Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

2001 rides again

2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY: Kubrick's trippy 1968 space opera, spanning millions of years of human evolution and set to music by Strauss, Khachatrian and Ligeti, is a singularly awesome and mesmerising film, and one of the great cinema experiences. You owe it to yourself to see it at least once on the big screen. Thankfully, it gets revived every decade or so - the BFI in London currently have it a the centre-piece of their extended science fiction season, and in fact are bringing over the two stars: Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood for a discussion (happening tomorow 30 November, in point of fact) - though they also recorded a featurette for TCM a few years ago, used for screenings of the film then. 
Thankfully, my first exposure to the film was its original Cinerama release in 1968, when I was 22 - and saw it with my hippie friends and yes, we took acid. The spaceships floating in space to that music, the docking pad, the trip to Jupiter ..... it may have taken a long time cinemawise, but in real life nearly 50 years or so  has taken its toll on its human players - as below, taken last year.
It is of course a film of dazzling effects, and powerful use of music. Kubrick's opus proposed a new kind of pure cinema, and set the benchmark for sci-fi films as it challenged the audience to contemplate its meaning. It is the ultimate 'fear and wonder' film, which has influenced right up to Nolan's INTERSTELLAR
2001 of course was co-written by Arthur C Clarke (I had his novel of it), shot by Goffrey Unsworth, designed by Douglas Trumbull, and perfectly scored matching images to classical music which works perfectly, and all shot at Elstree here in England! It changed our concept of space and spaceships showing the vastness of space and the everyday nature of space travel. Of course for some it is a pain to decipher - one can make what one wants of that ending. Masterpieces are not meant to be easy ...

My pal Joe gave me a plastic advertising poster for 2001 which they used in the store he worked at - I kept it for decades and then it broke and crumbled into pieces ...... it would have been a collector's item if I had sold it at the right time!

No comments:

Post a Comment