Recreation: October Edition
What I've been watching
2001: A space odyssey
My mind is still reeling from this Science Fiction masterpiece. I had somehow managed to avoid seeing it my whole life, only being exposed to the odd pop culture reference every now and then, like in The Simpsons.
I was warned that the pacing is extremely slow and indeed, it is much slower than probably all other Sci Fi movies you've seen, but that didn't feel like a negative aspect. I can see how it would be for others, as I realised, thanks to this movie, how I've become accustomed to a narrow field of Sci Fi storytelling. From pacing, aesthetics and visual effects to plot.
Two things circled endless in my head the entire duration of the movie.
"How did he do 'insert effect here'?"
And "I had no idea how much of the typical Sci Fi film elements were present so early on in this 1968 picture! We have barely come far at all!"
Sure computer effects have come a long way, since they were pretty non-existent at the time, but it would be hard to argue we've improved in any other respect. Original and immersive Sci Fi flicks are few and far between, and they all have the benefit of a long history of artistic precedent to learn from.
But what really resounded with me, even early on in the movie, was how Kubrick has visually treated space like no one else. Space scenes are graceful, delicate and awe inspiring. In comparison, most other Sci Fi movies seem to treat space as just another backdrop to the action. Rather than a character itself. Of course there are exceptions, but I think you would be hard pressed to find a director that gives space such respect. Kubrick treats space like the lady she is, and most Sci Fi movies seem to treat her like a tramp.
What I've been reading
The autobiography of a yogi by Paramhasa Yogananda
Revolution by Russell Brand
Russell Brand unleashes his provoking and radical thoughts into a predictably energetic but surprisingly evocative literary exploration of what is wrong with society and fundamentally ourselves.
As his international tour to publicise his book's release is currently in full swing, it seems every few days there's someone damning Brand for not proposing an off-the-shelf solution for addressing the systemic problems he so eloquently and passionately jams down our throats in his book. To those people, I would say, firstly if you are seriously judging a young man with no background in politics and governance (other than life experience, which carries its own special weight) then I would say that's a bit unreasonable. I would be first congratulating Brand for putting the culprits on notice regularly on his Trews show and in more detail in the book. Surely the first step is for humanity to realise things are broken? And his book helps us all brilliantly with that.
Sure I'd love him to fix it all for us, but I think the fact so many people are annoyed he hasn't yet shows we don't really expect our politicians to do it. Which is after all, what they're supposedly being paid to do. Govern the people with their best interests in mind.
So if you're chasing up Russell Brand for a solution and not politicians, then you'll have to admit to yourself something needs fixing and your reflex was to not expect the politicians to do anything about it. Disturbing huh?
One of the concepts Brand is constantly reiterating is the idea of banding together to solve problems. And that if anything, sounds like a practical and simple first step to a solution. Let's try it out, pool our resources, put our minds together and fix our broken and skewed society and industries and start working towards a world that works for all says Brand. He clearly cares. Multiple anecdotes of his life demonstrate his startling evolution. Each anecdote is interwoven with life-changing epiphanies and insights.