Wednesday, August 23, 2017

"2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) Stanley Kubrick

While I may have seen this film as a child because I recognized some scenes, this was the first time I properly watched it (over two days) because I came across it on the German netflix (but not the American version) while looking for something else. And having heard so much about it, I had no choice but to see for myself what the fuss is all about. The film of course has a lot if 'ideas' packed into it, and in that it reminded me of Matrix with its pop philosophy, but just like the Matrix it is really about new consumer technology. Storyline aside, Matrix for me was mostly a film about cell phones (I got my first cellphone after watching it), while Odyssey 2001 is really a film about computers plain and simple. And just like the Matrix in '99 or so came at the right time to tell the world that the (cell) 'phone' is not going to be everyone's best friend and a large fraction of life itself will revolve around phones, reception, and land lines that are never used but sometimes are the only thing that works, so (I guess) Odyssey 2001 made, alien countertops notwithstanding, similar statements about computers and nicely projected so far into the future that it might still be relevant 100 years from now. It is quite amazing how in 1968 Kubrick and/or Clark were able to foresee the current complete dependency on computers and the terrible price one has to pay to unplug. With one or the other type of AI finally coming along after all these years, we'll see what else will come about. One nice little detail was the condescending tone the spacemen used to talk to the computer, and the computer responding in a slightly irritated voice.

So with Odyssey 2001 covering the IT/AI and the Matrix covering the communications, I am still waiting for the definitive film on bio/genetic engineering so we have the complete treatment by the art department of the three great post-war inventions. Need to work on a script!