Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Saw 2001: A Space Odyssey on the big screen last night, courtesy of the Music Box (which has a cool geeky info page on the film print). It must have been quite the phenomenon in 1968, and it has stood up to 34 years of technological development amazingly well. Of course, there is some irony that in 2002 we are still marvelling at pictures of space stations rather than flying there on business trips, but nevertheless, Kubrick's vision is sound, if a bit druggy towards the end.

Samuel Beckett said that "every word seems an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness", and Kubrick seems to agree. The long stretches of almost blank screen and empty audio are almost an invitation to meditate on the images.

The chaotic bagpipe-like sounds at the beginning of the movie remind me of the Heideggerian and holistic way in which Foucault begins the "Discourse on Language":
I would really like to have slipped imperceptibly into this lecture, as into all the others I shall be delivering, perhaps over the years ahead. I would have preferred to have been enveloped in words, borne way beyond all possible beginnings. At the moment of speaking, I would like to have percieved a nameless voice, long preceding me, leaving me to merely enmesh myself in it, taking up its cadence, and to lodge myself, when no one was looking, in its interstices, as if it had paused an instant, in suspense, to beckon to me. There would have been no beginnings: instead, speech would precede from me, while I stood in its path--a slender gap--the point of its possible disappearance.

Of course, there is always the short version. (via synthetic zero.)

Kubrick interview.

Jonathan Rosenbaum on 2001


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