2001: A Space Odyssey

2001_space_odyssey_fg2b

Once or twice a year, I watch 2001, my favorite movie, although I don’t always watch it straight through.  I have seen it so many times!

2001:  A Space Odyssey is Kubrick’s masterpiece, and, I believe, one of the greatest movies of all time.  It is a poetic statement in movement and music, almost a ballet, of ideas and fantasies about the nature of man in the universe.

The brilliance of this movie is apparent in so many ways, but I will list a few of them that always strike me:

  • The special effects are stunning, imaginative, and convincing.  No other science-fiction film has produced imagined futures that continue to look so credible after forty years!  The technology he presents is not flashy, sometimes it even seems dull, but it always looks real.
  • There are several profound themes at play in this movie:  the nature and source of intelligence; man’s condition as a special sort of animal; man’s relation to his machines and the danger of dehumanization in technological society.
  • Kubrick has succeeded in distilling the poetic essence of the story that Arthur C. Clarke produced, and he has jettisoned the adolescent and simplistic element that Clarke’s writing always has.  [See my post.]  In much of sci-fi writing, a good idea is given a poor treatment.  Kubrick takes Clarke’s idea, and turns it into an epic meditation on human consciousness, and he avoids the literalness that torpedoes Clarke’s writing.  The story ends up ambiguous, provocative, puzzling, and engrossing the more you allow yourself to be teased by it.
  • The pacing of the film is wonderful – slow and stately, with minimal dialog.  The images and the music tell the story at a level below the consciousness of speech.

Take a look…

At the “dawn of man,” a mysterious slab appears and excites the ape pre-men.  They act as if they worship it.  What would you expect them to do in such a situation?  Is this the nature of religion?  What is this slab?  We never know, except that it is clearly sent by a superior intelligence.  This idea, fundamentally absurd, was seriously believed by Clarke, and is championed today by Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA.  What was the origin of that life, I wonder? Kubrick isn’t fazed – he grabs the essential weirdness of the idea, the feel of wonder about how we got here that is at the center of it.

Contact with the slab sets off a spark in the ape’s mind.  The notion of a tool is born.  Tools to hunt with, to get meat, to make the group stronger.  The entire clan must know of them.  And tools for defense, or offense against rival clans!

Ape men excited      Hmm..tool.  Good idea.   Visions of meat!

1-ape-meets-slab 2-what-is-tool 4-images-of-food

Power!  Culture…teach the kids  Power for life or death!

3-figuring-out-the-tool-thing 5-passing-it-on-to-the-kids 6-bad-use-of-technology

The ape roars and throws his bone tool in the air – it rises, rises, falls, rises and falls into the most breathtaking cut in history, leaping across four million years into the Space Age.  It’s such an outrageous edit, it demands that we accept it as artifice (Imagine a caption…”Four million years later…”) yet it astonishes and delights.

Exaltation: the power of life, and the power to bring death!

7-triumph 8-jump-cut

A space shuttle and an orbiting station dance to the Blue Danube’s waltz.  A man dozes, alone in the passenger cabin while a pedestrian romance plays on the screen in front of him.  Of course, it’s a man and a woman in a car – a machine had to be there!  The shuttle lands on the station in a choreographed rotation, the first of many images of penetration acted out by machines. [A Kubrick trope:  Recall the opening refueling sequence in Dr. Strangelove.]  Machines that have human traits, humans that seem devoid of human traits, machines pulsating with sexual imagery – it’s a strange Kubrick world.

10-on-tv 9-docking

Leaving the space station, a pod takes the traveler to the moon base.  The seed-like capsule is accepted into the interior of the moon through an enormous set of mechanical petals.  The interior is bathed in red light evoking the womb.

11-docking 12-entering

After a briefing, the traveler flies with his colleagues to a secret excavation on the moon where the slab has been uncovered.  The men eat sandwiches and drink coffee, seemingly uncaring or incapable of absorbing the enormity of what they have found – clear and irrefutable evidence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.  They know nothing of the slab, except “that it was deliberately buried two million years ago.”

“Hmm…deliberately buried…Well, you fellas have certainly found something.”  “More coffee?”

At the site, the men pose for a group photo, as would any tourist.  Once again, Kubrick captures the cliche and the mundane, and puts it to work.  While they pose, the slab emits a piercing signal directed at Jupiter.

12-some-coffee 12-photo-op

A mysterious space mission to Jupiter is launched to get to the root of all this slab nonsense – the Odyssey begins.  Odyssey, a mythic, epic journey.  Also, let us not forget, a homecoming.  Odysseus was going home to his wife and son – is the crew going home to Jupiter, returning to the origin of their intelligence?

The ship looks like a giant phallus, or a mechanical sperm.  The all seeing eye of the on-board computer, HAL9000 is everywhere.  He speaks with a casual, flat, almost cloying warmth.  His ‘eye’ looks to me like an egg or a growth in a petrie dish – biologico/mechanico.

12-male-principle 13-hal9000

Hal has his problems.  Only he knows what the mission is about, and he’s not sure that the men, i.e., the non-machines are up to it.  It seems to go to his head, and he makes an erroneous prediction that a component is going to fail.  Or was it all a clever stratagem to get the crew off the ship together?  Frank and Dave realize that HAL is kaput, so they retreat to secluded spot to plan their next move.  HAL, however, can follow their conversation by watching their mouths move.  Some say we will know we have developed intelligent machines not when they can speak, but when they can read our lips.

HAL kills Frank, and Dave goes out to get his body.  On returning, HAL refuses to acknowledge the command, “Open the pod bay, HAL.”  An awkward conversation ensues across empty space; HAL on the giant ship, Dave in the pod.  The mechanico-genital imagery is in evidence.  HAL tells Dave the obvious – “This conversation can no longer serve any purpose.”

14-lets-chat 16a-open-the-door 15-conversation-over

I offer the image below – Dave cradling Frank’s body with the mechanical arms of the pod – as an example of the only scientific “error” I have noticed in the film.  The lamps of the space pods and of the lights around the excavation on the moon are always shown with a corona glare – there is no such thing in space where there is no atmosphere to diffuse the light rays.  Was this an accident or poetic license?  (Kubrick never gives us sounds in deep space, unless we are meant to understand that they are heard by humans inside their suits or vehicles.)

14a-hazy-error

Here we have it, the epic struggle.  Man vs. his monstrous antagonist.  Man vs. machine.  Man vs. himself, his own creations?  Dave, in his haste to retrieve his comrade, Frank, left the Mother Ship without his space helmet.  He resolves to re-enter the ship through the emergency airlock, something that HAL cooly observes “will be rather difficult without your helmet, Dave.”

Dave is, however, our Odysseus, and Odysseus was always called “The wily Odysseus.”  He is clever, and never at a loss for an idea.  The essence of man the tool-maker triumphs over his own super-computer.  Dave blasts himself into the vacuum of space inside the airlock in the climactic moment of the struggle, and manages to activate the mechanism to close the door.  The abrupt transition from dead silence to the defeaning roar of life-giving air rushing into the sealed lock signals his sucess.

Dave moves resolutely to wreak havoc on the brain of the one-eyed cyclops, HAL, disconnecting his “higher functions” while the repentant computer pleads piteously with him to stop.  Are not these higher functions, the same ones that sent man on his trajectory to meat eating and war?

HAL reaches his second childhood and asks if Dave wants to hear him sing a song.  “Yes, HAL, sing it,” replies Dave.  Dave, too, will get to his second childhood.

17-the-hard-way 18-sing-it-hal

With HAL shut down, the rest of the crew killed by the computer while in their coma-cacoons, Dave learns from an auto-activated recording the purpose of the mission, and sets off in his pod to Jupiter, led on by the slab that mysteriously appears  in front of him.  In a tour-de-force of special effects beloved of potheads and acid-freaks everywhere, Dave goes to “Jupiter and beyond the infinite.”  What that means, we don’t know exactly, but we don’t care.  Dazzling sights, weird sounds, and frightening stop-action imagery, derange our sense of time and space as we join Dave for his, and humanity’s last voyage.

19-off-we-go 20-flying 21-stop-action

29-jupiter

The cold, airless, and lifeless reaches of interstellar space reveal themselves as strangely organic in yet another metaphoric transformation by Kubrick.  The mineral shall be made flesh – is that not what we ourselves are, living, thinking matter, all of a piece with the elements of the universe?  We are mostly hydrogen and oxygen, i.e. water…

There is a hint of the birth to come in an image that resembles the star child at the end, and the purpose of Dave’s journey is made clear in the interstellar spermatazoa shown at the lower right below.  He is the seed.

22-organic 24-organic 23-red-organic

25-organic 26-pre-baby 28-stellar-sperm

The mind-bending sequence that follows goes way beyond surrealism.  It succeeds in totally disorienting the viewer in his conceptions of narrative, time, space, and location, without resorting to easy avante garde tricks.  The music by Georgy Ligeti is wonderful.

Where am I?  Where is where?  When am I?  Where am I going?

30-bedroom 31-where-am-i

Why am I here?  What was that noise?  Oh, there I am.  On my deathbed.

32-what-was-that 33-there-i-am

The slab returns once more.  Dave knows what he must do, he must touch it.

34-last-rites 35-knows-what-he-must-do

Something new is born.

37-born-again

A pair of pictures related to this final image:  Christmas & Christmas

The enigmatic blogger, Pancime, commented in an exchange begun  on the esteemed blogger Jahsonic’s pages (He thought 2001 was boring!) that he thought the story of  David Bowie’s  Man Who Fell to Earth might be the tale of what happened to 2001’s starchild once he actually landed back “home.”  An excellent observation, as that film is clearly influenced by and a comment on 2001.

 

34 Responses to 2001: A Space Odyssey

  1. troutsky says:

    I have only re-watched it once but still remember the powerful impact it had the first time. Great review.

  2. Man of Roma says:

    I liked your review very much. It has unity of vision though being well detailed.

    I made a thorough analysis of this movie at the time when it came out in Italy (of which I almost forgot all), but I realise I didn’t catch many things. For example the possible connection between the Odyssey and the one-eyed Cyclops, HAL – how stupid of me – or the interstellar spermatazoa & the phallic spaceship related to the purpose of Dave’s journey, this new birth. Also the wily Odysseus: yes, Dave is very clever.

    Of course this is an *opera aperta*, that is a work open to various interpretations, like the dark window of Proust, much more interesting – he argues – than a lit window you can see through. Such openness being additionally more effective poetically. And this movie in my view has much poetry in it.

    About the meaning of it all, apart from the rebirth thing, we have this mysterious slab. Religion? Something sent by a superior intelligence? Kubrick – you argue – is not fazed by this absurdity: he grabs the essential weirdness, the wonder. Again the window is open and dark (he might be wily too, such effects are sometimes constructed).

    I don’t know where you are from. Probably USA. My daughter just came back yesterday after one year in S. Francisco. She looked around our home and said: “Welcome the XIX century!” Her expression was not entirely happy.

    My blog is on the past alive in my present (Europe). Sometimes in American blogs I have the impression to see the future alive in my present, since we are all Westerners, after all.

    You guys make me want to allow my friend physicist and Extropian to interact with my writings. He can create havoc inside a blog on the ancient Romans. But who cares?

    All my best regards

    MoR

  3. Man of Roma says:

    I have inserted you in my reader (Opera). Hope it works.

  4. lichanos says:

    MoR:

    Thanks for your kind remarks.
    I live near NYC, and work dowtown, next to the World Trade Center site.

    I grew up in California. “Modernity” is not what it is cracked up to be. To your daughter, no doubt a lovely woman, I say, “The past is always present.” And the present is more of the past than we care to admit.

    Best,
    L

  5. Man of Roma says:

    I agree with you. My daughter probably less. She loves California. Weirdly enough, my younger daughter is crazy about NY city (probably because of Sex and the city).

    Modernity … a vast topic. I kind of felt it every time I went to America. I mean, some areas there seem to have less roots, a disadvantage to me, which makes though the people more free to invent, which is an advantage, no doubt.

    Take architecture (but it can be said of many other fields). Very few people dare to built something really inventive in Rome (Richard Meier did, Ara Pacis, people being still fighting about it). In Paris they dare more, but the French are a bit more sophisticated, plus Paris is 1700 years younger than Rome.

    While in S. Francisco, to make an example …. People here at our Engineering or Architecture faculty study what you invent over there. I forgot the number of the Pier in SF where they experimented quite a lot.

    We need this freshness and exuberance. At least, seen naively from here it’s like this. Of course I am in love with my old world, I am 60, my blog being some evidence. But I’ll say I love all.

  6. Dev says:

    Lichanos, once again congratulations and also thanks for writing this wonderful review. You have already touched upon many ideas and themes associated with the film. Still, I would like to say few things here.
    For me, the film was essentially about most important questions; the questions which were there since Aristotle or Socrates and are still unanswered, atleast for me. The fundamental questions of humanity, our place in the universe and that why we are here or that what the hell is exactly going on here. A piece of art, especially a film, exploring that and doing it so well is what makes this film so special and unique.
    Whenever the Monolith appears, humanity took a leap to another level. In the year 2001, man has achieved whatever could be achieved within the framework of his current consciousness/intelligence and now perhaps is the time to get to another level of consciousness. But what exactly? We dont know..ofcourse we cant, because anything specific will come under the realm of our current knowledge and that’s exactly not the point of this film. Hence an ending which we are simply not supposed to understand.
    When Dr Bowman finally defeats computer HAL (ironically the most humane character in the film, as the real humans have practically become detached/unemotional machines/entities) he is left all alone to explore the unknown as all his mates are dead and are no longer with him. Another important theme at work here; how man is finally left entirely to himself to fight his most important battles.
    It is well known that Kubrick was a staunch atheist. But it’s interesting that how this film is also seen as very religious by many people as it validates the existence of a superior knowledge/power above us. Does that make Kubrick a believer? I don’t know.
    There is one school of Eastern Philosophy which believes that all stars in our galaxy are basically souls who once lived in earth. They say that if there are 25 billion stars in our galaxy, till now 25 billion men and women have lived here since the dawn of man. So, does Dr David Bowman turning into a star child validate that? Was Kubrick/clarke aware of that philosophy while writing the script/making the film or it was just an interesting providence? So many questions..
    Finally, I have also wondered sometimes if the film was in some sense prophetic. I mean, in reality too, the year 2001 did change the world to a large extent and perhaps will influence humanity in the long run too..very similar to what happened in 2001, the film.
    Sorry for my long ramblings above, but I thought it will be interesting to share my thoughts with somebody like you who loves the film very much too.:)

  7. lichanos says:

    Dev:

    Thank you for your comment!

    I didn’t know Kubrick was a “staunch atheist” although I am not surprised. I am one also, so obviously there is nothing in the film that requires religion of anyone!

    I think one of the most basic questions to ask is “What is man’s place in the universe, and what does it mean to even say he has a “place”?” I agree with you that Kubrick was meditating on this, among other things, with this film.

    I like your point about HAL. He’s not exactly “human”, but obviously he has emotional “issues,” unlike the robotic crew, as you rightly point out.

    Cheers!

  8. Man of Roma says:

    @Dev
    @Lichanos

    There is one school of Eastern Philosophy which believes that all stars in our galaxy are basically souls who once lived in earth.”

    Interesting. Which school is that? I am asking because a common religious theory present in many cultures, not only Western, considers planets and stars as divine, not human, unless we deem a soul divine no matter what.

    The Babylonians, who certainly were in contact with the Indians, laid the foundation of the astrology the Greeks absorbed. Moreover, the Greek philosopher Pithagoras, whose impact is immense (on Plato for example) probably visited the Babylonians. He in fact believed in the reincarnation of the soul, exactly like many Indian thinkers. Orphism is also linked to India.

    I am digressing excessively. Pardon me guys.

  9. Dev says:

    @Lichanos: You are welcome. I was reading through some of your other film reviews and cannot help but notice that you have a great taste and understanding of cinema. If you dont mind me asking, what is your profession? Are you in any way connected to the film world as a professional or may be a film critic? 🙂

    @MOR: I hate to admit it, but I cannot remember exactly where I read it. But it was certainly some sect/school of thought related to either Hinduism or Buddhism.
    Interesting stuff about Pythagoras! Yes, I know that reincarnation is believed by various philosophies outside eastern religions too. Also, I guess the concept of reincarnation has different meanings in different religions or sects. For instance, my one Bahai friend told me that Bahais believe in reincarnations of men as men only and animals as animals only..something which is different than what Hinduism or other eastern religions believe where they believe that humans could be reborn as animals too. Anyways, I’m not a religious person myself (I call myself agnostic), so my knowledge on such matters is not very reliable. 🙂

    • lichanos says:

      @Dev:

      Thanks for the kind words, and I am very happy that you find my reviews interesting! I am a civil engineer – no connection to the film industry at all, but I came to my profession by way of studying philosophy and art history, so I am not, so I am told, a “typical” engineer.

      Such a background used to be unremarkable for engineers, say, 60 or 100 years ago, but today, at least in the USA, it is unusual.

  10. Dev says:

    “Such a background used to be unremarkable for engineers, say, 60 or 100 years ago, but today, at least in the USA, it is unusual”

    I know what you mean. I think that’s unusual every where in the world nowadays. Even considering the fact that all science and engineering had it’s foundation in philosophy earlier. I mean many scientists in the earlier times were originally philosophers.
    But, I’m sure you are a very good civil engineer too.
    Should I tell you that I studied Electronics Engineering in my undergrad too. 🙂
    But I never worked as an engineer..
    Anyways, I look forward to go through many of your earlier posts-especially the film/literature related ones- in the coming days.

  11. Man of Roma says:

    @Dev
    @Lichanos

    Lichanos, you are definitely not a ‘typical’ engineer. Dev, I don’t know you enough to say anything.

    We are shifting, but you are both evoking the polymath, he who knows a lot about a lot. This essay The Last Days of the Polymath is a good read and describes how the polymath is disappearing.

    We Europeans always had the impression this prevalence of specialization is due to America and her immense influence. Although it may be simply necessary, with a corpus of knowledge so greatly expanding.

    It seems clear, Dev, that by today’s standards many scientists of the past were polymaths.

    Polymathy is an English term. In Italy we say ‘tuttologo’. Polymathy is still a bit ingrained in the Latin countries curricula. In Italy the ‘Liceo classico’ still educates the young in this way, probably because the universal man ideal, the ‘homo universalis’, was developed during the Italian Renaissance – one example, I like to think, where being provincial could be an advantage.

    I was in fact hit, some time ago, by this review written by an American, I think, Jared Diamond, on Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, an Italian who started a revolution in human genetics since the 1960s. Cavalli-Sforza basically proved that ‘races’ do not exist.

    “It would be a slight exaggeration – argues Jared Diamond – to say that L.L. Cavalli-Sforza studies everything about everybody, because actually he is ‘only’ interested in what genes, languages, archaeology, and culture can teach us about the history and migrations of everybody for the last several hundred thousand years.”

    The Indians should be naturally born polymath, due to their holistic approach, although today, with the speed of their economic development, they seem somewhat obliged to imitate the Westerners and be monomaths as well. But there are so many polymaths over there!

  12. Man of Roma says:

    PS

    My comment was not a paean to my country. If you will, lol, it was a paean to the Greek Paideia and the Roman humanitas, where the Renaissance man comes from.

    This polymath tendency is also dangerous, it encourages a lot of flitting around, of dabbling, of people who cannot stick at anything (I know it too well), Casanova being a high-level example of it: he was good in mathematics, in philosophy and theology, but not too good.

    A metaphor in the said essay that I liked:

    flirting, promiscuity – they are no good. It’s the real polygamy, the numerous & deeply lived marriages that make a real polymath.

  13. Man of Roma says:

    PPS

    Sorry I digressed so much. I’ll then add Kubrik was a genius and had a tendency towards polymathy, I believe, as the amazing variety of his films attests – Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001, A Clockwork Orange etc. – as well as his passion for music, photography, he also being a great producer & marketing man (I heard at the radio he used to commercialised all the gadgets of his movies, the heart-shaped glasses Sue Lyon wore, for example.)

    • lichanos says:

      @Dev and MoR:

      No need to apologize for digressing here! If not here, where can we let our minds and conversation wander?

      I love that word tuttologo!! Better than polymath, which sounds so dry to my ear. As for being spread too thinly, comme une dilettante, in English there is a saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none…” Still, the culture of the amateur and the dilettante are attractive to me as long as there is not too much superficiality.

      I recall reading a critique of Voltaire once, I forget by whom, that railed against him: “The man has opinions on everything!” The implication was that he was flippant and felt the need to pronounce on all topics, even if he was formulaic. The size of his collected works was presented as evidence. Perhaps something there, but he was quite deep enough of the time to redeem himself, perhaps.

      Regarding the engineering profession, I must say, 1st: I never could understand electrical circuits beyond the most basic. I understand water systems, and everyone says that they are similar, but not for me! 2nd: My father, retired, is an electrical engineer. He once drove me past an old industrial building in downtown Brooklyn where he said he worked at one of his first jobs after WWII. They build a computer there and had to knock down an exterior wall to get it out!

      In the pre-WWII days, “patrician” familes were happy to send their sons to engineering school. Now they only become lawyers or MBAs. It was a status profession. Some say that the dominance of corporate industry after WWII succeeded in capturing the educational institutions and molding them to its own ends, i.e., the production of ready-made technicians in large supply to keep wages lower. There is something to it. Within my sort of engineering, there is still a sort of envy of doctors and lawyers who used to be seen as gods, and are still, on TV at least, seen as worthy of celebrity and dramatic presentation. They tend to earn a lot more too! On the other hand, architects, a definite prestige profession here, get paid much less than engineers and always cut each other’s throats competing for business. I think the solution to this economic, status “problem” is to make it harder to become an engineer, to require additional liberal arts training in addition to the technical curriculum. This would restrict supply, but this is not popular position. Thus, the griping about “low status” and complaints that “nobody really knows what engineers do,” go on.

      I conclude with a favorite quote of mine from volume I of the Gulag Archipelago:

      An engineer? I had grown up among engineers, and I could remember the engineers of the twenties very well indeed: their open shining intellects, their free and gentle humor, their agility and breadth of thought, the ease with which they shifted from one engineering field to another, and, for that matter, from technology to social concerns and art. Then, too, they personified good manners and delicacy of taste; well-bred speech that flowed evenly and was free of uncultured words; one of them might play a musical instrument, another dabble in painting; and their faces always bore a spiritual imprint.

  14. Dev says:

    @MOR and Lichanos, wow, what a discussion and exchange of thoughts going on! Will come back tomorrow to comment.

  15. Man of Roma says:

    Lichanos, I proposed this post for an award in an Indian blogging contest:
    http://alchemistpoonam.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/the-avant-garde-bloggies-awards-2009-kick-off/

    You can go and propose other posts of yours if you want. Poonam Sharma is one of my first commenters. I have a lot of affection for her.

  16. Man of Roma says:

    If you follow Indian blogs for a while, you’ll be surprised by their often high quality and their connection with the British culture, relived in their own way. They are an intellectual power although it takes time to understand them, they ways being different. I have been there a few times. A great civilization indeed.

  17. lichanos says:

    When I graduated from college, I travelled for six or seven months in that region. A high point of my life! Fascinating – a treasure chest of memories.

  18. Man of Roma says:

    Oh, that is quite a lot of time! I’m glad of that!

  19. Dev says:

    @MOR: Thanks for sharing your views on polymaths. I agree with you that for most people trying to be polymaths is not a good idea. I mean one life is hardly enough to do one thing properly, so dabbling in various things is never easy. But then, the best of the people have been in some ways, polymaths. You are very right that Kubrick was in a sense polymath. Each of his films were so different from each other in terms of genre, treatment etc. What made him special was that he was a chameleon. Nobody could really guess what to expect from his films. He was an excellent photographer and editor too. Plus, as you mentioned, he took great interest in the marketing of his films, even designing the promos and posters.

    @Lichanos: Nice to read your views. My father is a civil engineer and was a good one. Well, understanding circuits was never easy for me either. I guess I concluded it years back when I finished my engineering that most people are not ready to become an engineer at the tender age of 18. I somehow finished my degree in time and tried to get away from the engineering side of things as soon I got an opportunity. Not because I looked down at engineering, rather I thought it deserved so much respect and discipline that I’m not ready for it. Sadly, most engineering schools across the world just make assembly line engineers who can get decent jobs and raise a family. But, not really nurturing questioning/scientific minds.

    Similar to what you quoted in the end, even when my father graduated in the late 60’s in India, they used to be proud of their engineering degrees;even more than the doctors or even the bureaucrats of those times. This is not really true anymore.

    • lichanos says:

      @Dev:

      On Engineers – yes, I think you hit it right on the head. BTW, I didn’t go to school to get an engineering degree until I was 23 or so. I NEVER could have made it at 18, even if I’d wanted to!!

  20. Man of Roma says:

    @Dev and Lichanos
    So you both confirm that engineers are declining socially. Damn. My youngest daughter is graduating in construction engineering!
    🙂

    • lichanos says:

      @MoR:

      I’m sure your daughter will do just fine. Everyone wants things built right! If she works in the field, on-site, it’s very much in demand, but a very demanding job! I could not stand it, I’m sure. I look out my window at the World Trade Center site and think, “How the HELL do they get everything to come together on time?” I’d have a nervous breakdown.

  21. Ducky's here says:

    I reject film making that requires you be stoned to enjoy it.

  22. lichanos says:

    @Ducky-

    You provoked me heavily with your jibes against rococo (wretched excess, indeed!), and your apparent confusion of it with baroque, but now you have gone too far.

    I can state categorically that I always enjoy watching 2001, and I have only been stoned 10% of the time, and those viewings were long ago.

  23. […] a conversation over at Lichanos about the death of the polymath. It started from his outstanding review of “2001 a Space Odyssey” by […]

  24. cigi says:

    I’m embarrassed to admit it but I haven’t the film! Rest assured, though, it is now on my list. That said, this is an excellent post. You are quite a fine writer and your insights and analysis are impressive to say the least.

  25. Vinay says:

    Loved your style!
    2001 is my Favorite movie of all time also and I too love watching it again and again.
    I also have posted a small review on my very very new blog 🙂

  26. John Campbell says:

    great post. The opening apeman sequence remains majestic and important – where did you get your stills from? Thanks

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