The non alphabetical A to Zee of Crucial Movies

2001 a space odyssey. - In the one-eyed giant's cave.

In the original "Odyssey" by Homer Simpson, the chums encounter the cyclops who booms doom and woe at them .

In Kubrick's 2001 (which bears no relation to Homer other than the name) the Cyclops in the cave is the HAL 9000 computer; he is softly spoken, coldly logical and unfettered by sentiment. A bit like Michael Schumacher.

By today's standards 2001 is painfully slow and the graphics are showing the ravages of time, but the film is important because it set a benchmark of care for Sci-fi, which until then had largely been the preserve of the "B" movie market.

There is a prologue in which we witness the evolution of the human race. It is suggested that this is in some way attributed to a strange black monolith. Thousands of years later, and we are in the present and the monolith is discovered on the moon, excavated from below, giving off a signal. It is decided to sent a spacecraft to Jupiter to try and find the source of this thing.

During the mission, the two crew who are the only ones who have not been frozen for the long journey, start to evince doubts about the supercomputer, HAL, and his competence. HAL picks up on this and starts to get paranoid.

The film is full of wonder and full of huge lush panoramas with some soaring background music from Strauss and Ligeti. There is a long psychedelic sequence that somehow is never resolved but it ends with a very strong symbolic statement about the child being the father to man I think. I don't know, because a lot of the film is impressionistic and non linear.

Key quotes:
(HAL) I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

(HAL) Let me put it this way, Mr. Amor. The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made. No 9000 computer has ever made a mistake or distorted information. We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.

Not designed by Bill Gates, then.

A must see, but do not watch this under the influence of drugs. *****

Note: When 2001 was made, in 1966, they thought we would be off into space in pursuit of our origins. Instead, we are still fighting each other. I find that very sad indeed.

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