Roger Ebert's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY review

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Roger Ebert's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY review

Postby Ben Chiu » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:29 pm

As you know, we lost Roger Ebert last week. It goes without saying that it's a great loss and it'd take pages to write about what he meant to the industry, filmmakers and movie goers. I know this won't be the last time I mention Mr. Ebert in a post.

But what I'd like to do is post a link to his 1997 review of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (2001:ASO) that I happened to stumbleupon last night.

In this review (which I consider one of his best) Mr. Ebert calls 2001:ASO "one of the greatest films ever made." It certainly ranks as one of my top films as well. Now here's why I'm posting this:

For some, related to me and one of staff, this is "one of the most boring movies ever made!" :shock:

As a filmmaker, I understand that everyone has different tastes and preferences. (I refrain from including intellectual levels because I, arguably, don't believe that's a factor here.) What we have here is another illustration of what I refer to the "Art Paradox." If you've work at the studio I'm sure you've heard me talk about this to no end already, but basically the idea is while art can be enjoyed by anyone, it isn't until someone points out to you what, how and why something is special, that you can really understand and fully appreciate what this object is, and fully enjoyed. This is especially true of movies that have multiple levels to them. (Some levels need to be pointed out to those not accustomed to seeing or appreciating them.) I believe this is why some movies create such wild swings of opinion.

You can read Mr. Ebert's review here: ... yssey-1968

So while I'll accept anyone's opinion that 2001:ASO is "boring" (we're all entitled to opinions), I find it difficult to believe one can seriously come up with that opinion if they fully understand what the movie intended to do and how well it does that. (I'll leave the subject of criteria for criticism for another time.)

Are you a 2001:ASO hater? Do you still feel the same way after reading the review?
~Imagining a world without hypothetical situations...
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Ben Chiu
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