2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)

In honor of the sci-fi masterpiece's 50th anniversary, The Unenthusiastic Critic is opening the podcast doors for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

For once, Michael and Nakea begin their discussion from similar perspectives: Nakea has never seen 2001, and Michael (though he's embarrassed to admit it) hasn't seen it since he was about 12 years old. So we're both coming fresh to a discussion about the abrupt evolution of man, the tragic singularity of HAL, and the obsessive techno-poetry of Stanley Kubrick. (We're also probing the outer limits of Michael's cinephilia, learning why Nakea doesn't fuck around with Siri, and speculating on how sipping a little weed might have aided our deeper appreciation of this film.)


—0:00: Prologue: from 2001: A Space Odyssey
—1:16: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion of 2001: A Space Odyssey
—15:21: Trailer for 2001: A Space Odyssey
—16:40: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion of 2001: A Space Odyssey
—1:25:16: Outro and Next Week's Movie
—1:26:39: Outtake

Notes and Links

—Film reviewed: 2001: A Space Odyssey (dir. Stanley Kubrick, MGM, 1968)
—Reviews discussed: Charles ChamplinLA Times; Roger Ebert, (1968 & 1997)rogerebert.com; Andrew SarrisVillage Voice; Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Vogue (quoted here); Stanley KaufmanNew Republic; Paul SchraderSpectacle; Pauline Kael, Harpers. 
—Articles referenced: "An Interview with Stanley Kubrick," from The Film Director as Superstar (Doubleday, 1970) by Joseph Gelmis; Sight & Sound 2012 Critics' Poll and Directors' Poll.
—Mentioned (and recommended) Twitter Account: @oneperfectshot
—Listen to additional episodes and read The Unenthusiastic Critic in prose form at unaffiliatedcritic.comEmail us, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. (Suggestions of movies to watch for future episodes are welcome.)
—Theme Music: "Warm Duck Shuffle" by Arne Huseby, licensed under CC BY 3.0.

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2 thoughts on “2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)”

  1. I first saw "2001" in the year of its release at the impressionable age of 5, so it's a main building block of my sci-fi movie DNA. Not every movie that made an impression during that period holds up today, but "2001" does. It was probably a different experience if you had first seen it later and after an action extravaganza like "Star Wars".

    The much derided sequel, "2010," goes with Clarke's view that HAL's insanity was the direct result of having been programmed to lie to the crew. So, it is canon in the films. Critics complained that while the original didn't explain anything, the sequel takes the opposite approach and explains everything.

    A couple of reasons to see "2010" are Roy Scheider injecting his famous screen persona into the previously empty vessel of Heywood Floyd and a not-yet-famous Helen Mirren as the commander of the Russian ship that's taking them on a joint expedition. Come to think of it, in 1984, that was the first major outer space film with a woman in charge of the ship from the get-go and not because an alien ate the people above her. It might, however, be awkward seeing it today, given the current state of affairs with Russia.

  2. I loooove this movie. I’ve seen it maybe 10 times and I appreciate it more with each viewing.
    I do not think it is optimistic. Here’s my facile take on what the film is doing:
    The apes evolve. They start murdering.
    HAL evolves. He starts murdering.
    Dave evolves. He stares down at Earth.
    Humans are indeed meat sacks who have become obsolete.

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