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July 6, 2017 10:34 pm  #1

2001: A Space Odyssey

To some it is long and boring, to others it is a masterpiece. I was once in the former camp but later I ended in the latter camp. I caught it again one time on TV (a big screen TV and commercial-free of course), not only did I finally “get” the film but it blew me away and now it is one of my all-time favorite movies.  A captivating and stimulating epic adventure, it begins with the fascinating “Dawn of Man” and later the man vs machine drama “The Jupiter Mission” (with Hal-9000) and the final act “The Jupiter Mission and Beyond”, which is an awesome “trippy” cosmic sequence leading to the film’s surreal, mysterious ending.
Apart from this film, how do feel about other films by Stanley Kubrick such as “A Clockwork Orange” (which I also loved), “Barry Lyndon”, “The Shining”, “Full Metal Jacket”, or “Eyes Wide Shut” (which I still haven’t seen).


July 6, 2017 11:04 pm  #2

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey

I once tried watching the film on TV years ago, before my family got a 50" HD TV, and I couldn't get into it. My mum hated the Dawn of Man scene, so that didn't help. 
Last year, my dad and I planned to watch a print of the film at a cinema that also hosts the Toronto International Film Festival, when we got a message saying that the screening was cancelled because their projector for that size film broke!
So...I still haven't seen it. The only Kubrick film I've seen is Dr. Strangelove, which I liked. It has a very unsettling ending, even though there's some humour throughout (along with political satire), but I won't give it away in case you haven't seen it.
Clueing for looks.

July 7, 2017 5:36 am  #3

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey

I've only see 2001: A Space Odyssey on the big screen, and I loved it!   A few years ago, I tried to watch it with someone else on TV, and they were so bored that we ended up switching it off.   I don't know if it's the screen size making a difference, or if it's just about whether you like Kubrick's style.  Personally, I think he's a genius, although he seems to have been difficult to work with.

Eyes Wide Shut is definitely worth a go.  I remember it wasn't terribly well reviewed when it came out, but I really enjoyed it. 


July 7, 2017 7:34 am  #4

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey

I like both 2001/2010 and A Clockwork Orange is good, but a hard watch...
The Shining is terrifying and I don't think I've seen the others.


July 7, 2017 8:03 am  #5

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey

I was very impressed by 2001 even though I watched in on TV. But I needed a second start. After I got into it, I was fascinated and I can see how it has become such a groundbreaking film. 

I watched "A Clockwork Orange" years ago and read it at school but it is not one of my favourites. Not because of the film which is very close to the book but because I always felt that the book cannot decide on an attitude towards the problems it presents. As dystopian novels go, I much prefer "1984" or "Brave New World" or "Fahrenheit 451". 

I quite liked "Eyes Wide Shut" (not a fan of Cruise though). "The Shining" is quite stunning but not true to the book which made Stephen King quite angry.

To me "Lolita" remains one of Kubrick's masterpieces.  

"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)


July 7, 2017 8:10 am  #6

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey

I agree with you on 1984.


January 9, 2018 10:56 pm  #7

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey

I forgot about this topic, but I thought I'd add my two cents. There are spoilers.

I finally saw 2001 a couple weeks ago in 70mm in a cinema. I didn't know what I was going to think, but I ended up enjoying it.
I had spoken to a friend two months before who said she thought it was two slow. She said to me that you could leave for a while and come back and nothing would have happened. Contrary to her experience, I never found it dragged. It passed by very quickly. The presentation at the cinema had an intermission before the last hour of the film, and for me that last hour after the intermission felt like 20 minutes. I mumbled "that can't be it already." But it was, of course.
While on the big cinema screen I found the rotation of the space station at the beginning of the second section of the film kind of aggravating, I still got a lot of pleasure from watching the images of floating spacecraft and seeing the technology on display (there was even technology that we have now, like seatback TV screens on planes and portable screens - even HAL is like Siri and Google Home and I can't help but wonder if those have female voices by default so as not to sound like HAL). Sometimes it felt like watching a ballet, except the dancers are technology. The technical achievement of the film is really something and holds up well, I found, like when one character is shown jogging around the walls of a round room. I have an idea of how they would have done it, but it would not have been easy. It's like a more complicated version of Fred Astaire dancing on the walls and ceiling in that scene from Royal Wedding.
People have been puzzling over what the film might mean for 50 years, so I don't expect to have a solid answer for myself right away. I don't think there's just one meaning, even in my own interpretation.
One way that the monolith could be interpreted is that it is the catalyst for all of humanity's technological progress. There's evidence to support it in the film. But that doesn't sit right with me. To say that progress is all because of the intervention of some power beyond our control cheapens humanity's capability, in my opinion. Humans advance technology, and it's impressive. I don't understand why someone would want to believe that that's not the case, claim something else is responsible. Though I guess even the film is more complicated than that. The psychedelic sequence where the one character sees into the monolith could suggest that, instead, the monolith allows people to see the possibilities, but then they are able to create the future for themselves. But maybe that's more wishful thinking? A man couldn't become a giant glowing baby on his own, lol (though stuff like that can be more symbolic than literal).
Throughout a lot of the film, I was noticing the geometric shapes of things. Humans create a lot of things that rotate and are circular or round (there's a lot of rotating motion throughout the film), while the monolith is a rectangle. For a lot of the film I couldn't help but wonder if HAL was part monolith, part human creation, because HAL is a circle inside a rectangle. But not much ended up confirming that, not completely anyway.

Last edited by Yitzock (January 9, 2018 10:58 pm)
Clueing for looks.

January 10, 2018 7:29 am  #8

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Yitzock, your two cents have been very interesting to read. And great that you had the chance to watch the film on the big screen, I found this to be a very different experience from watching it at home. Because yes, the rotation of the space station, outside and inside, is really a whole different thing on the big cinema screen. I did a Kubrick class at university and was lucky enough to see practically all of this films in a movie theatre. "2001" definitely needs the big screen - and I suppose since this year it's the 50th anniversary of the film, there will be a lot of special screenings. Our film museum will even have an exhibition solely dedicated to "2001".

Having said all that, there are Kubrick films I like much better than "2001". I like the first half of the movie (the same goes for "Full Metal Jacket"), the second half is just too esoteric and cryptic for my taste. Great visuals and all that, but it just leaves me completely clueless. 

I think "Dr. Strangelove" is a masterpiece, Peter Sellers is just stunning in it. The film is so wonderfully absurd and has some of the best dialogue in film history, if you ask me. 

"Paths of Glory" is a totally underrated Kubrick film, undeservedly so. I think everyone who is remotely interested in Stanley Kubrick should watch it. It's without a doubt one of the best anti-war movies I have ever seen.

"Barry Lyndon"... oh my, don't get me started. It's the one Kubrick film I don't like at all. Yitzock, in my opinion this is the film where nothing much happens and you can go outside and then come back and you will have missed nothing. (My boyfriend would tell you a completey different story though, because he loves the film... we watched it together once, bad idea...

And I think I'll just stop now. I don't like "Eyes Wide Shut" very much, but I think "The Shining" is a must-see (and to me it's not important what Stephen King thinks about it, as a film it definitely works). And "Full Metal Jacket", as I already mentioned, has a great first half, but once they go to Vietnam the film somehow breaks apart. It always feels to me as if I'm watching two movies in one.

Last edited by SolarSystem (January 10, 2018 7:32 am)

"Am I the current King of England?

"I see no shame in having an unhealthy obsession with something." - David Tennant
"We did observe." - David Tennant in "Richard II"


January 11, 2018 2:54 pm  #9

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Thanks. I wasn't sure whether anyone would be interested, but I wanted to talk about it if I had the chance. I needed to let out my thoughts.
I get what you mean about the latter part of the film being cryptic. While I thought it was still interesting, visually, and I had stuff to think about while watching it, the first parts of the film were more interesting to me, too. But I suppose if we stuck with Dave for the rest of the film it wouldn't have been an "Odyssey" in the way it was constructed, not in the same way.

A museum exhibit about the film sounds interesting. I read somewhere that Kubrick had the plans for his designs for 2001 destroyed so that nobody would copy them in their own films, so everything had to be recreated from scratch in the 80s when they made the film 2010. So I wonder what they will actually be able to display. There must be stuff that survived or else they wouldn't be able to have an exhibit at all.
Years ago, there was a Kubrick exhibit and retrospective at the place where I saw 2001 this year. I never got the chance to go, though.
Clueing for looks.

January 12, 2018 7:24 am  #10

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey

I think I saw that Kubrick exhibition twice, once in my hometown and once in Zurich. It was a travelling exhibition, so I suppose it was the same that you missed. It was very interesting and there was stuff about "2001", as well. I'm pretty sure that quite some stuff of the production design was on display, but I could be mistaken... but I suppose they wouldn't decide to do an exhibition only dedicated to "2001" if there wasn't anything to show. 

"Am I the current King of England?

"I see no shame in having an unhealthy obsession with something." - David Tennant
"We did observe." - David Tennant in "Richard II"


January 12, 2018 2:49 pm  #11

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Well, it might not have been everything that was lost. Can't control every crew member. It sounds like it would be an interesting exhibit, either way.
Clueing for looks.

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