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"2001" Discussion Meetup

"The genius is not in how much Stanley Kubrick does in "2001: A Space Odyssey," but in how little. This is the work of an artist so sublimely confident that he doesn't include a single shot simply to keep our attention. He reduces each scene to its essence, and leaves it on screen long enough for us to contemplate it, to inhabit it in our imaginations. Alone among science-fiction movies, “2001" is not concerned with thrilling us, but with inspiring our awe." -- Roger Ebert


http://youtu.be/Ok32VyEQYYc

We will discuss "2001", with a special emphasis on the technical innovations and inventions Stanley Kubrick had a hand in for this movie (John) and also 2001tailia.it, Simone Odino's exceptionally great blog.  (Mark).

From an "SK's Reddit" posting:

[–]2001italia 5 points 1 day ago

In the last paragraph of his last published interview (Le petit livre de Stanley Kubrick, SpartOrange, 1994), quite significantly Kubrick considered '2001' as (freely translated from the italian translation of the original french) "a movie that stands apart from my other works, the one I cherish the most". (source: http://www.archiviokubrick.it/parole/interviste/1989entrevue.html)



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  • Anne

    Interstellar has some interesting homages to 2001.

    1 · November 8, 2014

    • Mark L.

      That is an excellent idea for our next 2001 meetup! And "Solaris" might be a third.

      November 8, 2014

    • Ren

      Yes! Watched the 70mm version.

      1 · November 8, 2014

  • Anne

    Saw Her on the plane back from the UK. Interesting to compare the AI with Hal. What are people's thoughts on the two?

    1 · May 31, 2014

    • Mark L.

      I will definitely see "Her" before our next meetup in case the topic comes up...

      June 3, 2014

  • Anne

    BTW, the last two Mad Men episodes have each included references to 2001.

    May 13, 2014

    • Ross

      Yes, indeed, though it would've been appropriate to show that character smoking grass and sitting, in the front row through one showing after another of 2001 to get him to that state of paranoia!

      May 14, 2014

    • Mark L.

      I've been thinking about all these homages to Kubrick — maybe it is just that all artists naturally refer to other artists. Composers, painters, writers -- all quote earlier artists whose work they have studied so carefully. Robert Castle has a good chapter on the Coen Bros.' Kubrick refs in his book: http://tinyurl.com/l2...­

      May 14, 2014

  • Joe A.

    To start, what a lovely group I am. We should change the name of the group to Kubrick's descendant. We are into details and inside the details. I just watched this movie, and I could compare it to Ocean's Eleven, with a failure attempt. I can't believe with analog watch people still could rob something, with accuracy. It is still humans, hail holy failure to machines, we are still better than anything...

    1 · May 4, 2014

  • John

    Just some more details that about the Hal Nikkor Lens that I didn't have the complete details with me for the questions. So this lens had a built in turet of different filters. One of the options on the turet was R60 (Red) which is normally used in B&W photography. Details on the lens can be found here: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/8mm-f8.htm

    May 3, 2014

    • John

      HAL's point of view shots were created with a Cinerama 160-degree Fairchild-Curtis wide-angle lens which is about 8 inches in diameter, while the HAL prop eye lens is about 3 inches in diameter. Stanley Kubrick chose to use the large Fairchild-Curtis lens to shoot the HAL 9000 POV shots because he needed a wide-angle fisheye lens that would fit onto his shooting camera, and this was the only lens at the time that would work. In the files I put the still that the guy who researched the lens used to determine it was the nikkor 8mm lens and not the later 7.5 mm version.

      May 3, 2014

    • Mark L.

      Excellent find, John! I should have known you couldn't use a 35mm lens with a Cinerama camera! Actually I have a new appreciation for the use of wide angle in "The Killing", watching it this time...

      May 4, 2014

  • Ross

    Just want to give a heads up that there is a really great series of shows on BBC America about the recent history of Science Fiction.....The first show focused on Artificial Intelligence with many clips from films we've talked about....the best clip was a segment from the Canadian documentary film of the early 60's on space travel which Douglas Raines (voice of HAL) narrated giving Kubrick the idea for utilizing him.

    April 29, 2014

    • Ross

      I believe that's the one. It was interesting to hear how they finally settled on the voice of HAL - First they were going to us Martin Balsam's voice but decided it was too New Yorkish....then they were gonna use Nigel Davenport but decided the voice was too English...finally they chose Rains (a Canadian).

      April 29, 2014

    • John

      I just watched the film ("Universe" 1960) it is on youtube and Canadian National Film Board site https://www.nfb.ca/fil...­ Douglas Rain isn't credited per imdb. It is definitely him though. It is a brilliant little 30 min film, I can see why Kubrick wanted to hire that crew at first. I also saw an interesting comment on the video page: “I remember this film because it was the first program selected to return to normal broadcasting on a station in NY,NY after the kennedy assassination.”

      May 1, 2014

  • Ross

    1 · April 21, 2014

    • Mark L.

      I think it would be worth it if you can swing it, Ren, then of course you have to bring it in to show it to all of us! ... I bought an illuminated magnifying glass to try to read the smaller version of the Archive book, but it was just so frustrating, even though the articles are really good, because it was still hard on my eyes.

      April 23, 2014

    • Ren

      definitely!

      April 24, 2014

  • Mark L.

    OK, as discussed at the Meetup, I made our official SKM Kickstarter pledge for $25 to the Matthew Modine's "Full Metal Jacket" Audiobook project -- this entitles us to the audio book CD version when it does come out, provided they reach their pledge goal: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fmjd/matthew-modines-full-metal-jacket-diary-audiobook

    1 · April 18, 2014

  • Mike M.

    For those serious about film, this is one of the best discussion groups in NYC.

    2 · April 14, 2014

    • Ross

      ...then please allow me to do you the honor of "liking" Mike's comment as well!

      1 · April 14, 2014

    • Mark L.

      I am cheered up!

      April 14, 2014

  • Mark L.

    About all the product placement -- I read in a book on the way home that the payoff for that was not monetary, but copious, free technical advice from all the companies involved, about their latest technology and how it might evolve in the future. And one of the photos John posted explains the IBM response to the HAL thing fully, and I think confirms that neither Clarke nor Kubrick would intentionally alienate a company that had been so generous with their expertise during the film's development.

    April 14, 2014

  • Mark L.

    Thanks everyone who was able to make it, and for another in our uninterrupted string of great discussions. As someone mentioned, you could really have a monthly 2001 Meetup and never run out of things to talk about with it.

    April 14, 2014

  • Anne

    Excellent discussion. Great group.

    1 · April 14, 2014

    • Mark L.

      "Fair Harvard has her crimson
      Old Yale her colors too,
      But for dear Pennsylvania
      We wear the Red and Blue."

      April 14, 2014

  • John

    I've added most of the screenshots/documents I collected for the discussion in the file section of the meetup group:
    http://www.meetup.com/The-Stanley-Kubrick-Meetup/files/

    1 · April 14, 2014

    • Mark L.

      Great stuff, John, and I think your tablet presentation worked very well in our environment. I'm going to see if I can move your files to our Photo Gallery without losing any quality. If so, it'll be the first time I've ever been able to put Meetup's Photo Gallery feature to good use!

      April 14, 2014

  • Grey

    I am sorry to have missed the meeting! I did not want to intrude by arriving late. Next time!

    1 · April 13, 2014

    • Mark L.

      Don't ever worry about arriving late, Grey! (I don't have a smartphone so can't respond to any comments/rsvps on the day of the meetup. Must... Get... One....)

      1 · April 14, 2014

  • Mark L.

    I'll be bringing a handout on Peter Kramer's BFI Classics book on 2001, which is one of the best things I've read on Kubrick ever! He gave a great interview to Movie Geeks United, mostly on 2001 and ACO, which are the two books he's written so far, which I HIGHLY recommend listening to! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/moviegeeksunited/2011/01/12/the-kubrick-series-uncut-peter-kramer

    April 12, 2014

  • Mark L.

    I feel our group should back this project, even if in just a small way: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fmjd/matthew-modines-full-metal-jacket-diary-audiobook

    April 10, 2014

  • Mark L.

    So as mentioned, the SKM has its own Tumblr now, and if any of you would like to be contributing editors, you'd be very welcome. Here is the first half of my post about our last meetup: http://skm-nyc.tumblr.com/post/81788347405/report-on-the-3-9-2014-a-i-artificial

    April 10, 2014

  • Ross

    Not 2001 related, but here is a link to a very interesting recent interview with Kubrick producer and brother-in-law, Jan Harlan. http://www.indiewire.com/article/jan-harlan-stanley-kubricks-longtime-producer-discuses-kubricks-work-the-traveling-exhibit-and-offers-advice-to-students

    1 · April 1, 2014

    • Mark L.

      And here is my reply to it, written this morning! Includes our first "Stanley Kubrick Meetup Non-Negotiable Demand"! http://skm-nyc.tumblr...­

      1 · April 1, 2014

  • Mark L.

    50 years ago today: March 31, 1964: The Day Kubrick And Clarke Made Contact. http://skm-nyc.tumblr.com/post/81331424720/2001italia-march-31-1964-the-day-kubrick-and

    1 · March 31, 2014

  • Ross

    Talking about John Boorman, he attempted his own version of a mythic futuristic epic with "Zardoz" (with Sean Connery and Charlotte Rampling). While much of it is pretty ridiculous, it still remains a guilty pleasure for me as it has some really mesmerizing visuals!

    1 · March 31, 2014

    • Mark L.

      I'm gonna go look up Boorman in the Baxter and the LoBrutto now, as it seems Kubrick and he were friends too -- I think K. loved "Deliverance".­

      March 31, 2014

    • Ross

      The Boorman movie to see is Point Blank.....I actually saw it in the theatres when it first came out and though I was too young to understand it, like 2001, it made a lasting impression on me! Its really a great film, if you haven't seen it.

      1 · March 31, 2014

  • Mark L.

    "2001 was beyond divisive. The story John Boorman told me was that Kubrick had called John and asked him if he had seen 2001 and John said “Yes, it’s a masterpiece” and Kubrick said “would you please give me a quote for the poster cause I don’t have enough critics’ good words to put on.” 2001! ... he was clearly going for some sort Homeric epic hero story. The movie’s called ‘A Space ODYSSEY,’ he’s got the main character named Bowman, he fights a Cyclops, a one-eyed computer, he’s going for the mythic hero to the point where there’s even a rebirth at the end with the Starchild, it’s a total attempt at this mythic, Campbellian sweep, but you don’t know anything about Keir Dullea, so the movie doesn’t operate at all on that level, it operates brilliantly as a kind of Myth of the Gods movie. It doesn’t work at all as a Campbellian model. —Love & Sincerity: A Conversation with James Gray (posted on the brilliant http://cinearchive.org/ Tumbrl.)

    March 29, 2014

  • Mark L.

    "a vintage article from American Cinematographer by Douglas Trumbull on creating the visual effects for 2001 A Space odyssey": http://cinetropolis.net/vintage-article-by-douglas-trumbull-on-creating-special-effects-for-2001-a-space-odyssey/

    March 25, 2014

  • Mark L.

    "I watch 2001 every week." — John Lennon

    1 · March 20, 2014

    • Joe A.

      That is great. Time is born every moment at the expansion of thoughts...

      1 · March 20, 2014

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