Friday, September 20, 2013

Film Flick: 2001: A Space Odyssey

It was alternatively hailed as the epitome of science fiction films, and condemned as a "shaggy god story;" described as "somewhere between hypnotic and immensely boring," and lauded as "an unforgettable endeavor." 2001: A Space Odyssey was nothing like what movie-going audiences had ever seen before. Stan Kubrick's only Academy award-winner (for special effects) left deeply divided opinions in its wake- Daring or dribble, it was one or the other. Time has since decreed it to be a film worth remembering, but the question is: will you?


2001: A Space Odyssey is a movie exploring the themes of evolution, space exploration, other intelligent life, and time travel. We start looking at how a black monolith changes the lives of humanoid creatures, and then fast forward to the year 2001, when a mysterious find on the moon prompts a daunting journey to Jupiter. Whether the mission will ever reach its destination, and what it will find if does, is surprising to say the least.

Dialogue is sparse, only 45 minutes in an over two hour film, and most of that is the purposely mundane small talk that litters everyday life. Despite this though, the film boasts one of the most quoted movie lines ever: "Open the pod doors, Hal." In place of dialogue, the soundtrack, filled with the beeps, creaks and grinds of technology, really stretched how storytelling could be done.


Personally, I really wanted to like this film. I did. With its iconic moment featuring the black monolith, and its conflicted initial reception, how could one not? Others love it; I wante dto love it too.  However, for me, this definitely leaned more toward the "immensely boring" than anything else. I found the plot plodding, the characters unlikable, and the final ending hard to understand. Still, the use of the soundtrack- as well as many other aspects of the film- were inventive and, if nothing else, though 2001 did not look as originally envisioned, the film redefined a genre.

10 comments:

  1. This is one of those movies that I loved. Something about the plodding slowness of it all made me think just how boring it would be living in space alone. That kind of isolated existence and how in life we sometimes go through the motions. Everything in monotone...not really living.

    The ending was hard to comprehend but this is one of those films as you wrote, that redefined film making.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. I had not thought about the film in that way, but it does give me something to think about.

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  2. I haven't seen this one - mainly, because I thought it would be boring :)

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  3. Love this movie!

    Xo, Hannah

    sweetsweetnoir.net

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  4. I have never seen this but now I definitely want to.

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    1. I'll be really interested to know what you think of it.

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  5. Maybe you had to be there to understand. When the movie first came out, it was a sensation. The music, the effects, the length of it.
    I left the theater with my mouth hanging open, trying to understand what I had just seen. And surrounded by others who looked equally stunned. Everyone had his own theory. Mine turned out to be wrong, but I liked it better than the book, anyway!
    Kim

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  6. such a classic! we got to see the kubrick exhibit in LA I stood right nest to that monolith. soooo exciting.

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  7. If you're looking for plot, characters, and understandability, 2001 is not for you. It's a visual and auditory experience, not a rom-com.

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