Friday, April 18, 2008

"What are you doing Dave?"




So lets jump right in shall we?  For my first post ever, I want to talk specifically about the movie 2001: A Space Oddessy.   I saw this about 10 years ago and I thought it was good.  I saw it again last week and I think it is one of the most important films of all time.   This is a movie that actually reinvented the form of movie making in terms of special effects.  But it is not just a special effects movie....it deals with themes and emotions, the story is visual and told with minimal dialogue.  It is a slow hypnotizing journey, one that is very peaceful, and very still, yet at times you are the edge of your seat.  It is a compilation of different acts, that deal with human evolution, space travel, artificial intelligence, quantam physics, and it is told with a beautiful sountrack, that not only has the signature "Also Spach Zarurustra" and the "Blue Danube Waltz", but some trippy and beautiful sonic parts.  In fact the first two minutes of this film open in complete darkness with nothing but an almost pink floyd like sound experience, it also has an intermission break where the movie plays in complete darkness for about 3-4 minutes with noises going on.  At the face of it some people may find this weird, but I thought it was original and cool.  
The plot of 2001 is almost unimportant, in fact this is a movie where if someone were to ask me, "What's it about"  I would say, dude just freakin see it!  But anyways,I'll highlight a few acts.  (If you haven't seen it, I am not "giving anything away")
  We begin at the dawn of man about 2 million years ago with our apelike ancestors fighting with another tribe, one of them finds a bone and realizes he can use it as a weapon to fight of the other tribe...our ancestor throws the bone in the air where it rotates in slow motion, and then in an unbelievable jump cut it becomes a space ship.  Showing our evolution of 2 million years in an instant.  
Later in the movie we meet up with a crew which is composed of Dave, Frank, 3 other humans in hibernation chambers, and the final member of the crew...HAL, an artificial intelligence entity.  HAL begins this act chatting and playing chess with other members of the crew and admiring one of dave's drawings.  But later HAL begins to exhibit feelings of human like neuroses, which ultimately lead to him feeling threatened and leading him to his only option, he must terminate the human crew members, before they disconnect him.  Guys this part of the movie is so genius and brilliant that it gives me chills even now writing it...anyways..Dave needs to get back into the spaceship and when he asks HAL to open the pod bay door , HAL responds chillingly "I'm afraid I can't do that Dave"   Dave ends up outsmarting HAL and does begin to disconnect him, HAL asks "What are you doing Dave?"  "Perhaps you should calm down and we can talk about this"  And as Dave pulls his memory we hear HAL say, "My mind is going, I can feel it going Dave"  Just before HAL "dies" he reverts to his basic operational program which is to sing the song "Daisy, Daisy"  Which he sings as his artificial voice is fading out, again folks this scene is unbelievable and chilling.
Later Dave goes through a Stargate, or wormhole and travels faster then the speed of light.  And this is when we see the films most hypnotic sequence...as we see Dave travel down this path, we see psychedelic lights and color fields that change in a beautiful manner, this part of the movie lasts almost 7 minutes, and it is nothing but a series of travelling down a light path....but again it is brilliant.  Dave reaches the end of his journey and is ultimately reborn as "The Star Child" who may be the next jump in evolution perhaps?  No one knows, probably not even Stanley Kubrick the director.  
Anyways every frame of 2001 is like watching a masterpiece painting, the shots are languid, hypnotic, and beautiful.  Like all of Kubrick's films, it gets better with repeated watchings.  It is also interesting that this is not a movie that I liked so much better at 34  than at 24.  For whatever reason....Some movies can acheive the highest form of visual art and this one knocks it out of the park!

7 comments:

Brett said...

So.... did you like the movie?

What's it about?

SERENITY NOW said...

Very good first post on your blog Garrett. We haven't seen the movie but with your great painting of what it is about we will have to pick it up.

I was hoping to be the first post but I see Brett beat me to it by a few minutes. I picked up your directions and then shut the computer down and then I received your call. Thus my delay. Love ya

P.S. Lilke the blog name too.

SERENITY NOW said...

G:

Looking forward to seeing you and and fam sat and sunday. Great summary of the flick, haven't seen it. Reminds me of reading Cliff Notes before the big exam. Sounds like a classic. Your blog will be linked to the www.serenitynow1871.blogspot.com
with great pride.

Serenity Now...out

dole2obama said...

Garrett
I can't wait to see this movie but who is in it? Is it better than Fletch?

bob riley said...

Finally! I was afraid Zach would get his on line and you'd be the last one in the family.

Great job, it looks awesome!

Grandma Dee said...

Garrett, I agree with you. Unbelievable movie. I remember when I first saw it. I thought that I couldn't even imagine it ever being 2001. And now, it's come and gone. I think I went back to see the movie 2 or 3 more times while it was still in the theatres. Then, I have watched it on tv a couple more times. I loved the quotes you picked. And the music was awesome. I loved both of them. I started listening to Strauss waltzes after hearing "the Blue Danube." I just love them to this day. Actually dreamed that I waltzed to that in a dream last night. Then, the incredible hulk (who was blue- black) came into Disneyland. And, I only had 1 and 1/2 glasses of wine. Wacky dreams lately.
Anyway, I love your blog. Very creative. Can't wait for more.
Love,
Denise

Grandma Dee said...

By the way, it is so fun hearing from Brett. I always have loved his sense of humor (and of course yours, Garrett, and Mark's). This will be great fun.
Manana, pal,
Denise