Jan 312013


My first film for the 2013 Blind Spot series was the much-loved 2001: A Space Odyssey. I didn’t really know a whole lot about this film, but I figured it was one that I should watch. Well I ended up watching it twice in 3 days. Let me try to explain what happened after the jump.

I admit complete failure on this one. I surrender, and wave the white flag. I bow down to the real film lovers, the cultured ones.

I did not like this film. Not only did I not like it, but it barely held my attention. In fact I got so bored the first time I watched it that I turned it off at about the 80 minute mark because I was falling asleep. Three days later (and better rested) I watched the entire film again….Unfortunately my feelings weren’t any different that time either. I’m not going to bluff my way through a review. I just don’t think I’ve retained enough to write something which is worthy of anyone’s time to read.

I just wasn’t engaged by this film. I tried so very hard to be invested in the characters and story but the film kept losing me.

I am not a Kubrick buff – I have only watched a handful of his films, and I none of them would rank among my favourite. To be honest I am more interested in Kubrick the man than his films. My favourite part of watching 2001 was listening to the radio interview [in the special features] with a very young Kubrick. It’s always interesting to find out how people with passions managed to make something of themselves – particularly when they weren’t so many people they could follow in the footsteps of, or aspire to be like. Film-makers of this era really forged their own paths. I loved learning about his early interest in photography; and how his school grades were so bad that he couldn’t get into a proper college.

What I did admire about this film were the visuals. The colours were so bright they felt like they were jumping off the screen. It’s incredible to think that this polished and vibrant look was achieved in the 60s. The execution of the science fiction elements of the film was also extremely impressive. Had there been a more realistic portrayal of space flight before this film? The way the craft moved through space, the zero gravity, and all the small features of the space craft and the suits. There is no doubt that this film helped shape, or in someone inspired science-fiction film-makers in the decades since.

The use of music was also fantastic. There is something quite rousing about hearing such well-known classical pieces blasting through outer space.

So while I didn’t like this film, I do admire its originality and innovation. I’m glad I watched it, but I am a little disappointed that I was unable to produce a review or post worthy of too much discussion.

Here’s hoping for better next month.

By Sam McCosh