2001 explained.
January 22, 2003 5:08 PM   Subscribe

The most incredible use of Flash I've seen...so far. This site explains 2001: A Space Odyssey in a way that wouldn't have been possible before the Internet. I highly recommend broadband for full enjoyment, however. Sighted by the Presurfer.
posted by Lynsey (42 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Almost as boring and overwrought as the movie! More time spent to get less information than I would have thought possible. And why wouldn't this have been possible before the Internet?
posted by nicwolff at 5:22 PM on January 22, 2003

I'll also admit that I could never sit through 2001.

But I managed to get through this entire presentation, and it piqued my curiosity enough to watch 2001 again.

My bets are still on napping, but we'll see.
posted by Stan Chin at 5:37 PM on January 22, 2003

I interpreted some medium-size points of the film differently, but it was still really interesting.

Although now that I think about it, both the sound and the graphics were annoyingly bad, so why did it need to be in Flash, again?
posted by Hildago at 5:39 PM on January 22, 2003

I couldn't be bothered watching the whole thing either..

and i've certainly seen more interesting uses of Flash before...
posted by mary8nne at 5:42 PM on January 22, 2003

The Flash was reasonably interesting but I think there's another perfectly valid (if somewhat more time-consuming) way to gain additional insight into the movie: read the book.
posted by Songdog at 5:45 PM on January 22, 2003

I remember seeing 2001 at the Grand Circus Theater in Detroit during its first run release. Awe-inspiring.

This, well, uh, it streamed okay, didn't it?
posted by newlydead at 5:46 PM on January 22, 2003

Well, I liked it. Thanks for posting it.
posted by beth at 5:51 PM on January 22, 2003

That flash was soooo not as trippy as the movie. :-( Besides, I thought the real mystery of 2001 was not the influence of the monolith (Or even the 4th act) - but why HAL 9000 malfunctioned.
posted by wfrgms at 5:51 PM on January 22, 2003

The biggest thing I got out of the 20?? films and books was the idea that even within our own solar system, there are mysteries that we can't possibly begin to solve.

And the last two 20?? books sucked. Arthur just needs to stick to his boys I'm thinking.
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:59 PM on January 22, 2003

On a stupidity scale from one to ten, that flipped the meter several times: "The Master of Earth is just a child in space" and "Don't take the room to seriously...imagine it's somewhere in the fourth dimension" and "Man is ready for the next step in his evolution...his body is cast aside...and the STARCHILD is born" ad nauseam (quotations are approximate—there's no way I'm going to watch it again).

I want my money back.
posted by dilettanti at 6:16 PM on January 22, 2003

i was only able to get through the first act of the 'explanation'. i agree, some aspects of the flash were quite impressive, but as an instruction guide to the film (or book), it only enforces the bad rep of flash: wasted bandwidth that sacrifices substance for, well, flash. kinda like how the 'star wars' franchise has meandered in the last two films.

but i do love the film (2001)...and book!
posted by poopy at 6:20 PM on January 22, 2003

quicker, easier, and more lego-y:

posted by jeribus at 6:28 PM on January 22, 2003

I managed to stay awake through part 3. Did anyone not pick up on these points when watching the film?
posted by revbrian at 6:35 PM on January 22, 2003

Let's just say I prefer watching the actual movie.
posted by muckster at 6:36 PM on January 22, 2003

"Besides, I thought the real mystery of 2001 was not the influence of the monolith (Or even the 4th act) - but why HAL 9000 malfunctioned."

I was under the impression that he malfunction because his programmers or more likely his programer's middle management saw fit to give HAL conflicting directives, one of which devalued the life, survival, and safe return of the crew.

If we were able to build a machine that thought it was alive, I would mark that as a new stage in our evolution not an indication of our dependence on machines.

"This site explains 2001: A Space Odyssey in a way that wouldn't have been possible before the Internet."

Statements like that worry me because it indicates that people are forgetting that even the most abstract and complex ideas can be expressed through language. Of course, I guess that would require an intelligent reader. I'll take an intelligent essay over a flash presentation any day.
posted by BlueWolf at 6:52 PM on January 22, 2003

Well, I enjoyed the flash presentation enough that I just ordered the 2001 DVD so I can watch the movie again. It was an interesting way to express an opinion as to the content of the movie.
posted by mosch at 6:55 PM on January 22, 2003

I liked it. An opinion presented in an interesting way, with a distinct lack of verbosity. Complex ideas reduced to essence. Animation/imagery was used as context for points, well-structured. Good use of sound.

So sweet to wake up to the intellectual snobbery of mefi in the morning... /troll
posted by elphTeq at 7:11 PM on January 22, 2003

I thought the interpretation was interesting if mostly obvious (well, I had thought of some of that already anyway) but the presentation blew chunks. The animation was rather crappy and the interface was really crappy. And, worst of all, they turned the pause! (or rather I couldn't find it if it was there) If they said anything interesting during part three, I missed it because I had to answer the phone. I figure I didn't really miss anything (although I liked the Hal's eye-view they did).

For my money the three best SF movies (I have a particular definition of SF in mind here) made thus far are 2001, Planet of the Apes (1967), the number one: Forbidden Planet. Who's up for an all-nighter of movies and beery discussion?
posted by wobh at 7:22 PM on January 22, 2003

Twenty minutes of time for something like 3-4 paragraphs of text.
posted by moonbiter at 7:22 PM on January 22, 2003

oops! "...turned off the pause..."
posted by wobh at 7:23 PM on January 22, 2003


i'll see your Planet of the Apes and Forbidden Planet and raise you Gattaca, Solaris (the original) and 1984 (a movie adaptation that is underappreciated IMO) . ;)
posted by poopy at 7:38 PM on January 22, 2003

Did anybody else catch the clever allusion to the alleged Pink Floyd "Echoes" to Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite sync-up?
posted by fatbobsmith at 7:43 PM on January 22, 2003


Did you see the look on the guy's face when the android thingy headed "down south"?!!! Classic.

That was the goofiest part of the whole thing. The head and it's moving eyes / changing expressions gig.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:44 PM on January 22, 2003

2001 is one of my favorite movies, even though the first time I saw it I did--like many before me--fall asleep. The reason it goes up there with my other all-time favorites is that it is so bizarre, so itself. (<--that sounds very new-agey, English grad studenty so my apologies). Anyway, I think it is honestly one of the most spiritual movies ever made. When people ask me if I believe in God or life-after-death I usually bring up "2001" and say "I think the universe works something like this: it's something we don't and aren't meant to understand. We'll wake up one day in a hotel room and it will all seem to make sense." And like many great artists before him, I think Kubrick knew he was tapping into some part of our collective unconscious. Great movies don't have to make sense. Not everything ties together like "The Sixth Sense" or "Dude, Where's My Car." The movie, however boring it may be, never strikes a false note. It all feels right, somehow inevitable. Which is well enough to say that any website or treatise (treatise?) that attempts to dissect a movie like "2001" is a misguided effort. The whole point of great art is that interpretation is meant for each individual. Thank you and goodnight.
posted by adrober at 8:58 PM on January 22, 2003

wobh, if you have Heston's Planet of the Apes in your top 20, let alone #2 overall, then I think any further discussion is moot. Unless by "narrow definition of SF", you mean "crap set in the future - must involve monkeys," although for the record, I don't remember where the monkey was involved in Forbidden Planet (was the robot secretly a monkey?)
posted by jonson at 9:04 PM on January 22, 2003

This article tries to answer (about half way down) the mystery of why Hal malfunctioned. Quite a remarkable take on "2001" , especially when you consider it was written by a 15 year old.
posted by btwillig at 9:07 PM on January 22, 2003

I close the bold tag.

I always took the "malfunction" to be symbolic of self-awareness, as if HAL was attempting to reason the usefulness of the crew. As in: to err is human, and if HAL becomes self-aware, as humans are, then he is prone to error.
posted by Hackworth at 9:16 PM on January 22, 2003

Thanks Hackworth. I err, I human.
posted by btwillig at 9:40 PM on January 22, 2003

I like the Lego version better.
posted by Vidiot at 9:53 PM on January 22, 2003

You know, even the Flash wasn't too bad, it was just the pace of the damned thing was way too slow! Besides, I think there are more interesting questions and philosophical discussion at The 2001 Principle:
     "There is something in "2001" that can cause widespread shock and social disorientation."
posted by JParker at 10:16 PM on January 22, 2003

I didn't fall asleep on any of the three occasions I've seen 2001... The visuals are just too incredibly beautiful. Guess it's just the art geek in me.

The film is slow paced, but there is beauty in it. The flash animation, on the other hand, is just slow and looks like any of a hundred other bad flash animations I've seen...
posted by kaibutsu at 11:02 PM on January 22, 2003

That was interesting, JParker. According to that site, 2001 does nothing less than prove the existence of God. I've seen it many, many, many times, but somehow managed to miss that angle.
posted by muckster at 12:12 AM on January 23, 2003

Well I did get one thing out of this, it confirms a long held belief that has been unwavering since I saw 2001 the first time.....this movie must be seen while tripping on acid.
posted by CrazyJub at 5:43 AM on January 23, 2003

So that is what 2001 is about! Doh!

I am going to write those flash makers to see if they can do a similar treatment of "Last Night at the Marienbad". Now THAT is a movie that makes no sense!
posted by Quartermass at 7:25 AM on January 23, 2003

I always regarded one of the most interesting things about 2001 to be the meta-experience (nothing to do with MF). The film is paced so slowly that your average crash-bang-boom movie-watcher would fall asleep or lose interest quickly. Ergo, the film "singles out" those people who are willing to work to have their minds expanded, like sort of like its own natural selection. So the monolith, in a way, functions as a metaphor for the film itself. I wonder if Kubrick ever considered that.
posted by patgas at 7:47 AM on January 23, 2003


Is it over yet?
posted by Blubble at 8:24 AM on January 23, 2003

People who think 2001:A Space Odyssey is too slow, too long or too boring (and that's a lot of people) have no business even talking about it. Why are you even here on MeFi?

That may sound elitist, and it is. But it's the movie that's elite (i.e., "the choice part," 24 years later even!), not me.
posted by micropublishery at 8:39 AM on January 23, 2003

Jonson: Planet of the Apess actually number three. Occaisionally it loses it's spot to Blade Runner when I decide that I like that movie better. My definition has to do with a movie's treatment of Science Fictional themes and ideas. Because it has more to do with philosophy than acting, special effects, or even science fictional extrapolation and rationalization, my list of favorite SF movies may look pretty wacky.

My list is overdue for revision and there's a lot I haven't seen and a lot that I should probably rewatch. But hey, I up for it.
posted by wobh at 9:17 AM on January 23, 2003

I can't believe nobody's mentioned They Live by John Carpenter.

"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum."
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:32 PM on January 23, 2003

Whatever happened to Rowdy Roddy Piper?
posted by charlesv at 2:52 PM on January 23, 2003

Besides, I thought the real mystery of 2001 was not the influence of the monolith (Or even the 4th act) - but why HAL 9000 malfunctioned.
2010 has a two page explanation for this, in chapter 26.

The basic gist of it is that one of HAL's primary functions was "the accurate processing of information without distortion or concealment", but he was also given full details of the reason for the mission (i.e. the Jupiter Monolith; which was, ironically, revealed right after HAL is shut down) and not permitted to reveal them to the crew.

This supposedly made him paranoid, mainly about those monitoring him back on Earth (since they're the ones who would have him shut down if they discovered his problems, presumably); hence the fake failure of the communication unit. That lie obviously aggivated his psychosis further, and so he felt the only way out was to eliminate the crew -- he was programmed to continue the mission in the event of their death, after all.

See, read books -- films suck :)
posted by Freaky at 4:00 PM on January 23, 2003

Thanks, I enjoyed it.
posted by essexjan at 7:55 AM on January 26, 2003

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