14 March 2008

The Four Million Year Jump Cut

TimeOut magazine in London recently asked several big name movie directors to pick a favorite Stanley Kubrick picture. Here is a snip from the article.

Shekhar Kapur (‘Elizabeth’) on ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ (1968)(Sci-fi epic loved by stoners and intellectuals alike): ‘Forty years on and we are still trying to comprehend its visual and poetic philosophy – what more can you ask from a film? Just for sheer achievement in the art and technology of cinema, “2001” remains a defining movie for me. It is certainly the film that made me fall in love with cinema and want to become a director. Visually, it was one of the most compelling of its time, setting standards in visual effects that have yet to be bettered. Most people now associate “The Blue Danube” waltz with that amazing cut from the broken bone defying gravity as it sails up in slow motion to the space ship floating in space: a cut that not only leaves the audience to imagine the entire history of human development, but also is one of the best uses of classical music in film that I have ever seen. It still takes my breath away.’
Wonder what Kubrick would make of the YouTubian mashup I posted below? I loved it. I think I found a clip for the Kubrick Napoleon project. While we're on the subject of 2001, check out the new widget in the sidebar. It gives you the "Cliff Notes" to what has been a seemingly imponderable movie to many. I will admit that it takes repeated showings for the story of 2001 to sink in, but it is worth the challenge. It certainly did what Kubrick set out to do, which was to lift the science fiction movie out of a critical genre ghetto. The picture was a masterpiece of film making technique and Kubrick deservedly won his first Oscar for the work of his special effects team.

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