Sunday, April 28, 2013

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Director: Stanley Kubrick

TAGLINES:  "Let the Awe and Mystery of a Journey Unlike Any Other Begin"

"The Ultimate Trip."

* * * *

Yes indeed. It’s the ultimate trip alright.
Just watched 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time, and when it ended I was like —- wow. O_O…… yes with big blank round eyes staring at the screen.. not moving….. Everything was weird, beautiful, detached to reality and yet it felt at that moment THE reality. The seemingly random images or scenes, the dragging minute after minute visual treat of space and minimal dialogue partnered with classical music or in other case just a continous buzz of muffled screaming or whatever it is, or heavy mechanical breathing.
And yet nothing was random to it. EVERYTHING FITS. EVERYTHING WORKS.  It’s like being in space. I was not on earth. I felt high. 
it was a visceral cinematic total mindfuck experience. That’s the best way i could describe it.


A sophisticated version of Star Wars without Yoda and light sabers. (thank god it’s not!) 


The first 3 minutes I was like WTF is this?? Is my file not fully downloaded? I thought something was wrong with my screen and speakers. 2 minutes and 30 seconds, still that black screen and weird buzzing sound… so I fast forward it. A sigh of relief. Movie’s working. Rewind. Smile. I sat back and relaxed. :)
And relax, I did.
I felt intrigued, hypnotized, enraptured, puzzled, confused…. I felt like I was floating in nothingness…. I felt it's too slow,  but then, like a roller coaster it plummets down and superspeeds forward, up, and down again and gives me this thrill that all I could do is let my mind go blank and just enjoy the feeling my other senses tells me to feel.
While this film had the potential to be a great bore, at some point I was asking myself “omg. Should I be bored now or give this film a few more minutes?”…. But even before I manage to actually be bored, Kubrick pulls me right back in. There’s just something about this movie that’s surreal. It has a distinct flavor that keeps your eyes glued and your mind focused. The set, the visual effects, the musical score (which in its own weird way fits perfectly with the movie), HAL, the space suits which I think are super cool!  Everything. It reels you in. Makes you think. And when it’s in those slow scenes where you see nothing but space or colors or whatever — it puts you in a state of trance. So yeah, i forgot to be bored. I was hypnotized. Even the Intermission part  I was like O_O (Still in a trance)…. This movie is imaginative and creative than most modern movies I’ve seen. It’s ahead of its time — hell, I think it’s even ahead of THIS time. It’s so big that your mind is blown and you fail to readily grasp the whole idea of the film. And that’s a rare quality in movies. To give you that feeling that you have just experienced something unforgettable and would continue to think about it even after the credits has rolled.


I wouldn’t even comment much about the storyline. Everyone can have their own interpretation.
But long story short, for me, it’s about the exploration of Darwinian theory of evolution, and the belief that human evolution and intelligence was made possible by superior life forms/alien intelligence (monolith/apes. the use of weaponry 4 million years ago, and still the use of weapons as the driving force of human civilization in the future. The end was a bit confusing to me — where is that room? where did the astronaut end up? in jupiter? But anyway, my interpretation on that scene is the end of one civilization, and the rebirth of a new one. Intelligence (whether it’s artificial or alien) goes on… human civilization dies and vanish, and comes up again, intelligence remains.
In the end I was satisfied. It was a cerebral experience more than anything. It was indeed a space odyssey. A journey.. not that zing zing of light sabers or alien dominating the earth crap — those are fun, yes, but this movie is a rare gem, and well worth watching no matter what era we are in now.

MY RATINGS: 4.5/5  - not for everybody. Either you're in the mood to appreciate this film, or you aren't. Either you will love it or totally piss on it.

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  1. Great review. I notice you read my Godzilla piece. I know you said that you'd plan on avoiding Godzilla but there is a scene it where the filmmakers completely rip off the music from Kubrick's masterpiece. That's just an insult!

    1. thanks for reading Jesse :)

      You mean music from A Space Odyssey? hmmm that's not good lol. Isn't it Alexandre Desplat that made the score for Godzilla?



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