2001: A Space Odyssey

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Sentience, Jul 7, 2021.

  1. Sentience

    Sentience Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I recently re-watched this classic for the first time in a few years and was immediately struck at just how much I had missed from the "grand picture" or "grand narrative" of things that the movie empathizes, and indeed, showcases to brilliance.

    First of all there's the theme of the film - that of a humanity who's evolution had been interfered with by a mysterious alien civilization learning to stand for the first time - indeed the process of ageing that comes with a high-level extraterrestrial contact.

    There's also the luxurious use of space craft and space-age technology in the film - the aesthetic that defined this as Kubrick's first classic and indeed as a film worthy of some note well into the future. I can see Star Wars drew a lot from this film. Personally, I never grew tired or bored with what was presented, I just ate it all up and marveled in the imagery and the mind-bending concept.

    I would welcome fellow BBSers thoughts on the film.
     
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  2. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Commodore Commodore

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    Much like TMP - it has a slow pace but, with Kubrick's work, it's very deliberate.

    This is one older film that honestly needs NO modifications at all. No special editions, no enhanced effects. It set the bar for others to follow (and few have actually passed it).
     
  3. Sentience

    Sentience Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I have to agree. I feel the sequencing, pacing, music, etc., would be very unconductive to a special edition edit. And the effects do not need touching.
     
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  4. Sentience

    Sentience Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    According to the Roger Ebert review of this film, there's 17 minutes trimmed from the original theatrical release. Maybe a special edition in that?
     
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  5. Cyrus

    Cyrus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Love this movie, a classic. Kubrick was a great director.
     
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  6. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    The movie went in a different direction from the source material that it also raised the theme of humans framing the space narrative to stay in power.

    Starting from that famous jump cut where the caveman throws the bone and the guy catches the pen: The pen is the new weapon of dominance. Through all the alien contact the humans are only interested in well framed photo shoots as their technology races ahead of their ability to control it.

    And many have noted the monoliths look like movie screens turned sideways.
     
  7. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    The famous jump cut is flying bone to orbiting satellite. There is a pen floating a bit later in the space shuttle sequence; a flight attendant pucks it out of the air.
     
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  8. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe I’m confusing scenes, there was definitely a symbol of power that became a pen.
     
  9. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I don't know what that would be.

    The symbol of human technology went from the bone club to the satellite. The implication was that humans are still violent primates, just with fancier implements. The satellite was intended to be an orbital nuke platform, but that wasn't made clear in the movie.
     
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  10. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe I need to rewatch, but there was also a leopard print pattern which recalled the leopard preying on the cavemen. Maybe a press conference scene. It’s been a few years since I watched it.

    Edit: The pen is the first thing you see after the space station, rotating in the same fashion. Still a continuous motif.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2021
  11. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Good catch. The image of the pen floating inside the space plane is a nice echo of the satellite image. That would make it a one-two-three (bone, satellite, pen), instead of simply what is usually observed, a one-two. Very nice!
     
  12. foxhot

    foxhot Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's a visual poem in three parts.....each segment at least twice as long as the previous.

    It's oddly more understandable if you read Jack Kirby's '70s Marvel Treasury interpretation.....and if you can tolerate his overly bulky art.
     
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  13. Ovation

    Ovation Admiral Admiral

    Clearly we have Gary Seven to thank for this uncertainty. :whistle:
     
  14. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

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    It's the first example of an AI gone crazy and destroying its creators...

    I remember the scene of Hal pleading with David Bowman to not terminate it after it's killed everyone else on the ship.
     
  15. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I'd say the motif is continued, yes, but the symbolic impact is in the jump cut. After that it's echoed in nifty human instruments floating around. But it wouldn't be 1-2-3, it would be more like 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, over a couple of minutes.

    1. Bone club thrown, 00:19:46.
    2. Satellite #1 (US Markings), 00:19:53.
    3. Satellite #2 (German markings), 00:20:08.
    4. Satellite #3 (French markings) 00:20:19.
    5. Satellite #4 (Chinese markings), 00:20:35.
    6. Space station, 00:20:53.
    7. Spaceplane, 00:21:24.
    8. Pen floats down into frame, 00:21:46.
     
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  16. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

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    It's been so long that I've seen this movie. I never realized that there were so many different spacecraft in so little time.
     
  17. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, clearly the jump cut is the dramatic cut. But the satellites, station, and ships are all spacecraft and so pretty much in the same category. The pen is a whole new, third category of technology apart from bone and spacecraft. The fact that this new third category of technology is also shown hanging in the air/floating in space the way the bone was and the spacecraft were seems highly significant.

    I would agree that all of the other spacecraft are definitely dancing to that motif as well (:shifty:). The space plane especially so, because it too is elongated.

    But the category shift is what makes it one-two-three. The other instances in the second category are more iterative than successively transformative. It's more like 1-2a-2b-2c-2d-2e-2f-3. There's also the tonal shift once we're inside the space plane, and the element of humor, pretty much for the first time in the film.

    As an aside, now that I'm thinking about the spacecraft specifically in terms of shape, the fact that the moon shuttle is generally spherical could be significant, as that shape is a reflection of the Moon's itself. I hadn't realized that before, either.

    Of course, everyone knows that the shape of Discovery is significant as generally skeletal. Again with the bones, but also specifically anthropomorphic.

    Getting back to the pen, there's a sequence of Frank and Dave writing on their clipboards with what appear to be pens. Frank is transcribing columns of numbers like a computer, and presumably Dave is doing something similar. You'd wonder why they are doing that, if HAL has everything under control (I've wondered). But the answer could lie simply in the premises that the pen is important to symbolize the human intellect and the scene of the astronauts writing on their clipboards is there to underscore the idea that mechanical computers are a reflection of human intellectual activity, HAL of course being the ultimate realization of that.
     
  18. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    According to the analysis here, which I quite like, the pen is symbolically significant in a different way...it represents man losing control of his tools.
     
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  19. Cyrus

    Cyrus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The source material was "The Sentinel" short story by Arthur C Clarke. I haven't read it so can't comment. But that was just a starting point for the movie script. The novel by ACC was based on the movie not the other way around.
     
  20. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah. The wine glass, too.