Monday, August 03, 2009

"2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) - Movie Classics

Seeing the trailers of some of the fantasy/science fiction films coming up with the term “visionary director” seems out of place. If there is one thing clearly about visionary, that should be Stanley Kubrick. For what he has made the greatest science fiction of all time, this is beyond the term of movie, this is beyond the experience and this is beyond something I could grasp too. I have never been haunted so much by any film and have never been closely come across to be spell bound by the visual and have never been so badly felt that I missed watching it in theatre (well I really could not blame this as I was -12 years old).

I was annoyed, irritated and made impatient but still mesmerized by the visual. What the point made is out there and very much an odyssey of itself. But Kubrick makes a presentation like no other. None of the films which made out so far have only failed to mimic the greatness of Kubrick’s achievement. The most wondrous feature of this venture is that I could possibly not sit through the film and yet cannot comprehend the plethora of magnificent resource and images of hallucinating reality of it.

We see four segments of significantly distanced period. The film opens with darkness and eerie music which repeats during intermission. Nothing is shown other than the music which continuously haunts and creeps. Then we see the extraordinarily untouched terrain and nature in the long and far past. There are apes forming a sociable and territorial environment for a pond. On a bright early morning, they see a perfectly structured black rectangular stone high up. They touch it and get stung or shocked. We see one of the member learning to find a weapon out of a dead animal, its bone. That gives them the upper power and marks the advancement of humans through the birth of violence, fear and power.

In the second segment is where some kind of verbal communication happens. As Dr. Heywood Floyd (William Sylvester) arrives at a transit to travel to his destination a moon “Clavius”, we see what the future has turned out to be (or now the past). In other science fiction films, the precedence of appearance takes over the actual application of the prop. In Kubrick’s film it plays in tandem. Take the red bright chairs in the transit station, it is aesthetically contemporary and futuristic. At the same time it appears comfortable and Heywood places himself quite luxuriously on his conversation with some of the other scientists. The high and tall black stone occurs again in the mysterious lunar land which segues to the next segment, the Jupiter mission.

We meet the HAL - 9000, gravity been played around stupendously in and out of the space ship and the continuing spectacular photography of Geoffrey Unsworth. It is a documentary of the envisioned future of Arthur C. Clarke and Stanely Kubrick. They are not men interested in far away social structure but the things outside of the chores of boring humans. Beyond advancing themselves, they have managed to make the AI not alone possible but super effectively. The HAL (voice of Douglas Rain) has emotions. And it bores the enormous responsibility of the awake crew Dave (Keir Dullea) and Frank (Gary Lockwood) along with the sleeping three other members to Jupiter. What the actual mission is not on the outs but Dave and Frank come up with more life threatening problem than that. The logical and brilliant machine has emotions and with that comes illogical behaviour which becomes the greatest exchange of words and a spooky final “Daisy” song.

The insanely illogical thing about Kubrick’s film with me is that I could not enjoy it but at the same time cannot stop appreciating for the unique style. It is not an attempt but a success, an immense success and in that I could see the achievement clearly yet unable to embrace it. That I believe is a loss of mine. This is not the same as that of other highly praised directors like Andrei Tarkovsky whose film I possibly could not fathom getting it for its brilliance. Kubrick’s three films have made a mark on me. They are the films I did not completely like but cannot deny the excellence in it. Most of the times when I do not enjoy a film completely yet blown away by its effects are quoted as an “experience” than an actual pleasure ride. In Kubrick’s case, it is an experience and the pleasure is that I could see how the people love it would have been in awake dream of surrealism and exploration of a world beyond imagination. Today evening I posted a reply comment for “Dr. Strangelove....” to a friend who was disappointed for not naming it classic. I explained him that the films I loved get that status and while “Dr. Strangelove...” indeed is a great film did not really get me completely. I am changing the stance once for “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

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