Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by 2takesfrakes, Jun 17, 2018.
Good for him... Clearly not a fan of the actual SCIENCE in science fiction.
I do not believe Tony was alone in those sentiments, during 2001's initial release. If you look at the trailer for it, you definitely are left with the impression that a lot happens in the movie. When you sit down for it ... well ... there might be an appreciable difference between expectation and experience ...
Lots of people not fans of actual science in science fiction.
Well ... the science in Sci-Fi is usually speculative, at best. In TOS, in fact, I believe it's the final episode, Kirk takes a test McCoy gives him in Sickbay where his skin is checked for responses to coloured light. There seemed to be this medical belief at the time that Human skin responded to light stimuli. Movies don't tend to offer much to actually learn from, regardless, so if someone doesn't get into the science of Sci-Fi, they're not missing out on much, anyway, as its fairly bereft of it to start with ...
I have noticed that whenever you're being all complimentary about something, you have a tendency to toss in something backhanded.
Anyway, you do have to know what you're getting into when seeing 2001. You probably have to see it at LEAST twice, but probably three times to actually get enjoyment out of it. If you see it knowing nothing about it, you'll likely have a strong temptation to walk out during the never ending monkey scene which seems to have no connection to anything. Of course, it turns out the be the scene that actually explains what the hell is going on in the whole movie, but... you don't really know that on your first viewing.
... Haha!!! You noticed that, huh? What can I say ... just my way, I guess.
About the ending: It's funny. Raised as I was on classic 50s sci-fi flicks like FORBIDDEN PLANET and THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, I honestly expected that at some point the astronauts would encounter some actual aliens (played by character actors in shiny suits) who would helpfully explain the plot to us.
"Greetings, Earth Men. I see you have encountered our Astro-Monoliths. I am Dr. Zantar of the Jovian High Council Council, and this is my beautiful daughter Europa . . . "
Imagine my surprise when that didn't happen!
A space suit from 2010 turned up on Babylon 5 (or more accurately, Babylon 4), but it wasn't one used in 2001 according to JMS.
When Bowman the Starchild finds himself orbiting Earth, this is so murky an ending that it defies realisation without explanation. As I understand it, he's there in relation to the monolith, as it instructs "Moonwatcher" on the Art of Murder, where the movie started from. Equally unclear is that when Bowman went through the stargate, or whatever, he became the Starchild at some point long before he arrived at the alien house. He was only brought there, apparently, so that he could accept the loss of his Humanity, before his debut as a space zygote. It's cool to leave some questions open, things for the audience to ponder, like what the probe's talking to the whales about in The Voyage Home, for example. But this is too much info to leave out, I feel. At the same time, considering how Kubrick decided to present this transformation, I don't know how it could've been conveyed, otherwise. I don't mean to infer that this movie's not a cinematic achievement or any of that, because it certainly redefined Sci-Fi as the world knew it. But did any PhD's out there ever make any of those connections without reading the book, I wonder? I tend to doubt it ...
The book was written in conjunction with the movie. I had a copy once with an afterward by Clarke explaining the thought processes behind the book and the movie which were done intentionally. Then for 2010, Clarke actually followed the movie plot by having the destination as Jupiter because he liked the Jupiter as sun idea. And because we had learned a lot more about Jupiter's moons by that time.
I think the best connection I've ever heard from someone watching the movie without the book was concluding that it was a story about humanities evolution from its beginning to its ultimate state.
One interpretation I once read made a lot of sense to me. I'd read 2064 and 3001, but it was so long ago I've forgotten them. 3001 summary (Amazon) is that One thousand years after the Jupiter mission to explore the mysterious Monolith had been destroyed, after Dave Bowman was transformed into the Star Child, Frank Poole drifted in space, frozen and forgotten, leaving the supercomputer HAL inoperable. But now Poole has returned to life, awakening in a world far different from the one he left behind--and just as the Monolith may be stirring once again. . . .
So I don't know if this dovetails well with this, but here it is:
The Monolith was an alien probe designed to influence and oversee the formation of intelligent life on Earth. It bestowed small, incremental "improvements," like helping the apes see the ability to use a bone as a tool, then as a weapon. Fast forward, those incremental improvements result in the formation of the Homo Sapiens who eventually achieve space flight. The Monolith had moved to the moon and buried itself there at some point... so once uncovered, it meant humans had achieved the "next level" of technical achievement and sent an alert signal to a companion monolith orbiting Jupiter. It expected humans would be intelligent enough to follow the signal to Jupiter, which they did. Once having achieved that capability, the aliens had programmed the monolith to bring human beings up the next stage of evolution--that being a star child or "ascendant being." They chose to do this with one human, as a confirmation that humans were nearing the potential for the whole civilization to ascend. But in 2001, most humans weren't ready. Only some, like David Bowman. The hope being that with humans now absolutely aware that they are not alone in the universe, perhaps they'd naturally achieve global peace. Once that is achieved, they'd be ready for ascension. Until then, David Bowman is alone in his ascendant state. --- Unfortunately I can't recall what happened to Poole. There was something about the monolith being detected and active again, but Poole wasn't gifted any special abilities from it. I may have the book stashed away somewhere and will have to read it again. Maybe this summer.
Wasn't the monolith also creating new life on Europa?
Yep, good call:
I wish he hadn’t destroyed the props but take heart that, on the bright side, the momentous props didn’t get watered down by being used in unrelated films (see also: Robbie the Robot or other props that got lent out, rented/leased, etc.). Ideally he could have donated the materials with a proviso about further usage but, well, y’know.
February this year I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the Pan Am space plane resides on display at the Baltimore Science Museum. Unfortunately it was after the event in the placard had passed.
A few weeks ago I also managed to visit the re-creation/re-interpretation of the suite from “Jupiter and Beyond” at the National Air and Space Museum in DC.
Spoiler: A few large photos
The gift shop had precious little 2001 related merchandise but I did get to handle Christopher Frayling’s 2001 File. I wasn’t impressed enough to pay the $75 asking price but was impressed enough to hunt it down online. Just arrived the other day.
While there I finally had the chance to see the original 1701 fully restored for the first time. Unlit, unfortunately. Lots of photos/video of that too. Never noticed the small antenna hanging from the little dome light under the saucer.
Likely the "back up" if humanity didn't pan out.
Newly built Pod by Greg Nicotero for Escape Velocity.
2001 related - I have an Amazon Echo and being a smartarse I asked it to open the Pod Bay doors. Got the response that we're not in space and it's not HAL.
Nailed it, to the wall. This is why I never liked the movie after a while (even on a second re-watch in 2011 on PPV) and see it as the failure it really is (Star Trek's a space opera, not sci-fi like 2001.) Roddenberry got ahead of himself that time, and wasn't writing properly anyway.
A better story to make for the first Star Trek movie should have been Planet Of The Titans, instead, which had all of the elements of the original series (Klingons, time travel) and 2001, but done better (the 2001 element involves helping our primitive ancestors discover fire, ala the Dawn Of Man sequence from 2001, while trying to keep the Klingons from wrecking our past, IIRC.)
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