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Why is 2001: A Space Odyssey such a highly regarded movie?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Dida, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. peter grimes

    peter grimes ...

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    I think many people are looking at this movie from the wrong perspective. They don't see a plot because they're paying attention to the story from the human point of view. But when I saw it (I've only seen it once, about a year ago, and I STILL can't get it out of my head!) I thought the 'plot' revolved around the Obelisks. Seen in that light, there is a very clear arc through time and space.

    I also don't think that the earth obelisk caused the apes to evolve. Kubrick and Clarke are too smart to have such a simple idea of evolution. Rather, the obelisk is part of an early warning system to alert whoever put it there that some of the life on earth has started to invent technologies. And then the obelisk on the moon (chapter 2) alerts them that the earthlings have discovered space flight. And then the obelisk orbiting Jupiter alerts them that the earthlings have achieved the required stasis technologies for long-distance space-faring. The last scene shows that humans aren't prepared - biologically and psychologically - for some of the necessities of inter-stellar travel... i think :)

    As for the pacing, I can't imagine the movie would have been better with shorter scenes (and camera shots that didn't last minutes on end! The whole idea of space travel is that space is, well, very big. Very very big, and it takes a long time to get anywhere. And the tension that the pace induced was criminal. Really freaky, for me at least.

    The arbitrary camera angles reinforced the idea that there is no 'up' in space. There is no down. There is no perceived motion, so time seems to stand still. It was amazing.

    I saw the movie on my 27" imac with decent headphones on. No distractions, and I was completely entranced. As i mentioned above, I think about the movie several times a week.

    And to me, that's how I measure how 'good' a movie is. How often do I think about it after watching it? Are there still scenes in my head a month later? A year? Many years? And is it just a line or a scene, or are there whole emotional cascades of the feelings I had while watching it? By this measure it's one of the best movies I've ever seen - sequences are stuck in my head and won't leave.

    just my two cents.

    And in case anyone missed it, here's a link to a wonderful youtube of Pink Floyd's Echoes scored to Jupiter And Beyond The Infinite*. For anyone who likes this movie I can't recommend this enough:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQZAf97990w

    *Pink Floyd were hoping to be asked to score the movie, but Kubrick had the final score done up along the lines of the music they listened to during editing as an audio placeholder, or so I heard
     
  2. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I think that initial monolith did cause some sort of a "spark of intelligence" in the apes, but the rest of what you wrote I agree with.
     
  3. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    I agree with Warpus and... I don't think that anybody can really tell what happens in the last scene, but it seems as if Bowman just entered the freaking monolith. And oh, God that's what I was looking for: peter grimes, you just said what I had in my mind about the film in many ways.
     
  4. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    My take on it was that it was made to look so confusing to drive home the whole "A sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" thing.
     
  5. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    I can't really tell, it's too confusing. But that's precisely one of the things I like from the movie. It's so bizarre at times, clear at others, scary even some more times and superb all the time... I think I've already used the art analogy too much, haven't I? ;)
     
  6. Dida

    Dida YHWH

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    Exactly my point. This film lacks a plot and in all seriousness, it can't even be properly called a film, because films as we know them to be, must have a plot. Even Wall-E has a plot. This one is just filled with scenes of junk floating around in space. The only part of this movie that's a "movie" is part 3 and that's only because of HAL. HAL is the only character in this insipid exercise in pomposity masquerading as a movie.
    I see a lot of people are confusing confusion with profoundness. This film is confusing but in no way profound. If I just punch you in the face without any provocation or explanation would that be profound? No, it's just confusing.
     
  7. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Have you read any of the sequels? It's monday so I can't remember if you said or not.

    They all have very similar themes (including the new ones he wrote with Baxter). It doesn't quite explain anything directly, but the themes are so similar, you can go back to reading/watching 2001 and some of the "weird" imagery makes a lot more sense.. at least to me.
     
  8. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    @Dida: It is confusing because the punched person won't understand your reasons. :p

    No! I just watched the film... and sequel. I didn't like it so much, not by far. It lost the awesomeness of the original really, although it explained some things.
     
  9. Murky

    Murky Deity

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    Films are judged on more than just plot. In this case, the special effects created an artful masterpiece, not a storytelling one.
     
  10. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I highly recommend reading the trilogy.. You can pretty much ignore 3001, it wasn't that good..

    See, that makes me think that you either didn't watch the movie or didn't understand it. There are two interweaving plots there.
     
  11. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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  12. madviking

    madviking north american scum

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    Have you seen Pulp Fiction? The plot there is even more tenuous than 2001's. Yet, the former is consider one of the greatest works of cinema.

    And at this point, I think you're just a troll; you really don't understand film and cinema. Yet you're still trying to bash an objectively good movie on some random criteria.
     
  13. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    Thanks for the recommendation, I'll read them when I can (this last year of studies and CFC is keeping me to read as much as I'd want to.

    And I agree with both Warpus and Madviking: Dida, you look like a troll just saying "This has no plot. This is bizarre. Therefore, this is crap" There is a couple of plots, the main around the monoliths and the secondary is Bowman's, and it's pretty clear. The bizarreness, well here everybody think whatever you want, but it was awesome to me. One of the most interesting and best movies I've seen.

    EDIT: you remind me a friend of mine who also reads and watches movies a lot, who judges movies according to his previsions: "This movie isn't good at all because this shouldn't happen like that", "I'm not reading Feast for Crows because my two favourite characters won't be narrating", "This plot is awful, Mark Strong should have survived" (to say an actor he likes)
     
  14. Kozmos

    Kozmos Jew Detective

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    I think the monolith just inspired if that is the right word? the apes to disregard females and acquire tools.
     
  15. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

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    I'll go with that . I ain't gonna argue about 2001 with a guy called Kozmos
     
  16. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    Much as I love 2001, there is simply no such thing as an "objectively good" movie: Whether movies are good or bad is entirely up to the viewer, because viewers have different criteria to what makes a good movie. I personally like movies that provoke me into thinking certain thoughts, while peter grimes seems to focus on cinematography and atmosphere in general, Dachs seems to focus on narrative and others focus on the amount of tears, screams and laughs films provoke. And then, people even have different definitions of what is good and bad in these areas. So there just isn't a right way of watching films, period.
     
  17. Thorgalaeg

    Thorgalaeg Deity

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    Really, never understood all that confusion and discussion about this film. I always found it pretty clear with a very straightforward plot. :confused:
     
  18. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    I've had enough of your disingenuous assertions :mischief:

    but seriously, Pulp Fiction is still fairly YMMV, albeit not nearly as much as 2001, and this is coming from someone who enjoys the former movie a great deal
     
  19. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    In my opinion, everyone finds it pretty straightforward. To their point of view. Because, as Kaiserguard very well said, everybody has different criteria to what makes a movie good or bad. I don't even know mine. I just know that this movie is awesome to me. And The Godfather and Citizen Kane, and Apocalypse Now, etc. then there are movies I liked, like Inception, Scarface, The Life of Brian, UP,... some which were just entertaining, not good nor bad to me (most of the films I watched) and pure crap, which is basically Transformers 3 (especially) and the Scary Movie saga (plus derivations).
     
  20. madviking

    madviking north american scum

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    I meant it in two ways:

    First, the collective sum of subjective opinions yields about as objective of an opinion as you're gonna get. So look at 2001 on Rotten Tomatoes or MetaCritic.

    Second, the influence the movie has had on other movies means that directors and writers what to emulate its ways is, again, about as objective of a value determination as you can get.
     

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