Saturday, May 19, 2018


I first saw the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey about -- heck, I don't know how long ago. It was a long time ago. I saw it on TV, either broadcast or on a cable channel. It wasn't in the theater, I'm sure.

Thinking about it, I may not have seen it until I rented it on VHS. Huh. That would have been around 15 years after it was released. I'm thinking it wasn't that long after, so maybe it was on Showtime. I know it wasn't on TCM, because that didn't even launch until the 1990s.

Anyway, as I said, I first watched 2001: A Space Odyssey a while back. I enjoyed it. Well, most of it.

The nearly 3-minute long Overture with nothing on the screen made me worry that the picture had gone out.

The over 15-minute segment "The Dawn of Man" seemed way long.

The first words not spoken until nearly 26 minutes in (counting the Overture) was an anticlimax.

Taking forever for the stewardess to deliver food -- except the walking upside down was kinda cool.

The 3-minute blank screen and noise that was the Intermission seemed longer.

The nearly 10-minute Star Gate sequence also seemed longer.

Even with all that, I didn't hate the movie. In fact, I liked it. Still do.

The thing is, I always thought of it as a really long movie. And, at 2:28:50, it is. But, it's far from the longest film I own. In fact, it's only the 62nd longest film I own.

Cleopatra is over four hours long. Gone With The Wind is nearly four hours. Ben-Hur is really long. So is Lawrence of Arabia. And so are many, many other films I own. 61 in my library are longer than 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I never would have figured that. I knew I had some long movies, but I would have thought that  2001: A Space Odyssey was in the top ten, not number 62.

I suppose that, despite how much I like the film, the parts that drag do really drag. It just seems a lot longer.

How much do I like the movie? Well, it is, by far, the most watch movie in my library, according to the play count.

How much do the draggy parts drag? Well, the reason I've watch it so much is that when I have trouble falling asleep, I put it on to play. I'm usually asleep before the monkey men get run off from the watering hole.

I think I'll watch it again tonight. Or, part of it.

1 comment:

  1. I watched the CinemaScope version at the Atlantan Theater with a real cinemascope screen on July 3rd, 1967. The same day John Wayne was in town for the annual July 4th parade. I was gobsmacked. I was 16 years old and I was gobsmaked! I was already a Kubrick fan and watching a new 70mm cinemascope print in Super stero sound was amazing. There were times when Kubrick managed to make the viewer feel like they were floating in space WITHOUT any CGI. It was also the first time I was exposed to hippies tripping on acid, they were respectfully quite and immersed until the end of the movie. I spent months talking to my friends about the movie. My dates that I took later thought I was a total nerd even though I was a varsity athlete at my high school in three sports.

    This movie changed my life in so many ways, it was an intellectual coming of age for me and there after I've been a movie addict and a keen photographer.

    After high school I wanted to move to Santa Barbara and major in film. Man if we only had the equipment then that we have now ....

    Space Odyssey was a perfect movie. Kubrick's oeuvre can't be ignored especially considering movies such as Space Odyssey, Barry London, Dr. Strangelove, Eyes Wide Shut, The Shinning, and The Killing, Clock Work Orange, and Lolita. MGM just didn't understand how to promote his movies. And anyone who loves Kubrick should read every novel these movies were based on. Research each movie and write a thesis paper on each one. Your mind will be rewarded.


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