Home > Film, Opinions (Film) > Film: 30 Movies in 30 Days: Day 10

Film: 30 Movies in 30 Days: Day 10

This post is part of a month-long project, answering thirty topics about movies over thirty days. We’re now a third of the way through and the subject for the tenth day is:

Favourite classic movie

Classic is a little vague. Being 2010 films from the 1980s and even 1990s are considered classics but I think it should only include things that pre-date me, a product of a time where people acted or thought differently (however slightly) to the time in which I was born and raised (making anything pre-’80s fair game). Going by the criteria something like Citizen Kane might qualify, but I’ve only watched it the once (and recently) and already covered it back on day one. So a better choice would be:

2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey

(Click the image for a link to the source)

I didn’t think this film was that great the first time I watched it (especially compared to the book, which I’d recently read and loved), and I think in that respect it’s a good example that it does matter who you watch a film with. I first saw it with my brother, who is ten years younger than me and has really never seen anything like it before. Watching a film with somebody who isn’t enjoying it (he really couldn’t get into Kubrick’s pacing) can colour the experience and it was only a few months ago when I watched it on Blu-Ray that I truly appreciated it.

Starting with a tribe of apes, early ancestors of humanity, the film charts the presence of the mysterious monoliths, who help the apes develop weapons (and perhaps sets them on the path that leads to their evolution into humans), before leaping ahead millions of years to the discovery of a monolith on the Moon. That leads to an expedition to Jupiter (it was originally going to be Saturn but the special effects were too tricky, only appearing later in Silent Running), a crew of sleeping scientists watched over by two astronauts and the HAL 9000 computer system.

It’s the kind of story where things start to go awry (setting the template for things like Sunshine), but it’s less a story-driven film (certainly compared to the book) and more of a visual, atmospheric and an aural one, with some wonderfully shot scenes, tense moments (with huge portions of the film having no dialogue) and a majestic soundtrack.

Having only watched 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time a few years ago it’s been quite a surprise seeing just how influential and heavily referenced it’s been, with a show like Futurama being full of references, far beyond the obvious ones like Also sprach Zarathustra, HAL’s distinctive look, The Blue Danube and Daisy, Daisy that are known even to people who haven’t seen the film. It’s become an iconic film and deservedly so, as it really is a masterpiece and still quite unique after all this time.

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