Day One – The Shining / Day Two – Full Metal Jacket / Day Three – Eyes Wide Shut
Day Four – A Clockwork Orange / Day Five – 2001: A Space Odyssey Mesage Board Discussion
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STUDIO: Warner Bros.
RUNNING TIME: 149 Minutes
- Theatrical trailer
- Commentary by Kier Dullea & Gary Lockwood
- 2001: The Making of a Myth
- Look: Stanley Kubrick!
- 1966 Kubrick Audio Interview
- 2001: FX and Early Conceptual Artwork
- Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick
- Vision of a Future Passed
- 2001: A Space Odyssey – A Look Behind the Future and What is Out There?
The most important and influential science fiction film ever made. Is that enough for you?
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Keir Dullea. Gary Lockwood. William Sylvester. Douglas Rain.
Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke
A monolith’s appearance in ancient times leads towards an awaking in primate man, a monolith on the moon leads towards a new awakening in modern man. The cosmic meets the real in Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick’s painstaking, deliberate, and mindbending film which paved the way for pretty much every major cinematic science fiction entry which followed. That’s not hyperbole either.
The CHUD.com Staff Ruminates on 2001: A Space Odyssey:
Thoughts on 2001: A Space Odyssey.
I never watched 2001: A Space Odyssey while high. I have watched a lot of movies while high on
various substances (Mazes and Monsters got the biggest bump in quality from
drugs, by the way), but the one film that seems to be made for toking or dosing
is the one for which I’ve stayed sober. I guess I’m perverse like that.
There’s a woman who lives in the apartment complex next to mine, and her
balcony overlooks my bedroom window. She’s old, and smokes all day and begins
every morning by coghing and spitting and bringing up huge splattery loogies
from the cancerous depths of her lungs. I always wish that if another
black slab came to Earth it would land on her head. She doesn’t deserve to
get to the next level of evolution.
When I’m really drunk and feel myself fading, I tend to sing Daisy. Most people
don’t get it.
One thing that has always bugged me about 2001: A Space Odyssey is that the cut from the bone
spinning in the air to the spacecraft in Earth orbit isn’t exact – the bone and
ship are at different positions. I’m not usually this anal, but I have a
feeling that if Kubrick made the film in the 21st century he wouldn’t call it 2001: A Space Odyssey. Also, he’d use computers to get that famous jump cut perfect.
It’s one thing for a film to lay claim to a modern pop song – that music is
newer and has fewer associations, and is malleable in the public consciousness.
But with 2001: A Space Odyssey Kubrick lays claim to whole swaths of classical music; Also Spach
Zarathustra will be linked, forever and ever, with this film. It’s one of the
most direct and obvious examples of the overwhelming power of cinema.
most of Stanley Kubrick’s films, which bring to mind a stream of images and
impressions, 2001: A Space Odyssey is keyed in my mind to one edit. A single juxtaposition of
images speaks more than the entire output of other filmmakers: a bone followed
as it tumbles through the air, becoming in a couple of quick cuts a human-built
craft floating in space. Just as Russia and America were racing to achieve what
was then mankind’s greatest dream — the first step in the conquest of space —
Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke negated the accomplishments of an entire species
in a single second.
like to think that Kubrick would include his own films in that all-encompassing
edit. If so, that would imply the presence of a sense of humor, which audiences
perpetually claim is missing from the man’s films. And while that edit places
the focus of the film squarely on human evolution rather than any
techno-worship, there’s an undeniable current of grinning aesthetic
appreciation for human products in the film. Why else would we be shown a
forest of red chairs squatting like brilliant mushrooms, or a father-daughter
conversation that spans thousands of miles? And no one cuts a shuttle’s docking
approach to the Blue Danube Waltz that has the negation of technology as a
I sat down to write this piece, the first thing I crossed off the list of
potential topics was the pure beauty of the film. But scanning the Blu-ray disc
for these images of techno-appreciation I’m temporarily blinded to deeper
concerns. It’s not enough that Kubrick made the first amazing space FX movie;
he crafted it so well that when presented in high definition (whether that be
70mm or 1080p) there’s not a flaw to be found.
watched this entire batch of re-releases in HD and they all look great, but
2001 is mind-boggling. The perfectionism for which Kubrick was famous emanates
from every frame; the incomplete space station and functional appearance of the
Jupiter mission’s craft, Bowman’s visions and the film’s final moments in this
presentation are more impressive than ever, because they’re each a diamond
gleaming out from the screen.
in 70mm the effect is probably the same, but I’ve never been so lucky. In fact,
while I’ve seen every other major Kubrick movie from The Killing to Eyes Wide
Shut on a movie screen, I’ve never seen 2001: A Space Odyssey projected in any format.)
people are flattened by music or editing, but the unity of on-set craft is what
always grabs my attention. So these practical effects, so simple and effective
that a modern movie-savvy audience won’t be able to figure them out, are as
glorious now as ever. (Show ten people the floating pen bit and see how many of
them know how it was done without CGI. Three in a smart sample.) I don’t’ have
to hesitate at all in calling 2001: A Space Odyssey closer to technical
perfection than any other film. That
statement can be made and supported without even beginning to engage Kubrick’s
marriage of form and content, which is another massive achievement altogether.
- Russ Fischer
The first time I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey, I was in the company of someone that was
baked out of their mind. Listening to their running commentary during
the film cost me a lot of opportunities to really dig into one of
Kubrick’s masterworks and I’m forever plagued with snippets from that
first viewing. The one that sticks in my memory and comes up whenever I
see the flick is the friend’s comments about the finale. It wasn’t
anything dumb about the Spacechild or the light show that marks the
beginning of the Third Act.
He leaned over to me and said with the straightest face, “I liked it
better when it was about the monkeys”. The fact that he could look past
everything that was place onscreen and boil down the entire film to a
band of monkeys blew my mind. So, when I think of
that comment. Thank you, man. Eight years later and you’re still
ruining movies for me.
Writing about 2001: A Space Odyssey is a lot like writing
about The Bible. There isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said
by someone else, since it’s generally considered one of the best films
of all time. That said, it’s also pretty easy to write about, since the
film is so thematically broad, covering such wide-ranging topics as
evolution, artificial intelligence, alien life, technology, and ape
fights. It also has the distinction of being the most over-parodied and
over-referenced of all of Kubrick’s films (see Spaceballs, Red Dwarf, Stealth, The Jerk, Airplane II, and the infamous 1976: Disco Booty Odyssey). I could probably recreate the entirety of 2001: A Space Odyssey in cartoon form by collecting and editing Simpsons references alone. A good starting point for a discussion might be: “What makes 2001: A Space Odyssey so deeply ingrained into our popular consciousness?”
My answer: 2001: A Space Odyssey is
like the world’s most popular piece of experimental classical music,
and is so different from anything that ever came before it (well,
besides maybe Metropolis) that it was permanently shocked
into our consciousness. It’s an entertaining, gorgeous, sometimes
baffling vision of the future, and plays differently every time we see
it. While the ending of Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey novel isn’t as ambiguous, what we take away from the film version is entirely up to us; 2001: A Space Odyssey’s
ending is perhaps the most widely seen
“what-in-the-fuck-is-going-on-here” moment in mainstream film. Like any
other good piece of music, it’s entirely subjective, which is why it’s
still popular amongst modern cinephiles and pot smoking teens alike.
Oh, and 2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL paved the way for Colossus: The Forbin Project’s Colossus.
While HAL’s the better ‘character’, Colossus is just so much more
menacing. Colossus makes HAL look like an infected Mac in a high school
media room. Colossus is so bad that his disk space is measured in
Cenobites. In Colossus: The Forbin Project, Colossus teaches Dr. Forbin how to make the perfect martini. In 2001: A Space Odyssey,
it’s not clear whether or not HAL even knows what a martini is, let
alone how good his mixing skills are. I probably wouldn’t even let HAL near the liquor cabinet. If you take anything away from these three paragraphs, it should be this: Colossus needs more respect.
I have seen the film all the way through in one sitting three times before this month. I have now seen it all the way through about seven times and it has become a lovely part of my filmic routine. Its pace and silence married with its sudden sounds and usage of classical music is something I find to be a great bedrock for when I’m working, cleaning the house, or discovering little monoliths in the scalp of my mate. I don’t know why or how I turned the corner on this one, especially since I had planned to use this series of articles as a reasoning why this film isn’t figuratively all that. Except it is.
Such a fucking special movie, one I found boring as hell as recently as five years ago. Once again, as is the case with many of Kubrick’s films, I respected it and found it to be a transcendent piece of history but didn’t go out of my way to watch or recommend it. In film school it led to one extremely long and punishing experience where I thought I’d never watch the film again for as long as I lived.
Now I can watch it without feeling unrest or bored. Have I gotten old, smarter, dumber, lazier, or just more Italian? I don’t know. What I do know is that this film is fucking knockers and I wish I had given it the open-minded time a long time ago.
Oh, and I don’t get high and I still love it so there’s that.
- Nick Nunziata
2001: A Space Odyssey is a movie that I find something new to digest with every viewing.
Back in 1982 my mother took me to a dollar cinema and along the way she
kept trying to explain to me what the movie was about. "You’ll see some
monkeys but this is NOT just about them", "You’ll have lots of
questions afterwards". She seemed so excited about sharing this movie
with me I was getting worried and ask myself "What if I don’t like it?"
For the first time in my young movie going experience I just sat there
in awe and even though I could not grasp the deeper meaning of
could at least appreciate the fact that I was watching something
amazing. After the movie was over and we had gone back to the car Mom
was sitting there all wide-eyed waiting for me to overload her with
questions. What did I do? I just sat there looking back at her
wide-eyed with no questions. For a moment I thought she was going to be
disappointed and then she just grinned. The look on my face was all she
needed to see as she knew that what I had just experienced with a movie
was something special.
Until last summer, I had never been able to watch 2001: A Space Odyssey in its
entirety. I tried over a dozen times, at least, but the same thing
happened—twenty or so minutes in, right around the end of the ape
sequence and the beginning of the “Blue Danube” docking bit, I’d fall
right asleep. Without fail. I’d probably seen all the relevant clips,
thanks to awards shows and Kubrick documentaries, but I’d never seen
the flick whole, and from someone who considers himself to be a serious
film fan, this bugged me. Last summer, that all changed. A friend and
I, armed with Red Bull and a few other substances I’d rather not
mention, sat down, and we watched the whole fucking movie.
It was one of the great experiences of my film-going life.
This is a movie that dares you to stop paying attention, to fall
asleep, in effect, because of how revolutionary it is. It’s not a
traditional science fiction film by any means. It’s not even a
traditional “film”—I’ve never seen so many narrative conventions either
missing or askew as they are in
Watching it for the first time, it seemed like Kubrick’s got nothing
less on his agenda than to transport you to another world, and a return
voyage is less-than-assured. Sure, the learning curve to get into his
world may be tough (and soporific). But I can’t think of any film more
worth the effort.
- Josh Katz
about six years old. I loved science fiction so she figured it was set
in space, in the future, so why not? Except of course the
science-fiction I was a fan of at the time featured either Wars or
Treks in their titles and after about ten-minutes of monkey skull
bashing (“Is this Planet of the Apes?” my dad asked) the movie got shut
off right quick.
Years later in high school, after watching A Clockwork Orange and The
Shining, I returned to
movies. Movies stopped becoming movies after 2001: A Space Odyssey and started becoming
film. I wasn’t aware of poetry in the cinema before 2001: A Space Odyssey. I wasn’t
aware of how much you could do with a film, what you could suggest,
where it could lead analytical thinking. The film’s tag-line might have
been “the ultimate trip” to cash in on the acid-dropping crowd of the
late 60’s, but it’s universally appropriate. Not only does it factor
into the plot, it represents a shift in movie-making (and for me,
movie-watching). You’ll never see another movie like 2001: A Space Odyssey, so in some
ways, it’s the movie to end all movies, charting the ultimate human
story, from pre-evolved ape to reborn star god. How fitting that a film
about evolution and the triumph of humanity over machinery was my
gateway into the real, beautiful possibilities of film and cinema being
looked at as an art form rather than simply entertainment.
There’s a famous story about the premiere of 2001: A Space Odyssey,
a story I’m sure at least some of you are familiar with: Supposedly, at
the film’s world premiere, Rock Hudson stormed out of the theater
halfway through the screening, shouting "Will someone please tell me
what the hell this movie is about?" I can relate, Rock. The first time
I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey as a teenager, I pretty much had
the exact same reaction. What the hell am I watching? I thought this
was supposed to be a science fiction movie! Where are the ray guns?
What’s with all the guys in the monkey suits? And for the love of God,
why’d they have to make the thing so boring? I simply didn’t understand the movie. And I didn’t understand why it was considered such a masterpiece. Star Wars, now there was a masterpiece. 2001: A Space Odyssey,
as far as I was concerned, was just a movie people said they liked so
they could sound smart. No sane person could possibly find this movie
entertaining, I reasoned. They all had to be lying.
It’s amazing what a difference fifteen years makes. Today, I can’t fathom how someone could watch 2001: A Space Odyssey and not be
entranced by it. It’s a testament to the film’s effectiveness that even
back then, watching the movie at thirteen years old and bored to tears,
I simply could not change the channel. Oh sure, I rationalized it away
at the time: I just wanted to see how it ends, I told myself. But that
wasn’t it. The movie is just so damn engrossing that you can’t turn
away, no matter what your opinion of the film might be while you’re
I have to admit, even now I’m not sure I fully understand this movie. I
don’t think I ever will. But while once I found that frustrating, now I
realize that this lack of understanding is exactly what’s so riveting
about 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s not a movie that’s meant to be understood on a
literal, narrative level. Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clark both
recognized that for something to inspire awe, it must also be totally
incomprehensible. After all, once mankind was able to scientifically
explain the sun and the moon and their relationship to the Earth, we
stopped looking at those objects with any sense of wonder. What’s to
wonder, now that we know it all? In 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick gives us
those monoliths which, in spite of the fact that they’re completely
inanimate objects, still manage to inspire both terror and wonder
because they’re just so damn inexplicable. After everything we see over
the course of the movie, by the end we’re not much closer to
understanding the nature of the monoliths as we were at the beginning.
As much as we’d like to think that we as humankind understand the
universe around us, 2001: A Space Odyssey shows us a version of ourselves that
is probably closer to the truth: That we are, in the grand scheme of
things, completely ignorant. Kinda like my thirteen-year-old self.
I had the good fortune to be born to a movie lover. I almost saw 2001: A Space Odyssey
for the first time when I was six or seven years old– Mom herded me
and my brother into the car when she found out it was playing locally,
only to cancel said excursion at the concession stand upon being
informed that the multiplex’s main screen was being occupied by Midway,
in Sensurround no less. We could hear the explosions from there, so it
was an easy call. Nevertheless, it would be at least two years before
another opportunity presented itself, and by that time Star Wars
had happened. I’d begun to educate myself in the art of special
effects, and I’d gleaned the basics of miniature photography,
compositing, and motion-control from an excellent article in Dynamite magazine. I vivdly remember watching the ‘Blue Danube’ sequence for the first time and asking myself, wait–
this looks really good. If this stuff was done ten years ago, what’s so
special about John Dykstra’s innovations? Aha– Kubrick’s guys are
working at the absolute limit of their capabilities. They’re not moving
the camera very much… There’s no perspective shift on that
satellite–it’s just a still image… The spaceships never pass in
front of the planets… That miniature there must have been absolutely
enormous… Perhaps Big Stan would have been surprised that a
nine-year-old kid was watching his work with such minimal suspension of
disbelief, but I doubt the old misanthrope would have been disappointed. If it’s any consolation, I was totally sold on Stuart Freeborn’s ape-men.
hears Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey referred to as "The Ultimate
Trip", the implication is that the film goes down best with some ingested
hallucinogenic something-or-other. I’d
say it goes down different, and add that this chemically/herbally/gerbilly
enhanced state is most acute when viewing the film in 70mm – the essential
presentation for 2001: A Space Odyssey. In an enormous
theater with state-of-the-art sound and a receptive (i.e. hushed) audience,
Kubrick’s vision immerses the viewer in a strange, richly imagined world that,
narratively, makes more sense intellectually than it does emotionally. It challenges the audience, and, unless one
feels compelled to bolt for the exits after too much ape-man drama, requires
them to rethink the purpose and scope of storytelling. There had obviously been epics before 2001: A Space Odyssey,
some of which may have covered close to the same amount of temporal distance
over the course of two or three hours.
But how many had merged the Dawn of Man with the Space Age in one
cut? And commented on the basic,
unstoppable nature of human ambition in the very brief process?
be a big goose egg.
My first few
passes at 2001: A Space Odyssey were on a small, 4×3 television like most kids my age, but it
wasn’t until I moved to New York City and saw the film presented at the
majestic Ziegfeld Theatre that I truly experienced 2001: A Space Odyssey (sans any chemical
assistance save for maybe a fast-food lunch).
And while I know many of you don’t get that kind of opportunity, it is
well worth traveling a few hours *once* in your life to see 2001: A Space Odyssey in full. I don’t necessarily think you’ll derive a
fuller understanding of the film this way (indeed, the film’s themes may shake
out more clearly in miniature), but you will experience about twenty to thirty
"holy moments" that will last you the rest of your days.
called 2001: A Space Odyssey "The biggest electric train set a boy ever had." Nowadays, I don’t know what’s rarer: grandiose filmmaking or model train
2001: A Space Odyssey is all things to all people, kinda like God but
with less exposition. It was my favorite film for many years. I have
since surrendered the notion of a steadfast favorite film. But during
my years in art school, I was more than susceptible to thinking as
abstractly as possible. And watching it again made me believe in art.
That was more than enough.
So, what can be said about it, then? It was bold, brilliant
storytelling. The subject matter was epic in its simplicity. For all of
the chatter about the ending, it’s the Dawn Of Man sequence that is
truly astonishing. The film earns its thematic heft in the first
section alone. But the attention to detail throughout is immaculate.
There is nothing in the film that doesn’t have a purpose. It was a
technical masterpiece, not outdone for ten years in the optical effects
department until Lucas came from a galaxy blah blah bluhblah… It was
a cultural phenomenon, apparently a huge hit with the hoppers and
hippies. And in a small victory for the genre, the film was
scientifically feasible given the story’s basic demands. None of this
e-z bake artificial gravity here. (I’m afraid you’ll have to spin for
it, Dave.) Style wise,
inquisition over rumors of an outbreak by canny Russians lounging in
swank red chairs is a great way to steal some time while en route to
witness crazy alien shit.
Kubrick really developed his reputation as a master filmmaker worthy of
repeat viewings with this one. I could go on about how the ending can
be explained as a visual metaphor for the incomprehensible mindfuck, a
galactic-sized evolution would wreak upon our puny simian brains. And
the hopeful, yet sober message behind the film’s pomp and circumstance
about the power of science; that, ultimately, we must recognize
technology is nothing more than an extension of man, capable of all of
the same flaws. So while science can eventually save us from
extinction, it will occasionally kill us with an EV Pod in the lonely
vacuum of outer space.
However, since the film is 40 years old and been analyzed several times
over, let’s just say that it took many people, many viewings to get to
this point. But that’s just my take. Compared to Clarke’s novel which
offers up less mystery, Kubrick could not have been more clear in his
intentions to be as opaque as possible. Whenever artists, musicians and
authors talk about the relevance of personal interpretation, somewhere
in their minds they’re thinking about this film. At least a tiny bit.
Kubrick makes one of his strongest cases for the importance of asking
the right questions, instead of having all the right answers.
it is arguably the only science fiction film that truly matters. Even
today, it is difficult for me to name a film that has meant more to my
progression as an artist or a free thinker than this one. I even got a
little sentimental when an anonymous artist mysteriously erected a
monolith in Seattle six, almost seven years ago. It might not end up as
my favorite film for all eternity, but it casts a long shadow over
One last item of note:2001: A Space Odyssey has to be one of the only G rated films
where almost everyone dies. Hey Eyes Wide Shut– karma’s a bitch, ain’t
The best special features in the whole Stanley Kubrick collection reside right here, folks. Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood are a terrific commentary tandem, taking the meat of the story and their involvement in the film and presenting it in a very subdued and interesting way. I found myself hitting myself in the head at some of the obvious things they taught me about the themes of the movie. A lot of folks tend to collect stuff from books, the web, or whatever to "form their opinion" of a film or piece of literature or whatever. Many sites like ours and message boards like ours are populated with folks who regurgitate other people’s opinions as a means to sound intellectual. It’s human nature, having been instilled in us on those late-night scrams to get material for a test or report. What’s great about their commentary track is how it really boils away a lot of the analytical stuff that made this film such a daunting one to discuss and distills it to the bare essentials. In some way it’s a very uncomplicated movie and it’s nice to have these firsthand participants be a tour guide through it. Gary Lockwood is a bit egotistic at times, but looking at his IMDB resume, maybe he should tone that down a little.
The documentaries on disc two are numerous, dense, and nothing short of fantastic. Seeing the likes of Spielberg, Lucas, Cameron, and dozens of other luminaries (plus Ernest Dickerson) talk about the film and filmmaker that so changed their lives is incredible. It makes me regret not being there for this film’s release though I’m glad I have the four extra years of youth.
It’s a fantasic immersion into the world of 2001: A Space Odyssey and they really don’t need to quintuple dip this one. I’m satiated.
10.0 out of 10