Saturday, July 24, 2010

2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick) - 1968

At #26 on The List is Kubrick's science-fiction masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

This film is perhaps one of the biggest gaps in my filmic knowledge. Despite it being the all-time Favorite Film of many many friends and relatives, including my own father, I have never seen it.

Heh, well, firstly and most importantly, I dislike sci-fi.
I dislikes films that take place in space (generally speaking and Star Wars exempt). And furthermore, I am not the biggest Kubrick fan.

So it's no surprise that this wasn't quite my cup of tea.
That said, I really did (am) giving it a fair go.
I use the present tense in brackets because I am simultaneously typing while watching said film. Or rather, I watched 45 mins last night with my hubby (who incidentally is another person who loves the movie) before bed; Now, we are at the 1 hr 28 minute mark, and while I don't *dislike* the film, I am rather impatient and finding it slow-go.
So I will use my ability to type without needing to look at the keyboard while I watch the rest of this film.

From a purely visual point of view - this film is MINDBLOWING. Even by today's standards, but one can only imagine the impact it made in 1968. And I would love love love to see it on a big screen.

I'm not necessarily one who like films that are visually spectacular, but lacking in other areas. I do appreciate that film is, in and of itself, primarily a visual medium. But I truly believe that a film that lacks cohesiveness of the visual with other aspects of film, fails inherently.

2001: A Space Odyssey quite obviously doesn't fail per se...
But, and this is rather unpopular to say, I must agree with the critics who've said that it was "somewhere between hypnotic and immensely boring." and "2001 is a disaster because it is much too abstract to make its abstract points."

The film is slow.
A tad boring, minus the oooo-ing and aaah-ing over the gorgeous shots and nifty cut-aways, or the few captivating points of creepiness (usually coinciding with excellently haunting music).

Where is it goooooing, for god's sake?
What about plot?

I hate the too-abstract. The purposefully and pretentiously abstract.
And seriously...3 minutes in the frikkin dark, with nothing but manipulative music to set the scene, as a start to the film?
Puh-lease, Stanley Kubrick.

Apparently the book is excellent, and explains things which Kubrick has purposefully left vague, for viewers to prescribe meaning unto. My husband has pointed out gaps which the book explains -and also offered that the novel is on the shelf, should I ever want to read it (...hmmm, can't quite see that happening).
And I'm not an idiot who needs things to be spelled out to me, Hollywood style.
I just don't find myself riveted by the concept.

I like my films with a large side helping of meaning and emotion.
I know the themes tackled in this film were large and "profound", but the way in which they were handled left this viewer less than dazzled.

But hey, at least I know have basis for the zillions of references to this "epic film".
And I was dazzled by visuals and brilliant use of music/sound.

So, 3 out of 5 monkeys then.


  1. I'm impressed that you watched it! i have managed to rent it-- and let it sit on my coffee table, until it was time to return it :-)

  2. Hee! I SO know what you mean - I have tried to sit down and watch this film many times and never brought myself to it until this viewing. I borrowed it from my friends (who were overseas for a month) so I figured I simply HAD to watch it within that month. I managed about 18 minutes during the day by myself and groaned through that, then thought "I'll wait til Jono comes home and we'll nerd it out together." He loves sci-fi and all that crap, and loves that film, so he was able to kindof give me a better appreciation and understanding of it whilst watching. otherwise, i may never have gotten thru it! ;)

  3. Kubrick is the greatest but 2001 is so boring i almost fell asleep watching it :)