_A few months back, I watched 2001: A Space Odessey. It was…strange. I didn’t really enjoy it…but I didn’t dislike it. I could see the appeal and the skill level of the involved parties was apparent…but…it was just too out there. It was an unflinching, uncompromising view of what science fiction would be like if all that shit occurred in reality: We probably wouldn’t understand it. Giant black monoliths appearing out of nowhere? Yeah, that’s cool. It’s artistically amazing, but as a narrative…it doesn’t work that well. There’s a reason the most cited part of 2001 is the Jupiter Mission segment with HAL being a dick.
_With that being said, I still find myself constantly thinking back on the film. While I might not have really enjoyed it, it truly was one of those things “that really makes ya think.” I’ve always wondered why people often have such a limited view on what an omnipotent God like figure would be like. He’s often portrayed as a human-like figure, watching over the Earth as if it was His one successful beautiful snowflake, and all other celestial objects were failed experiments not even worth the a fraction of His infinitesimal time to de-exist, forever standing to man as a monument to both His existence and their own status as #1 creation. Who’s to say that an omnipotent being wouldn’t rather just have its physical representation be completely featureless, save for the feature of being rectangular. You could say it’s also black, but hell, maybe it’s not even black. Maybe it’s color is simply “Void-esque.” It’s so completely colorless that it transcends “clear” and it just totally devoid of all color, and looks like total nothingness. Then again, maybe the black monoliths just monoliths created by super advanced alien beings who got lonely, wanted to make friends with humans but they were too stupid to even realize that objects could be used as tools and there was no way they wouldn’t die of non-understanding at meeting these new fangled space-conquering creatures, and the guided them for a couple million years or so to the point where they could fly off to Jupiter and shake hands.
_Immediately after finishing the film, I hopped onto the internet to read up on it. And I do mean “immediately,” as in “The star child was still on the screen and the end credits had barely started rolling, I had such a longing for some kind of insight to what I had just watched.” I read up on various parts of the movie, and as I found myself hearing about silly things like “plot details” from the accompanying narrative, I found myself being less interested. Somehow, Kubrik created a film where the lack of a cohesive narrative made the work better. “What are the monoliths? Why are they there?” The questions and unsaid possibilities are actually more interesting than the answers themselves would be.
_Having watched a lot of movies and TV and played video games in my 28+ years on this planet, I’ve seen a lot of things. But, again, 2001 was not one of those things until recently. I’m actually kind of glad, in a way. Had I seen it earlier, every time I saw a reference to 2001, I’d have said “Oh look, another 2001 ref.” Having seen it when I had, it was like a flood washing over my brain. “Oh my shit, EVERYTHING IS 2001!” I can’t even fathom where to begin when thinking about all of the media I’ve seen with homages to 2001. Actually, I can. There are 2001 references in Xenogears~. Thus ends the “List of media which contains homages to 2001 in it” portion of the blog.
_It feels strange to watch such a wildly influential movie after having seen so many of the movies that were made in its wake…but it was also pretty cool. Next up: Citizen Kane…yeah, haven’t seen that before, either…then The Seventh Seal…I know, I know, leave me the fuck alone, already, at least I’m getting to them!