30 Day Challenge: Day 24

Day 24: “Your favorite movie and what it’s about.”

I have two favorite movies. They switch places, like Neptune and Pluto, looping in and out of each other as time goes by. I can watch either of them over and over and I know every word, moment, and breath taken in each.  They are Pulp Fiction and 2001: A Space Odyssey, but given the metaphor I chose to use, I’ll discuss 2001.

The first time I saw this movie was in high school. I hadn’t seen it though I was already a big fan of Kubrick. My mom would take me to see some of his movies at midnight screenings at the Angelica when I was in middle school, but we’d never gotten around to 2001. I was hanging out with my boyfriend and his friends when someone suggested we watch it. I asked what it was and everyone told me I would hate it, which makes sense as his friends never really got to know me, they just made fun of me.

I loved every single second of it. The only other movie I’ve ever had that visceral reaction to as I was watching it, where my synapses are firing and I’m so excited but calm I can’t take it, was watching Pulp Fiction.

The middle section of 2001 is the famous tale of Hal 9000, a computer that loses it’s mind because of it’s pride and murders almost every crew member on a mission to Jupiter. The larger story is one about extraterrestrial life helping us evolve and achieve the next plane of existence. It’s a movie that is purposely vague so I feel silly writing specifics about it, so I’ll just say that both parts spoke to me when I saw it, though I’ve known many people who don’t like the beginning or end much.

The minute I saw it I remember thinking, “What? Starchild? Yes. Sure. I’m in.” It was funny to realize much later that Carl Sagan, who I’m constantly sad that I’ll never meet, worked as a consultant on the film and advised Kubrick to keep the extraterrestrial life vague and not to imagine it as a humanoid, because that is part of what made it resonate so strongly with me.

I watch it a few times a year and it never fails to make me swoon. If you haven’t seen it, watch it when you have the time and attention to spare.


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