arranged Chinese stage play being presented as the Olympics.

Blue Moon said...

American tax dollars are financing the Olympics - I expected better...

Ger said...

What... no Flashdance/Marine Jahan/Jennifer Beals mention yet???

Michael_H said...

Ah yes, the Chicoms. They know how to put the 'total' in 'totalatarian'.

vbspurs said...

Sorry I stole your thunder, ladies!

Ron also mentioned an important point.

If you want to be feminist about this topic, you can mention that actors are less likely to be dubbed, than actresses. There is an insistence that voice should match the flawless face or figure they already have onscreen.

When Andie McDowell's speaking voice and accent in Greystoke was heard, the producers winced. They got Glenn Close to dub her instead of just hiring Glenn Close for the part, presumably because Tarzan wouldn't have a crush on someone who looks like Close.

(I'm being sarcastic)

Ethel Merman had a face of a lorry driver, but the most memorable voice on the American boards ever. She made it on Broadway, but couldn't cut it in Hollywood.

For me, the problem is not the Potemkim Village quality of these events. We all knew it would be just that, from the no spitting laws, to the closing down of factories JUST for the foreigners.

I mean, I just found out the spectacular Opening Ceremony fireworks were "digitally enhanced".

What next? I don't care. I expected it.

Cheers,
Victoria

Christy said...

NBC told us at the time of the opening ceremonies that the cityscape fireworks were FX. I remember because I was trying to figure out at which point they became real there at the arena.

I'm just sad that someone thought a happy proud 7 year old wasn't perfect enough for us. I'm spitting expletives and seeing a lot of future self esteem problems for this child.

BTW, of course she has no sister and was probably lucky her parents didn't abort her and try again for a boy baby.

blake said...

Doesn't (the wonderful and comedic) Jean Hagen get her comeuppance in Singin' In The Rain so that ingenue Debbie Reynolds becomes a star?

I'm thinking this analogy doesn't work that well.

I made the mistake of watching My Fair Lady in a relatively public venue, so that every five minutes someone would come in and say, "You know, that's not Audrey Hepburn singing".

You can get Hepburn's voice as an alternate track on the DVD, and I think it's quite nice. No, she's no Marnie Nixon, but I don't think she had to be.

LutherM said...

BLAKE - buy the Original Cast Recording of "MY FAIR LADY" - and you can hear Julie Andrews who sounds better than Marni or Audrey in the role. (When she played Holly Golightly, was that Audrey singing "Moon River"?)

Martin Gale said...

BLAKE - buy the Original Cast Recording of "MY FAIR LADY"

Or, better yet, you can listen to the Spanish Olympic Basketball team's version . . .

Do the riracs broom in the heart of town?
Can you hear a rark in any other part of town?
Does enchantment pour out of evely door?
No! It's just on the stleet where you rive.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Ah yes, the Chicoms. They know how to put the 'total' in 'totalatarian'.

But the Nazis did it first. They put the 'Aryan' in 'totalitarian.'

Bender said...

And, in the national interest, the Chinese leaders should be flawless, not the walking pieces of sh*t that they are.

blake said...

BLAKE - buy the Original Cast Recording of "MY FAIR LADY" - and you can hear Julie Andrews who sounds better than Marni or Audrey in the role.

Oh, no doubt. She wasn't big enough to get the role, though. And Hepburn was so waiflike--she's in her early '30s in that movie.

I thought she was perfect from that standpoint. Rex Harrison not so much; not that he wasn't great, but the romantic dynamic just is weird.

(When she played Holly Golightly, was that Audrey singing "Moon River"?)

It was! It was written for her! (That's why it's so easy to sing.) But I do believe she got some real training in between BAT and MFL.

bleeper said...

What? Commies lie? Who do they think they are, democrats?

Tex the Pontificator said...

When you're a 7-year old girl, it muct be tough to be told you're not pretty enough to be seen singing a song. I feel sorry for the child.

veni vidi vici said...

Ruth Anne Adams, that was terrific.