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Monday Movies: Kubrickian

This weekend, The Girlfriend and I watched but one movie: 2001: A Space Odyssey. It had a lot more monkeys in it that we were anticipating, and I have no idea what the last half hour was about. Kubrick did manage the feat of a slow-paced movie that nonetheless moved quickly. I almost want to pull a McManus on Kubrick.

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January 23, 2011 - Posted by | Monday Movies

29 Comments

  1. Let me know when you get to Barry Lyndon, I’ve been meaning to watch that one and I have it on DVD.

    I have to decide whether to watch Trouble Every Day by Claire Denis. The case for: I have it out from Netflix. Beau Travail is one of my favorite-ever movies. The case against: it’s probably too gory for me to ask Mrs. K-sky to watch it. Reviews are widely mixed. I recently realized that I don’t have super strong feelings about the other Denis films I’ve seen.

    Advice would be appreciated. “Trouble Every Day” by Frank Zappa is a great song, but I’m not sure that merits a notch in the plus column.

    Comment by josh k-sky | January 24, 2011

  2. 2001 is fantastic.

    I saw Among the Living, which is not good.

    Comment by ben | January 24, 2011

  3. I too endorse Beau Travail. I saw it at Doc Films; it was in the same series, I think, as La Genèse, which is beautiful. Unfortunately (as far as helping k-sky goes), the only association I have with the phrase “Trouble Every Day” is the song of the same name by the Tindersticks. I enjoy the song, but doubt that’s much ground on which to say anything about the movie. (I’ve also heard the Zappa song, but it has made significantly less impression on me. The Tindersticks tune is actually related to the movie.)

    Comment by ben | January 24, 2011

  4. You reallly have to see 2001 in 70mm in order to “comprehend” what the last half hour is about. I know that sounds like the most pretentious cinephile bullshit, but I just saw it in that format for the first time two weeks ago and I stand by my statement.

    Comment by Nicholas | January 24, 2011

  5. @Nicholas

    would you mind if I agree with you that have to see 2001 in 70mm is
    “most pretentious cinephile bullshit”?

    Comment by visitor | January 24, 2011

  6. Apparently upgrading so I can stream Netflix is just going to lead to me watching a lot more crappy movies. I watched Legion and The Crazies.

    These are movies that had something in the trailer that intrigued me, so while my wife was napping, I loaded them up. Legion seemed to be in an awful hurry to get it over with considering it was a pretty epic topic.

    The Crazies made me think Tim Olyphant might not be much of an actor because his sheriff in this movie seemed VERY similar to his character in Justified to me.

    Comment by mattintoledo | January 24, 2011

  7. I have seen 2001 in 70mm.

    SO THERE

    Comment by ben | January 24, 2011

  8. Ben,

    What did you think of it?

    Comment by Nicholas | January 24, 2011

  9. @Ben
    What did you think of it?
    @Visitor
    I wasn’t being mean in my comment. Why do you have to be? I was just pointing something out.

    Comment by Nicholas | January 24, 2011

  10. Well, it sure didn’t help me know what was going on in the last half hour.

    Comment by ben | January 24, 2011

  11. I recently attempted to watch 2001 on an airplane and was so taken aback by the monkeys that I was unable to continue. I didn’t know what the first half hour was about, so it’s probably good I didn’t see the last half hour. I didn’t make it to the infamous artificial intelligence character.

    Comment by Hill | January 24, 2011

  12. @Nicholas (I wasn’t being mean in my comment. Why do you have to be? I was just pointing something out.)

    I wasn’t mean, I just confirmed what you said you knew (“I know that sounds…”). That sounded so to me too.

    May be you could explain what I could “comprehend” (anything you think I could, suppose I didn’t comprehend anything) when I’d see 2001 in 70mm?

    Comment by visitor | January 24, 2011

  13. @Visitor
    I just meant that the ending of 2001 is more pure sensual experience than narrative progression and as such it benefits more from an enhanced format than something like Groundhog Day. I find that non-narrative forms of art to be the most difficult for me to enjoy and require multiple viewings in the best available format. I didn’t like 2001 until my third viewing. Anyways, to each his own. I didn’t mean to step on anyone’s toes here.

    Comment by Nicholas | January 24, 2011

  14. Clearly there is some basic confusion over the respective meanings of “cinephile” and “doucher.” Cinephiles like movies; douchers like themselves. Nicholas is clearly a doucher.

    “Cop Out.” Bruce Willis is clearly a dick, but Tracy Morgan, notwithstanding the Tina Fey show, is hilarious. Even Seth from “The OC” was funny. I’m not sure why people like Karen from “The Office.” She was the worst part of that Paul Rudd movie and she is the worst part of this movie.

    We also watched about twenty minutes of “Transporter 3.” While the basic plot of the movie is the least probable of any of the films in the series, those twenty minutes were absolutely spectacular.

    Comment by Craig | January 24, 2011

  15. I’m sorry for commenting on here. I’ll leave you guys alone.

    Comment by Nicholas | January 24, 2011

  16. i confess i watched _Barry Lindon_ long ago and liked it, i like basically the near real life costumes and stages/decor old times movies, feels like visiting some other time in the past
    _2001:A space odyssey_ too, remember only the enormous spaceship approaching, looked beautiful
    i think N should hang around a bit longer and see what happens next

    Comment by read | January 24, 2011

  17. last week i didn’t watch any movies till the end, so don’t remember them

    Comment by read | January 24, 2011

  18. I think this is the first time a commenter has been driven away without my involvement. Is that good or bad? In what way? I’m not sure.

    In any case, it does seem like a more fully-immersive experience of that last bit of 2001 would be a different experience, though I don’t know if it would actually grant interpretive knowledge otherwise not available.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | January 24, 2011

  19. Oh, I meant to ask if anybody else had noticed something about the “star ratings” when you are cycling through the Netflix movies you can download instantly. Namely, NOTHING is rated more than 3.5 stars.

    I saw Blade Runner was 3 stars, and thought, “Geez, they’re tough.” Then I noticed as I cycled through more and more that 3 stars seemed to be the high end of their rating, even as I happened across Network.

    I’m not sure how they arrive at their ratings (fan driven?), but it would seem to be flawed if every movie falls rougly between 1 and 3 stars.

    Comment by mattintoledo | January 24, 2011

  20. Last night I wrote and deleted a long comment about having watched many Kubrick movies 20-30 times (remember it’s been 50 years for Spartacus)) and how I felt about him. It got complicated trying to explain how the awe and challenge dissipates and leaves behind affection and admiration in its place. Like having a small great sculpture, a real Moore or Giacometti, on your dining table for fifty years that you lay your book against or hang your cap on but you would die before giving it up. I also think Kubrick is a much warmer director than is often understood, and his best work is the quiet tensions like the monologue by Kidman in EWS or the bathroom confrontation and execution scene in FMJ. Anyway, understanding that after the Japanese, I spend a couple hours everynight trying to find something on cable and end up watching Reign of Fire or an old Kubrick. Since last posted:

    Spring Awakens – Naruse
    Utamaro and His Five Women – Mizoguchi
    Intentions of Murder – Imamura
    Kiga Kaikyo – Uchida
    Tokaido Ketsuyo Kaidan – Nakagawa
    Late Autumn – Ozu
    Millenium Actress – Satoshi Kon

    Comment by bob mcmanus | January 24, 2011

  21. Edward at Obsidian Wings, NYC art dealer, was talking about a Rothko or Motherwell or something and said you had to live with a work of art before you could appreciate it. Corner of the eye with morning coffee, see how the light changes with it on a winters day.

    I believe that, but I needed to for Joyce. You can’t visit genius or a great school of art, you have to submit to it, incorporate it.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | January 24, 2011

  22. @Nicholas

    Thank you for explaining [in comment #13] what was the difference for you when watching ‘2001 in 70mm’. I understand you are a cinephile that values the static(sensual)-(cin)aesthetics in the first place, while I, for instance, am the type of ‘cinephile’ that values the ‘narrative AND the aesthetics’ (or.. possibly the aesthetics of the narrative?), may be with a little more accent on the narrative, in the sense that a certain narrative has to be there, or at least to be there is such a way that I can notice it (you could always argument that it is my fault not being able to notice/comprehend, but then… see above!)

    Anyway, now that you have been so kind to take the time and explain, I would like to apologise for causing a bit if tension with my question.

    I am not a guy (I mean, I am a girl – and English is my second language, if that makes any difference), and I would be glad if you could get on easier with more ‘guy’-ish (I mean, more temperamental – like Craig’s) reactions to your views, and visit this blog again.

    I am sorry I asked that question [#5] in a not too tactful way.

    Comment by visitor | January 24, 2011

  23. how strange i don’t remember any monkeys, so the spaceship movie must be was a different movie or not, maybe should try to rewatch it some time

    Comment by read | January 24, 2011

  24. I feel as though that is likely the first time I’ve ever been called stereotypically male. His comment was douchey, especially for a first-ever comment.

    Comment by Craig | January 24, 2011

  25. @Craig [“first time I’ve ever been called stereotypically male”]

    Not “stereotypically”, but “typically” was in my mind as I said ‘”more temperamental’. Speaking of that, it was rather a… compliment what I said, as I do not believe in ‘behavioural uniformity’ – gender-wise…

    I wish Nicholas would come back. :-)

    Comment by visitor | January 25, 2011

  26. …a real Moore or Giacometti, on your dining table for fifty years that you lay your book against or hang your cap on but you would die before giving it up.

    This really hits home for me. I have one of those Elvis clocks with swinging legs in the kitchen and my wife wants to get rid of it.

    Comment by mattintoledo | January 25, 2011

  27. I am a girl – and English is my second language

    The more, the merrier!

    Comment by josh k-sky | January 25, 2011

  28. @josh k-sky: “The more, the merrier!”

    Sir, you are in the wrong film.
    This here is 2001: A Space Odyssey (in 70mm, if you wish to comprehend more)

    Comment by vsitor | January 26, 2011

  29. First time I saw 2001 was on a shitty old VHS tape and I knew what the last half hour was about. It’s a relatively straightforward story, even if it’s told in an unconventional way.

    Comment by stras | January 26, 2011


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