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2001 A Space Odyssey - Original 70mm Cinerama Format

Wannaplan?

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I caught Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey this week-end on Cinemax. Wow! What an amazing movie! I saw it in the theater in the early 1980s as a child, but I was bored. I mean, how can an 8-year old enjoy this kind of movie? Anyway, since Saturday, I have been captivated by the movie, its art, and its meanings. I did some internet research and found some rather interesting tidbits. One thing that I found interesting was that it was shot in a 70mm Cinerama format and projected onto a curved screen. The special screen gave the movie visual depth, literally. That got me wondering: Do any theaters still have this special screen? [Yes: http://www.cinerama.com/coming_soon.asp] How many Cyburbanites are old enough to have seen the movie as it was presented in 1968 on the curved screen? I want to see 2001 in the original format! No DVD or widescreen TV will give the same effect. Can anyone help me?

 

Super Amputee Cat

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Wanigas? said:
I caught Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey this week-end on Cinemax. Wow! What an amazing movie! I saw it in the theater in the early 1980s as a child, but I was bored. I mean, how can an 8-year old enjoy this kind of movie? Anyway, since Saturday, I have been captivated by the movie, its art, and its meanings. I did some internet research and found some rather interesting tidbits. One thing that I found interesting was that it was shot in a 70mm Cinerama format and projected onto a curved screen. The special screen gave the movie visual depth, literally. That got me wondering: Do any theaters still have this special screen? [Yes: http://www.cinerama.com/coming_soon.asp] How many Cyburbanites are old enough to have seen the movie as it was presented in 1968 on the curved screen? I want to see 2001 in the original format! No DVD or widescreen TV will give the same effect. Can anyone help me?

Well, I was only four in 1968, but I did see a restored print in the theaters about nine years ago, when the film was reissued. Not sure if it was 70mm, but it certainly was widescreen.

I'm surprised the film got such limited release in 2001. I've heard that the movie studio didn't give a damn about the film and only released it in a big markets like Chicago and New York and a couple of places overseas.

Guess they spent all their ad budget money on American Pie II.
 

mendelman

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Super Amputee Cat said:
Guess they spent all their ad budget money on American Pie II.

American Pie II probably made more money too. :-\
 

Wannaplan?

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Super Amputee Cat said:
I'm surprised the film got such limited release in 2001. I've heard that the movie studio didn't give a damn about the film and only released it in a big markets like Chicago and New York and a couple of places overseas.

Yep, four citites: Austin, Brookline, Hatford, and Chicago.

From: http://movies.warnerbros.com/2001/
 

Maister

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I saw the movie for the first time (on tv) in the late 70's but being a young teen didn't "get it" at that time. I picked up Clarke's book, 2001, as an adult some years later and was blown away (I try not to use the phrase lightly in this context) with the story. If you liked the book 2001, I recomend reading 2010, and 2060 too.

The crux of Clarke's story is is that extraterrestrials have exuded enormous influence on the development of our species and the monoliths act as catalysts for human evolution. The protagonist of 2001, astronaut David Poole, undergoes an evolutionary "jump" when he touches the monolith - just as the earlier homonids did at the beginning of the film. I find it interesting that the 'Space Odyssey" theme song (you know - Daa daaa daaaaaa Ba Daaaa....) was composed by Richard Strauss I think around the turn of the century. The name of the 'tone poem' was "Thus spake Zarathustra". Zarathustra is one of the earliest identifiable figures with the founding of a religion (there are still some zoroastrians in India and Pakistan). So the deliberate choice of this musical selection by Kubrick I think clearly conveys the spiritual nature of this evolutionary jump. Poole expands consciousness and transcends linear time. The birth of a new species is symbolised in the infant gazing down at earth.
I could wax for hours about this, but I'll spare you that. Feel free to PM me if you do want to discuss it at length, though.... :-}
 

DecaturHawk

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Well, I'm one of those who is old enough to have seen it in the theater in its original format. I was 11 at the time and a sci-fi nut, so I really liked it. However, I think with time it has lost some of its impact. It was groundbreaking at the time, but now some of the effects and the storyline seem kind of blase and the understandings of space travel and computers almost quaint. The interminably long section showing the main character looking at lights flashing past him seemed dull even then (Ooo! Special Effects!). The film would be greatly improved by cutting that portion at least in half. But I do enjoy seeing it again, especially the iconic scenes of the spaceships floating in space to the strains of "Blue Danube," hearing "Also Sprach Zarathustra", the fetal baby in space, and the apes dancing around the monolith. Great acting, too (whatever happened to Keir Dullea?).
 

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Maister said:
The protagonist of 2001, astronaut David Poole, undergoes an evolutionary "jump" when he touches the monolith - just as the earlier homonids did at the beginning of the film.

But why was Poole's evolutionary jump presented in such a visually elaborate narrative? The hominids: Did they actually touch the monolith at the beginning (I can't remember if they did) of the movie, or just simply "reach" for it? If they touched it as Poole did, then why weren't they shown to go through a similar transformation? Similarly, wasn't Poole in the pod as he zipped through space after the monolith? That would restrict his ability to touch the monolith. Apparently, the evolutionary jump is not dependent upon touching the monolith.
 

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DecaturHawk said:
It was groundbreaking at the time, but now some of the effects and the storyline seem kind of blase and the understandings of space travel and computers almost quaint.

I disagree. The movie is still relevant after 36 years. The cinematography, pacing, and vision are outstanding. And, the corporate logos in 2001 as presented in 1968 still work today in 2004 as irony. Perhaps you misunderstand Kubrick's meanings of the visual subtext?
 

Tom R

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Dave

I saw it, it must have been late '68 or early '69, on the Naval Operations Base at Norfolk. I doubt that it was in full blown Cinerama though. It was still a mind blower and remains one of my top favorite movies. I think the plot and Dave's Odyessey are intentionally unclear like a lot of good art. It allows everyone to have their own interpretation. If confused, read Clarke's book, which by the way was actually written after the screenplay which is a switch. It might clear things up a little.

"I'm feeling much better now. I really do."
 

Tom R

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dave

Wanigas? said:
But why was Poole's evolutionary jump presented in such a visually elaborate narrative? The hominids: Did they actually touch the monolith at the beginning (I can't remember if they did) of the movie, or just simply "reach" for it? If they touched it as Poole did, then why weren't they shown to go through a similar transformation? Similarly, wasn't Poole in the pod as he zipped through space after the monolith?

IMHO, The hominids did touch the monolith and it manipulated them by teaching them how to use a weapon (the thigh bone). This gave them an evolutionary advantage and sent them on their transformation that took probably several hundred of thousands of years. In the book, TMA 1 was called "The sentenal". When the huminids were advanced enough to expose it to light it sent its message to the other monolith in the vicinity of Jupiter. And by reaching it, the human was sent throught an additional transformation to become a child god. So the entity behind the Sentenal enabled transformations from an animal, to a sentiate being to a god. It would be interesting to speculate what the next transformation would be. (2010 was a disappointment.)
 
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Wannaplan?

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BiteMeElmo said:
I thought we had a modern version of Cinerama...Imax. It rocks.

Ummm, 2001 was made in 1968. I don't think Imax existed back then. That is why I am asking about the 70mm Cinerama format.
 

JNL

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"Open the pod bay doors, HAL"

I watched it for the first time a few weeks ago. The tape was old and stopped playing right near the end! So I went back to the video store and demanded another copy (this is 2001 we're talking about). They said they didn't have any other copies and could give me a credit. And I was like, "I don't want a credit! I want to see the end of the movie!!" so they miraculously found another copy :-D

A classic.
 

Maister

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Wanigas? said:
But why was Poole's evolutionary jump presented in such a visually elaborate narrative? The hominids: Did they actually touch the monolith at the beginning (I can't remember if they did) of the movie, or just simply "reach" for it? If they touched it as Poole did, then why weren't they shown to go through a similar transformation? Similarly, wasn't Poole in the pod as he zipped through space after the monolith? That would restrict his ability to touch the monolith. Apparently, the evolutionary jump is not dependent upon touching the monolith.

I believe Poole's jump was shown differently for two reasons 1. Because Poole's jump is intended to speak to us, the viewer, who are homo sapiens (presumably) 2. the nature of the jump. In the case of the homonids the advance was in terms of logical function - in the case of homo sapiens the advance occurred in the expansion of consciousness.
The hominids did touch the monolith at the beginning. I would have to guess the monolith is activated by intent to touch. You couldn't very well take off your space gloves in a vacuum...
 

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2010 was a different animal altogether. I'm going out on a limb here and basing my suppositions on things I've heard Clarke say out of the context of the 2001 books.... but evidently Clarke was an early proponent of the Gaia principle. I believe he has been heard to say that planets are sentient beings or organisms that exist on a higher scale in the hierarchy of Nature. The entire cosmos is evolving, which in planetary terms means that the sun was once a planet. Once a certain critical mass is achieved a cascade effect occurs and a self perpetuating fusion reaction (what stars do) occurs and planets become stars (which accounts for the relatively high number of 'binary' star systems that astronomers observe). Some astronomers have said that Jupiter is a failed sun, but Clarke's view is that Jupiter is a star yet to be born. 2010, therefore seems to be still all about evolution, just on a different scale.
 

BiteMeElmo

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Wanigas? said:
Ummm, 2001 was made in 1968. I don't think Imax existed back then. That is why I am asking about the 70mm Cinerama format.

I know. That's why I asked if Imax is a modern version of Cinerama.
 

Wannaplan?

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Maister said:
I believe Poole's jump was shown differently for two reasons...

2. the nature of the jump. In the case of the homonids the advance was in terms of logical function - in the case of homo sapiens the advance occurred in the expansion of consciousness.

Or perhaps more specifically, maybe it was because he symbolically triumphed over machine/tool?

I posit the following:

Poole essentially outsmarted HAL - the machine/tool - by blasting himself back into the Discovery and eventually killing HAL. In the beginning of the film, the monolith gave humanity the ability to use tools - the bones as weapons - and at the middle, we see humanity pervasively using tools to survive, the machine/tool as life support, the space station and various ships hovering over planet Earth. At the end, humanity is rewarded by the monolith when humanity finally overcomes the machine/tool when HAL is essentially killed. Yes, this is all symbolic, but I think that's Kubrick's intent. Therefore, I posit Kubrick's message was that humanity can achieve a higher consciousness and evolve to the next stage when we can move beyond tools and machines. Therefore, was 2001 a message of how to achieve global peace?
 

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Wanigas? said:
Or perhaps more specifically, maybe it was because he symbolically triumphed over machine/tool?

I posit the following:

Poole essentially outsmarted HAL - the machine/tool - by blasting himself back into the Discovery and eventually killing HAL. In the beginning of the film, the monolith gave humanity the ability to use tools - the bones as weapons - and at the middle, we see humanity pervasively using tools to survive, the machine/tool as life support, the space station and various ships hovering over planet Earth. At the end, humanity is rewarded by the monolith when humanity finally overcomes the machine/tool when HAL is essentially killed. Yes, this is all symbolic, but I think that's Kubrick's intent. Therefore, I posit Kubrick's message was that humanity can achieve a higher consciousness and evolve to the next stage when we can move beyond tools and machines. Therefore, was 2001 a message of how to achieve global peace?
Interesting suppositions....we know that both Clarke (in many different sci fi stories) and Kubrick (his last film "A.I.") have dealt extensively with the Man vs Machine storyline, so that could very well be an intended interpretation. Now that I think about it you are very likely correct that man transcending machine is one of the principal themes in the storyline. It occurs to me that we see this storyline played out in yet another way. In 2001 we see the homonids make an evolutionary advance which results in the new species' use of tools for the purpose of subjugating the other homonids at the water hole. In 2010 we see tools (nuclear weapons) again used for subjugation, this time resulting in possible extinction for the species. Poole, after making his making his evolutionary jump, in contrast, uses his higher state to transmit a message of peace (instead of subjugation) to earth, in essence, imploring humans not to destroy themselves (through the use of nuclear tools) and points to greater possibilities. The nuclear showdown ends peacefully - again, the triumph of man over machine.
 

Tom R

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Thigh bone v. HAL

There are parallel's between the hominids use of the thigh bone and the use of HAL. Both initially benefit society and both can turn and bite the user.

Its a sign of a good movie that starts this kind and this quality of discussion ever, let alone 25+ years later.
 

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Maister said:
Poole, after making his making his evolutionary jump, in contrast, uses his higher state to transmit a message of peace (instead of subjugation) to earth, in essence, imploring humans not to destroy themselves (through the use of nuclear tools) and points to greater possibilities. The nuclear showdown ends peacefully - again, the triumph of man over machine.

Isn't this a theme in Dr. Strangelove and, to a certain extent in Clockwork Orange, as well? Doesn't Kubrick explore nuclear armageddon/humanity's destruction in these movies? (I've seen Orange, not Stangelove.) Perhaps, like the end of 2001, we must kill ourselves to begin anew?

Mendelman, where are you?! Dr. Stangelove is your favorite movie, isn't it?
 

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Tom R said:
There are parallel's between the hominids use of the thigh bone and the use of HAL. Both initially benefit society and both can turn and bite the user.

Interesting! And perhaps that is the key to understanding the ending of 2001: You can't "kill" a bone, but you can "kill" a computer. Hence, humanity is rewarded and is reborn once we triumph over the machines.
 

Tom R

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Hal

Wanigas? said:
Interesting! And perhaps that is the key to understanding the ending of 2001: You can't "kill" a bone, but you can "kill" a computer. Hence, humanity is rewarded and is reborn once we triumph over the machines.

And they were lucky enough to survive them both, not like in Dr. Strangelove. Another fine movie.
 

Maister

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Wanigas? said:
Isn't this a theme in Dr. Strangelove and, to a certain extent in Clockwork Orange, as well? Doesn't Kubrick explore nuclear armageddon/humanity's destruction in these movies? (I've seen Orange, not Stangelove.) Perhaps, like the end of 2001, we must kill ourselves to begin anew?

Mendelman, where are you?! Dr. Stangelove is your favorite movie, isn't it?
Ashamed to admit it, but after all these years I have yet to see Clockwork Orange. Dr. Strangelove, though, is one of my faves. Yes, the main theme of Dr. Strangelove is 'let's not go and blow ourselves up just because a few of us are kooks' (summed up best by Slim Pickens character who rides on the back of an atom bomb dropped by his B-52 while shouting "Yahoo" on his way down to earth)
I'll let Mendelman provide the other memorable quotes....
 

mendelman

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Well first off, I don't think A Clockwork Orange is about nuclear armageddon or humanity's destruction. It's more about uncontrolled, misguided, violent youth that needs to be watched but not instutionally stopped. In the book, the main character in the end, phsycologically, out-grows the violence and self-destructive tendencies of youth and becomes an adult. The movie and book are very violent, but that's literary license, I guess. You take a theme and explode it to the point of abusurdity, in order to make the point easier to recognize.

Now, Dr. Strangelove's themes and message is probably more similar to that of 2001.

I like Maister's view:
the main theme of Dr. Strangelove is 'let's not go and blow ourselves up just because a few of us are kooks'

I think that sums of up this movie pretty well. The rational people are trying their best to prevent and/or stop the worst case scenario; In this case the end of human life as we know it. I think Kubrick might have been trying to say that we need to be very careful and diligent when choosing the people who will have control over the most powerful and destructive of human machines. Plus, it gives a nice gentle wink to the stupidity of procedures. Also, this is one of the funniest and insightful movies ever made.

As for Slim riding the bull, if you are going to die in a nuclear holocaust, why not ride the bomb to the ground. (not that his character chose to ride the bull)

As for 2001, it's been awhile since I saw the movie, so I don't think I should comment on it.

BTW, I am listening to the Bad Religion ablum Against the Grain as I write this post. Very good brain music.
 
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Wannaplan?

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8-!

Hmmm, some food for thought...

mendelman said:
Now, Dr. Strangelove's themes and message is probably more similar to that of 2001.

Okay, I'm with you here. Now, when you consider Dr. Strangelove and its kinship with 2001 with your analysis...

mendelman said:
I think Kubrick might have been trying to say that we need to be very careful and diligent when choosing the people who will have control over the most powerful and destructive of human machines.

...I can only conclude that 2001 is a subversive movie. If, as in Dr. Strangelove, the moral is that humanity must be careful when choosing the people who have control over the most powerful and destructive machines, what does that say about 2001 when Bowman - the human - essentially "kills" the machine HAL? Did Bowman metaphorically "ride the bull" when he deactivated HAL? That is, if Bowman knowingly killed HAL - the machine that gives life to him out in space and can ensure a safe journey home - then at the moment Bowman made the decision to kill HAL, he knew he too would die, never returning to earth. With nothing left to lose, Bowman chose to go out in spectacular fashion: he chased the monolith and went out with a bang. A "Big Bang", of sorts, I guess.
 

Tom R

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Hal

I don't think that he "killed" HAL as much as he performed a lobotomy. Back in the '50s and '60s there was a fear of technology or "automation." The "Bomb" being a major reason why. We created it and now it could be our doom. I think computers were thought of in a similar way. Sort of Big Brotherish. There was a fear that computers would come to run every aspect of our lives and that society would depend on them to an extent that it couldn't survive without them. No.....wait.....Now I AM depressed.
 

Wannaplan?

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Tom R said:
I don't think that he "killed" HAL as much as he performed a lobotomy. Back in the '50s and '60s there was a fear of technology or "automation." The "Bomb" being a major reason why. We created it and now it could be our doom. I think computers were thought of in a similar way. Sort of Big Brotherish. There was a fear that computers would come to run every aspect of our lives and that society would depend on them to an extent that it couldn't survive without them. No.....wait.....Now I AM depressed.

True, true, it was more of a lobotomy. You are correct.

Regarding today, at least my Windows 98 machine doesn't talk to me! That would suck! [Digression: What would the appeal of a talking computer be? It's bad enough that my computer has to ask me if I am sure I want to shut down the computer. I'm just thankful it doesn't talk and the only response I have to give it is a mouse click. I know, that dialogue box is a failsafe. It would get annoying after the 5th time if my computer asked, "Are you sure you want to shut down?" My response, "YES YOU FUTHER MUCKER!! DON"T YOU GET IT?!!!"]
 

Tom R

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Hal

I suppose it would give Dave and Frank someone else to talk to on their "trip." A talking computer would come in useful to keep your hands free.
 

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But the conversation would still suck. How could you have an interesting conversation about drug use or comparing past dates & girlfriends? (Or boyfriends, for all the female computer lovers out there!) I mean, can computers dream of making love?
 

Tom R

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Hal

My computer can be frustrating, unaccessable, teasing, tempermental, plotting, often doesn't satisfy, is difficult to turn on, catches a virus and occasionally it sucks. What else can I ask for?
 
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