This movie isn’t for everyone.

No, frankly, this movie is for no one!

* * *

Stanley Kubrick with his collaborator, the famous sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke, decided to remake this space movie from 1968 in a hundred and forty-two minutes; the equivalent of seven episodes of Pokemon. 

For a long movie as 2001, you’re expecting a lot of events; Aliens plotting to destroy the earth, a war between bad people and good people, including space ship battles and blade lightsabers of multiple colors; blue, red, even green.

Bad news! None of that.

* * *

So realistic! 

After watching, Warning from Space (1956) and other Japanese tokusatsu films, Kubrick became fascinated by the idea of extraterrestrial life, and so, according to C. Clarke, was resolved to make a “proverbial good science fiction movie”.  

For this purpose, Kubrick decided that instead of the fanciful representation of space found in standard popular sci-fi movies of the time, he should seek a more realistic and accurate portrayal of outer space. Both movies Universe (1960) and To the Moon and Beyond (1965) were visual inspirations to Kubrick.

In order to avoid any element of falseness to the film or the slightest unrealistic depiction of space, Kubrik and Clarke consulted the popular astronomer Carl Sagan. Thereafter, they chose to rather portray humanoid aliens with strange faces to suggest extraterrestrial super-intelligence. 

The aliens were out-fashioned; why not a monolith?

* * *

The monolith affects human evolution:

One of the first scenes suggesting extraterrestrial super-intelligence was the scene with prehistoric apes, or Ape men, confronted by a mysterious monolith. They teach themselves to use bones as a tool. Seeing that they were regularly fighting a continuous “war of all against all” (bellum omnium contra omnes) as stated by Hobbes, they thought: why not use bones as weapons? 

And that was the first “smart” discovery in History. 

* * *

Silence

“Somewhere between hypnotic and immensely boring.” (The New York Times, Renata Adler)

The movie was made to be a primarily nonverbal experience, and that definitely makes it one of the most boring movies ever. In fact, during the New York premiere, 250 people walked out. 

So, is it still worth watching? Yes, no question about it. However, people who are familiar with Kubrick movies, like Spartacus and Barry Lyndon, know that it is difficult to watch it in one sitting.

In my case, I watched it in three sittings.

* * *

“The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me.” (Blaise Pascal)

Imagine yourself alone,

wearing an orange spacesuit

in the cold silent empty space

rolling

rolling 

rolling 

to infinity

(what a breathtaking scene)

* * *

a space odyssey

A computer expresses fear

While Bowman tries to disconnect HAL 9000, the computer pleads with him to stop:

“Stop, Dave. 

I’m afraid. 

I’m afraid, Dave. 

Dave, my mind is going. 

I can feel it…

Good afternoon, gentlemen”

* * *

‘2001 – the ultimate trip!’

I remember when Vsauce tried to describe his experience under the influence of ayahuasca (a psychedelic drug) at a retreat in Peru.

But how can someone describe the Gate Sequence? It was one of the most unforgettable movie experiences ever.

Now I understand the reason why John Lennon watches this film “every week”; the movie is known as having “Stoned audiences” watching it while smoking funny cigarettes.

I withdraw what I said before: after all, it seems that this movie is for some people.

 * * *

The best part about the movie is the music. Since the movie is nonverbal, Kubrick was very selective about the soundtrack and decided to use some recordings of classical music, among them we find :

  • “The Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss II 

* * *

(HAL singing)

Dai-sy, dai-sy, give me your answer, do.

 I’m half cra-zy, all for the love of you. 

It won’t be a sty-lish mar-riage, 

I can’t a-fford a car-riage. 

But you’ll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle – built – for – two.

* * *

“Will someone tell me what the hell this is about?”. (Rock Hudson)

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