Sunday, June 05, 2005

2010: Odyssey Two

from the diary: “February 5, 1985

“Went to Poetry Workshop in Santa Rosa at Rusty [Jorgensen] and Paula [Viale]’s new place. … Rusty and I got into a long critique of 2010.”

When I caught up with Arthur C. Clarke’s next two 2001 sequels, 2061: Odyssey Three and 3001: The Final Odyssey, it seemed like I’d read the first two books fairly recently. So. Twenty years past seemed fairly recently? If I’d realized that much time had gone by it would have made more sense that I didn’t remember much from 2010. Rusty and I were talking about the movie, as well as the book.

I remember my brother David saying the book 2001 explained a lot that was mysterious about the movie 2001. Maybe it did. I remember expecting more than I got. I found 2001 the movie beautiful, magestic, convincing, frustrating, and often dull. The end is pretentious but mysterious and I’m up for mysterious. The solution to the mystery can be a letdown. Not in real life. In real life solutions usually offer up a bunch more interesting questions. In the movies solutions are usually too simple, end up seeming not worth the build up.

I recall liking 2010 the book. I think what got Rusty and me going was my disappointment with the movie. I didn’t hate it. It was an adequate sci-fi movie. But after the grandeur of Kubrick the sequel was pale. There were instances I loved – the original spaceship rotating, end over end, above the swirling clouds of Jupiter, hearing Hal’s voice again. But I don’t remember the movie as big. The book wasn’t huge either but it had a bit more dimension. I was convinced the movie could have included a little more mysteriousness, a little more of the unknown.


David Lee Ingersoll said...

I've seen 2001 three times and, unless someone I'm with really feels a need to watch it, I doubt if I'll see it again. It's a great movie. It's also a dull movie.

2010? Ugh. Sound in space. You can guess that the funny Russian is going to die because he's the only Russian (besides the cute girl) who is developed as a character. The funny Russian is sent to investigate the monolith when in the book a robot probe is sent. Because dead funny Russians are more dramatic than that wasted robot probes. Not boring but frustrating because it's so obvious.

I don't remember if I read 2061. I don't think so. I know I haven't read 3001.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

You remember the movie 2010 better than I. You've picked out some other things I wouldn't have liked.

The odyssey books get weaker. 3001 is one of those sleeper-awakes-in-the-future-and-gets-a-guided-tour stories. Plus Clarke actually recycles a couple chapters from earlier odyssey books. It's not terrible but it's weak.

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