Britain on Friday opened the London Olympics with a lavish, three-hour spectacle orchestrated by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle. Drawing on a diverse array of cultural touchstones — from Shakespeare and Mary Poppins, to James Bond and the Beatles — the show was a frenetic survey of British history that included a provocative rendering of the Industrial Revolution, which ushered in Britain's domination of the globe in the colonial era. In comments before the ceremony, Boyle explained that he didn't want to whitewash his country's past. Queen Elizabeth II formally declared the opening of the games, which will last until August 12.
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