Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
Movies MOBILE
Byrne Robotics | Movies
Topic: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Post Reply | Post New Topic
Author
Message
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 11995
Posted: 02 April 2018 at 2:28am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

It seems impossible to find consistent release dates for old films via the internet (some sites are as reliable as Wikipedia!), but many I have checked show a 2nd April 1968 release date (Washington D.C.) for the premiere of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. 

So that means it's the 50th anniversary today!





I'm not the biggest fan of the movie. I can't pretend to know exactly what it is about.

There are four "acts" (if that's the right word) in the film. I like the "Dawn of Man" stuff, it's very atmospheric as we see early humans learning to make tools and wage war. I didn't like the second act as we see humanity travel into space to investigate the monolith (I found that act quite tedious); I enjoy the third act as we see HAL turn on its crew; as for the fourth act, I found that incredibly boring and pretentious as we follow the main character, Bowman, through a trippy and existential journey pertaining to the monolith, which leads, well, I'm not entirely sure (our next evolutionary step, I think).

Visually, it's a very good film. One could probably have it on as "background noise" and look up every now and again. Or you could just watch the "Dawn of Man" and HAL stuff. The music is tremendous. It just cannot help be boring in places, certainly from my perspective.

I do like long films (CLOUD ATLAS, J.F.K., etc). Length isn't a problem. I commend the film for trying to achieve something. It just has two acts that I find incredibly slow and boring. I realise it has its fans, though.

And, of course, there was the 1970s Marvel adaptation:




Edited by Robbie Parry on 02 April 2018 at 2:31am
Back to Top profile | search
 
Eric Sofer
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 31 January 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 2547
Posted: 02 April 2018 at 7:27am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I read the novelization, and it explained it quite a bit better... but if I have to read "Cliff Notes" for a movie, then I reckon the movie isn't worth it.

It was brilliant, but it was too much art for a science-fiction movie - or so I thought at the time. Sometimes a movie is just a movie, and I don't feel like working that hard to understand it.

Odyssey II explained it too, but again... if it's not patently obvious from the start, then it may need a little more work to make it accessible to the unwashed masses. Including me, certainly... :)
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 112859
Posted: 02 April 2018 at 8:43am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

In an interview in PLAYBOY, Clarke said "If you understood it, we failed."

I'd clock that as about the most pretentious piece of twaddle on record.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 11995
Posted: 02 April 2018 at 9:04am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Ah, thank you. I was vaguely aware of that quote, but couldn't recall the source so didn't mention it.

I'm not a fan of a pretentious comment like that, anyway. I also think that a film can be visually spectacular and accessible.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Shaun Barry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 08 December 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 5828
Posted: 02 April 2018 at 9:28am | IP Logged | 5 post reply


I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with Clarke's quote, considering he usually would repeat it in TV and film interviews with a wry smile and a chuckle.  He was good-humored about it, at least.  I would imagine he was suspect of anyone who could view 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and proclaim they understood it all, from beginning to end, when there was some very deliberate mystery and ambiguity baked into it from the start.  (Sort of like Kramer, in "Seinfeld," proclaiming, "I now understand ALL women!!!")

Personally, I love 2001 unabashedly, and think it's one of the greatest films ever made.  Can it be seen as pretentious?  Sure... when you're making a "profound" sci-fi movie, it's almost unavoidable.  But I like & admire the fact that the film is uniquely its own beast.  I wasn't there in 1968, but I can easily see how some people were blown away by it at the time, when almost no other science-fiction film before it looked or sounded quite the same.  Did it pave the way for far more pretentious stabs at sci-fi flicks?  You betcha.  But this one is worth revisiting and talking about, 50 years later and beyond.  Too much thought, time and effort was put into its production, to simply write it off.





Edited by Shaun Barry on 02 April 2018 at 9:31am
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 112859
Posted: 02 April 2018 at 9:43am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with Clarke's quote, considering he usually would repeat it in TV and film interviews with a wry smile and a chuckle. He was good-humored about it, at least. I would imagine he was suspect of anyone who could view 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and proclaim they understood it all, from beginning to end, when there was some very deliberate mystery and ambiguity baked into it from the start. (Sort of like Kramer, in "Seinfeld," proclaiming, "I now understand ALL women!!!")

"Mystery" in 2001 is all imported from the outside, much like the mythology of George Lucas having STAR WARS "all figured out" from the beginning. The story the movie tells is very simple, if occasionally obtuse. An alien force has "watched over" humanity through the course of our evolution. It has manifested itself at significant moments, especially when we reach a point at which we may destroy ourselves. At that point it takes a direct hand.

Clark himself "unpacked" the more ambiguous parts in 2010, explaining the monolith and basically literalizing what fans had so long contemplated as "mysteries".

Visually, the film is stunning, but as storytelling it is quite hackneyed. I recently introduced a young friend to the movie, and she "read" it at a totally superficial level -- which worked just fine for her.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 11995
Posted: 02 April 2018 at 9:56am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I really should try and watch 2010 at some point. I've been meaning to for a while.

I'd like to read the Marvel Comics adaptation, too.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Shaun Barry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 08 December 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 5828
Posted: 02 April 2018 at 10:24am | IP Logged | 8 post reply


No harm in checking it out, Robbie... though I'm not wild about Clarke going out of his way to almost over-explain everything in 2001, 2010 (aka THE YEAR WE MAKE CONTACT), I'll admit right-out, features a much more engaging, coherent space adventure storyline, and equally engaging human characters as well (Roy Scheider, John Lithgow, Helen Mirren and Bob Balaban?  That's a solid lead cast!).

I don't think both films necessarily work well together, viewing one right after the other (the two approaches and directors are too different), but it's still decent.





Edited by Shaun Barry on 02 April 2018 at 10:26am
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 112859
Posted: 02 April 2018 at 10:26am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

The two films work just FINE together, if one is prepared to abandon the fairy tales that have woven themselves around the first.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 11995
Posted: 02 April 2018 at 3:37pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Stanley Kubrick died in 1999 when DVDs were (sort of) in their infancy. I am not sure he ever did a commentary.

I wonder, if he were alive today, would he record a commentary for the film? I know I'm asking an extremely hypothetical question, but was thinking about it earlier today.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Matt Hawes
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 14457
Posted: 02 April 2018 at 4:30pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Before DVD commentary, there were laser disc commentaries. Maybe he did one of those?
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Joe Hollon
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 08 May 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 13345
Posted: 02 April 2018 at 6:14pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I always took the last part to be intentionally
incomprehensible to modern man (us people watching the
movie) just like the space ships would be
incomprehensible to the ape men from the first act.
Maybe that's what Clark meant, assuming he wasn't just
messing with whoever was interviewing him.

Beautiful film with amazing sound and music. One of my
favorites. Glad I got to see it last year in a theater
re-release.
Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 
Pete Carrubba
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 22 June 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2703
Posted: 02 April 2018 at 7:31pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

When it comes to this film, I highly recommend reading Arthur C. Clarke's novel of the same name. I believe the two compliment each other, even though there are differences. Reading Clarke's follow up novels is also something I recommend, including his forewords. 
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Shaun Barry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 08 December 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 5828
Posted: 02 April 2018 at 8:57pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply


(Sadly, no Kubrick commentaries, nor any TV interviews... only print and some audio interviews over the years.)



Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 11995
Posted: 25 May 2018 at 12:28pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

The latest issue of UK sci-fi magazine INFINITY had a feature on 2001. This fact was published in the article:

Kubrick even considered seeking insurance against the discovery of real alien life while the film was in production.

WTF?!

What good would that have done? So, going by that statement, there's nothing Kubrick could have done if aliens had made first contact prior to 1968, so I presume he would have cashed in on the insurance and just ceased all production?
Back to Top profile | search
 
Robin Taylor
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1146
Posted: 25 May 2018 at 12:55pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I really loved 2010 as a kid and when I say 2001 again at a rep theater in the early 90's the guy I went with fell asleep.

2001 is beautiful and meticulous and a complete slog. Strangely I was really really into the book though. 

RT
Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 
Shaun Barry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 08 December 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 5828
Posted: 25 August 2018 at 1:04pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply


Just saw the IMAX presentation this afternoon... stupendous & wonderful!

For a longtime fan like myself, it was almost like really seeing it for the very first time, as the ambient sound, booming music, visuals, color and detail washed over me in a way that it never could before, having grown-up watching it in various (usually sub-par) forms... whether it was pan & scan on a local cable channel; pan & scan RCA videodisc (!); letterbox VHS on smallish TVs; or DVDs on non-digital screens.  (For the record, I'm still holding out for the 50th anniversary Blu-ray, but even then, it won't have the same effect as what I've seen today.)  Short of maybe someday being able to view this via virtual reality, this was the closest you can feel to actually being in the movie!

It only took me about 35 years to finally see it on the big screen (I first watched it on TV with my father when I was about 11), but it was well worth the wait, in such a spectacular format.





Edited by Shaun Barry on 25 August 2018 at 1:48pm
Back to Top profile | search
 
Don Zomberg
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 23 November 2005
Posts: 2355
Posted: 25 August 2018 at 2:47pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Catching it on IMAX myself on Monday.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Shaun Barry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 08 December 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 5828
Posted: 25 August 2018 at 4:11pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply


Enjoy it, Don!  I almost wish it was in IMAX theaters longer than one extended weekend... I wouldn't mind seeing it a second time, 'cause who knows if or when 2001 will ever be shown in this format again.  But today was the only day I could make it.

Run, don't walk, to your theater on Monday!

(And for what it's worth:  I started the film in the third row from the front, but once the film shifted into outer space, I moved right to the very front row, middle seat, so I could drink it all in, this one & only time!)



Back to Top profile | search
 
Rich Marzullo
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 13 January 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2218
Posted: 25 August 2018 at 4:30pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Seeing it in IMAX in a couple of hours. Love this movie, need to re-read the book.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Shaun Barry
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 08 December 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 5828
Posted: 28 August 2018 at 1:29pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply


So, Don & Rich, what did you think?



Back to Top profile | search
 
Rich Marzullo
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 13 January 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2218
Posted: 28 August 2018 at 2:57pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Loved it, Shaun. They cleaned the film up well and it looked fantastic in IMAX. My girlfriend saw it for the first time when we went and turned to me after it ended and said "WTF". She really liked though. My dad went with us and he was blown away.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Don Zomberg
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 23 November 2005
Posts: 2355
Posted: 29 August 2018 at 7:51am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Damn, but it was LOUD in the IMAX format. I almost covered MY ears when the sun hit the monolith.

It's almost a perfect film for the really big screen. Not a lot of background clutter and MTV style editing to play havoc with your senses.


Back to Top profile | search
 
Bill Collins
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 26 May 2005
Location: England
Posts: 10311
Posted: 29 August 2018 at 11:47am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

I must confess, i`ve tried to watch it numerous times,
and gave up after the Dawn of Man bit. I usually stick
with a film or book until the end, this was the filmic
exception, Stephen King`s Insomnia was the literary one!
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
William Costello
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 30 August 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 371
Posted: 04 September 2018 at 7:11pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

My older brother took me to 2001 when it released in 1968. He was a senior in high school; I was 10 years old.

I was utterly clueless as to what was going on in the movie.
Back to Top profile | search
 

If you wish to post a reply to this topic you must first login
If you are not already registered you must first register

  Post Reply | Post New Topic |

Forum Jump

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login

You are currently viewing the MOBILE version of the site.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL SITE