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 Posted:   May 1, 2008 - 5:14 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

So what’s your impassioned perspective?



Visionary beyond words,



over-ballyooed bore,



cinematic high watermark,



mystical metaphor,



the movies’ Mona Lisa,



uminpeachable masterpiece,



any, all



or none of the above? wink

 
 
 Posted:   May 1, 2008 - 5:54 PM   
 By:   franz_conrad   (Member)

Fascinating film. I was pleased to discover, on reading Michel Chion's book on the film, that the making of it was not all unimpeded genius, but that the elusive final form was very much an evolving concept as a result of editing exposition.

 
 Posted:   May 1, 2008 - 5:57 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Overballyhooed bore sounds right for the most part to me. The movie has impressive visuals, but in terms of storytelling it is not a good movie IMO.

I have only seen three Kubrick movies, this, Dr. Strangelove and Spartacus, and all three of them tend to validate my view that Kubrick is an overrated director whose films, while having elements that should be praised, are overhyped beyond that which their reputations are entitled. But that's just me.

 
 
 Posted:   May 1, 2008 - 6:03 PM   
 By:   Pete Apruzzese   (Member)

I recently wrote this on another board regarding 2001:

2001 is one of the few - *very* few - films from the sound era that actually uses the language of cinema to tell its story rather than the cinematic equivalent of stage or print. Kubrick himself said (in response to criticism that there were no great 'words' in the film) that if you won't believe your eyes, you won't like 2001. Most people want photographed stage plays, 2001 *is* cinema. It's grand, spiritual, emotional, exciting, thrilling and is the best film I've ever seen.

However, and it's a big 'however', unless you've seen in its intended 70mm format (preferably on a giant curved Cinerama screen) it's *not* the same experience. Director's intent trumps any home viewing, in this case.

 
 
 Posted:   May 1, 2008 - 6:04 PM   
 By:   franz_conrad   (Member)

I'd agree with you there Eric in relation to SPARTACUS, but for different reasons. The feel of the film and its concerns don't fit very well into the style which is manifest in most of his other features. It's a good adaptation of that script, mind you.

 
 
 Posted:   May 1, 2008 - 6:06 PM   
 By:   franz_conrad   (Member)

2001 is one of the few - *very* few - films from the sound era that actually uses the language of cinema to tell its story rather than the cinematic equivalent of stage or print. Kubrick himself said (in response to criticism that there were no great 'words' in the film) that if you won't believe your eyes, you won't like 2001.

That being said, it's interesting to discover there was more exposition dialogue in the original screenplay. In particular, the use of narration in the film (and in particular in the ultimately dialogue-free 'Dawn of Man' sequence) was something that survived some way into post-production. (This is what I meant about an evolving concept above.)

 
 Posted:   May 1, 2008 - 6:11 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

If I hadn't read Clarke's novelization before seeing the film (which took place at Saturn rather than Jupiter), then the film would have generated a total "HUH??" reaction from me.

Kubrick can say his approach to the film was "the language of cinema" but to me, storytelling as I understand how it should be, remains constant in the literary and visual mediums where there should be some clarity to what's going on (The Twilight Zone episode "The Invaders" is also a story that makes use of the visual medium without any dialogue but it nonetheless still has *clarity*), and to dispense with those features just for the sake of a supposedly more "artistic" approach only comes off to me like the voice of an elitist director talking down to his audience.

 
 
 Posted:   May 1, 2008 - 6:18 PM   
 By:   Pete Apruzzese   (Member)

2001 the film (which needs no help from the book to tell its story) is one example of how you can tell a story in purely visual means with minimal reliance on traditional dialog. Kubrick basically went back to 1927-1929 and expanded upon the height of the silent era (Sunrise, Wings, et al, which are far better than almost anything the first 5 years of sound cinema brought) to make his film.

It's not radio, TV, stage, or book. It's *film* in its purest sense, which can and should be different from those other forms of storytelling.

 
 Posted:   May 1, 2008 - 6:38 PM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

I recently wrote this on another board regarding 2001:

2001 is one of the few - *very* few - films from the sound era that actually uses the language of cinema to tell its story rather than the cinematic equivalent of stage or print. Kubrick himself said (in response to criticism that there were no great 'words' in the film) that if you won't believe your eyes, you won't like 2001. Most people want photographed stage plays, 2001 *is* cinema. It's grand, spiritual, emotional, exciting, thrilling and is the best film I've ever seen.

However, and it's a big 'however', unless you've seen in its intended 70mm format (preferably on a giant curved Cinerama screen) it's *not* the same experience. Director's intent trumps any home viewing, in this case.


Agreed on all counts. Seeing this film (10 or 12 times at least) on the big screen was quite a revelation. 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY is a remarkable and largely visual chronicle of the evolution of man's consciousness, and for me was the only thing Kubrick did that rated the term "genius." While now dated, it must be judged in the context of its time. For me, even the HAL 9000 sequence stands up well, not so much for the technology as for the spectre it presented of "artificial intelligence" evolved beyond the wildest dreams of its creators, and then gone awry. There is quite a lot to chew over in this film, and much to admire in its conception and execution. In my opinion, no film since has come close to going where Clarke and Kubrick were able to take 2001. A masterpiece for the ages!

 
 
 Posted:   May 1, 2008 - 9:15 PM   
 By:   franz_conrad   (Member)


Kubrick can say his approach to the film was "the language of cinema" but to me, storytelling as I understand how it should be, remains constant in the literary and visual mediums where there should be some clarity to what's going on (The Twilight Zone episode "The Invaders" is also a story that makes use of the visual medium without any dialogue but it nonetheless still has *clarity*), and to dispense with those features just for the sake of a supposedly more "artistic" approach only comes off to me like the voice of an elitist director talking down to his audience.


It wouldn't bother me if Kubrick was described as an elitist, because as an audience for films, that's probably what he was - as a great many iconoclastic directors are. (And therefore it's natural that it would come out in his films.)

But it sounds like the film's intentional ambiguity is part of what offends you. It seems a mistake to equate unresolved ambiguity with elitism.

 
 
 Posted:   May 1, 2008 - 9:19 PM   
 By:   JSWalsh   (Member)

2001 the film (which needs no help from the book to tell its story) is one example of how you can tell a story in purely visual means with minimal reliance on traditional dialog. Kubrick basically went back to 1927-1929 and expanded upon the height of the silent era (Sunrise, Wings, et al, which are far better than almost anything the first 5 years of sound cinema brought) to make his film.

It's not radio, TV, stage, or book. It's *film* in its purest sense, which can and should be different from those other forms of storytelling.


I can't add anything to that--perfect.

Except that I don't really enjoy this movie all that much. I can appreciate it without enjoying it.

Another SFmovie which, like 2001, uses cinema to tell a story--one the audience has to use just a bare minimum of thought to put together, maybe 1/10th the brain power required to understand a Hemingway short story--is THE FOUNTAIN, and it tells a story I actually enjoyed and which engaged me.

 
 Posted:   May 1, 2008 - 9:27 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

But it sounds like the film's intentional ambiguity is part of what offends you. It seems a mistake to equate unresolved ambiguity with elitism.

It's part of what I don't like about it, but there's more. I for one find it amazing how Kubrick so often gets a free pass for his use of what I think are mostly inappropriate classical temp tracks (other than the Ligeti piece) and for how he misled Alex North, yet comparatively speaking the manner in which George Stevens did the same thing to Alfred Newman in a much less egregious fashion in "The Greatest Story Ever Told" is often held up as an example of the most heinous crimes a director ever committed against a composer. To me, it always seemed as if Kubrick by virtue of his inflated reputation in elite circles could be the only director in the world who could get away with something like that (and I personally felt that North's music would have given the scenes he scored the kind of dramatic clarity that the film is sorely lacking for my own tastes).

Too me, 2001 isn't even the best sci-fi movie that came out in 1968. "Planet Of The Apes" holds that distinction with me.

 
 Posted:   May 1, 2008 - 9:34 PM   
 By:   DOGBELLE   (Member)

i lost 3 girl friends trying to explane the film ,as i saw it.
they thought i was taking drugs or did a lot of drinking.
but then i was young and had not learned to fall a sleep while watching a move.
as i got older it became second nature to me.
this film in later years made it a easy thing to do.

 
 
 Posted:   May 1, 2008 - 9:42 PM   
 By:   JSWalsh   (Member)

i lost 3 girl friends trying to explane the film ,as i saw it.
they thought i was taking drugs or did a lot of drinking.
.


I bet it was because each of them was wondering why the other two other girlfriends were in the room with you.

 
 Posted:   May 1, 2008 - 11:00 PM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)

I wish that Eric Paddon could've reached Kubrick sooner. If he had warned him about the mostly inappropriate classical pieces than I'm sure that Stanley could've delivered a TRUE classic, rather than whatever this garbage is. roll eyes

Eric, really, who's being pretentious?

 
 
 Posted:   May 1, 2008 - 11:16 PM   
 By:   franz_conrad   (Member)

I for one find it amazing how Kubrick so often gets a free pass for his use of what I think are mostly inappropriate classical temp tracks (other than the Ligeti piece) and for how he misled Alex North, yet comparatively speaking the manner in which George Stevens did the same thing to Alfred Newman in a much less egregious fashion in "The Greatest Story Ever Told" is often held up as an example of the most heinous crimes a director ever committed against a composer. To me, it always seemed as if Kubrick by virtue of his inflated reputation in elite circles could be the only director in the world who could get away with something like that (and I personally felt that North's music would have given the scenes he scored the kind of dramatic clarity that the film is sorely lacking for my own tastes).


Well I try to recognise that there can be a discrepancy between 'means' and 'ends'. I think Kubrick found a very good end for 2001's music situation through a process of trial-and-error (which included Frank Cordell as well as North) that was executed without proper consideration for the feelings of others.

But which of us is perfect? smile

I must say I don't really give George Stevens much of a hard time for his choices on THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD. In a sense, the out-of-character shift of the film's music into Handel at critical moments is more in character with the tone of the project than Alfred Newman's mature, restrained symphony. It's excellent central performance and Newman's music aside, this film has never quite won me over as other treatments of the character (e.g. Nicholas Ray's KING OF KINGS) have.

But then I generally don't have a problem with directors who take a fairly free hand with the music of their films. Most of my favourite directors are among the 'worst offenders' in this realm, and in general, an iconoclastic director is known for their signature musical choices as much as anything else. The only thing that bothers me is music that really really feels out of place. In 2001, it's hard to say anything's out of place because (i) the film's music tracks roughly follow a pattern of Ligeti's microtonal polyphony followed by Strauss's tone poem; (ii) there's enough variation in the first four music choices so that no consistent expectations for music are set up in the first place. Patterns in the placement of the music only become apparent later.

I have more trouble with a film that sets up clear expectations and violates them for no apparent reason. The film THE LUZHIN DEFENSE does this when in a film that is otherwise filled with underscore of a very particular texture and emotion, a boisterous Shostakovich jazz waltz is laid in over a critical montage. It stands against the pallete the film has otherwise committed to, and summons some awkward feelings with it.

(I have watched the film through with North's music incidentally, and I think that also plays very well. I'm not approving Kubrick's methods, but I'm not going to rule out the result just because he wasn't the nicest guy about it. How could I be a Herrmann fan if I judged all artists on the collateral damage they inflicted while making their art?)

 
 Posted:   May 2, 2008 - 12:04 AM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Eric, really, who's being pretentious?

You are, with your condescending suggestion that no one can have a negative view of Kubrick's work based on their own honest assessment of it. I've only presented my opinions as my own subjective ones, and nothing more, which I think would indicate I have a higher respect for how other people can by their own standards disagree with me on this, than you do.

 
 
 Posted:   May 2, 2008 - 3:51 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

I saw it on the night it opened in London at the Casino Cinerama, Soho, & it just blew me away, & when the film finished everyone stood up & clapped. Now, on the telly, I find it a bit (whisper) boring. I don't have it on DVD. Al.

 
 Posted:   May 2, 2008 - 4:29 AM   
 By:   Ebab   (Member)

Regularly I'm not a purist on this, but 2001 is the movie that needs to be seen on a BIG, LARGE, HUGE screen in a movie theater. It's so different when seen BIG.

If 2001 has just one virtue, it illustrates the "relativity" of orientation in space as brilliantly as no other. You have to let go of the familiar coordinate system with reliable concepts of "up" and "down" etc. Like when Dave shuts down Hal, the memory blocks he works on are up, down, to the side, any way you choose to look at it. Any interpretation of the perspective is equally valid. That's a great ride, realistic and totally disorienting.

 
 
 Posted:   May 2, 2008 - 4:47 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

We're gonna haveta resolutely stand with those comprising the Purists' Parade (ala Big Al and Ebab)



in that, if you haven't had the unparalled experience of seeing the film as originally presented, the most advanced state-of-the-art home system is guaranteed to not EVEN come close in approximation.



This Seattle theatre is a far cry from the Philadelphia one where we caught the movie's original release - when it was publically hyped because of its "far out, man, psychedelic" final sequence (which is as about as close in its authenticity as Pluto is from the Sun) - but this emporium comes close except the three screens extended wayyyyyyyyyy around both left and right sides of the central audience.



Mayhap the only contemporary equivalent would be the best of the IMAX brigade (and even then we seriously wonder) ... wink

 
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