Monday, June 27, 2011

2001: A Space Odyssey

On Friday night, we watched 2001: A Space Odyssey. I wanted to see the movie because Nicholas Carr references it in The Shallows.

I had never seen it. The Warrior Poet was surprised. See, you can still learn new things about your spouse after (almost) twenty years.

Interesting how a movie can be simultaneously boring and fascinating. The cinematography was stunningly attractive. The older girls kept saying, "I can't believe they did that without computer generated animation!" and "I can't believe they did that without green screens!"

It was a chilling movie. A rated-G horror movie, which shows the inadequacies of the film ratings system. The girls watched it with us, although I told them they didn't have to. It was sort of like looking out the window of a high-rise admiring the physics of two passenger trains crashing in painful slow motion. Only you don't really understand physics.

At one point, an astronaut is silently flung into space, disconnected from his air supply by Hal, the calmly devious supercomputer. The camera follows his tumbling progress for literally minutes, alternating between it and Dave, the other astronaut, who is also eerily calm as he attempts to bring back the body. Cornflower, age ten, finally looked at me and said, "Mom, is there no BOTTOM to space?" We have studied astronomy and outer space, but I guess the reality never hit her until that moment. What a way to learn it.

2001: A Space Odyssey is supposed to be one of the top ten movies ever made, but it depends on who you ask. As far as family films go, I would put it way down on the list. A friend at church looked at me quizzically when he found out we spent our Friday night watching this (looong, boring) movie. "I like movies like that 'Night at the Museum'. Light, funny things you can enjoy with the kids." Okay. Me, too. :)

As far as art goes, it is amazing. Also frightening. And baffling as well. Around thirty minutes in, Aravis said, "Postmodernist." Yep. I'd be scared too if I thought our own intelligence, space aliens, and the material universe were all we had.

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