Oppenheimer - overrated

For what it’s worth Stephen King also hates the movie :laughing:

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The Shining is a work of art. Don’t think it’s overrated. But only my opinion.
I agree that today very good movies are rare. The last which impressed me was « Drive « .

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Drive was great cinema.

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Interesting to read your view on 2001 Kevster but here’s why I think it fully deserves the adoration heaped upon it!

Nobody before 2001 had ever depicted space in such a realistic way, the scenes in space are so incredibly realistic and exquisitely done that you’d struggle to find modern sci-fi movies that depict it better. Bear in mind that in 1968 when it came out the level of special effects in most movies were no better than the original Star Trek. Interestingly John Michell of Michell GyroDec fame built the Discovery and several other models used in the film.

2001 is a rather slow and ponderous experience I agree, but in 1968 Kubrick successfully foretold many future technical developments from voice print identification to video conferencing and AI. He managed to put on screen with the limited technology at his disposal an incredibly portentous view of the future.

Not only that but the (tedious) opening scene with gorillas manages to tell the first 100 000 years of mankind’s history without a single word. The cut from the ape banging bones to the space station in earth orbit is quite simply the best jump cut in cinema history.

Now I’m the first to admit that in reality I prefer 2010 Odyssey Two for its better pacing and resolution of some of the questions raised in 2001 and personally I think Hymans 2010 is probably the most underrated sci-fi movie of all time. It’s the masterpiece that nobody has ever seen, but I have to applaud Kubrick and Arthur C Clarke for coming up with the concepts and asking the questions in the first place.

I can’t think of a single film maker in history who advanced the state of the art in film-making to the same degree as Kubrick did in that movie. Think even about the fact that he depicts the airlock sequences in total silence (because without air there can be no sound) and reflect on the fact that 99% of modern sci-fi movies pay no attention at all to such details! Even in a vacuum things go bang in most movies.

So I think 2001 is an absolute masterpiece. Sure, it’s not an easy watch but it made millions of people around the world consider why are we are here, how are we are here and if there’s life elsewhere in the cosmos what form would it take. Kubrick and Clarke make it more mysterious than we could even imagine, which is probably exactly right. Few other movies nail that or even seek to ask the questions.

For what it’s worth Nolan’s greatest movie Interstellar took a lot of influence from 2001 and was indeed a great film, but even that didn’t push the boundaries of cinematic or philosophical experience to anything like the same degree.

Just my view, you can shoot me down if you wish, but if you haven’t seen 2010 I urge you to do so!

JonathanG

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Thanks for your considered response Jonathan. but just because you can’t think of that single film-maker, doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. Kubrick was essentially a technocrat, and his innovations – and they are many, I concede – are merely technical. He advanced the technology of film to a degree (but not as much as you think, I suspect). Even in a technical sense, movies such as Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil, Intolerance, Birth of a Nation (virtually unwatchable today because of its racism, but a technological marvel nonetheless), Snow White & The Seven Dwarves, The Passion of Joan of Arc, Haxan, Things To Come, many Chaplins (and I don’t even like his pictures), Metropolis, Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Greed, La Regle Du Jeu, The Colour of Pomegranates, Napoleon (Abel Gance’s silent, not the recent atrocity), the films and serials of Louis Feuillade, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressberger’s films of the 1940s are all far more innovative… and those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head!

The problem here is that like many people, you seem to forget that by the time Kubrick made 2001 cinema as an art form was more than 70 years old and that most of the true innovations that moved the art (not the state of the art, which is something different) of cinema forward had happened in the 1910s and 20s, with the art of cinema only really recovering from the setback of sound (and it was a setback, as cameras could no longer move, and movement of the camera, along with editing is what sets cinema apart from theatre) in the mid-1930s.

Jean Renoir, Carl Dreyer, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawkes, DW Griffith, Charlie Chapin, Buster Keaton, Sergei Parajanov, Sergio Leone, Fritz Lang, FW Murnau, Louis Feuillade, Carol Reed, Erich Von Stroheim, Ingmar Bergman, Michael Powell, Segei Eisenstein, Federico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa, Billy Wilder, Kenji Mizoguchi, Yasujirō Ozu; and even directors younger than Kubrick such as Coppola, Spielberg and the man I consider the best film-maker living today, Hirokazu Kore-eda, are all not only better film-makers (who drive/drove the art of movies forward) than Kubrick, they are also creatively much more innovative.

Also, don’t forget that without Arthur C Clarke’s script and ideas, 2001 doesn’t exist.

As I said, there are 130 years of great movies out there… don’t just settle for meretricious, superficially impressive guff, try watching a few more from before the 1960s, there are scores of treasures out there - and don’t forget the silent era, which is where most of the innovation took place.

And yes, I have seen 2010 and I think it’s a better film as well, although not one of the first rank.

And re jump cuts – have you seen the ones in Godard’s A Bout de Souffle? Or Powell & Pressberger’s in A Canterbury Tale? Or the first use of this form of editing, in Georges Méliès A Trip To Moon from 1903? Or the snow globe jumpcut in Kane? Or the one after that masterful single tracking/crane shot in Touch Of Evil?

Finally, it is not the job of cinema to depict lfe, space, earth etc realistically, it is to depict them cinematically. Realism, such as it is, is only a bonus.

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Great reviews guys, I’m normally a watch a movie once except a few favourites and forget them kinda guy. But reading these posts have made rethink that, there’s a lot of those movies mentioned above I’ve never seen that maybe I should.

Keep up those interesting posts.

I have only seen 2001 once when it was first released thought it was boring and never watched it again. But an older me make take another look.

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2001 is probably my earliest memory of watching movies. I was about 3 and we had it on Betamax along with Star wars. It was slow but mesmerising. I got up and watched it every Saturday morning for months. I didn’t understand any of it but loved it. 42 years later, nothing has changed for me. It’s an all time great. But sure, my wife hates it for all the reasons someone stated.

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I would add some of my favourite American filmography’s who really developed the craft with some of their works are John Carpenter (intensity and minimalism), Ridley Scott (photography to create emotional feelings), George Lucas (technical filmography), and Stephen Spielberg (photography and sound enhancing screen play) . especially each for their early works…

Although his filmography only consists of a few films, I would like to throw Terrence Malick’s name into the conversation. “Days of heaven” is one of my favorite films.

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Agree. Although Malick’s pictures over the past 20 years or so have not been up to snuff, Days of Heaven is a masterpiece and his first film, Badlands, is one of the greatest debuts in movie history… pure cinematic poetry.

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His remake of The Thin Red Line is an utter masterpiece.

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I fully agree.

I saw it, very disturbing indeed… apart from the end which was perhaps a bit corny.

Of course the best ever are the James Bond films…