Monday, June 17, 2013

Great Movie # 3 - 2001: A Space Odyssey

Oh man, talk about a real mind fuck. There have been few movies have left me wondering what I just watched, literally.  This is the first and last time I will watch this film.  I honestly don't even know where to begin.  Yes, it's worth that much hyperbole.

2001 (ASO) released in 1968 is one of Stanley Kubrick's most recognized films.  Filled with various moments of dazzling cinematography, Kubrick leaves you largely perplexed and unfulfilled. It can be said that Kubrick's photographic eye was running on all cylinders when he story boarded this film.  You could literally print shots out, frame them and they'd still be beautiful.  The picture opens with the dawn of man at the moment when ape gathers intelligence. We transition into a future where man has perfected space flight and is exploring Jupiter.  From there (which makes up about 45 minutes of the movie) I had no idea where Kubrick was taking us.  He did make sure he inserted contemporary elements of science fiction in the film.  Apes, time travel, artificial intelligence, Skype, everything.  My personal favorite was the black monolith.  So much symbolism inserted into a simple black slab; just amazing.

The film's pacing takes away everything that is beautiful and interesting about the film.  Just getting through the first twenty minutes was laborious.  Sitting here thinking about this movie makes me not to watch it ever again, seriously.  Byron put it perfectly, 'An esoteric plot that was a trial to get through'.  He also put it plainly 'It was boring as shit'.

I'm sure there are many people that love this film or hate this film.  I appreciate that Kubrick puts out a film that forces you to have a stance.  I won't sugar coat it for you, this film has severe weakness in pacing and plot.  These issues left us upset because questions were unanswered.  However I cannot emphasize it enough,  the visuals were just AMAZING.  I'm almost going to say it is one of best visuals that I have ever seen on film. In addition Kubrick's vision of the future and technology's evolution is nothing short of awe (considering in 1968, man had just arrived on the moon).

Byron felt some of these effect still hold up to today's standards.  As an avid sci-fi fan, 2001 has influenced every sci-fi film in the genre that followed it.  It is that amazing!  Maybe Stanley Kubrick's intention with the film was to spark conversation.  Maybe it was to spark thought and reflection.  Who knows.  Whatever the result is know that this film deserves to be on the list.  Its innovative depiction of science fiction and forward thinking visuals allow me to even consider putting it in the top 5, Byron has disagrees and doesn't think it should crack the top 50.  Final thought: watch 2001 once; tread carefully, be done with it and judge for yourself.

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