More thoughts about 2001

The film has remained with me since Wednesday evening – the first thing I did on Thursday morning was look up the music on spotify.

– the journey across the moon surface to the excavation, where Floyd and Halvorsen disscuss sandwiches; their section of the craft is bathed in silver light, the cockpit in red.

– the following scene in the excavation, where the humans approach the monolith, is in its realisation an incredible piece of filmmaking. Six men waking down a ramp towards a block made awesome, by the set design, music and direction.

– this film is not a human drama: only in brief moments, such as Floyd’s chat with the Soviet scientists and Bowman and Poole’s quandary over HAL’s actions. They are characterisations of (20th century) American power: the capable, unflustered, slicked back government agent and the rational, unemotive, detached astronauts. It’s the computer (who dominates the exchanges) who shows emotion and who breaks down – what is this saying?

– browsing through some information and reviews etc. has realigned me a little with regard to how some of my preconceptions about the film played out when watching it: that it was a base under siege, that the first chapter was a brief prelude about human evolution and it was a straightforward good vs evil affair (even if the computer won). As I put down in the earlier post, it’s far, far, far more enigmatic and rewarding than that. Some of the paths I went down whilst sat in the Broadway were: wondering about the fate of Floyd (and compatriots) after the monolith’s signal transmission, siding with the astronauts, at least up to the point where HAL recites “Daisy”. I perhaps shouldn’t chastise myself here: it’s just that the narrative, and the four sections that the film is made up from, are distractingly detached.

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