As of this week, “2001: A Space Odyssey” ceases to be science fiction and becomes an alternate history. Perhaps the best thing we can say about the year 2001 is that no one tried to re-make that film, or re-release it with new scenes added, a dead director’s cut, with newly-enhanced digital effects, more stormtroopers added in key scenes, and nudity digitally excised.
The most important cinematic event of the real year 2001, of course, was the World Trade Center attack. Dramatic, punchy, fast-paced, easy to understand, and set in America’s favourite city. Plus the bombing of Afghanistan contained wide sweeping landscapes, quirky foreign characters, lots of explosions, and may yet include a climactic car chase. The courtroom drama, of course, didn’t quite fit into the script.
It’s too bad the vision embodied in Stanley Kubrick’s classy 1968 sci-fi flick wasn’t closer to the truth. It wasn’t a terribly ambitious fiction, powered as it was by Arthur C. Clarke’s realist imagination. The story was set over 30 years ahead, with a commercial space station in orbit around Earth and solar-system space travel a comfortable and affordable exercise. Compare it with, say, “Planet of the Apes”, also made in 1968, which posits an interstellar voyage just three years into its future; the (horribly mangled) 2001 “Apes” remake puts a much more modest voyage 60 years further ahead, in 2029! Where’s our optimism gone?
Read the whole story in part two of 2001 IS OFFICIALLY RETRO>>>