#95: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Directed by Stanley Kubrick Shown: Keir Dullea

When and how did I watch this?

October 4th, 2016 on Amazon Prime.

Had I seen this film already?

Nope.

What did I know about the movie before watching it?

Another prestigious Kubrick film.  The two we’ve seen so far have been stunning. I expected the spectacular from this one.

What do I know about it now?

What do you do with a movie that has more lines of dialogue from hooting prehistoric apes than all of the human characters put together, and a continuous stream striking images with seemingly no relevance to one another? Well, there’s no particular answer.  It’s like those songs by Christian artists that might be about God, but could possibly also be about that girl they have a crush on.  I actually saw this phenomenon unfold live at a Relient K concert, whereas a handful of attendees actually had their hands raised up in praise during a breakup song.  Misunderstanding, or at least making personal interpretations of the film, must be frequent among viewers.  The movie (seemingly) makes bold statements about existentialism, primal desires, space travel and extraterrestrial life, artificial intelligence, the fragility of life, the cosmos, and theoretical singularities in space-time. We can’t help but stand in awe of the imagery and haunting sound and score. Regardless of meaning, I won’t soon forget several of the moments, including the absolutely hair-raising conclusion. Upon completing the film, my wife and I had a steep disagreement over whether this film is truly great, or just a massive concoction of nonsense and scenery for us to interpret ourselves.  I guess that’s for you to decide.  Regardless of what one might believe it’s about, it’s undeniably breathtaking and tense.

What are some themes in the film?

Existentialism, primal desires, space travel and extraterrestrial life, artificial intelligence, the fragility of life, the cosmos, and theoretical singularities in space-time. Yes, I copied and pasted.  Get over it.

Did this affect me personally?

The first time you realize how fast the universe is while gazing into the night sky on a clear evening produces a similar result.  Over and over again.

Why is this ranked #95?

Kubrick is a g. That’s short for gangsta, or genius.  Either one applies here.  Furthermore, the renown of this film is massive.  I’m going to guess that some folks even gave this a high star rating having never seen the film.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She couldn’t stand it.  I had buddy over to watch it as well.  He fell asleep.

Would I watch it again?

It’s lengthy and powerful.  It’s hard to imagine seeing this again, but another viewing might not be necessary anyway, unless I’m examining it further for meaning.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

Once again, this is an important film, and one a generation before mine has likely seen. Anyone serious about film should consider taking a ride on this ship.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

Yes.  I have to believe Kubrick knows what he’s doing. What you see on the screen is enough to raise deep questions, drive your imagination to new places, and put you in a state of wonder, if not just being entertaining for its visual awesomeness.

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