Re: CULTURE/SPACE: Tom Hanks on "2001"

From: Barbara Lamar (
Date: Mon Jan 15 2001 - 14:22:24 MST

>It's really not what you'd call a "fast" movie, y'know. 2001 dates from a
>time when movies were much, much more slower-paced. That sequence at the
>end alone... trying to watch "2001" after "The Matrix" is like trying to
>watch "Psycho" after "Hellraiser II". You sit there and just marvel at
>the idea that this was once cutting-edge; that people could think of the
>movie as being anything but homey, wholesome, and relaxing. You do it for
>the historical value and to just appreciate how different things must have
>been a couple of generations ago. If 2001 were released today, it would
>flop. How can you demand of my generation that they watch it?

Eliezer, you may want to reconsider and expand your self-designed
curriculum so that you might be better able to appreciate classical works
of art. To say that you watched "2001" only for its historic value seems
like saying you listen to J.S. Bach's orchestral suites only to observe
technological advances in musical instruments (speaking of fast vs.slow,
recordings of J.S. Bach's music made in the 1940's show a significantly
slower tempo than those made in the 1990's and 2000's).

What a person likes and doesn't like is at least somewhat subjective. I
quite enjoyed "The Matrix" although I was disappointed by certain aspects
of the plot. But OTOH I recently saw "What Women Want" which, as I recall,
you raved about. I thought the acting was good, the cinematography and
editing were outstanding, and it had its moments of humor and philosophical
probing; but overall I thought it was a pretty silly movie, and not even an
accurate representation of the time period in which it was made. The young
friends I saw it with shared my opinion, so it's not just an Old Fogey
thing. These same young people can watch a movie such as "2001" or
Bunuel's "Los Olvidados" and recognize them as classics which still have
something worthwhile to say after all these years ("Los Olvidados" was
released around 20 years earlier than "2001").

My daughter's high school offers a course in classic films. IMO classic
films are as much a part of our culture as classic books, and I'm glad to
see the course being offered. I'm curious about how common this is in high
schools. Are there any high school students on the list, or parents with
high school kids? If so, does your school (or your kids' shool) offer such
courses? If I were designing a high school literature review course, I
think I'd include films along with books, in the same course.


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