2001: The Director's Cut (different director)
January 14, 2015 3:21 PM   Subscribe

Steven Soderbergh decided to re-cut 2001: A Space Odyssey. Now it's only 110 minutes.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates (125 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
No thanks.
posted by interrupt at 3:24 PM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yes, please.

It's full of win...
posted by clvrmnky at 3:26 PM on January 14, 2015


this is INEXCUSBALE.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:30 PM on January 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Isn't part of 2001's length a deliberate decision to express the empty vastness of space?
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:31 PM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is fantastic. The work of one genius director edited for the hell of it by another genius director, with humble caveats and apologies given, is a very cool exercise. Having watched a pretty good chunk of it earlier today, I can't wait to watch the whole thing later tonight.
posted by The World Famous at 3:33 PM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


If so then why are 100 of those minutes someone dripping paint on a camera lens.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:33 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Speaking of Soderbergh, if you haven't seen the TV series he directed this year called The Knick, please do yourself a favor and check it out.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:33 PM on January 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


Isn't part of 2001's length a deliberate decision to express the empty vastness of space?

It is said that everything about Kubrick's films is deliberate. That doesn't make it sacred, though, in my opinion.
posted by The World Famous at 3:34 PM on January 14, 2015 [14 favorites]


Yes, please.

It's full of win...
posted by clvrmnky


!!!!!!!!!!
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:34 PM on January 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


Isn't part of 2001's length a deliberate decision to express the empty vastness of space?

It's like doing Solaris without hours worth of pointless motorway scenes!
posted by Artw at 3:35 PM on January 14, 2015 [17 favorites]


It's at times like this that people should remember the existence of youtube-dl
posted by Going To Maine at 3:37 PM on January 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


I'm intrigued, and it looks awesome from what I've watched so far ... but is this part of a greater promotional effort, or just an effort to test the celebrity director exception for the DMCA?

(I know, I'm that guy, I hate it too)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:37 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


just an effort to test the celebrity director exception for the DMCA?

Given that Soderbergh also has a version of Raiders of the Lost Ark up with a new soundtrack and no color, I think this is just a thing he likes to do.
posted by Maecenas at 3:42 PM on January 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Soderbergh's The Hobbit.
posted by Artw at 3:42 PM on January 14, 2015 [26 favorites]


a deliberate decision to express the empty vastness of space

TL:DR Edition.
posted by CynicalKnight at 3:43 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


What a spectacularly stupid idea. They might as well take out all of the underwater scenes in The Abyss.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:43 PM on January 14, 2015


I don't suppose any of these Soderberg exercises need to exist, but it's fun to see him faff about. And the next time the DMCA et al get tested, the product of a celebrity director doing film geek stuff are liable to be far more comprehensible to a judge than the typical product of remix culture.
posted by wotsac at 3:48 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


It would be easier to go the other way: cut all the action. Keep the longs stretches of monkeys doing nothing, the blue danube, moonbase wandering, running in circles on the ship, trippy lights, nothing else. There must be 110 minutes of that all together.

I'm hesitant to say that 2001 even has a plot in the conventional sense, and editing it into the shape of a conventional movie seems to be missing the point. That's Arthur C. Clarke's 2001.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:49 PM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


"I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission."
posted by chavenet at 3:49 PM on January 14, 2015 [16 favorites]


He calls it "touching" the film. I'd call it vivisection. I like Soderbergh, but if he loves the movie so damn much maybe he should go make something new that's inspired by it. I don't think he's contributing anything to Kubrick's legacy by releasing some little self-indulgent experiment that's just going to give all the 2001 haters an excuse to make their tired old jokes about how the movie was too long already. (F that noise.)

Soderbergh's The Hobbit.

NOW you're talking. (But my girlfriend, who is a lot more into Tolkien than I am, would insist that the Hobbit movies were beyond salvaging. She loved Jackson's original Rings trilogy, but she's sat through the first two Hobbit movies with a sneer on her face and she hasn't even dragged me to see the new one in the theater yet.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:51 PM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm confused by Soderbergh. I've seen a bunch of his movies and they were all... okay? I guess? Hard to fault them for any one thing, but overall none of them managed a great impression on me. No standout scenes I can think of. No memorable takeaway or feelings. Would be interested in anyone explaining his appeal/genius.
posted by naju at 3:53 PM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


He calls it "touching" the film. I'd call it vivisection. I like Soderbergh, but if he loves the movie so damn much maybe he should go make something new that's inspired by it.

You mean like a creative re-edit?
posted by Going To Maine at 3:53 PM on January 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by cazoo at 3:54 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Soderbergh's The Hobbit.

PLEASE

someone needs to hose off the piss that Jackson unleashed all over my most treasured childhood story
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:56 PM on January 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


110 minutes, huh? Sounds kinda...bloated. These guys shortened it to a single minute of running time (1:16 w/credits). Oh, and they did in in LEGO. Top that, Mr. Soderbergh. Pro tip: You can't.
posted by mosk at 3:56 PM on January 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


Nothing can disgrace the legacy of 2001 like watching 2010.
posted by FatherDagon at 3:59 PM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


better a re-edit as an interesting exercise than a RE-MAKE. God forbid a shot by shot re-make...grumble grumble psycho grumble.
posted by djseafood at 4:01 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Huh. Just the other day I saw 2001 on the big screen was surprised by how much I enjoyed the pacing. I found it hair-tearingly slow when I was younger; maybe now I'm slowing down myself but watching the spaceship take its sweet time going aaaaaaaaaaaalllll the way across the cinemascope screen was deeply satisfying. You knew there was going to be no cut until the ship was all the damn way over so it was sort of enforced meditation.

On the other hand it's hard not be touched by someone as established as Soderbergh still being such a passionate film geek and that he took the effort to do what sounds like a sort of etude or training exercise! I find that kind of inspiring.
posted by Erasmouse at 4:03 PM on January 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


Nothing can disgrace the legacy of 2001 like watching 2010.

We need a re-edit of 2010 which doesn't place so much misdirected effort on trying to make you think you remember Dave Bowman saying "my God it's full of stars", and failing.

Either that or one that just consists only of the hot cosmonaut with no lines who is scared and needs a cuddle from a strong American in what appears to be an empty storage compartment.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:06 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Isn't part of 2001's length a deliberate decision to express the empty vastness of space?

That doesn't explain why all Kubrick's other films are so damn s..l..o..w.
posted by Leon at 4:07 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


naju, which of his films did you see? Maybe we can start from there.
posted by The World Famous at 4:08 PM on January 14, 2015


You mean like a creative re-edit?

OK, I'll admit I haven't sat down and watched his edit. Everything I've read suggested that he just trimmed the length, taking out the "boring" parts, which is an idea that bugs the hell out of me. (If you have any appreciation for Kubrick, you know he made his movies AS LONG AS THEY NEEDED TO BE.) But if this is some crazy hip-hop sampling deal where he made a whole new story or something... well, I'll admit I'd be kind of curious to see that. I suspect I wouldn't like it, but it would be a very different thing than just hacking out the balletic space sequences.

Millennials with shitty attention spans: when you watch 2001 on your laptop or handheld gizmo, you need to bear in mind two things. First, it wasn't meant to be seen like that. You're supposed to be able to take in every little detail of those scenes, you're supposed to feel like you're right there at the dawn of man and you're floating around in the Pan Am shuttle. I'm not even sure a crisp blu-ray would get the job done; you really need to see this thing in a great big theater, so it can surround and overwhelm you. Second, literally every sci-fi movie you ever loved owes its existence to this thing. Even directors who don't give a crap about the film were influenced by directors who adored it. In a dozen ways, it was a quantum jump beyond the sci-fi films that came before it.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:08 PM on January 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


I like Kubrick's pacing. It's the film equivalent of that old thing about "it's not the notes you play, it's the spaces between them."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:08 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think it's fair to pin 2001-hate specifically on millennials. Some people have been complaining about his style of screen-craft since the beginning. "The most common complaint of early press reviews of 2001 was its long length and slow pace."
posted by muddgirl at 4:15 PM on January 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


Just the other day I saw 2001 on the big screen was surprised by how much I enjoyed the pacing. I found it hair-tearingly slow when I was younger

Every few years, I try re-watching 2001. Every few years, I fall asleep. When I first saw it as a teenager, I just had to turn it walk away from it, because of the hair-tearing slowness of it all. I am excited this edit exists, as maybe I can get through the whole thing, which might make it possible for me to actually watch the film in its entirety one day. Maybe.
posted by 23skidoo at 4:16 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's like doing Solaris without hours worth of pointless motorway scenes!

I saw Solaris once about 15 years ago and the only thing I remember is all the driving scenes.
posted by brundlefly at 4:17 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


naju, which of his films did you see? Maybe we can start from there.

Out of Sight, Erin Brockovich, Traffic, Ocean's 11 and 12, Solaris, Contagion.

Solaris was a perfectly fine movie, I enjoyed the atmosphere (great score), but doesn't hold a candle to Tarkovsky's deep ambition and feeling. I didn't quite get the point of the remake.

Ocean's 11 and 12 had charm and brisk pacing, but I didn't get the rather big hype.

Contagion is probably the best of what I've seen from him, largely due to the script which he didn't write.

I see him as somewhat of a utilitarian director - he doesn't screw up the material, he's fully competent, but he doesn't stand out even remotely beyond "above average", especially compared to his heroes like Tarkovsky and Kubrick...
posted by naju at 4:18 PM on January 14, 2015


I saw Solaris once about 15 years ago and the only thing I remember is all the driving scenes.

You probably fell asleep for the rest of it.
posted by Artw at 4:19 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I remember that I watched it! Over the course of two nights. It was exhausting.
posted by brundlefly at 4:20 PM on January 14, 2015


you really need to see this thing in a great big theater

yes this. Especially the scene with the obelisk on the moon where audio volume becomes a special effect. When the sun hits it and it puts out that horrible audio squeal and the astronauts are trying to cover their ears and everyone in the audience is doing the same because it's just So Damn Loud. Genius.
posted by sexyrobot at 4:21 PM on January 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


Soderbergh's The Hobbit.

Ideally just ten minutes of Smaug wrecking shit.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 4:31 PM on January 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


Wait a minute. I just realized, we're all carrying around these roughly 1:4:9 rectangles and more or less taking instructions from them.
posted by weston at 4:32 PM on January 14, 2015 [53 favorites]


UP NEXT: Cage's 4'33" in a minute flat. So much of an improvement you'll be tempted to listen to it almost five times in a row.
posted by perhapsolutely at 4:35 PM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ursula Hitler: Soderbergh's The Hobbit.

feckless fecal fear mongering: PLEASE

someone needs to hose off the piss that Jackson unleashed all over my most treasured childhood story


Fans are working on this.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:36 PM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


So, has anybody watched this yet?
posted by Artw at 4:37 PM on January 14, 2015


It keeps freezing up when I try. It's like the ghost of Stanley Kubrick is making damn sure it takes me the same amount of time to watch his film.
posted by double block and bleed at 4:39 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


It would be truly perverse if he left the twenty minute star tunnel sequence completely intact.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:39 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Kubrick isn't slow-paced; every shot in his movies are considered. Even a non-film-geek like me can see that.

Tarkovsky, though... sometimes I wonder if his films were made to appeal to people who were shopping for movies based on how many hours they'd get to spend sitting in a heated theater during the Russian winter.

In all seriousness though, I don't think Tarkovsky is any slower-paced than some modern directors, e.g. some Lars von Trier stuff. It's just that Tarkovsky doesn't also put hardcore sex in there, so it seems longer.
posted by Kadin2048 at 4:40 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I saw Solaris once about 15 years ago and the only thing I remember is all the driving scenes.

I came close to a panic attack during that scene. Particularly the part when you just see the back of Henri's head for what seems like an age while the sound gets increasingly harsh - you're afraid something's going to happen, or that nothing's going to happen and it'll just go on forever. Something about it is the psychic equivalent of an itch you can't scratch.
posted by sobarel at 4:42 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


JJ Abrams's 2001
posted by zippy at 4:42 PM on January 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


justsomebodyyouusedtoknow: reminds me of "Or the Whale" - the inverse edit of the condensed version of Moby Dick.
posted by idiopath at 4:44 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


; or the whale
posted by idiopath at 4:52 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Every few years, I try re-watching 2001. Every few years, I fall asleep. When I first saw it as a teenager, I just had to turn it walk away from it, because of the hair-tearing slowness of it all. I am excited this edit exists, as maybe I can get through the whole thing, which might make it possible for me to actually watch the film in its entirety one day. Maybe.

Nothing can disgrace the legacy of 2001 like watching 2001.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:57 PM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I saw 2001 as a young teenager on its first run in a great high-end theatre. It was awe....some and I mean that in every over the top kind of way. Like Ursula Hitler said, in a big beautiful screen the details and crispness of the cinematography just grabbed your attention and didn't let go.

It's probably hard to understand if your cinema reality is fixated on Star Wars and Trek. A science fiction movie that actually reflected the reality of space flight, that made it into music and ballet. The light show leading to the hotel room at the end was kind of strange in terms of understanding the plot. I didn't read the book until after the movie so could only kind of surmise what it all added up to.

I was and still am a sci-fi reader on a semi-constant basis. 2001 was hugely terrific to me at the time.

It makes watching sci-fi with ray guns and ships that bank aerodynamically in space kind of a pointless endeavor. Nothing else comes close to matching the realism and detail of this movie.

Recut it? Seems like a crime against art to me.
posted by diode at 5:02 PM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


UP NEXT: Cage's 4'33" in a minute flat.

Which is, essentially, two consecutive performances of the 1st movement (2nd tacet edition).
posted by weston at 5:05 PM on January 14, 2015


It's a damn shame that now that Soderbergh has cut out some parts no one will ever again be able to watch the original movie Kubrick created.
posted by dogwalker at 5:13 PM on January 14, 2015 [20 favorites]


No one is pointing out that he's previously made Heaven's Gate: The Butcher's Cut? So yes, this is a thing he does.
posted by Catblack at 5:17 PM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Gotta admire Soderbergh for doing this instead of taking the Gus Van Sant route, which involves shot-for-shot remakes that don't work.
posted by Spatch at 5:19 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Would have preferred it if he'd used natural lighting, no artificial sound, regular people instead of actors, and real apes, but otherwise not bad.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:22 PM on January 14, 2015


Spatch: "Gotta admire Soderbergh for doing this instead of taking the Gus Van Sant route, which involves shot-for-shot remakes that don't work."

Previously Soderbergh cuts together Psycho and Psycho.
posted by RobotHero at 5:25 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Maybe Soderbergh is making a statement - that 2001 could never be made today because it is too long and paced out, and this bowdlerized version - all action - is what would be made today ie. not as good. And thus we can't have good things.
posted by stbalbach at 5:26 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


2001 is one of those movies I desperately want to like. Like I feel like a horrible human being for not liking it. I try. I've watched it over and over again and it's long and boring and I get a Bonfire of the Vanities vibe when I watch. Too long, too slow, not enough violence or nudity to keep an adolescent going.

Then 2010 rolled around, and I could watch that over and over again. It's like the difference between Alien and Prometheus. One's a work of art and amazing, they other is the other one the guy did.

I know, shoot me know. I'm sorry!
posted by cjorgensen at 5:28 PM on January 14, 2015


"I'm sorry, […] can't do that."
— HAL 900
posted by ...possums at 5:28 PM on January 14, 2015


Are we talking about the monkey movie again?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 5:30 PM on January 14, 2015


you really need to see this thing in a great big theater, so it can surround and overwhelm you.

Yea really, this. I had seen the movie several times on VHS as a kid. Then in middle school i saw it at the Cinerama pre-refurb when it was a water stained, rickety shithole. My friend, and mom fell asleep. I enjoyed it a lot.

I watched it a couple more times on DVD or something, and then went back and saw it again in 70mm in the now refurbished cinerama in high school or the beginning of college.

Holy shit.

I think the best analogy is that it's like one of those bands that's ok recorded, and a lot of people don't really get in to unless they already like that sort of thing... but AMAZING live. To the point that if you've seen them live, when you show a friend their recorded stuff you prepare yourself for the "...hmm :\ yea i dunno". You can proselytize them all you want, but what you're really trying to sell is the time(s) you saw them live, not their recorded output.

2001 is the original "theater movie". And it earns that without any stupid explosion "woahhh" stuff.


Trying to make a shorter more palatable home version seems like trying to make an indoor charcoal barbecue or something. I'm not so much against the idea as i think gross missing the point is involved.
posted by emptythought at 5:34 PM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


A wonderful abstraction, almost like watching a ballet. Unfortunately it would be totally unintelligible to anyone unfamiliar with the original. Think of it as a cryptic insider homage by a fan boy...
posted by jim in austin at 5:40 PM on January 14, 2015


I like it. Not Soderbergh's film, exactly -- I haven't seen it yet -- but the idea behind it. I like it. A film is just a construction of little snippets of film, arranged in a certain way. Here comes someone else, a student of film, saying, "what if I arranged them differently?" It's just an experiment. He's asking -- what is gained/lost through this process? Like he's a little scientist. "If you cut out 50 minutes of 2001, you lose _____. So that's why it was built the way it was built. Okay, I didn't see that before." Or who knows why he's doing it. He's being playful. I love it.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:43 PM on January 14, 2015 [14 favorites]


naju, which of his films did you see? Maybe we can start from there.

Out of Sight, Erin Brockovich, Traffic, Ocean's 11 and 12, Solaris, Contagion.


Naju, check out Sex Lies and Videotape, Kafka, The Limey, and even Schizopolis. Particularly The Limey - it's one of the most interestingly edited films I've ever seen.

I can pretty much take or leave all ones you've mentioned. That said, I think that's one of the great things about Soderbergh - he's made every kind of movie - big, small, crowd pleasing, incomprehensible, etc etc etc. He just like to TRY things. And he is somehow able to do so, which, these days, is rare and awesome.

(and I haven't watched the 2001 recut, nor do I really have any interest in doing so - but I bet you he learned something from doing it, and will absorb that experience like all the others into one day becoming the MegaSoderbergh)
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 5:44 PM on January 14, 2015 [8 favorites]


His edit of Heaven's Gate is preceded by a title card that says:
I acknowledge that what I have done to this film is both immoral and illegal.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:48 PM on January 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


I concur with the general sentiment. 2001 absolutely needs to be seen in the highest definition possible (70mm!), on the biggest screen possible. It's one of those films you need to live inside for a couple hours.

I watch most of my movies on my 24" computer monitor, which is way too small for 2001. I've tried.

Soderbergh gets a pass from me for The Limey and Kafka, which are both excellent.
posted by neckro23 at 5:52 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Would have preferred it if he'd used natural lighting, no artificial sound, regular people instead of actors, and real apes, but otherwise not bad.

A Dogme 95-approved shot-by-shot remake of 2001 would be a thing, wouldn't it?

Given a few centuries worth of planetwide industrial output and a bunch of disposable body doubles, I think it could be done, though.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:07 PM on January 14, 2015


Yeah. Nthing the endorsement of 2001 on 70mm.
posted by brundlefly at 6:08 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I saw Solaris once about 15 years ago and the only thing I remember is all the driving scenes.

I saw Solaris once about 15 years ago and I don't remember a single driving scene.

Huh. Just the other day I saw 2001 on the big screen was surprised by how much I enjoyed the pacing. I found it hair-tearingly slow when I was younger; maybe now I'm slowing down myself but watching the spaceship take its sweet time going aaaaaaaaaaaalllll the way across the cinemascope screen was deeply satisfying. You knew there was going to be no cut until the ship was all the damn way over so it was sort of enforced meditation.

Modern movies just don't hold shots for that long anymore. It makes the shots look epic. Modern films are cut so tightly, and with CGI & SFX you can have so many flash cuts that the action is incomprehensible. But you're right, this IS a meditation. The images overpower your conscious mind and you experience the film more subconsciously. Or at least, that's what I think Kubrick was trying to do. Truffaut once said that film is the art of leading the thoughts and connotations of the viewer. Kubrick was a master at that. You might say the whole film is a guided meditation.

So, with that in mind, do I really want to watch Soderbergh's edit? Someone watch it for me and let me know. I saw the recent 2001 "recut" trailer, they even shortened the most famous cut of all, from the flying bone to the flying satellite. If the whole film is edited like that, I don't want to see it.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:12 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


naju, i feel a slightly weaker version of what you describe, but loved the hell out of Side Effects
posted by Zerowensboring at 6:34 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I saw Solaris once about 15 years ago and the only thing I remember is all the driving scenes.

I came close to a panic attack during that scene yt .


Wow. I'm a Tarkovsky fan, but I just didn't like that odd driving scene in Solaris until I watched it again. Cinema driving genius.

I'm not a Soderbergh fan, but I liked his remake of Solaris. I think it makes a nice bookend to the original version.
posted by ovvl at 6:37 PM on January 14, 2015


Every few years, I try re-watching 2001. Every few years, I fall asleep.

Really? I can't watch 2001 because it brings me to the verge of panic. Like, the one time I watched it, I had to pause it and look up what happened next on Wikipedia before I felt calm enough to continue.

Ligeti, the composer of most of the ambient music, is mostly to blame. My sister plays in a contemporary classical group, and they did a whole performance of nothing but Ligeti music. I told her that unless she wanted me to cry and pee my pants in fright, I wouldn't be attending that one.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:51 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, first, I don't think I can ever explain to someone much younger than me the impact of being an 11 year old space geek and going to see 2001 in NYC when it first opened in Cinerama. There was so much less available when it came to science fiction movies at the time, it was a form of heroin (or perhaps, acid) for someone like me. So all you post-interwebz babies, just take a moment to think about that when you consider this film and the impact it had at the time it was released.

Second, I just recently did a massive upgrade to my home theater system---I won't go into all the specifics---but watching 2001 on blu-ray disc on a large plasma screen with an immersive 5.1 audio system was nothing short of breathtaking. Forget Gravity and its whining unimaginative protagonist clawing her way back to the prosaic earth. ("I hate space!") Here's both the fear AND wonder of the unknown rolled together in a single package.
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 6:58 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I guess it is a little unfair to pin the 2001 hate on the Millennials, since Gen-X idiots are guilty of it too to some extent. But the Millennials are the current generation doing most of the sneering at "boring old stuff." (If an audience is tittering at a 2001 screening, I'm betting most of those titterers are shy of 35.) Plus, they are used to seeing stuff on dinky little screens and if something doesn't work like that then as far as some of them are concerned, the stupid old thing is just stupid and old.

But I'll freely admit that the generational crabbing is a bit of derail. This is one of those movies where if you don't at least respect the hell out of it, the problem really is with you and not the movie.

It's probably hard to understand if your cinema reality is fixated on Star Wars and Trek.

I think Star Trek: The Motion Picture is deeply indebted to 2001, and Wise and Roddenberry really wanted to inspire that same kind of awe with those long, slow sequences set inside this alien, living spaceship thing the size of a damn planet. Most people think they failed, but I've always liked the deliberate, stately pace of the film. It also works a lot better on the big screen, where you can take in all the fiddly little details of those models. If nothing else, it's a fantastic showcase of the modelmaker's art! ST: TMP is Star Trek at its most earnest and epic, at its Star Trek-iest, Star Trek squared... in other words it's everything the reboot wasn't, and that's part of why I love it.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:02 PM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Ooo! Next do Dr. Strangelove! Cut that fucker down to 20 minutes!
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:06 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I love 2001 and watch it several times a year. I consider it perfect.

BUT... I have always though that for today's audience, most of the "here's how things work in space" scenes could be cut or shortened. I'm not agains that. That's what I was expecting a lot of this cut to be, and it is.

I'm almost halfway through watching, and had to stop it to say: HAL and Pool's eye during the overture, fine. But intercutting HAL during the Dawn of Man sequence (which no longer has a title card!) and the moon discovery sequence is just wrong. It makes it look like HAL is controlling these events. Is that his point? If so it makes no sense.

Also, Is HAL's voice all echo-y for everyone? I hope it's just a glitch on my end, but I've relaunched the video and browser and it's still there. If that's on purpose, it's terrible. HAL doesn't echo though the ship... he speaks through the terminal required to communicate with the crew member he is talking to.

Anyway... continuing to watch now.
posted by The Deej at 7:13 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


OK, this HAL echo-iness can NOT be intentional. He's hardly understandable.
posted by The Deej at 7:16 PM on January 14, 2015


The Vimeo link that is embedded on the page is: https://player.vimeo.com/video/116686424

But the privacy settings won't allow viewing directly within Vimeo.
posted by craniac at 7:22 PM on January 14, 2015


Every few years, I try re-watching 2001. Every few years, I fall asleep.

Hey, I don't wanna come off as, like, judgmental, you dig, cause, you know, different strokes for different folks, as we used to say in the 70s, but… falling asleep? Falling asleep, on multiple occasions, while watching the unparalleled cinematic masterpiece that is 2001 A Space Odyssey? Damn. I'd suggest a fine tune and recalibration of your art receptors, cause, like, dude, they ain't up to snuff. They ain't performing like they should. Get 'em checked out, really.

And anybody slicing out a single nanosecond of Mr. Kubrick's movie has absolutely no support from me. What a stupid and presumptuous idea. Now more than ever is the right time for people to watch 2001 in all its calm and majestically unfolding splendor. Turn off your goddamn phone, and don't fucking tweet about it while you're watching it. Slow your attention-deficit ass down and WATCH it. INHABIT it.

2001 A Space Odyssey too *slow* for you? Shit. Modern life is rubbish.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:28 PM on January 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


It's interesting how easy this is in a Digital age. Imagine trying this with cans of film and a few limited theater engagements.
posted by nickggully at 7:39 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Turn off your goddamn phone, and don't fucking tweet about it while you're watching it.

Yes. I struggle with this. My smartphone makes my brain utterly useless when I'm watching movies at home. I recommend turning it off completely. (No one will miss you for a few hours, the world will go on without you.)
posted by naju at 7:47 PM on January 14, 2015


I think Star Trek: The Motion Picture is deeply indebted to 2001

Agreed. Spectacular failure but I admire the ambition. I haven't watched it in a few years now but when the DVD came out with the new cut, I remember enjoying that a lot more.
posted by dumbland at 8:16 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


If anything, the people decrying this are the ones who are anti-art, anti-creativity, and anti-intellectual. Stop worshipping at idols, people. Nothing is perfect, and alternate takes on anything from the bible to dark side of the moon can be interesting in their own way. He hasn't taken anything from anyone, only given. So take it and enjoy it, or don't, i guess.
posted by empath at 8:17 PM on January 14, 2015 [18 favorites]


OK, I watched the whole thing.

First of all, the echo-y HAL voice from about 42 minutes in has to be an error. It straightens out about 10 minutes later.

Overall, I think it's a noble effort that I don't have much problem with except for one GLARING issue: cutting to shots of HAL both before he was created, and after he was disabled is just wrong! It makes it look like HAL is omnipotent and even controlling the events. That doesn't make any sense at all, unless it's just to be symbolic of intelligence/knowledge, and even then it just clouds the issue.

The original version is still perfect.
posted by The Deej at 8:27 PM on January 14, 2015


The original premier (160 minutes)? The general theatrical release (139 minutes)?
posted by muddgirl at 8:43 PM on January 14, 2015


At no point does Soderbergh say anything approaching "It was too long and now I've fixed this piece of shit!"

It's just an intellectual exercise. I'm sure he agrees Kubrick's version is better, too.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:02 PM on January 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


I too prefer the original.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:05 PM on January 14, 2015


I watched it. It was good. So is the original. People get upset about things and sometimes I don't get why.
posted by n9 at 10:10 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


An interesting exercise, to be sure. Still can't get past dudes in monkey costumes. The film had some good ideas. But it was slow

as molasses

running

up

hill



in January.

Thank you Mr. Soderbergh for trying to correct this.
Still
Dudes
In monkey costumes.

And people try to tell me with a straight face it's pure genius.
Pull the other one,
It's got bells on.
posted by evilDoug at 10:10 PM on January 14, 2015


Mainly I noticed the color working better. I've never seen the remastered version of the original though.
posted by n9 at 10:10 PM on January 14, 2015


It is pretty genius. The universe is an inscrutable, unsolvable riddle and it might be trying to talk to us. Lots of people have tried to make movies about this and I think this might the only one that works. The monkey guys are really cool.
posted by n9 at 10:12 PM on January 14, 2015


Don't understand injecting HAL's eye everywhere. Don't understand the echo. Dig the new (?) music when the moonship approaches the moonbase. Love that he left in the photographer in the plaid suit but cut out Floyd's inane speech. Never saw much point to the funky-colored landscape scenes at the end, but they're still in this cut. 2001 was the first DVD I bought, being as it was my fav film. I'm amazed that live streaming now beats early DVD picture encoding in every way possible, from color, to sharpness, to contrast.
People complain here about the film being slow, but as I see it, 2001 is the antithesis of the modern big-studio film. No people outrunning CGI explosions. No car chases. But rather, big ideas and set pieces, like tone poems, depicting a bright future many people accepted as just over the horizon at the end of the sixties. You see this optimism in Star Trek as well. Even the drug culture of the time is morphed into the apotheosis at the end.
posted by jabah at 10:27 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


2001 is unequivocally a masterpiece, and I love that Soderbergh did this. Of course his re-edit isn't as good as Kubrick's original vision, but that was never the point. This is an editing exercise. As an editor, I totally appreciate it and think it's a worthwhile experiment.

Intercutting HAL throughout the movie is an interesting choice. On the surface it seems like such a small change, but it completely alters the story. Editing is cool!
posted by bstreep at 10:27 PM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Now I want to see the inverse, all the bits Soderbergh left out, by way of comparison.
posted by adamt at 10:39 PM on January 14, 2015


Next do Gangs of New York!
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:58 PM on January 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hey, I don't wanna come off as, like, judgmental, you dig, cause, you know, different strokes for different folks, as we used to say in the 70s, but… falling asleep? Falling asleep, on multiple occasions, while watching the unparalleled cinematic masterpiece that is 2001 A Space Odyssey? Damn. I'd suggest a fine tune and recalibration of your art receptors, cause, like, dude, they ain't up to snuff. They ain't performing like they should. Get 'em checked out, really.

Some of my favorite films are Dekalog (seen it 4 times, watched in two sittings), the Turin Horse (seen it 3 times), The Kindom I/II (watched in two sittings), L'Avventura (seen it 11 times), Santantango (seen it twice), Berlin Alexanderplatz (seen it twice, both times in 3 sittings). These are not the shortest, fastest-moving movies. Turin Horse is 146 minutes, in b&w, and only has 30 shots and two locations (inside the shack and outside the shack). Utterly enthralling.

I think my art receptors are intact and functioning fine.

Kubrick has made two incredible movies, imo: Paths of Glory and The Killing. He's made a few others I like just fine, but mostly... he's not for me. And I'm fine with that. A gazillion movies have been made and in 46 years I've only managed to see half-a-gazillion. There's always something great and new (to me) to watch.

Yet, in three attempts in 30 years, my record for watching 2001 is 33 minutes. Never made it further. Fall asleep every time. I own the damn blu-ray so will make another attempt in the future, but I do feel I've given it a fair shake.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:59 PM on January 14, 2015


Of course the original is a masterpiece, but we're talking here like nobody's ever seen five-minute Shakespeare or the Mona Lisa with a moustache. Remixing is okay.

Heck, even Tarkovsky's Solaris was an adaptation of a novel, and therefore no matter in what esteem you hold his version, anybody else is free to make their own adaptation (rights, estates, etc. notwithstanding, this being about artistic ethics). Soderbergh's Solaris is a very different film and while there are some similarities of tone it is really not a "remake", at least not any more than Star Wars is a "remake" of The Hidden Fortress.

Also, Soderbergh has clearly forgotten more about film than pretty much anyone here can ever know. His DVD commentary tracks are gold (I love the one for Chinatown for example). He is able to put himself in the shoes of another director in many ways; two examples are Side Effects (clearly Hitchcockian) and the barely-known The Good German, which Soderbergh directs as if it were a contemporary film not just set during the Second World War, but filmed then using camera and set and effects capabilities of the era. It's really interesting to film buffs, and I don't think it's that bad a movie (I wish I'd seen a couple of somewhat related antecedents, though, like Jame Garner in 36 Hours).

Anyway, a bit like painting students doing their own imitation of a master, I hope this is an illuminating exercise. I don't see any reason elevate it further or complain about it being done.
posted by dhartung at 11:00 PM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


As an editor

Hi, not even slightly joking here, I would personally love it if you could show up in every movie thread with your opinion. If I had the money, I would want to hire you to educate me about the movies I love. Editing is an underrated art form because so few of us (self included) understand how it truly works.

. Remixing is okay.

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:27 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I love the one for Chinatown for example

Um.... what? This doesn't exist. Maybe you're thinking of David Fincher.

Though SS does do some excellent commentaries: The Limey, Point Blank, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, for instance.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 11:30 PM on January 14, 2015


I wish we had a list of his changes ala so many of the writeups on fanedit.org.

I agree that cutting to HAL throughout seems not to help it any.
posted by Catblack at 11:31 PM on January 14, 2015


2001: Slow?
No. Stalker. Now that's slow.
Valhalla Rising is fucking slow.
2001 is as frenetic as a Mountain Dew commercial next to those.
And I love 'em.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 12:21 AM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure what to tell people who fall asleep during the original edit of 2001. Drink coffee? Watch it earlier in the day? It's a 2 1/2 hour movie, we're not talking some six hour marathon of watching here. I've watch it scores of times and it always ends too quickly for me, I always want to spend more time gazing at those gorgeous images. Most movies these days have beautiful shots that you can't actually look at because they either move the damn camera or jump to the next shot and the next shot and then the 20th shot in ten seconds.
posted by octothorpe at 4:56 AM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Kubrick. Is. Rolling. In. His. Grave.
posted by Rupert Pupkin at 5:32 AM on January 15, 2015


Kubrick. Is. Rolling. In. His. Grave.

Soderbergh version: Kubrick. Is. Rolling. In. His. Grave.
posted by chavenet at 5:49 AM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


SSSSLLLLLOOOOWWWWWWWW

Don't care if you disagree.
posted by evilDoug at 6:46 AM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


No. Stalker. Now that's slow.

Funny, I remember Stalker being slow and boring with nice composition. I watched it again recently and I was surprised at how interesting it was! I think there's a big YMMV here.
posted by ovvl at 6:49 AM on January 15, 2015


Huh. I always liked the awkward expositional conversation in the space station. In a movie without much, I thought the weird burst of plot was interesting. I guess I can see the argument for pulling it, though.

Agreed that HAL's eye is an odd addition in the Dawn of Man sequence. And I did miss the title card.

I'm just happy he gave me an excuse to rewatch in the middle of the day and to talk about 2001 a bit. Whippersnappers will be exhorted today.
posted by farmerd at 8:23 AM on January 15, 2015


Second, literally every sci-fi movie you ever loved owes its existence to this thing.

Wow. So Forbidden Planet owes it's existence to 2001? Gee, learn something every day, I guess.

Falling asleep, on multiple occasions, while watching the unparalleled cinematic masterpiece that is 2001 A Space Odyssey? Damn. I'd suggest a fine tune and recalibration of your art receptors, cause, like, dude, they ain't up to snuff.

Maybe they just weren't interested in yet another movie where Straight White Males Conquer Space in their shaftlike spaceships.

"Thrill as Man THRUSTS into space! PROBES the great unkown! PENETRATES the Mysterious Black Object!.

2001 A Space Odyssey too *slow* for you?

The nice thing about 2001's slowness is you can take breaks without materially affecting the experience. You can get up, stretch, wander out to the lobby, get a coke and some popcorn, read the posters, have sex in a bathroom stall, etc, and then go back and it will still be on the same scene. As an older person I appreciate that.
posted by happyroach at 12:33 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


The pace is still glacial, the weird echo effects had me pausing the movie and restarting to try to make it go away, and every time he inserted HAL's eye somewhere it was totally jarring and felt wrong. But it was possibly the first time I've ever watched Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite without listening to Echoes so that was new and fun.
posted by Jawn at 12:42 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


ovvl, I read a review of Stalker before I watched it that called it an exercise in patience, and while I did say it's slow, I would never call it boring.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 3:15 PM on January 15, 2015


I sort of switched gears in the middle of that sentence.
I meant to say that I didn't agree with that review. I didn't find Stalker difficult to stick with, and at that time in my life I was watching a lot of slow-paced movies, anyway. If somebody called a movie boring, I would add it to my list of movies to watch. I saw a lot of great movies that way.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 3:21 PM on January 15, 2015


In addition to the films (or if you fall asleep easily maybe instead of?) I would actually recommend reading the books Solaris and Roadside Picnic, as they are both great.
posted by Artw at 3:47 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Roadside Picnic is fantastic.
Haven't read Solaris yet.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 4:17 PM on January 15, 2015


Into Great Silence is my personal test for cinematic patience. 169 minutes of life in a deeply ascetic monastery, high up in the French Alps. No score, no voiceover. Nothing happens aside from daily prayers and rituals.

I highly recommend forcing yourself to watch it from beginning to end, no distractions allowed.
posted by naju at 4:27 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can't help but think that if this had been a post about some unknown jackass posting to Youtube a re-edit of 2001 with all the audio replaced with an epic deep house DJ set, the screams of sacrilege would not be anywhere near as shrill than they are in this post, where a director widely regarded as a genius has done a re-edit of the film explicitly as an intellectual exercise for his own directorial education and been cool enough to post the result for fun.
posted by The World Famous at 4:42 PM on January 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


Breaking Bad..now that was a slow-paced movie
posted by Fupped Duck at 11:33 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Maybe you're thinking of David Fincher.

Clearly! *slaps forehead* But yes, I've mostly only just begun the quest of watching (you want to say listening, but that doesn't seem right for a commentary for a film) all of these [via]. What I find intriguing about him (and Fincher, I suppose) is the way he highlights technical and creative choices.
posted by dhartung at 12:29 AM on January 16, 2015


I would never call it boring.

O hi Mister Moofoo, I didn't exactly say you did, but I didn't phrase it clearly, sorry.

Speaking as a fan, enjoying Tarkovsky's work is like getting into a film school cult, it's pretty challenging on the surface but becomes endlessly fascinating when you watch it more...

One thing that's funny is that when 'Solaris' was released it was kinda viewed as the cold war era Eastern bloc reply to '2001'. In '2001' Kubrick was experimenting with what seemed like some of Tarkovsky's signature touches, the slow tableaux with unusual sounds and music. Personally, I don't think they really directly influenced each other very much, I think it's just coincidence.
posted by ovvl at 4:02 PM on January 17, 2015


This video essay on Tarkovsky's Solaris might be of interest to some.
posted by naju at 4:59 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've mostly only just begun the quest of watching all of these

That list is far from complete. Add to it:

The Graduate (40th anniversary DVD edition only)
Seabiscuit
Clean, Shaven
Billy Budd
The Yards
Catch-22
Apartment Zero

He also did an alternate cut of Kerrigan's Keane. And if you like Lem Dobbs' commentary on the Limey, he also does one for Double Indemnity.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:28 PM on January 18, 2015


It's gone. Can anyone MeMail a link to a torrent or similar means of getting my hands on this?
posted by webmutant at 10:06 PM on January 21, 2015


« Older Trial by Ebola   |   All hail the complicated woman: the 2015 Golden... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments