Thursday, June 22, 2006

#7- 2001: A Space Odyssey- Stanley Kubrick- 1968

HAL: I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

Pure cinematic genius. No other film to date has been able to take advantage of the big screen, of the frame in which anything can be put on celluloid the way that Stanley Lubrick did in 2001:A Space Odyssey. The number one thing that makes this movie top 10 over all the other Kubrick films (although Dr. Strangelove made the elite 10) is the sheer capacity and beauty of the effects and visuals that this movie pulls off. No movie after this has ever looked so good. Not the Star Wars films of the 70's and 80's, not Lord of the Rings, nothing. Everytime I watch this film, which is often even though the dialogue is so minimal, blows me away after every viewing. I can never get over the fact this film was released in 1968. The film is so ahead of its time (and even though its past the actual year 2001.) It gets better with every passing year. And I will go back to what I have said in previous posts. This proves that CGI sucks. Nothing looks fake. NOTHING! The thing that makes it so genuine is the fact that everything is simple, yet beautifully complex. Models and large sets are used rather than bush league blue screening and CGI. Don't get me wrong-special effects are just one facet of why this film is awesome- but it isso awesome to think about just how everything was done in '68.

Moving away from the effects and the look of the film, this film strays from straight science fiction and goes to philosophy. Thanks again to Touey, we watched this film and read some different readings for this film. We discussed technology, labor and all different aspects of society that this film brings up. The beginning, humanity is a triumph (oddly enough, mans first invention was not fire, but a weapon) and everything was glorious from the different angles Kubrick uses to make the ape-man look giant. Then we get the most raucous and brilliant jump-cut of all time. Millions of years later, BAM we have spaceships. These ships are doing a delicate, graceful waltz (the Blue Danube of course) and we see how Technology has gone from glorious to dainty and fancy and graceful. Then we see humans, expecting highly intelligent beings and instead we get almost emotionless men and women who can't even be bothered with their children's birthdays. Slowly as the movie continues, the work of man becomes more human than humanity and machines and tools become a necessity. So much so that HAL 9000 has just as many emotions and abilities as the crew members, if not more. And the best part is humans become so dependent in their work, that the evolutionary pattern continues (at the very end) and the last logical step is that man is no longer the ones using the tools and machines, but becomes the source of their power (The Star Child.) Convuloted? Yes, but this was just a slice of my A paper.

Then there are the monoliths. Who knows what they mean? I don't and frankly, I think if we knew 100% for sure, the movie wouldn't be as riveting. It obviously stands for some huge change in humanity as after every time a monolith appears, humans advance and evolve and make things to help with their survival. Is it God? Is it a higher power? Do they stand for human intellegence and inspiration? Don't know.

Anyway, I bet no one agrees with why this is Kubricks masterpiece, but I have to stand by it. It's not the most enjoyable all around film to watch ( although I love it) but it is his deepest and most aesthetically challenging film.

1 comment:

Sara said...

It's sad that I've seen about NONE of these movies you're talking about :(