Sunday, August 01, 2004

21st Century Clarke-a-Thon
Welcome to the Future!

Watched 2001 and 2010 back-to-back on cable this afternoon/evening.

The Kubrick/Clarke screenplay adaption has always struck me as disjunct.
That said, what an amazing creation. Unbelievable for the time.
The zero-G scenes. The orchestral music.
It is sometimes hard to remember this came out over 25 years ago, a time before computer effects.
This is all models and live action.

I lament having never gotten a chance to watch the spectacle in Cinerama with a modern sound system.

As I watched, I started taking notes on anachronisms of real-life compared to extrapolation.
Even the sequel is getting long in the tooth in Technology years, it is it's 20year anniversary.
I have commented before on how difficult near-term science-fiction can be. Reality quickly overtakes the authors vision with discrepancies, both large and small.

Here are a few I noticed:

This is Disney's World of Tomorrow and the Jetsons.
This is NASA of the '60s projected forward whole-cloth.
White, squeaky-clean and brightly lit.

Stewardi in SpaceBall hats. (All women, of course.)

Telephone home. No answering machine. No cell phone.

Russians, and, of course the Russian's have a moon-base.

The Space-meals on the trays that you apparently sip through straws. TANG to the extreme?

Man taking pictures and winding film of camera. (Reminds me of a Scuba enclosure.)

Based on two examples, space meals really suck. (Sometimes literally. ;->)

Hal has no zoom lens. (Fish-eye zooms are a computationally-intensive recent phenomenon.)

Hmmmm, come to think of it, HAL. A main-frame, controlling everything.

Russians again, still stealing secrets.

Jetson's-style house complete with dolphin tank!?!

That laptop is HUGE!

This is a more realistic world. Not cyber-punk but more 'industrial'. Perhaps it is a ding on the Russians. Mir with engines and a sifty rotating section so we don't have to spend too much on zero-G scenes...

Dave's brushing of his mother's hair looks phony as hell. (I suppose this is more of a complaint than an anachronism, but after all the amazing effects both in the original and this sequel, this stands out like the proverbial 'sore-thumb'...)

The cold-war, in Central America of all places.

In space, you are obsessed with REAL FOOD... (And mustard IS important.)

Overall, the sequel stands up better to the test of time. Perhaps because it was made during the time-period I associate with "real" spacecraft/spacefaring movies.

All-in-all a great time. Would do it again in a real theater setting.

And the story. Say whatever you want about the man personally, as an author, there are few who can compare.

Mere mortals dare to postulate mere Tara-forming.


"All These Worlds Are Yours Except Europa.
Attempt No Landing There.
Use Them Together.
Use Them in Peace."


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