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Old September 23 2012, 09:58 AM   #46
beamMe
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Re: There's no one like Kubrick

scotpens wrote: View Post
beamMe wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
Perhaps you expect the film to be about the plot. It's not. It's an entirely visual exercise, and, as I believe Kubrick said, "Nothing important [in it] is conveyed in dialogue."
That's why it is such a bad film.
So every film from the silent era is a bad film, then.
Who said that?
Oh, right, you did.

Metropolis, for example, manages perfectly well to convey and explain its story in images and (written) dialogue or scene descriptions.
2001
fails there completely. The film doesn't explain why things happen, it only shows that they happen. The result are beautiful but boring images and question, lots and lots of question which are never answered in the film (and which arise not only because the viewer falls asleep 45 minutes into the film).
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Old September 23 2012, 10:31 AM   #47
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Re: There's no one like Kubrick

Some of you can rile on how 2001 is "bad" and you're entitled to your opinion. I disagree with it, but I'm not going to try to convince anyone to like anything they don't.

Yes, 2001 isn't about the dialogue, and why should it be? Kubrick was a photographer first and his films tell much of their story via the composition of the frame. 2001 gave him the opportunity to take that to extremes that more traditional film narratives didn't because it's about things that aren't plot per se.

And anyone who's judging Kubrick's work on the basis of 2001 alone is missing out. You should at least see Paths of Glory and Dr. Strangelove. Strangelove alone is about as black as black comedy gets.

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Old September 23 2012, 12:38 PM   #48
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Re: There's no one like Kubrick

Nobody loves GOOD dialogue more than me. That's one of many things JURASSIC PARK needed but didn't have. Kubrick intentionally cut back on his dialogue because he was concentrating on the enormity of outer space, and the isolation of the Discovery astronauts in particular. Three of those were in suspended animation and never spoke. Poole was killed and HAL was deactivated, so naturally Bowman, the final astronaut, doesn't talk for the remainder of the movie. (No doubt had 2001 been directed by Stan Lee, he WOULD have, alone or not, complete with word balloons.)
Only the HAL scenes have relevant, exceptional dialogue. If HAL was not in the film, then the ''bad dialogue, bad film'' theory might apply to 2001. As the theory's suggested now, I find it the comedy hit of the season. But one more point:
The original cut of 2001 was around 30 minutes longer. Kubrick did cut these scenes for pacing, realizing the film was long enough. To my knowledge no dialogue was cut, just extended imagery. If a future Blu-Ray edition finds this footage and reassembles it, it would be worth a look to see the original. Even if it was too lengthy, it would make the version we know now seem all the more proper.
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Old September 23 2012, 02:13 PM   #49
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Re: There's no one like Kubrick

foxhot wrote: View Post
Nobody loves GOOD dialogue more than me. That's one of many things JURASSIC PARK needed but didn't have. Kubrick intentionally cut back on his dialogue because he was concentrating on the enormity of outer space, and the isolation of the Discovery astronauts in particular. Three of those were in suspended animation and never spoke. Poole was killed and HAL was deactivated, so naturally Bowman, the final astronaut, doesn't talk for the remainder of the movie. (No doubt had 2001 been directed by Stan Lee, he WOULD have, alone or not, complete with word balloons.)
Only the HAL scenes have relevant, exceptional dialogue. If HAL was not in the film, then the ''bad dialogue, bad film'' theory might apply to 2001. As the theory's suggested now, I find it the comedy hit of the season. But one more point:
The original cut of 2001 was around 30 minutes longer. Kubrick did cut these scenes for pacing, realizing the film was long enough. To my knowledge no dialogue was cut, just extended imagery. If a future Blu-Ray edition finds this footage and reassembles it, it would be worth a look to see the original. Even if it was too lengthy, it would make the version we know now seem all the more proper.
The problem with 2001 isn't that dialogue is reduced to a minimum but a lack of explanation for... anything, really.
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Old September 23 2012, 03:45 PM   #50
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Re: There's no one like Kubrick

Is it true that when Slim Pickens signed on to do Dr. Strangelove, he was only given his own dialogue and was told that the film was a serious drama and that he should play it that way?
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Old September 23 2012, 05:22 PM   #51
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Re: There's no one like Kubrick

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
For 2001, the criticism guys brought up against Jurassic Park applies even more: take the FX out, what's left? The entire film disappears.
Well that doesn't amount to much because the story couldn't be filmed otherwise; there have to be effects because there were no space stations, moon shuttles, Jupiter-mission spacecraft etc.

beamMe wrote: View Post
2001 fails there completely. The film doesn't explain why things happen, it only shows that they happen. The result are beautiful but boring images and question, lots and lots of question which are never answered in the film (and which arise not only because the viewer falls asleep 45 minutes into the film).
Why the presumption that everything has to be -- or can be -- explained? There are many mysteries in real life that can't be explained, and I would think that the motivations or intentions of extraterrestrials would be one of the most unexplainable things of all. When the natives of the New World first encountered Europeans, did they understand maritime trade and the rise of the merchant class and mercantilist pressures for expanded commerce? Could they have even begun to understand that motivation? The viewer's position watching 2001 is an uninformed and questioning observer, as it would likely be in a real encounter with an alien civilization.

Film can tell stories visually and aurally, in ways the written word can't. The fact that a movie doesn't follow traditional narrative may not be to everyone's taste, but it shouldn't be cause for automatic dismissal.

As to boring images and viewers falling asleep, I would say 2001's appearance high on lists like the AFI 100 and the Sight and Sound poll shows that some people manage to make it through the film awake and find something worthwhile.

Justin
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Old September 23 2012, 07:12 PM   #52
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Re: There's no one like Kubrick

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
Why the presumption that everything has to be -- or can be -- explained?
Seriously, you as this? Here on a Star Trek board? (Presumably) As a Star Trek fan?


J.T.B. wrote: View Post
There are many mysteries in real life that can't be explained, and I would think that the motivations or intentions of extraterrestrials would be one of the most unexplainable things of all. When the natives of the New World first encountered Europeans, did they understand maritime trade and the rise of the merchant class and mercantilist pressures for expanded commerce? Could they have even begun to understand that motivation? The viewer's position watching 2001 is an uninformed and questioning observer, as it would likely be in a real encounter with an alien civilization.
And you are perfectly okay with sitting through a movie that offers nothing but question and no answers?
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Old September 23 2012, 07:39 PM   #53
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Re: There's no one like Kubrick

Sometimes the objective of a movie is to generate questions.
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Old September 23 2012, 07:48 PM   #54
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Re: There's no one like Kubrick

sojourner wrote: View Post
Sometimes the objective of a movie is to generate questions.
Yeah, philosophical, moral, historical question, but not "What the hell is going on?" questions.
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Old September 23 2012, 07:50 PM   #55
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Re: There's no one like Kubrick

sojourner wrote: View Post
Sometimes the objective of a movie is to generate questions.
Perhaps.
But 2001 doesn't raise any deep question worth discussing by a larger groups of none-genre fans.
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Old September 23 2012, 07:51 PM   #56
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Re: There's no one like Kubrick

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
Sometimes the objective of a movie is to generate questions.
Yeah, philosophical, moral, historical question, but not "What the hell is going on?" questions.
Exactly.
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Old September 23 2012, 08:27 PM   #57
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Re: There's no one like Kubrick

Oh, my rapidly spinning head. I'm noticing beamMe (as a Star trek fan) stating 2001 should be required to explain itself and wipe out all mystery. Then, the statement that 2001 doesn't appeal to non-genre fans. As Alan Arkin once said in 1966, I disagree most veegorously.

I think it's some of STAR TREK's episodes that should attempt to explain themselves, starting with THE CLOUD MINDERS and THE WAY TO EDEN. TREK sometimes spells itself out too much. That's often a curse of series television. 2001's explanations are already there for us to see, using our own interpretations, if we wish to see. But if you still are wanting in meaning, watch the decent sequel 2010, or better yet read Arthur C. Clarke's tie-in book or the Marvel Comics oversize treasury edition. They are the Cliffs Notes versions and the tie-in novel at least is highly available.

I don't think 2001 is pigeonholable as a genre-film at all. It transcends its genre as Kubrick usually did, and can easily appeal to non-genre fans and movie critics who would have normally thumbed their noses at sci-fi. Granted, it didn't get the Oscar nominations it could have, but leave it to the Academy to be behind the times.

I consider 2001 to be the 12th best film ever made, three notches above JAWS and five over STAR WARS.
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Old September 23 2012, 08:31 PM   #58
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Re: There's no one like Kubrick

foxhot wrote: View Post
2001's explanations are already there for us to see, using our own interpretations, if we wish to see.
Such as...?
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Old September 23 2012, 11:16 PM   #59
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Re: There's no one like Kubrick

beamMe wrote: View Post
J.T.B. wrote: View Post
Why the presumption that everything has to be -- or can be -- explained?
Seriously, you as this? Here on a Star Trek board? (Presumably) As a Star Trek fan?
I don't understand the question. What has one to do with the other?

And you are perfectly okay with sitting through a movie that offers nothing but question and no answers?
I have sat through 2001 and enjoyed it many times. I have no problem thinking a film over and filling in the blanks the best I can.

Justin
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Old September 23 2012, 11:48 PM   #60
Maurice
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Re: There's no one like Kubrick

Kubrick once said he refused to explain what 2001 was about because it would be like knowing why the Mona Lisa has that particular smile. I shackles you to one particular perspective (the filmmaker's) and stops you from drawing your own conclusions or having your own experience.

And some of the theories I've read about what 2001 are about are pretty fascinating, even if they're not what Kubrick intended.

As for myself, I was watching the film for maybe the third time back in the late 80s and something hit me about the intertitles that changed the way I viewed the film's narrative.

There are three title cards in the film:
  1. The Dawn of Man
  2. Jupiter Mission Eighteen Months Later
  3. Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite
But there's no title card for the four million year jump cut from the bone to the satellite bomb. I thought this curious, then paid attention to what was happening in the australopithicus and Dr. Floyd scenes. Lots of shots of "people" eating, living drab, listless lives. And then it hit me that when we're with Dr. Floyd we're still in the Dawn of Man. The tools have become more sophisticated (bone club=bomb), but we're still those same apes. The jump cut is only a transition in TIME, but we're still in the same scene. Nothing has really changed. We have mastered tools but we haven't yet really transformed. We're still tribal (ape tribes fight over water hole, Americans and Russians in conflict).

Seen in that light, the Discovery scenes still portray the humans as this lifeless dull species, but now man's tools have outlived their usefulness. Unplugging HAL is perhaps symbolic of leaving the tools behind. That the Discovery has a silhouette that suggests that bone club is surely not a coincidence. Bowman leaves HAL and the Discovery to make that trip in which he ages, dies, and is reborn as something new, and he returns to Earth naked with neither clothing nor tools.

I'm not saying this IS what was intended, but it's one way of looking at it.
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