2001 on the Big Screen

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Hambone, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Action, too, but action generally translates to violence.

    You can call turning off their life-support violence if you want, but it doesn't change the fact that people dying peacefully in their sleep off-screen won't satisfy the action, violence or other mayhem quota.

    I'll keep that in mind if I ever decide to take HAL to court. :rommie:

    And that's not a counter-argument. Or do you really believe that 2001 could be made today, as it was then?
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't believe any film could be made today as it was then, because the cultural and technological contexts are so different. Any work of art is a product of its time. But that doesn't legitimize insulting stereotypes and generalizations about an entire generation.
     
  3. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    One of the reasons I like Christopher Nolan films is that he goes out of his way to actually make stunts realistic. In Inception, he actually built the hallway on a gimble and tumbled his actors. He built a second hallway vertically and suspended JGL from wires. He actually had a train drive through a city street (albeit, not a real train, a fake one, and he used CGI for the torn up asphalt). In Dark Knight, he actually flipped a frickin Semi truck. The Batpod was a real working motorcycle.

    Anyhoo, I think that there are directors who could make 2001 today.
     
  4. Set Harth

    Set Harth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Which didn't really work like that... :p
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It occurs to me that it's a category error to compare 2001 to today's sci-fi action blockbusters and say that it couldn't be made today, because it wasn't that kind of a film. It's totally the wrong comparison. There are still more thoughtful, intellectual, slow-paced SF films being made today; they're just independent films, like Moon, Primer, or if you go back a few years, Soderbergh's Solaris. So it's a complete falsehood to claim that no audiences or filmmakers today would be interested in a film like 2001. It might be valid to say that such a film would be unlikely to get made as a big-budget tentpole by a major studio such as MGM, though.
     
  6. ITL

    ITL Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Head-scratching time traveling aside, Primer has an detached, creepy atmosphere that really works for me. Sometimes low budget + creativity can work wonders.
     
  7. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    Moon was fantastic, and was made on a shoestring budget as well.
     
  8. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Yes, now you're getting it.

    You've got to be kidding. :rommie:

    Which... is... exactly... what... we're... talking... about.

    I don't understand what you're saying. The point is that 2001, a big-budget, epic, leisurely paced, abstract and philosophical Science Fiction film with no explosions, space battles or other spectacular devastation would not be made today or appreciated by the mainstream audience if it were. How does Nolan's work, typical of the action blockbuster that does make money, contradict that?
     
  9. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    My point was that Nolan could indeed make 2001, and he could also make it as a leisurely paced abstract philosophical science fiction film with no explosions. Just because he made Inception and Dark Knight doesn't mean those are the only films in his wheelhouse: The Prestige and Memento are fantastic examples of his directorial ability. It's just that those two films didn't feature much need for special effects. But you combine his tact for directing with the "big budget" for 2001, and you would be able to reproduce the Discovery complete with habitat ring and weightlessness using practical effects. It wouldn't need to all be done with CGI.
     
  10. Tom Hendricks

    Tom Hendricks Ooohhhhhh, Navy Seals. Premium Member

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    2001 is my all time favorite Science Fiction movie and I have often thought about it being remade. The whole Ape opening sequence I would love to see redone with Apes done by Stan Winston Studios. I think the only director I would like to see remake it at this point would be Darren Aronofsky.
     
  11. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The film that has most reminded me of 2001: A Space Odyssey is The Tree of Life (2011). It's not a science fiction film, of course, but they evoke very similar feelings about the place of mankind in the universe. They're also both films that feature visual effects supervised by Douglas Trumbull.

    More directly to the point about the 1960s being a mythic period of experimentation in cinema, is there really another studio film from the era comparable to 2001: A Space Odyssey? If not, as I think is the case, an outlier doesn't make for a strong argument that the past was superior to the present.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Good point. Here's a list of the American films that came out in 1968, the year of 2001's release. There are some good and/or important movies on there, like Planet of the Apes, The Odd Couple, Night of the Living Dead, and The Producers, but the most experimental and unusual film I can find on the list other than 2001 is the Monkees' Head.

    It's true that a lot of SF films of the '60s and '70s were thoughtful exercises like PotA, Fahrenheit 451, A Clockwork Orange, Rollerball, Silent Running, Soylent Green, The Andromeda Strain, and the like -- but they were heavily outnumbered by flashy FX-laden adaptations of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne novels; comedies like Barbarella, The Computer War Tennis Shoes, and Sleeper; big action movies like Fantastic Voyage, Capricorn One, Damnation Alley, and Westworld; ambitious failures like The Illustrated Man, Logan's Run, and Zardoz; and a truly staggering number of B-grade monster movies from the US, Europe, and Japan. So the range of subject matters in the pre-Star Wars era was as broad as it is today. While the proportion of big FX-laden sci-fi blockbusters is greater post-1977 than pre-'77, there was still a substantial number of them in the '50s, '60s, and '70s.
     
  13. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    2001 is darkly personal for me.

    The first time I had the chance to see it was on February 13, 1977. NBC has announced it for a few weeks before the intended airing. True, it wasn't Cinerama; it wasn't even the newer multiplexes that were cropping up in that decade, but it would have been my first time seeing it.

    That Sunday morning, around 7:30 EST, my father suffered a fatal coronary.

    He was the only family I had within 400 miles. (My mother had died some 11 years earlier.) So my aunt drove from south Georgia to handle the practical issues like transporting to her home town.

    That night as she and her husband were securing items that didn't need to be left unprotected in the house, searching for various legal documents and whatnot, I watched bits and pieces of the film in a daze, trying the blot out the horrible reality that my father, basically the center of my "world" was dead.

    No, that doesn't mean I can not bear to watch the film. Quite the opposite, I love it. I've even improvised some MST3K type routines when watching it with friends. But for me, it will always be more than "just" a film. It would be oddly fitting if I die while watching it yet again (at a hopefully far, FAR off date).

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  14. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I am so sorry to hear about your loss, Redfern. :(

    I saw 2001 in the theater when I was a kid, but it didn't become my favorite movie of all time until I started buying it for home (I distinctly remember owning at least three different laserdisc pressings of it :lol: ).

    Unfortunately, I never got the chance to see 2001 in Cinerama. We used to have a Cinerama theater in Omaha but it was demolished several years ago. Even then it had been years since it ever showed anything in Cinerama... I'm sure it did show 2001 that way, but that was probably before I was born.
     
  15. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I'll buy that, but the question is would the studio greenlight it and would people go to see it?
     
  16. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I think yes, on both counts.
     
  17. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Mod Awakens Moderator

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    Well, sure, I guess if you put a dozen qualifiers with subjective definitions on it so it's easy to discard any similar examples or move the goalposts you can make it seem like no movie like that has ever been made in modern times...

    How about Contact, to start? There's one whole explosion though, to satiate the bloodlust of modern audiences, so I guess that's disqualified.
     
  18. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    I appreciate the kind thought, but that was almost 36 years ago. If I haven't come to terms with that situation by now, they might as well size me up for one of those nifty coats with the sleeves that buckle in the back. ;) I just have an annoying knack for writing in "purple prose" on occasion.

    I have a similar affinity for ABBA's "Dancing Queen" for the same reason. I was "lazing" in bed listening to the radio. That was the song playing when "it" happened. I made the mistake of casually mentioning this when I heard the song played during a company sponsored picnic. Turned out the co-worker standing next to me arranged the music. Poor schnook turned pale, fearing it had upset me was was about to dash for the audio system to cut the music. I almost had to seize him by the collar before he could embarrass himself in his haste. I assured him the song did not upset or even bother me. It simply had a bit more meaning to me than for some people.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  19. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    Planet of the Apes and The Andromeda Strain are definitely the two films that to me best exemplify the type of "similar to 2001" Sci-Fi movie Harvey asked for. Neither one is as awe-inspiring as 2001, but both are the same type "big-budget, epic, leisurely paced, abstract and philosophical Science Fiction film with no explosions, space battles or other spectacular devastation" as 2001.
     
  20. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    Agreed. I would definitely see a 2001 remake. They could even keep the anachronistic dates/history, and I'd still see it.
     

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