A classic that still inspires filmmakers toady, as well as debate…
This is a beautiful film, spectacular to look at, let alone hear, but its pacing turns into a work of art, rather than a movie. It is divided into four distinct chapters: The Dawn of Man, Le voyage dans la Lune, The ACTUAL story, and the psychedelic finale 25 minutes. The Apes are cool and this opening sequence presents the monoliths as something creeping and desperately important. The voyage to the moon, which clocks up 40 minutes, is elegant and innovative though slow and bar some minor plot development, filled with small talk.
The Discovery story begins at minute 50, finally introducing the main cast who are played and directed clinically, but again, continue to show what life may well be like in the future, or nine years ago now. But the final act is where this becomes something which many people have found hard to swallow. Having sat through 110 minutes of apes, space flight and meals through a straw, our hero as you might call him, enters the monolith in orbit of Jupiter, and spends the next 25 minutes becoming a star child.
All in all, this is one of the best Sci Fi films I have ever seen, and SEEN is the word. This is a delight to look up and listen too, designed for big screens and even bigger sound systems, but there’s nothing to offer in the way of plot. The characters are handled in typical Kubrick fashion, as clinical devices to drive the paper thin narrative, with HAL, the on board computer, managing to be the heart of the entire film.
In fact, it’s starts down the road of becoming a little heartbreaking when the moment to come to shut down this paranoid killing machine, and in many ways, that could be the genius of this film. This is many things, but not least is it an existentialist exploration of our place in the universe, but it’s also only half a story. Every door is opened but not a one is entered or explored. What has happened to HAL? What possessed Dave Bowman to fly into the Monolith? What the hell was going on?
The point is to discover this for yourself, to read what you want into it and derive your own conclusions, but in the end, it comes across as a film so self indulgent that it simply doesn’t care how it tells it story, just how it looks on screen. This is truly and work of art, and in may ways, belongs in that scene, but it is also one a hell of a good looking movie, but in the end, to me, it fails to be all that it could have been.
“2010: The Year We Make Contact” is in many ways a better FILM, with a well rounded plot and method, and manages to fill in most of the blanks from the first, this is very underrated because you cannot be better that one of Hollywood’s sacred cows, but as good as it is, it literally lost the plot somewhere its production.
This is still an inspiration to filmmakers everywhere as so it should be. A masterpiece of modern cinema. Most defiantly…