2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Seen as part of HAL's birthday impressions. Happy birthday, HAL. Truly the most interesting of all movie robots (or A.I.s or whatever the fuck we're calling them). They're a rotten crowd. You're worth the whole damn bunch put together.

Shit, we were supposed to start with the state of mind. I'm already breaking the rules.

Started at 5:35, time of writing is 8:00
State of mind is tired, a little hungry, excited to watch this (it took all my willpower to wait until today, as I've felt like re-watching this for the past three weeks)

- I really love that introduction music. I don't know why. It really gets me in the right mood. Like, sit back, relaxed, and prepare to have your mind blown. Fuck yeah.

- This probably makes 0 sense, but does anyone else think that some of those rocks in the opening look like the red couches from the spaceship in the TMA-1 sequence? It's a feeling I've never been able to shake, even though it's probably nothing.

- The monolith looks so alien. Like, it almost looks like it's not even there and was planted there post production by computers. It feels like it's absorbing light, I have no other way of putting it. Monolith is love. Monolith is life.

- I always loved the way the apes approach the monolith. With. in their primitive minds, a form of reverence. Totally different from later in the film.

- I'm also fascinated by how Moonwatcher learns to use tools on the same spot where a tiger killed an ape earlier. Death begat life as we knew it (this is more obviously shown by the human race beginning through the slaughter of anyone who fails to adapt).

- The Moonwatcher scene is possibly the best edited thing I've ever seen. I can't explain it. It's absolute pure movie magic.

- That jump cut was the moment I knew this was a great film the first time I watched it. The finale was when I knew it was a masterpiece. (I knew it was a masterpiece right away, but I didn't love it right away. Does that make sense?)

- Something I only noticed the last time I watched this was the circular motion in the Blue Danube docking sequence. Like, it ends by the camera zooming in to a spinning space station, then it moves into the black vastness of space, then it cuts to the moving transport thing-y Floyd is in, and you can like feel it, like you can feel the movement(?). Like, the sense of motion is communicated so well, but so subtly that it took me x number of times to notice.

- I love how the ceilings of the space station look like the floor of the Renaissance Room, and I really want to know if it was intentional.

- Once again, mankind battles it out at the watering hole (now, a bar), but we've become sneakier, operating under the facade of friendship. Still, we aren't much more advanced than our ape brethren (I've always found that word funny). Fucking genius.

- Floyd gives a vague speech about absolutely nothing: "Hell of a speech you gave us, Floyd." Never fails to make me chuckle.

- I really want to know how Space Coffee works. Out of all the enigmas encompassed within this film, for me, this is the greatest.

- I really loved this time how the monolith is presented in the TMA-1 sequence. Like, it's never cut to dramatically, it's just there. Like it's always been there (forever and ever and ever).

- I laughed when the photographer motions for people to stand closer, as if this is an every day thing. (and then there's the whole deal with the monolith emitting the radio wave not because they found it, but because they act as if they conquered, but we all knew that already so why dedicate a bullet point to it)

- For some reason, I find Frank's jogging to be really fascinating. The way the camera chases him. It's not as smooth as Kubrick's later work (oops, wasn't supposed to mention Kubrick), i.e. The Shining, but it's beautiful nonetheless.

- I love HAL's introduction: his overlooking red eye is literally consuming Dave (I think that's Dave), such a perfect visual metaphor.

- I love the BBC 12 scene, because (like the ending scene of A Clockwork Orange), Dave and Frank are both being fed bullshit, and they're eating it right up (literally).

- I love the baby food they're eating - we've become so infantalized by our dependence on tools that this processed, well, shit is what we eat now.

- I love the way HAL says "Just a moment" when picking up the """"fault"""" in the AE-35 unit.

- This is my first time watching this since I learned that the breaths we hear are actually Kubrick's (again, sorry for mentioning him). I don't know, it makes me feel closer to the film.

- Argh the way the half before the intermission ends is so great: we just see HAL zoomed in our their lips and we fill in the blanks. Truly a great way to tell a visual story.

- The way Frank dies I've always felt is the weak point of the film: the quick cuts into HAL's eye never really worked for me (as far as weak points go, this one is pretty damn strong). For some reason, though, it clicked this time, and it added to the sense of disorientation.

- I love how Frank's body tumbles through space like the bone that was thrown at the beginning - again, no clue if this was intentional (it seems like it was, though).

- I just noticed this time how, when the hibernating scientists are dying, the camera angles are like Dave's pictures of them earlier. Interesting.

- Person: I hate 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Me: Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

- It's hard (read: impossible) for me to choose a favorite scene from this. It's like cutting one square inch out of the Mona Lisa and calling it your favorite: it's incomplete. The scenes I love only work because of everything before and after them. That said, HAL's deactivation is a pretty strong contender for my favorite.

- "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do." Never fails to make me tear up. God bless you, HAL. Godspeed, my friend.

- It's a tired theme, but I love the idea of rebirth and death in this. That scene is my favorite example: HAL is reborn and dies, and it is only through that that Dave can die and be reborn. Genius!!!

- The video de-briefing is also great, Dave's face when he sees that he himself is a tool (not in that sense, get your mind out of the gutter) is amazing.

- Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite! Heck yeah! I wrote a nine page paper just about this section of the film in high school, so it's safe to say that I really like it.

- The Star Gate sequence is so perfectly paced. If it was just 30 seconds longer, it'd be annoying, but it's just long enough to completely disorient, fascinate, confuse, withdraw, and kinda frustrate me. Perfect!!

- I really wish Kubrick (fuck) did more abstract stuff in his career - this is brilliant!

- The Renaissance Room always creeps me out. The noises in the background are...unsettling, to say the least.

- I'll never fully decide if I think the forces behind the monolith are malevolent or not. I'm thinking "no" after this viewing, but I was thinking "yes" after the one before it. I guess I'll never know (which is, of course, why I love this film so much).

- I love the ending. I love the beginning. I love the middle. I love this movie. I am grinning from ear to ear right now, as I am every time I watch this. This is a goddamn masterpiece, a perfect example of why I love film, why I waste my time writing about them. This movie is amazing, it always manipulates me in just the right way: making me afraid, confused, in awe, every. single. time.!!! This is probably always be my favorite film, even if I theoretically saw one that was better (doubtful), this has become too important to me. A masterpiece in every sense of the word. It's so good that the only reasonable explanation is that aliens left the 70mm print for us when we were apes, it was found in 1968, and released as a film. Because no human could ever make this.

- My dog totally snoozed through all of this, the bastard.

I think that's everything. I broke a couple rules (mentioning Kubrick...) and probably swore more than was necessary, but fuck it. This was fun! (and a lot easier than writing an actual review)

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