Saturday, April 17, 2010

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

TOP 100 FILMS: #19

From the dawn of man to the discovery Monoliths, a group of astronauts seek out to uncover the mystery behind these objects, and their relevance to humanity.

"I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid."

Not every movie goes down right the first time. I remember my first viewing of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sitting down one afternoon, ready to watch the much acclaimed Kubrick masterpiece. After an hour of random Moon talk, giant dominoes, and bone wielding monkeys, I turned off the TV. Immeasurably bored, and annoyed beyond description, I told myself that I would simply just never watch that movie again... at least that's what I told myself.

Some years later a friend of mine convinced me to revisit the film (after what I would label as months of heckling). Begrudgingly I agreed, and once again sat down on another afternoon to watch this masterpiece of cinema.

I'm not sure what changed in the 3 odd years since I last watched 2001. Perhaps I became more open to art films, but from the opening score to the final, legendary, shot, 2001 had me hook, line, and sinker. Captivating, engrossing, and visually impressive, Kubrick breaths new, slow, and methodical, life into the science fiction genre with every scene. While at the same time Kubrick's film engages questions of humanity, morality, and the consequences of ever growing intellectual technology.

Sure the subtext can get a bit muddled, but like any art house interpretational film, 2001 has all the questions, none of the answers, and is willing to lay it all out for you. For those who can handle that, it's truly a sight to see. For those who can't, well I recommend checking out the sequel 2010, less interpretational, more straight forward.

Still, to this day, I am surprised how much my opinion of the film changed in only a handful of years. What was once boring is now a fixture of my core watching group. A movie I revisit whenever I have the chance, if for no other opportunity than to try and understand, all the while appreciating, it a little bit more.

While it's not for everyone, especially not your more mainstream film goer, 2001 A: Space Odyssey is a captivating science fiction film, riddled with amazing visuals and intelligent writing. The kind of film that forever redefines the possibilities of a genre. Reaching beyond accepted norms, and bringing something entirely original to the table.

4 better thoughts:

Rick "The Hat" Bman said...

One of my all time favorite movies. If you ever get the chance to see this in a theater, do not pass it up. I got to see it on the big screen a couple years back and it was one of the best movie going experiences I have ever had.

The Floating Red Couch said...

I cannot stress enough amongst the 1001 clubbies: if you read the book, written as a companion to the movie, many of the strange holes are filled. Not many questions are answered, but you definitely get captions to the beautiful shots offered up by Kubrick

CMrok93 said...

Its a film that will test your comfort zone, especially when it comes movie viewing. But, it is one of the most influential sci-fi films of all-time, and brings up great questions about a universe we may never know about. Check out my review here: Nice Review!

Dan (Top10Films) said...

2001 is as infuriating as it is enthralling. The great thing about the movie is that everyone takes something different from the film. There's not many films (certainly those that favour style over substance) you can say that about.

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