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Last movie watched...

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Because we don't have a thread along these lines- or if we do, it's buried very deeply and no one uses it.

Over the last few days ive been watching the two movies based on arthur c clarke's 'space odyssey' novels. Although that's not entirely true, bearing in mind the complicated process that led to clarke's novel and kubrick's film, but for now i'll treat 2001 as an adaptation of the book, and not treat the book as a novelisation.

2001 is just astonishing. Completely linear, lacking in any confusing subtext, and so blatant that its reputation as a 'difficult, unknowable' film can surely only come from the audience's disbelief that what is on screen is actually what you're getting. But my grud, it's beautiful in its simplicity. Long, slow sequences, accompanied by perfectly judged classical music, that just ramps up the feeling of 'otherness'. I found the movie deeply moving, and very frightening- the implications of the monolith as the movie's scientific 'god substitute' as effective to this atheist as the omen's devil child, or the exorcist's possession. The film's been discussed to death, but it needs restating just how much of 2001 was borrowed by later scifi. From dr who's slitscan title sequence, to discovery's engine parts being later mirrored in the tech of star wars. It even has the line 'i have a bad feeling about this...'. I must also sing the praises of the ape makeups at the start- i know they are men in suits, but even i was questioning that at times.
Loved it beyond words, and even the much-discussed differences between it and clarke's book (which have implications should the later novels be adapted) didnt bug me. Utterly wonderful.

2010, on the other hand, not so much. Aside from the cosmetic similarities with kubrick's film, this seemed much closer to the source, and as a result made the unfathomably strange quite pedestrian. Great cast (sheider, mirren, lithgow), cant raise this above being just another scifi movie. Richard edlund again demonstrates he's a (admittedly competent) 2nd string

(Phoned reached its capacity there) effects artist. The visuals are good, but dull.
The main issue here are the small changes from the novel that undermine it. The world war three subplot needs bowman to appear, in orbit, as the star child and blow up the orbiting weapons platform- here he has no influence until the end. The russians are movie-russkies, all potato faces and beards and sultry females, gruff and distrusting of americans, whereas the novel paints them as human. The chinese subplot, so important later in is missing, and as a result, the entitety of the europa sequences are fudged. It all comes together, just, but to no real end. The only reaction is 'so what?'.

Does anyone know if 2061 and 3001 have ever been optioned, or developed?


House of Usher:
Last film I watched was The King's Speech. I don't get out much. Most of the other audience members were over 50 and about a third were over 60. I was offended by the advertising reel, which contained two cars ads and holiday ads that suggested I might like to visit Italy or South Africa. It was almost as if they were expecting that the audience for this film in particular must have money for things more expensive than mobile telephones, vodka, razor blades and antiperspirant.

The promo film for holidaying in South Africa was interesting because although it looked like an expensive do, it didn't look like an advert aimed at old people. It was all kayaking, 18-30 barbecues and bicicle tours of Soweto with other young, white trust fund adventurers.

the shutdown man:
Watched I Love You Phillip Morris last night. Still one of the funniest films of recent times.

Before that, I finally got around to watching Seven Samurai for the first time. I was not disappointed.

Watched 'The Reef' last night. Was ok.


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