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2001: A Space Odyssey (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on March 10, 2013

I probably won’t talk too much about the film itself in this review.  I always feel a little silly writing about movies that are so widely discussed.  I remember when I first saw 2001 back in 1997 or 1998… even in those early days of the web (pre-Wikipedia, no less!) there were heaps of pages to be found dissecting the film down to the minutest detail.  It’s a film that rightfully continues to enthrall and fascinate audiences.  No matter how tedious you may find the content, it would be hard to deny its technical achievements.  It rivals any sci-fi movie made today in terms of authenticity and razzle-dazzle.

Two things I’d like to get done: see the sequel (maligned though it may be) and read the book.  I’m putting both on my to-do list.  Another to-do: start listening to some Ligeti.  I’ve loved Kubrick’s use of his music.

One of the most interesting things about Kubrick is his wide and varied appeal.  Opinions are all over the place about which of his films is the greatest… in fact, every single movie he made after Killer’s Kiss appears on the TSPDT list.  All eleven of them.  That’s a significant accomplishment.  This one ranks the highest, at #3, but he has three others in the top 100 alone.  I can think of seven that I would say I’ve seen frequently named as someone’s favorite… and the odd ones out have their supporters, too.  Whatever your tastes, odds are Kubrick’s made a film that strongly appeals to them.

As I work through the DVDs and Blu-Rays I haven’t watched in some time, it strikes me how many of them are in my top 100.  A full quarter of my list hasn’t been viewed since August 2008.  I thought, “Gee, I’m not paying enough attention to my so-called favorites.”  But then I thought about it some more.  If I watched one of my top 100 every month — an ambitious idea, since I generally try to lean more towards new discoveries — there’d be some I hadn’t seen in over 8 years.  So the fact that I’ve seen each of them at least once in the past 5.33 years is actually pretty good.  Aren’t numbers fun?  Why do I put so much thought into this stuff?

And while we’re talking about my top 100, I should mention that as I started up 2001, I had a mind to possibly drop it off my list.  The thing about making a top 100 is that it forces you to stay within that number, and if you want to add anything new you have to make a decision to cut something else.  This one currently sits at #20, a rather lofty position for a picture that, prior to today, I’d only seen in its entirely three times… and the first time my reaction was rather mixed.  I’m not really sure how it got so far up there.  It’d be a shame to lose it… there are damn few genre films on my list as it is.  But it will at least drop down a bit.  I’m not sure I have enough of a personal connection to it to call it a favorite.  Certainly not top 20.

But definitely, say, top 200.  It’s an amazing experience, with every image bold and fascinating.  Everything about it is original and interesting… often breathtaking.  Rating: Masterpiece (96)


3 Responses to “2001: A Space Odyssey (rewatch)”

  1. clydeumney said

    FWIW, 2010 is coming on TCM this week. I don’t think it’s a bad movie, per se; it’s just a lot more basic sci-fi than 2001 is.

    • Eh, it’s too much hassle for me to make appointments for TV. I’ll get it from the library when I’m ready for it. But thanks for the heads up! I’m not expecting much from the movie, but I figure I ought to give it a chance.

  2. […] 1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick) […]

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