2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
Post Reply
Message
Author
statsman
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:03 am

2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#1 Post by statsman » Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:26 pm

I recently watched this again, for the first time since the late '70s (when I saw it on TV as a 15 year old). I was a huge science fiction fan, and pretty much viewed it no deeper than the narrative. I recognized that the science was better (no sound in vacuum, no the artificial gravity was represented realistically, and the station dcking took a reasonable amount of time, instead of the "Star Wars" shorthand version) than its contemporaries in science fiction, and that it was really, really long. My fresh viewing (on my 2007 purchased HD-DVD player, holla!) gave me a new appreciation.

I never noticed the "tribal war" theme before. I caught that the ability to use tools gave the one tribe the ability to overcome (i.e. "kill") the other. For the first time, I caught the USA/USSR tribal competition aspects. The US has found this artifact on the moon, and rather than share it with the rival tribe (lack of trust and desire to profit alone) it was going to take on this huge mission alone. When I saw the film 30 years ago, I missed this aspect. In 1978, cooperating with the Russians on something so appropriate was unthinkable.

They made just one mistake. They took an unexpected "rival tribe" along- HAL, the new reasoning computer that they suspected may actually be aware.

Yes, HAL was aware. HAL had been briefed on the mission before the astronauts. The movie doesn't tell us if HAL guessed the aliens were going to introduce a next step to the sentient beings that made it to Saturn (and wanted to take it himself), or if, as the book explains, he didn't trust the humans to complete the mission correctly. I suspect the former, mainly because it fits the "tribal war" theme.

Anyway, it's a far richer film than I remembered.
Last edited by statsman on Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
solaris72
Posts: 683
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:03 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#2 Post by solaris72 » Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:15 pm

statsman wrote:HAL had been briefed on the mission before the astronauts. The movie doesn't tell us if HAL guessed the aliens were going to introduce a next step to the sentient beings that made it to Saturn (and wanted to take it himself), or if, as the book explains, he didn't trust the humans to complete the mission correctly. I suspect the former, mainly because it fits the "tribal war" theme.
I always felt the most interesting explanation was similar to yours, except that HAL was sabotaging the mission because he suspected (rightfully) the "next step" would mean physical technology would no longer be needed by humans, and he was trying to prevent that.

Also, it always seems almost surreal to me whenever I remember that a sequel to this magnificent film was made by the director of "A Sound of Thunder" and "End of Days."

User avatar
Magic Hate Ball
Posts: 642
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:15 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#3 Post by Magic Hate Ball » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:42 pm

I wish more people could see this on the big screen. Even HD doesn't hold a candle to the immense power this film has when it's filling your range of vision.

User avatar
knives
Posts: 13967
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#4 Post by knives » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:47 pm

So true. I manged to see it in theater a few years back, and it was absolutely breathtaking. My favorite experience in a theater ever.

User avatar
thirtyframesasecond
Posts: 1011
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:48 pm

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#5 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:33 pm

Magic Hate Ball wrote:I wish more people could see this on the big screen. Even HD doesn't hold a candle to the immense power this film has when it's filling your range of vision.
It was on at the BFI Southbank at a Kubrick retrospective recently. I couldn't make it. So disappointed.

It's probably the first WTF film experience I ever had, watching it at home with my parents. Spent the whole Dawn of Man sequence wondering what the Hell was going on.

User avatar
zedz
Posts: 10299
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#6 Post by zedz » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:50 pm

Magic Hate Ball wrote:I wish more people could see this on the big screen. Even HD doesn't hold a candle to the immense power this film has when it's filling your range of vision.
The only time this worked for me was when I saw it in 70mm (as a last hurrah for a 70mm-equipped cinema that was closing down). The visual splendour really needs to drown out the pseudo-profundity for me to take it seriously (i.e. it needs to deliver revelation rather than just talk about it).

User avatar
exte
~_~
Posts: 1244
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 4:27 pm
Location: NJ

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#7 Post by exte » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:53 pm

zedz wrote:
Magic Hate Ball wrote:I wish more people could see this on the big screen. Even HD doesn't hold a candle to the immense power this film has when it's filling your range of vision.
The only time this worked for me was when I saw it in 70mm (as a last hurrah for a 70mm-equipped cinema that was closing down). The visual splendour really needs to drown out the pseudo-profundity for me to take it seriously (i.e. it needs to deliver revelation rather than just talk about it).
I always hear that about the Matrix but never 2001. Wow, thank you.

User avatar
Mr Sausage
Not PETA approved
Posts: 5852
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#8 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:36 am

zedz wrote:
Magic Hate Ball wrote:I wish more people could see this on the big screen. Even HD doesn't hold a candle to the immense power this film has when it's filling your range of vision.
The only time this worked for me was when I saw it in 70mm (as a last hurrah for a 70mm-equipped cinema that was closing down). The visual splendour really needs to drown out the pseudo-profundity for me to take it seriously (i.e. it needs to deliver revelation rather than just talk about it).
That's an odd statement to make about a movie with so little talking (and without a single philosophical discussion, if I recall). I do realize you were making an analogy and that you weren't literally accusing 2001 of being over-verbal, but I can't think of any other movie less likely to equivocate about, and digress around, revelation.

User avatar
zedz
Posts: 10299
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#9 Post by zedz » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:01 pm

Mr_sausage wrote:That's an odd statement to make about a movie with so little talking (and without a single philosophical discussion, if I recall). I do realize you were making an analogy and that you weren't literally accusing 2001 of being over-verbal, but I can't think of any other movie less likely to equivocate about, and digress around, revelation.
Sloppy expression - I meant the difference between delivering revelation in visceral, aesthetic terms rather than as a component of the narrative. Or delivering revelation direct to the audience rather than via the characters: "I'm undergoing an unimaginable experience" rather than "that astronaut looks like he's undergoing an unimaginable experience".

User avatar
Mr Sausage
Not PETA approved
Posts: 5852
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#10 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:34 pm

zedz wrote:
Mr_sausage wrote:That's an odd statement to make about a movie with so little talking (and without a single philosophical discussion, if I recall). I do realize you were making an analogy and that you weren't literally accusing 2001 of being over-verbal, but I can't think of any other movie less likely to equivocate about, and digress around, revelation.
Sloppy expression - I meant the difference between delivering revelation in visceral, aesthetic terms rather than as a component of the narrative. Or delivering revelation direct to the audience rather than via the characters: "I'm undergoing an unimaginable experience" rather than "that astronaut looks like he's undergoing an unimaginable experience".
You, sir, are a clever one. I might answer, if I find myself up to the challenge.

Cde.
Posts: 586
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:56 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#11 Post by Cde. » Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:26 am

I've seen this twice in a theatre (once when I was too young to really appreciate it, though it left quite an impression none the less) and it is quite an experience. Home theatre equipment can't do it justice. I'm still kicking myself for missing it in 70mm a few years ago (with Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood in attendance, no less).

I appreciate the film more as a ballet and a symphony of images than I do as a philosophical exercise. Like many great works do, it changes and becomes unclear every time I watch it, but I think I get what Kubrick is saying by now. Maybe it's an inevitability with the passing of time and the influence of this film, but the 'point' of the film just isn't all that compelling to me, or at least, not as much as the experience of surrendering to the flow of images.

Does anyone else think that the conversations with HAL are hilarious?
Last edited by Cde. on Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

statsman
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:03 am

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#12 Post by statsman » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:52 am

Does anyone else think that the conversations with HAL are hilarious?
Yes. Hal's deadpan attempts to decieve and (later) bargain emphasize "his" sentience.

Oh, a lot of critics have commented in the past on the understated performances of the crew. I actually am an aerospace engineer, and I can tell you that there are people in this industry that talk like that.

User avatar
thirtyframesasecond
Posts: 1011
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:48 pm

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#13 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:12 am

I assumed it was SK's intention for HAL to be more "human" than Lockwood/Dullea, as if to make you empathise with a computer.

Cde.
Posts: 586
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:56 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#14 Post by Cde. » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:16 am

thirtyframesasecond wrote:I assumed it was SK's intention for HAL to be more "human" than Lockwood/Dullea, as if to make you empathise with a computer.
HAL 9000 wrote:Stop, Dave.

I'm af-raiid.
I think the apes are also more human and sympathetic than the central human characters.

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Posts: 8614
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#15 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:58 pm

HAL is certainly one of those characters that defies any sense of good and evil one has watching the film. I would like to believe that that was Stanley's intention, for the audience to make their own conclusions. My simple reaction to Dave re-entering the Discovery upon the first viewing was a brave act, and that his disconnection of HAL was an act of self-preservation possibly mixed with some sense of revenge for the death of his human colleagues. I'm sure I'm not alone in that, as when I came across this on the iMDB:
Anthony Hopkins has stated that he saw the character of Lecter as similar to HAL in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey; that is to say, a highly complex, highly intelligent, highly logical killing machine who seems to know everything going on around him
Later on, when Arthur wrote the sequel (which has way way more depth than the movie adaptation), he managed to make HAL a more sympathetic character. The victim of a paranoid bureaucracy, mourned by it's creator, once again revived only to sacrifice itself in the end for the greater good. That much is in the film version, and Bob Balaban did a wonderful job of conveying that kind of relationship he created with HAL.

This brings me back to something that I was originally going to post about but the discussion thus far of HAL inspired these comments I've made so far, so thanks :) I remember watching the episode of Charlie Rose with Martin Scorsese, Stanley's widow, and her brother who was also Stan's producer. Martin made the comment that the scene where HAL kills the hibernating astronauts was one of the greatest murder scenes ever. I always thought that was kind of funny, considering how well known he has been for the violent deaths in his movies, to say that a scene with such minimal physical action had that kind of impact on him.

User avatar
solaris72
Posts: 683
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:03 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#16 Post by solaris72 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:05 pm


User avatar
Napier
Posts: 817
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:48 am
Location: The Shire

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#17 Post by Napier » Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:08 pm

solaris72 wrote:17 cut minutes found
What's even more interesting, is how in the world did the footage end up in a salt mine?

Titus
Posts: 323
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 4:40 pm

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#18 Post by Titus » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:07 pm

Napier wrote:how in the world did the footage end up in a salt mine?
There's a salt museum/mine in Hutchinson, KS that is used to store thousands of film prints because of it's controlled temperature and humidity. That has to be where this was found, I would think.

User avatar
The Fanciful Norwegian
Posts: 1628
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:24 pm
Location: Teegeeack

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#19 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:32 am

Jeffrey Wells (he of "film grain is for monks/Spartacus is one of the best Blu-rays of the year" fame) has had some pretty good info on this: first a post (confirmed by Robert Harris) stating that the footage was actually found decades ago, and now an official statement (which was presumably sent out to other outlets as well) confirming that this is old news and that WB has no intention of doing an extended cut.

User avatar
MyNameCriterionForum
Posts: 762
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:27 am

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#20 Post by MyNameCriterionForum » Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:13 am

I'd like some sort of official (and justifiable) reason Trumbull's in-progress doc on 2001 was canceled

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 28517
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#21 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:38 pm

Rock Hudson: Not a fan
Roger Ebert wrote:Stanley Kubrick played it safe with "2001: A Space Odyssey," which merely started at the Dawn of Man, and even then at its world premiere in Hollywood Rock Hudson walked out, passing my seat as he audibly grumbled: "Will someone tell me what this piece of shit is about?"

User avatar
marknyc5
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:38 pm

2001 in 70mm

#22 Post by marknyc5 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:12 pm

I'm seeing this in 70mm on Sunday in Silver Springs, Maryland.

It was supposed to be "Porgy and Bess" in 70mm, but it was cancelled due to rights issues.

Anyone have any idea of what I'll be seeing? Will it be a recent print or one that is decades old?

Also, how far removed is it from the camera negative? I've always been impressed that Kubrick/Trumbull did all the effects in the camera to avoid generational loss, so I'm curious how far away from that this print is.

Thanks for any info!

User avatar
hearthesilence
Posts: 4153
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#23 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:09 pm

domino harvey wrote:Rock Hudson: Not a fan
Roger Ebert wrote:Stanley Kubrick played it safe with "2001: A Space Odyssey," which merely started at the Dawn of Man, and even then at its world premiere in Hollywood Rock Hudson walked out, passing my seat as he audibly grumbled: "Will someone tell me what this piece of shit is about?"
LOL, not that long ago, I tried watching 2001 at my parents' home, and my dad was passing through the room just as it began. He sat down and decided to watch, but a few minutes into the apes, he started complaining, "What's going on? What's this about? There's no people."

Before the apes discovered tools (maybe even before the monolith), he said something like "this is stupid," got up and went upstairs (which wasn't even in the direction he was heading when he was passing through). I was like, "man, I thought Rock Hudson was bad..."

User avatar
tarpilot
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:48 am

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

#24 Post by tarpilot » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:48 am

Assuming we're the same-ish generation, I thought all parents had at least a passing familiarity with 2001. What on earth did he watch when he was stoned?!

User avatar
MichaelB
Posts: 12210
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: 2001 in 70mm

#25 Post by MichaelB » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:25 am

marknyc5 wrote:Also, how far removed is it from the camera negative? I've always been impressed that Kubrick/Trumbull did all the effects in the camera to avoid generational loss, so I'm curious how far away from that this print is.
I imagine there'd have been at least one interim stage, given that printing directly from the camera negative would be an insanely time-consuming process because everything would have to be regraded. But without knowing precisely which print it is, it's impossible to be any more accurate.

Post Reply