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 Posted:   Oct 13, 2010 - 3:44 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

"I'm not going to tell you what the ending means. You figure it out."
--Roman Polanski in his commentary to The Ninth Gate (2000)


* * * 3 x 3 = CLOUD 9 * * *

 
 Posted:   Oct 13, 2010 - 4:07 PM   
 By:   Charles Thaxton   (Member)

Hey, Charles (Thaxton), wasn't Ed Straker the pilot of Floyd's transport on the downwind leg to Clavius?


yes...it was after SHADO closed in 1982 when they beat the aliens and Straker need alimony money.

 
 Posted:   Oct 13, 2010 - 4:21 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

250,000 miles . . . and wifey still EXERTS influence! Marital laws, a major hurdle in the elucidation of GUT.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 12:37 AM   
 By:   Ryan Brennan   (Member)

I'm not sure I "got it" the first time I saw the movie at our local Cinerama theater, the Capri, in downtown Dallas when I was 16. My dad took me to see it and afterwards we stopped at a steakhouse and enjoyed a delicious meal while discussing various aspects of the film.

It seems that many audiences prefer to have everything spelled out for them in CAPITAL LETTERS. While most movies are easily understood narratives with clear meanings, once in awhile something more complex comes along that allows for interpretation. To "get it" with these films, the audience must accept the challenge and make an effort to understand rather than passively letting the film wash over them.

I'm not bothered by this type of film. For me they reward repeat viewing.

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 8:21 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

On the other hand, I have a friend who for some reason despises everything that takes place in space.
It needs to take place on earth, with things he can relate to, to catch his interest. That's OK, I guess,
it's a preference or taste.




Or mebbe an extremely limited case of Earth-chauvinism, perhaps? big grin


You haven't by any chance read Hofstadter, Neotrinity?

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 9:07 AM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

I'm not sure I "got it" the first time I saw the movie at our local Cinerama theater, the Capri, in downtown Dallas when I was 16. My dad took me to see it and afterwards we stopped at a steakhouse and enjoyed a delicious meal while discussing various aspects of the film.

It seems that many audiences prefer to have everything spelled out for them in CAPITAL LETTERS. While most movies are easily understood narratives with clear meanings, once in awhile something more complex comes along that allows for interpretation. To "get it" with these films, the audience must accept the challenge and make an effort to understand rather than passively letting the film wash over them.

I'm not bothered by this type of film. For me they reward repeat viewing.



Good post, Rockin' Ryan. My thoughts exactly (except your Dad never took me out for supper)!

big grin

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 9:21 AM   
 By:   Ebab   (Member)

I’m not sure there is a defined “it” to “get” in “2001” (the movie, anyway). It’s a ride where different people can draw different things from, and I find that’s one of the picture’s major strengths.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 10:51 PM   
 By:   Ryan Brennan   (Member)

I’m not sure there is a defined “it” to “get” in “2001” (the movie, anyway). It’s a ride where different people can draw different things from, and I find that’s one of the picture’s major strengths.

That is one of the film's strengths, to me. While a viewer may have an interpretation worked out -- and I have read many -- there always remains something of a mystery about it.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2010 - 10:56 PM   
 By:   Ryan Brennan   (Member)

Good post, Rockin' Ryan. My thoughts exactly (except your Dad never took me out for supper)!
big grin


Thanks! And that late night meal following the movie, partaken with intelligent conversation, was delicious. Wish you could have been there.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2010 - 4:52 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

You haven't by any chance read Hofstadter

Which one, Grecc? but, in either (any) case, sorry to say: nada.



confused So what're we missing? confused

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2010 - 9:21 AM   
 By:   Adam S   (Member)

I wasn't a big fan of the film but I agree with Ebab's comments that the film leaves room to attach your own significance.

A lot of the explanations for 2001’s deeper significance are legitimate interpretations but don’t really account for why we’re watching a spacecraft go through space for minutes on end, to take one example. It seems like Kubrick was trying to do something different in terms how the audience experienced a movie. And it seemed to work for a lot of people but for me, it wasn’t my thing. Watching it on a TV didn’t help I’m sure. And when I read an incredibly detailed article years back about 2001’s significance, symbolism, etc. that went well beyond anything that could credibly be interpreted as having been Kubrick’s intention, it reinforced my nagging sense that the film was too pretentious, maybe unintentionally contributing to a dynamic where you’re supposed to like the movie or lest be accused of not “getting it.” And the fact that the movie initially came out to much more mixed reviews but has since become much more uniformly praised among critics, also contributes to this same sense.

- Adam

 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2010 - 9:53 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

You have to be careful with this, gents.

It's invariably the case that when we reach a work of art that we don't understand, we toy with the idea that there IS no meaning, mainly to flatter ourselves. Kubrick wasn't SO reclusive that he didn't make his intentions clear in the few interviews he gave.

But the fact remains that 2001 has a fairly transparent overall set of goals and messages, and if they weren't there, the film couldn't have been made, and certainly not in the way it WAS made.

The point made above about the spaceship's journey to infinity in the fixed point is straightforward to a Buddhist or a Hindu y'know, and to many mystic traditions. There are people who meditate on a fixed point to try to achieve that. The film doesn't just show the line of man's evolution outwardly, but inwardly too: when he reaches the place where all time and space are one (infinity), he sees himself, as child and old man and 'stone'. And make no mistake ... the child IS himself reborn endlessly. The message ... that mankind's consciousness gives birth to itself, and we're on the threshold of a new era. You can travel to space infinity to find yourself or you can travel inwardly to find infinity, but you get to the same point. The spaceships are just a maguffin. But it's KUBRICK's vision and preoccupation, not Clarkes's. Clarke was only a maguffin-builder in this particular case.

Y'see, if I say this nowadays, then it looks like gobbledygook. Christian civilization gradually lost mysticism so that it has become a woolly thing only fit for poets and literary metaphors, not part of any transcendental reality. Catholicism abused mysticism, and Protestantism just plain threw it out, baby with bathwater. The Enlightenment never refound it. So today most Westerners just don't know there's anything REALLY there, except when they want to write some crappy Harry Potter story and need to borrow some imagery. But it's not obscure imagery, no more so than many stained-glass windows in churches, or Tibetan mandalas.

You do need to remember too, that VietNam was raging, there was renewed interest in transcendentalism, Eastern culture etc., in America, and in 'where we're all headed'. The 'death/infinity' journey is no mere psychadelic trip, but one we all make at some point, some in life, some at the end of it, like our astronaut. The question is, how do we get reborn? If you get bogged down in the NASA link at the time, the publicity about Apollo and Huston etc., you miss what the film is really about. Kubrick was an artist.

The sub-plot about Hal, the technology who shuts man out from his environment, is a dark joke, and the irony is that the Hal story was really a critique on the unquestioning notion at the time that space would solve everything. NASA really tried to cash in on 2001. But the message was very different. Kubrick was showing us (or trying to) that the answer is in ourselves, not 'out there'.

But this'll all get called hot air.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2010 - 10:28 AM   
 By:   Adam S   (Member)

I didn’t say there was no meaning, just that there’s plenty of room for interpretation. I don’t even disagree with the many various interpretations I’ve heard even when they’re contradictory and each person sees themselves as having grasped the “true” meaning because I don’t have a problem with movies that want to challenge the audience in this kind of way – you get some interesting, thoughtful ideas. There doesn’t have to be one absolute interpretation though reading what Kubrick intended is certainly the most convincing thing if we want to discover intentions. Most interpretations I see don’t seem relevant to watching a ship fly through space for minutes and minutes. Even the comments I’ve seen from Kubrick indicate he was using a different kind of artistic expression where the movie is more like a painting or something instead of the traditional narrative approach. This is all well and good but it wasn’t my thing. To each his/her own.

- Adam

 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2010 - 11:10 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Most interpretations I see don’t seem relevant to watching a ship fly through space for minutes and minutes. Even the comments I’ve seen from Kubrick indicate he was using a different kind of artistic expression where the movie is more like a painting or something instead of the traditional narrative approach. This is all well and good but it wasn’t my thing. To each his/her own.

- Adam



Yes, because the trip to infinity ... to the 'point' ..... has to extend. We have to be invited to make the journey ourselves. Just like in the circular mandalas of Tibet.

It's not just a journey from A to B by some character in a movie, but from A to 'Everywhere', the universe in point. Omnipresence in space and time. 'When you wish upon a star (infinity)' as Close Encounters chose to put it.

But y'know, you can say 'to each his own' re a mere work of art, but the thing BEHIND it, the actual spiritual journey is .... well it can be crucial to life both collective and personal. It's what the art points to that matters. Modern entertainment culture has obscured peoples' expectations of what art can really do. You can ignore a movie about an earthquake, but you can't avoid the earthquake.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2010 - 11:27 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey when I was ten years year old, on a class trip to the Capital Theater in NYC one morning in May 1968. We were back in class by afternoon. The informational poster with diagrams and stills from the film had been tacked on the bulletin board since January. I stared at it for months. It piqued my young imagination, and I could not wait for the field trip to come. There was quite a class discussion the next day. I had been to movies before, but not like this.

2001: A Space Odyssey doesn't need to be explained or defended. It's perfect, flawless, and magnificent. It's in a class by itself.


Richard

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2010 - 11:47 AM   
 By:   Adam S   (Member)

Most interpretations I see don’t seem relevant to watching a ship fly through space for minutes and minutes. Even the comments I’ve seen from Kubrick indicate he was using a different kind of artistic expression where the movie is more like a painting or something instead of the traditional narrative approach. This is all well and good but it wasn’t my thing. To each his/her own.

- Adam



Yes, because the trip to infinity ... to the 'point' ..... has to extend. We have to be invited to make the journey ourselves. Just like in the circular mandalas of Tibet.

It's not just a journey from A to B by some character in a movie, but from A to 'Everywhere', the universe in point. Omnipresence in space and time. 'When you wish upon a star (infinity)' as Close Encounters chose to put it.

But y'know, you can say 'to each his own' re a mere work of art, but the thing BEHIND it, the actual spiritual journey is .... well it can be crucial to life both collective and personal. It's what the art points to that matters. Modern entertainment culture has obscured peoples' expectations of what art can really do. You can ignore a movie about an earthquake, but you can't avoid the earthquake.


Kubrick described it as a subjective experience. His words:
"I intended the film to be an intensely subjective experience that reaches the viewer at an inner level of consciousness, just as music does; to "explain" a Beethoven symphony would be to emasculate it by erecting an artificial barrier between conception and appreciation. You're free to speculate as you wish about the philosophical and allegorical meaning of the film -- and such speculation is one indication that it has succeeded in gripping the audience at a deep level -- but I don't want to spell out a verbal road map for 2001 that every viewer will feel obligated to pursue or else fear he's missed the point. I think that if 2001 succeeds at all, it is in reaching a wide spectrum of people who would not often give a thought to man's destiny, his role in the cosmos and his relationship to higher forms of life. But even in the case of someone who is highly intelligent, certain ideas found in 2001 would, if presented as abstractions, fall rather lifelessly and be automatically assigned to pat intellectual categories; experienced in a moving visual and emotional context, however, they can resonate within the deepest fibers of one's being. "

When I say, to each his/her own, I'm saying that's fine if you got all that out of the experience but even a lot of people who love the movie didn't get that out of the experience. There's nothing wrong with that. He made a movie that, like he said, can be interpreted different ways and is meant to be subjective. My subjective reaction was that the ideas in the movie were not enough to sustain my interest consistently through the film.

- Adam

 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2010 - 3:40 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Kubrick described it as a subjective experience. His words:
"I intended the film to be an intensely subjective experience that reaches the viewer at an inner level of consciousness, just as music does; to "explain" a Beethoven symphony would be to emasculate it by erecting an artificial barrier between conception and appreciation. You're free to speculate as you wish about the philosophical and allegorical meaning of the film -- and such speculation is one indication that it has succeeded in gripping the audience at a deep level -- but I don't want to spell out a verbal road map for 2001 that every viewer will feel obligated to pursue or else fear he's missed the point. I think that if 2001 succeeds at all, it is in reaching a wide spectrum of people who would not often give a thought to man's destiny, his role in the cosmos and his relationship to higher forms of life. But even in the case of someone who is highly intelligent, certain ideas found in 2001 would, if presented as abstractions, fall rather lifelessly and be automatically assigned to pat intellectual categories; experienced in a moving visual and emotional context, however, they can resonate within the deepest fibers of one's being. "


- Adam



That's actually, exactly my point AdamS .... he's never going to 'spell it out' because that ruins the QUEST in the viewer to understand it. It has to be the viewer's own 'subjective' journey. But that doesn't mean there's nothing to find. And indeed, you can still enjoy the thing without going there.

The main 'argument' in this thread is with the people who just feel a need to tell us why they hate it ... without in fact telling us why they hate it.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 19, 2010 - 9:20 AM   
 By:   Adam S   (Member)

The discussion took off partly from my comment about why we’re watching ships fly for an extended length. You offered a legitimate interpretation but Kubrick seems to be saying that there’s no expectation to intellectualize this kind of scene anymore than we must intellectualize a great classical musical piece. If people are moved to ponder other things, great, but he says the success of the film will be if it appeals to people who don’t think of these things at all. So I don’t think your point is the same. It is also relevant to the discussion earlier about whether or not one has to “get it” in order to enjoy the movie. I can see how the film encourages one to think that but that wasn’t Kubrick’s mindset evidently except in so far as he wanted it to be an emotional journey - something different than what has been said.

- Adam

 
 Posted:   Oct 19, 2010 - 11:14 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

The discussion took off partly from my comment about why we’re watching ships fly for an extended length. You offered a legitimate interpretation but Kubrick seems to be saying that there’s no expectation to intellectualize this kind of scene anymore than we must intellectualize a great classical musical piece. If people are moved to ponder other things, great, but he says the success of the film will be if it appeals to people who don’t think of these things at all. So I don’t think your point is the same. It is also relevant to the discussion earlier about whether or not one has to “get it” in order to enjoy the movie. I can see how the film encourages one to think that but that wasn’t Kubrick’s mindset evidently except in so far as he wanted it to be an emotional journey - something different than what has been said.



I don't disagree, but a few points:

What he's saying, is that it's there, it stands alone, and there's no compunction to 'understand' it. If someone made, say, a chair that was amazingly designed to reveal the secrets of the universe, it would still be a failure if you couldn't sit on it, as a chair. The same with movies. You could just have a movie of a talking head on screen giving a lecture explaining the movie's meaning, but that would fail as a movie.

One thing ought to be said there though: to understand where a movie's coming from and then explain it .... well, that may be a killer, and indeed a spoiler, but it isn't 'intellectualising'. Intellectualising is where you REDUCE a work or anything to an intellectual meaning. The movie works on different communication lines, sometimes emotional, sometimes intuitive, like all movies, sometimes visceral as well as mental. But when they sat with a clean slate, empty paper, and had to come up with the ideas, they DID come up with certain ideas, otherwise that film would never exist. There's no chaos in it. It's very disciplined and consistent. Kubrick wouldn't want me spelling it out, but he'd also hope people can go to whatever levels are there.

On another level, if it doesn't sound too pretentious, the realities to be found in the movie, that the movie refers to, if they really could be grasped by the individual could change his/her life. That dwarfs any 'artistic criticism' or 'entertainment' thing. I'm trying not to LIMIT what art can do, if we let it.

 
 Posted:   Oct 19, 2010 - 12:08 PM   
 By:   Charles Thaxton   (Member)

The discussion took off partly from my comment about why we’re watching ships fly for an extended length. - Adam

it worked in SPACEBALLS wink


I think the long extended space shots were simple Cinerama eye candy which had never been seen before.

 
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