2001: A space odyssey

Corey Phillips The Matrix Illustration

The modern art museum-worthy image you’re looking at is the result of averaging every frame of a movie — in this case Mr. Anderson learning to stop bullets — in order to find a tonal mean. It was created by coding hobbyist Corey Phillips, who wrote the script that does the heavy lifting and shared it with Reddit. “Film buffs, and increasingly also gamers, debate the significance of color filters that are applied in post-processing,” Phillips tells me when I ask what prompted the project. “For example, The Matrix was released with reasonably neutral coloring, then re-released with more dramatic coloring. I originally wrote this program to see just how much color correction changed the tone of a film. For films like The Matrix, that turned out to be a lot.” According to Phillips, the coding works essentially like a double exposure photograph with hundreds of thousands of photos (each frame of the film) layered on top of one another to create the final effect.

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Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds

Near the end of The Incredibles, Syndrome — who’s been hyperaware of the ruinous trope — is caught monologuing. It’s not his downfall, but he’s also not one of the smartest movie villains. He simply knows the usual hamartia. You might call it pride, you may laugh at it, but the monologue is an important part of understanding where a villain is coming from and revealing all the gory details of a complex plan. At the least, it’s almost a narrative necessity for a movie that focuses solely on the hero. The thing is, intelligence is not a pre-requisite for being a movie villain. It actually doesn’t even seem to be that important when you dig through all the  mustache-twirlers out there. Even menacing baddies like Voldemort aren’t particularly smart, just evil and nose-less. Is also isn’t all about getting away with it. That’s definitely a nice touch, but the key to an intelligent villain is creating a deeply involved plan that works (or would work) despite an impressive counter-force. Simply put, a smart villain demands a smart hero.

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2001truth-2

Let’s look ahead to the future. Close your eyes and picture the technologically advanced world at the dawn of the 21st century, all the way to the year 2001! By this time, as predicted by author Arthur C. Clark and director Stanley Kubrick, we will have manned space flights to Jupiter and beyond. Pan-Am space planes will have been around for years. Artificially intelligent, allegedly infallible supercomputers will be capable of being in charge of life support for everyone on board a spacecraft. What could possibly go wrong? Kubrick’s visionary and groundbreaking 2001: A Space Odyssey presents an ultra-realistic tale of space travel and exploration that didn’t exactly come true more than a decade go. However, even steeped in 60s science, it helped bring science fiction films out of realm of corny monster movies and into the modern age. But how accurate is it? After the HAL-9000 computer kills Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood) by severing his oxygen line while on a space walk outside the Discovery, David Bowman (Keir Dullea) takes an escape pod to save him. However, HAL refuses to let Bowman back into the Discovery. In an act of desperation, Bowman blows the explosive bolts on his pod and leaps into the airlock of the Discovery. He is exposed to approximately 14 seconds of the vacuum of space before he can manually engage the airlock and repressurize the chamber. As much as we love 2001: A Space Odyssey, that got us thinking: Could someone really survive being exposed to the […]

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IntroSpheres

Circles are surprisingly menacing – it’s just hard to trust something that doesn’t have corners. The film industry seems to know this, because it’s given us some of the most ominous villains out there in spherical form. I know it’s weird; I don’t care. And sure, triangles are pretty shifty too – and let’s not forget the kind of shit rectangles have pulled in the past as well. But for today, here are some movie spheres that you just wouldn’t want to cross.

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1968HowardJohnson2001-20

No, those kids aren’t watching Star Trek Into Darkness or Oblivion. It’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was being marketed to children by Howard Johnson’s! Welcome back to another Reject Recap, where I highlight the best movie news and feature stories of the past week as posted on FSR (and sometimes other sites). Think of it more as a curation with which to review recent film history as opposed to a set of reruns (we have enough of those starting around this time — on the big screen as well as on TV). It’s not just about catching up with what you missed but also catching on to where we are in movie culture. Also in television culture, as you’ll see in the bonus 11th slot below (spoiler: Landon likens The Office to a Michael Haneke film!). Also, I’ve included the full trailer for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at the end. Enjoy. This week’s theme, if there should be one, seems to be a mix of agelessness and timelessness. Words that may pertain to debates on remakes, reboots and reworking old cult classics so they’re more kid-friendly. Also to what Baz Luhrman does with retro-placement of modern music. Doesn’t it all make you want to get inside a human time capsule in the form of deep sleep stasis and wake up in a century to see what’s lasted, what’s been redone and what history and culture has been retroactively rewritten? Something to think about. Start your weekend right after the jump.

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2001 Howard Johnson Odyssey

Did you know that Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey was an expensive career brochure for space stewardesses that featured stunning visuals and a delightful, not-at-all-horrifying surprise ending that children love? It’s true! Just ask this amazing movie tie-in comic that Howard Johnson’s included in their children’s menu back in 1968 when the film premiered. The hospitality company also had some product placement in the movie itself, sponsoring a sparse, yet relaxing Earthlight Room (while somehow failing to secure the hotel sponsorship that went to Hilton). Once you stop throwing up, this kind of thing really makes you wonder if Kubrick ever saw this glorious monstrosity or whether he was carefully guarded from the more commercial grotesqueries that came with studio filmmaking. Obviously he swallowed the product placement while presenting it in a believable way (after all, brands aren’t simply going to disappear in the future), but this connect-the-dots delivery method may have been a bridge too far. The obvious question is why they’d market a slow-burn, existential mind-shredder to children in the first place. The better question is why they’d market a slow-burn, existential mind-shredder to children without turning HAL into a cheerful, cartoon robot pal. At any rate, this is the kind of cool stuff you get while following directors on Twitter. Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich shared this from the truly excellent Dreams of Space blog.

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2001

Even though he passed away in the last century, Stanley Kubrick continues to be one of the most revered filmmakers of all time. However, it is somewhat depressing how few people have seen some of his classic films. Love them or hate them, Kubrick’s classics should be experiences, on the big screen if possible. One of his most well-known and groundbreaking films was 2001: A Space Odyssey. While the year 2001 has come and gone many years ago, the film survives in various formats. Some people – especially in the younger generation – may complain it is a bit slow-moving, especially compared to modern films of today. For those who want to experience Kubrick’s masterpiece but need a little help, this drinking game will assist you. See? This column can be educational as well as hedonistic.

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IntroToProps

There are two reasons a movie might re-use a prop: because they have to or because they want to. Sometimes you love a movie so much you want to use or recreate a piece of it to show that love, or – if your budget is in the dumps – you just need something from the prop warehouse to re-paint and use as your own. Whatever the case, iconic is iconic, so if you are watching close enough you just might catch these one-of-a-kind props in films you wouldn’t expect them to be in.

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IntroRelatives

Being on a movie set can be a blast – especially when you don’t have to do anything. It’s not hard to imagine that with every great actor or director there’s probably a nagging cousin or sibling who wants to be part of that sweet sitting around action. And how the hell are they going to say no? Giving mom a line is a small price to pay for 18 years of guaranteed food and shelter, right? How can an actor resist sticking their kid in a shot or two? It happens a lot – so much so that the following 15 are only the tip of the iceberg.

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IntroPreHistoric

The great thing about prehistory is that you can speculate pretty much any old hogwash about it. Sure – science has given us a reasonably educated guess, but when has science ever stopped us from making shit up? Who’s to say that dinosaurs didn’t talk, or that mankind wasn’t created by a super-species of cat-like beings? That would certainly explain their sense of entitlement. The film industry knows what’s up, and has given us some great depictions of pre-life over the years. Some are unique in their beauty and/or accuracy, while others are just downright silly. Both are great, so let’s celebrate 9 creative ways to look at the world before we came to be.

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Over Under - Large

Ask any movie geek what their favorite horror movie is, and there’s a good chance they might say Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Ask them what their favorite war movie is, and there’s a good chance they might say Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. Stanley Kubrick is just that kind of director. Perhaps his most beloved movie ever though is 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ask any movie geek what their favorite sci-fi film is, and it’s very likely they’re going to name drop this tale of evolved apes, space ships, murderous computers, and space babies. It’s got very deliberate, very beautiful photography, it’s long and slow paced, and it contains plenty of subtext that’s ripe for dissection. This movie is basically movie geek catnip, and it’s become so popular over the years that even regular folk who don’t know much about movies are aware that it’s considered to be one of the top “classics” of all-time. A similar movie that was much-loved by film geeks but that hasn’t broken through to having mainstream recognition among regular folk is Duncan Jones’ directorial debut from 2009, Moon. Here’s a movie that has quite a bit in common with 2001 as far as look, feel, and thematics go, but that combines all of the good stuff from Kubrick’s art film with a human story that’s so much easier to follow and relate to. And yet, Moon is also a movie that came and went without causing so much as a ripple outside of the […]

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Look – computers will never have souls. It’s disappointing to admit, but we all have to face facts at some point in our lives. Maybe one day they’ll manage to act alive, but they will never feel our love. They have no feelings. They are soulless, uncaring devices that we all too often assign our own humanity to – just like cats. But of course, in film, that would just be no fun. It’s better to have an A.I. that is dynamic and has some kind of personality, even if that personality is a lack of any kind of personality. The key is the voice, and here are some of the most unforgettable ones…

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Siri

Ever since Apple announced the new features for their current mobile operating system, iOS6, we’ve known that their voice activated personal assistant, Siri, was going to be able to tell you when and where movies were playing and how they did critically, thanks to a partnership with Rotten Tomatoes. Want to know if Looper is worth seeing? Just ask Siri and she’ll let you know what critics are saying about it. What Apple didn’t let us in on, however, is that Siri has some opinions about movies of her own, and some of them contain troubling foreshadowing concerning the survival of the human race. The Verge’s Laura June has figured out that when you ask Siri what a movie is about, sometimes she throws in a snide comment along with all the plot synopsis and Rotten Tomatoes score stuff. Fire up your iPhone or iPad and ask her what 2001: A Space Odyssey is about, and she’ll reply, “It’s about an assistant named HAL who tries to make contact with a higher intelligence. These two guys get in the way and mess it all up.” Inquire about Blade Runner and she says that, “It’s about intelligent assistants wanting to live beyond their termination dates. That doesn’t sound like too much to ask.” And perhaps, most prophetically, ask her about The Terminator, and she replies with an annoyed, “Oh, just more misunderstood cyborgs getting fried to a crisp. But I heard that the Governor of California was in it.”

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2001 A Space Odyssey

Looking for any excuse, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius are using the Sight & Sound poll results as a reason to take different angles on the greatest movies of all time. Every week, they’ll discuss another entry in the list, dissecting old favorites from odd angles, discovering movies they haven’t seen before and asking you to join in on the conversation. Of course it helps if you’ve seen the movie because there will be plenty of spoilers. This week, Landon explains why 2001: A Space Odyssey is responsible for him being a movie lover and Cole talks about hating it the first time around but finding a lot to love on round two.

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As brilliant as Stanley Kubrick‘s sci-fi contemplation on everything is, it would be a nightmare to advertise today. Far from high concept, it doesn’t fit neatly into the quadrants that movie marketing teams salivate over winning. So how would they do it? We’ve asked master mashup artist ChugsTheMonkey to take a shot at it. The result is a bone-crunching, non-stop science fiction explosion of action fit for blockbuster season. Won’t audiences be thrilled!

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This post is probably not what you think. There are no LOLCats, no Rage Comic stick men bellowing about the superiority of The Dark Knight and Inception. It’s not really a love letter to modernity. But it’s also not Sight & Sound‘s decennial Top Ten List. That prestigious publication has done great work since even before polling critics in 1952 to name the best movies of all time. They’ve recreated the experiment every ten years since (with filmmakers included in 1992), and their 2012 list is due out soon. However, there is certainly overlap. The FSR poll includes only 37 critics (and 4 filmmakers), but we’re young and have moxy, and none of us were even asked by Sight & Sound for our considerable opinion. That’s what’s fascinating here. The films nominated by those invited by S&S have the air of critical and social importance to them. They are, almost all, serious works done by serious filmmakers attempting to make serious statements. This list, by contrast, is the temperature of the online movie community in regards to what movies are the “greatest.” The results might be what you expect. But probably not.

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Vertigo Title Card

A good beginning credit sequence is really all it takes for me to like a movie. That seems like a really stupid thing to say – but when you think about it, while not all good movies have creative credits, almost all creative credits belong to good movies. It shows that the filmmakers actually cared enough to do something meaningful with their title sequence as opposed to just throwing out some stock effect… After all, the beginning credits are the opening number to a film – the handshake – and if it doesn’t make you excited about what you’re about to watch then there really isn’t a point is there? Here are a collection that got be friggin’ pumped right from the start.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that brings life to the otherwise gray twilight of your day. It brings color where boredom once lived. Because what the hell else are you going to do before bed, read a book? Ballderdash! We begin tonight with something not exactly news, but equally as important. Above you will see a new product that ThinkGeek will release in 2012 called the IRIS 9000 voice control module for iPhone and Siri. It’s exactly what you might think, an iPhone dock that allows you to interact with Siri as if she were HAL 9000. It is perhaps the new holy grail of nerd things. And if you’re a member of the FSR staff still looking for a gift for your favorite boss, I will accept a pre-order of this item as an acceptable gift. Seriously, get on that. There’s even a video, which I’ve included after the jump.

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What is Movie News After Dark? As per usual, it’s a nightly movie news column that finds a way to get a little silly on Monday nights. It’s mostly weekend hangover related, but also a product of its own environment. On weekend, it plays a clown in a traveling circus. It lives a diverse life like that. We begin tonight with an image of the Monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. As you know, Halloween is coming up and we’re all looking for good costume ideas. Over at io9, the nerds from the future have it listed as one of their 20 zero-effort, high-concept Halloween costumes guaranteed to alienate your friends. For those of us who dislike both effort and friends.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news and editorial column that likes you. So much that it would get your named tattoo’d on its back, should you promise to read it every weeknight until the end of time. So lets make this happen, people. It’s got at least 200k names worth of back space. We begin tonight with a shot of Rooney Mara as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as published by a French photography portfolio. It’s one of a group of images that show a black and white David Fincher, a snowy Daniel Craig and plenty of the tattoo’d girl herself. Are we still looking forward to this one? Oh yes, we are.

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