The Great Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey

New or old, regardless of format, we love talking about movies and the people who make them

The Great Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Postby Selk » Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:17 pm

It is rare in the movies to have something that doesn't look, walk, talk or sound like anything else. You might say that of all of Stanley Kubrick's work and, for me, none encapsulates the spirit of his work like 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I revisit this film every few years or so and every time, I notice something different. The film is so spare and so open and so uncluttered in its pacing and its narrative that we are free to interpret it any way we want.

There isn't a moment in this film that seems added for effect. Stylistically, this is one of the most nihilistic films ever made simply because it is so foreign to anything I've ever seen, sci-fi or otherwise. The dialogue, the sets, even space itself seems cold and distant. The humans who inhabit this film seem to have been drawn with a minimum of emotion or charisma. In Kubrick's case, I say that as a compliment. This is a film about human evolution, from out infancy to our ascension into a heavenly being and the tools that take us there.

2001: A Space Odyssey is a four-act play, each act representing a kind of step ladder that takes us to the next level. The first act is our infancy as apes. We are grunting hairless apes who eat and fight. Then the door-shaped monolith drops into our midst and we walk through it and ascend to the next level. The second takes us to the moon where the monolith is uncovered. That door points us in the direction of Jupiter. The third act allows us to see that we've created a machine that can do our thinking for us. It becomes sentient (just like the ape did) and acquires a sense of self-defense. That battle takes us to the fourth act, a journey to the stars and beyond our human bodies into the next phase of our evolution. We are reborn, in a sense, into a celestial womb to be reborn as a god-like creature who has no need for spaceships.

You can interpret the movie any way you want but, for me, I see the human as lab rats. We are looked over by some unseen creature who drops this monolith into our midst - like a rat in a cage - and sees if it can figure out what to do when it gets into the bigger cage. We are a celestial experiment, a scientific study to see if we can make sense of ourselves as human beings. What an incredible journey this movie takes. What imagination. What ideals. 2001 can be seen in a million different ways and none would probably be wrong.
"Movies are suppose to be big - If they're not big, they're television"
- Whoopi Goldberg
User avatar
Selk
City Attorney
 
Posts: 478
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:32 pm

Re: The Great Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Postby Andrew Forbes » Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:01 am

Dude, you're new, so a word of advice. Leave 2001 alone. There's... history there.
Formerly chamucamel
User avatar
Andrew Forbes
County Prosecutor
 
Posts: 2615
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:43 am
Location: Edmonton, AB

Re: The Great Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Postby Dimwitted » Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:19 am

OTOH the crisis has passed. There's only guests at the table now.

It's a masterwork, no question. It is the dividing line between SCIfi and sciFI. Part of it is because Kubrick's OCD and because our understanding had so greatly improved during the time. Taken in slices, it's still amazing how modern the overall look of 2001 one is. Ironically I just saw Moon this weekend and that looks like a sequel... something that was made 1-2 years after 2001 not something 45(!) years after the fact. Granted Duncan Jones made several concious descisions to make it look the way it did but even in the commentary he is referencing a timeline as "80's and 90's", not 1964.

When we actually get there ... soon I hope, I figure reality will look a lot like 2001 and not like Trek.
Dimwitted
City Prosecutor
 
Posts: 840
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 8:51 pm

Re: The Great Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Postby Selk » Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:19 am

Dude, you're new, so a word of advice. Leave 2001 alone. There's... history there.


LOL! Sounds like a missed an extremely heated debate somewhere.

Taken in slices, it's still amazing how modern the overall look of 2001 one is.


I was looking at it the other night and I noticed how modern it all looks. Except for some obvious signs that this is the 60s, the special effects all look modern, not one minutes seems sloppy or dated.
"Movies are suppose to be big - If they're not big, they're television"
- Whoopi Goldberg
User avatar
Selk
City Attorney
 
Posts: 478
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:32 pm

Re: The Great Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Postby Attrage » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:20 pm

Maybe I should follow Andrew Forbes' advice above....but then, I've always had a knack for stirring up trouble and I can't leave this alone. 2001 is a real "love it or hate it" kind of movie. There doesnt appear to be anyone with an inbetween opinion. Personally, I love it. I love it's blend of sound and vision mostly. It's one of those films that wouldnt be made today (yeah I know that's another thread but bear with me) where there's long stretches of silence and sparse dialogue and a plot that meanders along not in any hurry whatsoever to get to the point or the next big set-piece. Every time I watch it I feel a strange sort of exhaustion at the end, not in a bad way, but sort of the way I feel after a long trip to somewhere strange and different, out of the old "comfort zone"...
Don't worry darling, its just a hat, belonging to a small man of limited means who lost a fight with a chicken!
User avatar
Attrage
City Attorney
 
Posts: 372
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:47 pm

Re: The Great Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Postby Paul Kile » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:05 am

I have a great reverence for the movie, having first seen it in the Hollywood Pantages theater in 70mm with my Dad when I was 14. After years of watching bad sci-fi monster movies on TV, 2001: was the first time I saw true literary science fiction depicted on the big screen. The Pantages screening was the best way to see the movie. I still have a fond memory of the drive home, and Dad waxing poetic about the pairing of the Blue Danube Waltz as the Pan Am Space Clipper slowly approached and docked with the space station. You see, he was an airline pilot and I could see the light in his eyes as he looked toward the future of airline travel. Oh, to wish that Clarke had been right with that prediction!

The worst screening for me was seeing it projected on a bedsheet tacked to the wall of my college dorm dining hall, but the movie still was great even under those conditions! It's one of those films that leaves you feeling quite small , yet awestruck at the same time.

On the other hand, my wife (who is a fan of SF also) couldn't stand the movie. She saw it in the theater at a younger age, and couldn't figure out what that bunch of monkeys had to do with space travel. The film's pacing also puts her to sleep. Alas...
Cheers,
Paul Kile
My collection: http://www.dvdspot.com/member=PaulKile
Paul Kile
City Attorney
 
Posts: 396
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 8:50 am
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: The Great Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Postby Dan Mancini » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:27 am

It's definitely a movie that demands that you give yourself over to its rhythms. I can understand why people find it dull, but I get hypnotized by it every time I put it on. I find it easily one of the most exquisitely beautiful motion pictures ever made...maybe the most beautiful.
User avatar
Dan Mancini
Chief Prosecutor
 
Posts: 4055
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 7:17 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: The Great Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Postby Steve T Power » Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:01 am

Dan Mancini wrote:It's definitely a movie that demands that you give yourself over to its rhythms. I can understand why people find it dull, but I get hypnotized by it every time I put it on. I find it easily one of the most exquisitely beautiful motion pictures ever made...maybe the most beautiful.


You were on drugs though... right?
As the ancient Tibetan philosophy states:"Don't start none... won't be none...".
User avatar
Steve T Power
Judge
 
Posts: 5351
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 3:08 pm
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland, CA

Re: The Great Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Postby Dan Mancini » Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:51 am

Steve T Power wrote:
Dan Mancini wrote:It's definitely a movie that demands that you give yourself over to its rhythms. I can understand why people find it dull, but I get hypnotized by it every time I put it on. I find it easily one of the most exquisitely beautiful motion pictures ever made...maybe the most beautiful.


You were on drugs though... right?

Prescription painkillers and muscle relaxers, but nothing illegal.
User avatar
Dan Mancini
Chief Prosecutor
 
Posts: 4055
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 7:17 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: The Great Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Postby Steve T Power » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:30 am

Dan Mancini wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:
Dan Mancini wrote:It's definitely a movie that demands that you give yourself over to its rhythms. I can understand why people find it dull, but I get hypnotized by it every time I put it on. I find it easily one of the most exquisitely beautiful motion pictures ever made...maybe the most beautiful.


You were on drugs though... right?

Prescription painkillers and muscle relaxers, but nothing illegal.


Those are still drugs. And you sir, are no fun at all.
As the ancient Tibetan philosophy states:"Don't start none... won't be none...".
User avatar
Steve T Power
Judge
 
Posts: 5351
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 3:08 pm
Location: St. John's, Newfoundland, CA

Re: The Great Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Postby Dan Mancini » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:59 pm

Steve T Power wrote:
Dan Mancini wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:
Dan Mancini wrote:It's definitely a movie that demands that you give yourself over to its rhythms. I can understand why people find it dull, but I get hypnotized by it every time I put it on. I find it easily one of the most exquisitely beautiful motion pictures ever made...maybe the most beautiful.


You were on drugs though... right?

Prescription painkillers and muscle relaxers, but nothing illegal.


Those are still drugs. And you sir, are no fun at all.

By that logic, Elvis would be no fun at all, and we all know that's not true.
User avatar
Dan Mancini
Chief Prosecutor
 
Posts: 4055
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 7:17 am
Location: Atlanta, GA


Return to Movies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 4 guests