2001 vs. 2016
I think we can judge that a productive weekend, cleaned the flat from top to bottom, packed everything, watched the first part of Rivette’s mammoth 13 hour Out 1: Noli Me Tangere and rewatched the new Blu-Ray of Antonioni’s L’Eclisse, and even carved out time for a haircut. I was fairly brutal with my purge, consigning to the dust-bin of history many artefacts and possessions, ready for a new sleeker and streamlined Menagerie from next weekend. Never one to miss a coincidence I also stumbled across the embedded documentary which is excellent and consider me deeply impressed – this is the best Kubrick related paraphernalia I’ve seen in a few years. This web sourced documentary on 2001 slowly pirouetted across my news feed, an impeccably researched treatise on the greatest film ever made, with a fine collection of revealing archive photos, technical insights (revolutionary rotoscoping, 35mm separation masters, rear projection, travelling mattes, etc.) and associated production paraphernalia. Nothing particularly new for we long in the tooth fanatics, but fair play to the designers as they’ve really done their homework in terms of the finer details of the production, delving deep beneath the surface to excavate the finer minutiae of the cultural construction, artistic process and decision trees;
It also delves into film grammar, the choices over composition, movement and tempo, with a blistering befuddlement concerning what happened to some of the props and physical artefacts of the production – I wonder how much a genuine approved stylo of Picasso or Rembrandt would go for today? Just from the first section, it is fascinating to me that Kubrick’s decision to strip away some of the films contemporary elements of when it was made – the orbital weapon platforms, cold war exegesis and 1960’s progressivism – the parsing away has made it a real and larger omnipotent work that still resonates across the decades. Anyway, I could go on but we don’t have the time, so I’ll just leave part two for you here. Oh, the coincidence? Well, the address of my new manor also finds a namesake in the vessel that transports Heywood Floyd to the Lunar Base for his briefing on the mysterious monolith – here’s to the future eh?