BlindSpot 2018, January: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Mettel Ray

When I set myself the task to watch 2001: A Space Odyssey, I knew I was going to be conflicted with my thoughts. There’s just something about classics that always rubs me the wrong way, yet, at the same time, I do see the beauty and sophistication in them beyond the images on screen. And so it always is, and it is just the same with the first Stanley Kubrick’s film on my BlindSpot 2018 list.

My first thought after watching this very famous and very beloved movie was, that every other space movie is basically a rip-off of this one. The concept of birth, death and time are themes Interstellar explores, a fellow crew member spins into space is a moment used in Gravity, and the evil computer is used in many many films. And while the plot of 2001: A Space Odyssey is simpler than I expected, it still raises a whole lot of heavy and meaningful questions, which is also something many sci-fi movies like to explore these days. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but I’m now simply seeing the effects of 2001: A Space Odyssey around me, and that’s an awesome feeling.

As it is such a beloved film, I don’t think I have to go into detail in regards to its plot. It’s simple, and it’s still very interesting and mysterious. What keeps it from being basic, is the domino piece like black alien-esqueΒ being, that isn’t in any way explained. We know some of its abilities but we know nothing of where it came from (Jupiter that looks like a very fancy museum?), what it wants (do see a human, do birth a new human?), and what it will do next. It would seemΒ itΒ acts as a representation of God in a way, but I can’t really be certain. There is a lot of theories about it all, and I guess this movie still is a mystery to this day, because the filmmakers never really explained their point of view. Which, in my eyes, is a nice touch. No explanation means everyone can interpret the movie themselves – secretly, I think that’s exactly what 2001: A Space Odyssey aimed to do.

As mentioned, I do tend to have a hard time with classics and it’s usually to do with the runtime. Over two hours and I get fidgety, I get impatient, I sort of lose the lack of concentration and that’s easily explained. Attention span has become shorter and shorter over the years, and people are able to focus for shorter period of times. This is why I think it would make more sense to shorten classes and university lectures, because I had the worst case of concentration during 3 hour lectures in university, I can’t imagine enduring one now! And that kind of mental ability has now slowly seeped into my movie watching habits as well – over 2 hours, and I’m restless.

2001: A Space Odyssey is longer than I’m used to and I did notice the time starting to stretch. It’s almost ironic considering the end of the movie, time as a concept, is played around with. Our main character goes through these stages of life very quickly, seeing his own life pass by, and is reborn in what feels like minutes. Until that moment, you think you’ve almost got it all figured out, but that’s when the giant baby floats into space and looks over the Earth. And you’ll sit there and think to yourself, what the hell is that?

Visually, this movie from 1968 is ahead of its time. It looks stunning, and it’s no surprise it won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. I’m in complete shock that Oliver!, a musical, won Best Director and Best Movie over this one, and 2001: A Space Odyssey wasn’t even nominated. I have no intention to even watch Oliver! and yet, 2001: A Space Odyssey is currently probably in many watchlists and favourite lists of bloggers. Talk about an Oscar snub!


BLIND SPOT SERIES WAS CREATED BY RYAN OVER AT THE MATINEE AND IS HOSTED BY SOFIA OVER AT RETURNING VIDEOTAPES

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Big Screen Small Words
    January 30, 2018 at 4:08 PM

    I tried to watch this last year (it was part of my blind spot list) but stopped 20 minutes in because my mind was starting to wander. It does sound interesting, and reading your review makes me want to see it but I don’t think I have the willpower to sit through it again. Maybe someday!

    • Reply
      mettelray
      February 4, 2018 at 1:49 PM

      It’s not the easiest to get into but it’s definitely not the worst I’ve watched. I think Apocalypse Now was the most I struggled with. So keep it in mind, there are movies that need a lot more willpower, so this isn’t that bad! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Nostra
    January 30, 2018 at 4:24 PM

    I remember watching it years ago (before I started blogging) and it bored my so much that I fast forwarded through it. I should probably give it a second chance though.

    • Reply
      mettelray
      February 4, 2018 at 1:52 PM

      I’m surprised to hear that because I’ve only heard good things about it. Though I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets bored with these long slow paced classics.

  • Reply
    Sonia (A Film A Day)
    January 30, 2018 at 5:38 PM

    I watched it a couple of years ago and I hated it. It does raise important questions but it is so damn boring! I recently rewatched the Dawn of Man scene because I couldn’t sleep and I was hoping it would help me. I ended up laughing so hard my stomach hurt. I’m rambling, aren’t I?

    • Reply
      mettelray
      February 4, 2018 at 1:53 PM

      I don’t know if it’s boring. I like the question it raises and what it proposes, and the whole mystery of it. But then again, I like sci-fi a whole lot and that aspect of the movie was interesting, even if the movie progressed to that point very slowly.

  • Reply
    Sofia da Costa
    January 30, 2018 at 8:04 PM

    They’ve been snubbing since the beginning!! That is so true with these highly symbolic movies – you think you’ve got it all figured out and then bam, here’s one last shot just to mindfuck you πŸ˜‚

    • Reply
      mettelray
      February 4, 2018 at 1:54 PM

      I know, that giant baby threw me off so much, but then again, I guess it wouldn’t be as infamous if it was so easily understandable.

  • Reply
    ninvoid99
    January 30, 2018 at 10:31 PM

    This is a film where I can understand isn’t for everyone as it raises so many questions about us and the universe. It’s got all of these gorgeous sequences and how it uses classical music is just incredible. It is a true feat in the art of filmmaking as it shows why a lot of us revere Stanley Kubrick so much.

    • Reply
      mettelray
      February 4, 2018 at 1:57 PM

      I understand it being either hated or loved for the same reasons. I don’t like to state these strong movies often, so I won’t be able to do it for 2001 even if I wanted to. But I understand where people are coming from when they say they dislike this movie, but I get why people love it too. Well, let’s see how my Kubrick experience continues in 2018 and then I can give my final thoughts on his work.

  • Reply
    Often Off Topic
    January 30, 2018 at 11:25 PM

    I put off a lot of classics for the exact same reason! It took me 2 days to watch The Godfather but I’m glad I did in the end. 2001 is another I’ve been meaning to see for far too long now.

    • Reply
      mettelray
      February 4, 2018 at 1:58 PM

      I watched The Godfather in one sitting but it took me about 3 days to watch Apocalypse Now. In the end, I didn’t even understand what the movie was about.

      • Reply
        Often Off Topic
        February 4, 2018 at 10:52 PM

        Oh man that’s one I can’t bring myself to see!

  • Reply
    keithosaunders
    January 31, 2018 at 12:10 AM

    Oliver is a good movie is worth seeing. I agree that it is no 2001, however.

    • Reply
      mettelray
      February 4, 2018 at 1:59 PM

      I don’t know if I can watch Oliver, I don’t like musicals and the only one I plan to see soon is The Greatest Showman.

  • Reply
    Brittani
    January 31, 2018 at 6:06 PM

    I need to sit down and watch this but I always turn it off, it just hasn’t caught me. Maybe next year I’ll put it on my Blind Spot to force my hand a bit. lol

    • Reply
      mettelray
      February 4, 2018 at 2:10 PM

      Do it. I mean, I did it, and I’m the worst with classics so when I did it, you can too!

  • Reply
    CB: Rewind << January & Monthly Awards – METTEL RAY
    February 5, 2018 at 5:03 PM

    […] In 2018 I’m also taking part in the BlindSpot series, created by Ryan over at The Matinee, and hosted by Sofia over at Returning Videotapes. The first movie I saw and reviewed for this years entries was 2001: A Space Odyssey. […]

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