Sunday, February 28, 2010

42 Years Later

I am embarrassed to admit this but tonight, February 28, 2010, I saw the film depicted on the right for the first time.

Yeah, I just saw 2001, A Space Odyssey for the first time. Even on a dinky 15-inch flat screen TV, the film lives up to its formidablereputation. I've seen hundreds of movies in my life, avant garde, commercial, exploitation, musical, animated cartoon, horror and any other type you can name. This film is so unique it's hard for me to put it in the context of anything else I've ever seen. It doesn't have a conventional storyline. Instead it's a much grander meditation on the evolution of mankind and our relationship to the rest of the universe. Stanley Kubrick has been accused of showing a lack of  feeling in his later films. That kills a work like The Shining, the world's slowest horror film, for me but it fits perfectly here. The computer, HAL 9000, is the most human player in the film and the relative robotic nature of the flesh and blood characters fits in with their overall insignificance in comparison to the black slabs they encounter and whatever built them.  If that were Captain James Kirk or Han Solo out there going through that light show on Jupiter it would not have been the same.

As imitated, quoted and parodied as this film has been over the last 40 years, it's still amazingly poweirful to watch for the first time. The first chance I get to see this on a proper big movie screen, I am there.

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