Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Written by: Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C Clarke
I have been told that when this film was released in 1968 that it was billed as “the ultimate pothead movie,” and I suppose I’m just glad they warned them. I can only imagine what the first few minutes must have been like for the stoned or stupid when they sat down to watch the movie. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the movie begins with only a sound and blackness on the screen. Not even so much of a sound as it is simply a tone that gradually gets louder over a period of minutes. For the pothead viewers in the late 60s, I also hope that they went in high enough to make it through the film. It can be painfully long for the sober minded viewer, and I mean PAINFULLY long. There is a scene that feels like it lasts over ten minutes and all you hear throughout its duration is the sound of a man breathing. However, it probably just feels that way to my generation. I can only imagine what it must have been like to see this film in the pre-Star Wars world, viewers had more patience then, they hadn’t grown up in the special effects world.
As you can see early on in the Dawn of Man section of the film, this movie remains influential even until today. I don’t know the name of the song, but I have seen it in countless films, I have also seen many references to HAL. I love this film, it is visually exciting, it has a great musical score, and I find the journey from the dawn of man until the birth of artificial intelligence fascinating. I am a big Stanley Kubrick fan, we will eventually cover most of his films as we make our way through the collection. This isn’t my favorite Kubrick film but I think its a masterful work of art. I never recommend this film to anyone because it’s not for the average viewer, especially the people of my generation. For the serious viewer like myself though, for the person who loves movies enough to study them, …for the person out there with a bag of really potent pot: check this movie out for yourself, and I hope you enjoy it.
This film was one that we watched in film critique because it is one of those influential films that is still prevalent today. If you have seen this film, then you know the music that it uses in the beginning has been used over and over and over in spoofs and movies of all kinds and it originated here in this film. I can’t say that I love it, it is very long and very boring for the most part, but I definitely appreciate it for what it is. If you call yourself a movie fan and you haven’t seen this film, then you need to watch it. It is an important one in movie history.