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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2001 > Jan > Jan 11

Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey', Then And Now - Clark

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 13:38:54 -0600
Fwd Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 15:34:35 +0000
Subject: Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey', Then And Now - Clark


 >Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 00:32:30 +0000
 >From: Donald Ledger <dledger@ns.sympatico.ca>
 >To: updates@sympatico.ca
 >Subject: Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey', Then And Now

 >>Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 01:26:33 -0800
 >>From: Larry Hatch <larryhat@jps.net>
 >>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@sympatico.ca>
 >>Subject: Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey', Then And Now

 >>>Date: Tue, 09 Jan 2001 17:29:02 +0000
 >>>From: Donald Ledger <dledger@ns.sympatico.ca>
 >>>To: updates@sympatico.ca
 >>>Subject: Re: 2001: A Space Odyssey', Then And Now

 >>>>Date: Tue, 09 Jan 2001 02:15:50 -0800
 >>>>From: Larry Hatch <larryhat@jps.net>
 >>>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@sympatico.ca>


Don and Larry,

 >>>>Subject: Re: '2001: A Space Odyssey', Then And Now
 >>>If I remember correctly - according to the book-the fetus was a
 >>>Star Child and it set off all the nuclear weapon stockpiles on
 >>>Earth. I don't think there were ever meant to be sequels.
 >>>Eating is self explanatory.
 >>>>Don Ledger

 >>Awww, you cheated and read the book. I'm was talking about the
 >>film alone, as a stand-alone presentation.

 >>It's good to leave something to the imagination, but one must
 >>give the viewer something to chew on as well. That was done
 >>excellently in the interplay between the computer Hal, and the
 >>astronauts.

I made a point of not reading Clarke's 2001-related novels,
which I was convinced could only be inferior to Kubrick's film.
 From what I read here, and from what my son Evan (who did read
the novels) related me last week when he was visiting, I am more
persuaded than ever that I made the right decision.

I've seen 2001 maybe 15 or 20 times and always manage to find
something new in it. The middle of the film, in my opinion, is
the weakest, relatively speaking, being pretty recognizable SF
and interesting mostly because of Kubrick's directing and
cinematic skills, less so for a rather standard and stale
(albeit entertaining) plot about a spaceship's computer gone
wacko.

The film's strength - by that I mean its claim to artistic
superiority - is in the last segment, which gets its enormous
intellectual and emotional power from its admirable refusal
(which no director could get by with today) to explain in
boringly prosaic terms what is going on. To the contrary,
nothing literal _is_ going on. What's happening is not meant to
be recounted in pure words; it is purely cinematic and symbolic,
representing a fable or parable about humanity's transformation
from earthbound species to citizenship - and radically expanded
consciousness - in the cosmos. Thus the Starbaby is not a
_literal_ fetus floating toward earth but a representation of a
new Homo sapiens about to be born.

Clarke's absurd literal-mindedness, if accurately described
here, strikes me as depressing and boring. Kubrick certainly
could not have made this classic film without Clarke, but it
seems just as clear that Clarke couldn't really tell the story
without Kubrick.

Jerry Clark





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