Mar 25, 2011

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and my epic journey on a Friday night

directed by Stanley Kubrick / starring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood

2001: A Space Odyssey is part 3/12 of my resolution for 2011.

17:03 I'm now preparing myself for the ultimate task of March. Forget the six hundred essays and exams, this is my true trial! I've once before attempted to watch the Stanley Kubrick sci-fi epic, but was forced to give up due to boredom after about five minutes. I was about twelve that time, so I should be forgiven for that. But the question is, is there now, a decade later, enough woman in me to sit it through? And maybe, just maybe, actually manage to enjoy it a bit? Place your bets, because an odyssey of 143 minutes is about to begin!

17:12 Juice? Check. Chocolate? Check. Grapes? Check. My comfiest pair of horrible, pink sweatpants? Check. A warning that everyone who'll disturb me will get a pillow aimed at their heads? Placed. Ready for take-off. I'll now proceed to press play.

17:49 I thought I'd report my progress every half and hour or so. So far, there's been some angry apes (okay, early men, or whatever), and just when I thought there won't be any dialogue in the whole film at all, some humans appeared and they're having quite reasonable conversations. I'm not bored, at all, actually. I'm just quite interested to see where this is going.

18:24 The thing is, I don't feel like pausing the film to write reports. Weird! It's like I'm actually kind of enjoying this film! Too weird! I'm expecting something exciting to happen, but more due to eagerness and curiosity than boredom. And by the way, I'm going to have a break from eating, because I feel a bit like a balloon. No eating in the next 30 minutes.

18:54 The screen says 'intermission' so let's have one then. The first signs of tiredness have occured. Might be due to the too few hours of sleep I had last night. I'll soldier on.

19:51 ... Okay then. The good news is, I've seen Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Hurray! Now let me gather my thoughts for a minute.

20:09 Or twenty. Haha. Anyway.

The thought that kept coming to my mind throughout the film was: If only I could see this in a cinema. It must be such a dazzling, hypnotizing experience to see this film on a huge screen, in a dark room. Just imagine you go to see a film in a cinema and the first minutes you just sit on a complete darkness... Way to set up the atmosphere.

I guess I should now say whether I liked the film or not. Rather difficult task, really... I kept glancing at the clock, yes, but mostly just to see when I should have my breaks (and as you can see, I deliberately skipped the last one). I will not see this again anytime soon, but I will some time (the moment I get a chance to see it on any screen bigger than my TV's, I'll go for it!). I didn't quite get the whole point of the film, but who did, honestly, without getting some further explanations.

When setting up the list of films on my resolution list, Space Odyssey was definitely the one I felt most concerned about. Not only because of the minor trauma caused by the short-lived attempt of the 12-year-old me. I thought the film would be an over-long, highbrow, ridiculously artistic mess, with no coherent storyline and the capacity to make your head spin like a carousel. And that it is, isn't it? The freaky thing is, I didn't mind. I was happy to get my head spinned by the images and the music and the ideas. I was short of absorbed by the story, though I wasn't sure if there was one, but apparently there was.

Now what about those special effects? The first Star Wars came a decade after this, so why did those effects look so crappy compared to Space Odyssey? And I actually weighed on the possibility that Kubrick had found some damn well-trained monkeys, because bloody hell, didn't those ape people look quite bloody real?

So. March didn't end being the most painful month of the year. (What do you know, I've done some maturing in the last ten years, after all! What a relief!) Instead, it was the most impressive month so far, one that will surely linger on my mind for quite some time. I wrote that title of the post before watching, jokingly, sure to change it afterwards. But I won't, because I actually feel like I took a little journey tonight. Pretty epic it was, as well.

"Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do / I'm half crazy all for the love of you / It won't be a stylish marriage / I can't afford a carriage / But you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two."


bubble said...

Haha, I'm so happy you made it through the whole film! And even without pain ^__^

Space Odyssey is really hypnotizing as you said. The fact that there happens so little makes all the small details even more important and if you blink for a second, you've already missed something you shouldn't have. Weird!

Eeva said...

Yes, I'm quite proud of myself, too. ;)

I'd imagine Space Odyssey is one of those films that you see somewhat differently every time you watch them, and notice new things, and so on. So yeah, I will have to see the film again, to see what I missed yesterday while blinking!

Eugen Gurjasti said...

Well this was an intresting review! I tried to watch this when I was about about 11 or 12 too. After five minutes I had to fast forward half of the remaining movie. I had taped it some time ago and the recording ended in the middle of the psychedelic spacetravel scene. The only thing that really made an effect on me then!

Ive watched the movie at least five times since. Its hypnotic and beautiful really, gets better every time. Optimal for a big screen too.

Anonymous said...

Great adventure you had, tihi ^_^/

I just recently saw this from the big screen and it was mind-blowing! I mean, the music, the movement and the vast space just bedazzle you, just like you presumed...

Unless someone desides to take a PICTURE with their iPhone of the last moments of the film (with the baby et al) and the screen and flash distract you. It was annoying but I managed to get past it. Manners >_<'.

Eeva said...

Eugen Gurjasti: This film is probably too much to anyone that young, I'd imagine. But I'm very eager to see this again, on big screen! It must be great.

cinefiliaa: Aw, I envy you! Except for the part with the iPhone person. Oh, people, you don't do that, especially not during those last critical minutes! Ugh.