We would always drive the long way so we could go over the scary bridge; not the quick drive on the four lane. It was about 30 miles to the cinerama theater. When you sat right down front, your whole field of vision was encompassed by the curved screen.

I guess we did this every weekend for 3 months. We'd take whatever (acid, usually) and go see 2001.

When the monkey throws the bone in the air and it turns into a spaceship, the folks we took for the first time would jump so far out of their chairs that there were actually dents on the ceiling. Well, OK; that's an exaggeration. But there was more than one strong soul who had to go sit in the car 'cause it was just too damn much to take.

Imagine that now while your kids watch Scream III or The Haunting. Also think about the difference in the overall message.

Kubrick really knew what Arthur C. Clarke was trying to say in his story, and I doubt if anyone else in that time could have made this movie.

Of course, when you watch it now, it seems rather slow and droll, doesn't it? Here we are in the year 2000.

ADDENDUM: As for Yossarian's claim about which came first, this is from the Encyclopedia Britannica:

"In the 1960’s, Clarke collaborated with motion-picture director Stanley Kubrick in making the innovative and highly praised science-fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), based on Clarke's short story The Sentinel (1951) and subsequently developed into a novel (1968)."

So, I suppose he's partly correct. The point is that Kubrick could have never written this story himself.

The novel for 2001 was written after the movie, as an attempt to explain what the heck the movie was all about. Though based on Arthur C. Clark's short story The Sentinel, the movie itself was actually co-written by both Kubrick and Clark, which goes a long way to explaining why so many people seem to enjoy it so much more while slightly removed from reality. I have only watched it sober, but it is still one of my all time favorite films - proof positive (to me, at least) that the best drugs are taken through the eyes.

2001 a Space Odyssey is a name given to two different works in two different media. The most well known is the movie, directed by the late Stanley Kubrick. The only slightly less well known is the book by Arthur C. Clarke, who may or may not be deceased.

Both book and movie were written in a collaborative effort between their respective creators; in truth it could be said that both Clarke and Kubrick wrote both peices, the storyline anyway. Even though there is some divergence between the two forms due to the pressures of their respective media, they were written simultaneously, a very unusual circumstance.

However, despite their similar root, they are two very different works. While Clarke's story is engaging and entertaining, it does not go into the artistic depth that the film does. By using state of the art special effects combined with bizzare otherworldly settings, Kubrick manages to tell a garden of eden story in scientific terms. Here, The Monolith is The Apple, and the monkeys are mankind. In gaining the ability to use tools, man gives up his animal nature and his life plagued only by the most visceral needs, and replaces it with a world where the very instruments of convenience, the tools shown to range anywhere from bones to starships in the single cut that spans ten thousand years of seemingly, to the story, pointless evolution, end up becoming threats as great, or greater, to humanity as the things they were created to guard against -- represented in the intelligent computer, HAL 9000.

2001 is ultimately about letting go of the material world and the tools we use to manipulate it, which become crutches. This film gives no answers, but rather points to where we are going, and suggests a change of course.

2001: A Space Odyssey is a movie that I've spent hours thinking about. Mainly since the movie itself is slow enough to actually let the viewer think about it. One of my favorite themes was the whole thing with tools. The monolith inspires the first pre-human creature to start using tools. Of course, the first use of tools is to kill things. First, other creatures for meat, but then another member of the species. The humanoid creates the tool (by simply picking it up in this case), and then kills with it. Then, in the future we are presented with HAL. In one of the coolest death scenes in cinema, HAL kills Dave's companion in the silence of space. I'm sure we all knew what it sounded like inside that guy's helmet though. HAL then systematically kills the rest of the crew by turning off their life support. If asked, I'm guessing most people would offhandedly agree with the statement that HAL has committed murder. But, HAL is a machine. Just a tool. Can a machine really be held responsible for murder? Who's fault is it then? While you're toying over this question Stanley Kubrick throws in an even more disturbing problem. Dave manages to get into HAL's "brain" and much in the same way HAL had killed the sleeping passengers, Dave slowly dismantles him. The entire time HAL protests and then finally fades away, "Daisy...daisy". Now, the question is, Did Dave murder HAL? It's also interesting note how machine-like Dave is, especially in HAL's "death scene", where HAL seems the more human of the two.

One of those most intriguing underlying themes of this movie is dehumanization by technology. This is evident mostly through the way it portrays HAL-9000, a computer used in deep space expeditions to help monitor all the ships parts and gather data it "sees". Throughout the movie HAL-9000 shows more emotional depth than any of the human characters. The actions of HAL are a true enigma, and keeps you thinking after the movie is done. Did HAL truely have feelings? Are computers able to think on their own, or was it merely a malfunction? Will they ever find out what went wrong, or will the mistake happen again? Although these questions are claimed to be answered in "2010" (the weak sequel to 2001), it is almost certain Stanley Kubrick intended the viewers to think for themselves.

I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time this weekend. I can sum my reaction up in one thrice-phonated invocation: Nietzsche, Nietzsche, Nietzsche. The infamous

Duhhh... Dahhh.... DAHHHhhh.... DAH-DAAAHHHHH!#!!!@$!111 BOOM-boom-BOOM-boom-BOOM-boom-BOOM-boom-BOOM/Duhhh... DAaaahhh.... DAAAHHH... DAH-DAAAAAAHH!H$@#!@$!@$!@111

orchestral piece is Also Sprach Zarathustra, by Richard Strauss. Also Sprach Zarathustra is also a book written by- you guessed it- Nietzsche. (The English translation is Thus Spake Zarathustra.)

"I TEACH YOU THE SUPERMAN. Man is something that is to be surpassed. What have ye done to surpass man?

All beings hitherto have created something beyond themselves: and ye want to be the ebb of that great tide, and would rather go back to the beast than surpass man?

What is the ape to man? A laughing-stock, a thing of shame. And just the same shall man be to the Superman: a laughing-stock, a thing of shame.

Ye have made your way from the worm to man, and much within you is still worm. Once were ye apes, and even yet man is more of an ape than any of the apes...

...I tell you: one must still have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing star. I tell you: ye have still chaos in you.

Alas! There cometh the time when man will no longer give birth to any star. Alas! There cometh the time of the most despicable man, who can no longer despise himself."

- Also Sprach Zarathustra
quotation taken from the Übermensch node

The Nietzschean concepts of the Beast, the Man, and the Superman/Overman/Übermensch were quite explicitly presented in the images of the ape, man, and Dave-as-a-cosmic-baby-thing. But while Nietzsche is famous for his utterance of God is Dead, outside influence in the form of a greater power is not taken out of the picture in Kubrick's vision. The monoliths act as devices that do all of the hard work for us. So...

As I understand it, Nietzschean progression: Beast -> (hard work and transcendence) -> Man -> (hard work and transcendence) -> Overman

Whereas Kubrickian progression: Beast -> (supernatural intervention) -> Man -> (supernatural intervention) -> Overman

One could easily split hairs and draw out a discussion for hours on this disconnect between the philosophies, but at least one possible conclusion jumps out immediately: Kubrick has no hope for anthromatic progression. (Yay for making up terms.) This idea is rather easy to fall back on, given his other works. In short, Kubrick implies that nothing short of divine intervention could kick humanity out of its current rut.


Disclaimer: I'm insane. Throw rocks at me.

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