I’m Afraid I Can’t Do That

Some movies are just so weird.

I was clicking around last week, looking for some good background noise while I addressed some cards and discovered 2001: A Space Odyssey available.  I remember seeing 2001 in the movie theatre when it came out and I remember a good deal of it; but even 5 decades later and a lot more science fiction under my belt, it is still weird.

Research led me to things I didn’t know.  First off, 2001 was a collaboration between Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C Clarke; it was not first a book and then turned into a movie.  The movie actually came out first followed by the book, although by the time the book was published it only had Clarke’s name on it.  I also found out that all the colored lights and psychedelic effects at the end were Dave becoming a “star child” after going through a star gate.  Of course I’m not sure what a star child is – I haven’t actually read 2001 (although you all know it’s on my short list now) – and the movie certainly doesn’t elucidate any of this.

It seems as if Stanley Kubrick got a little lost in his special effects.  And for 1968, they are great.  And the whole Hal sequence is, of course, fabulous:

I’m hoping the book will make a little more sense than the movie.  Fingers crossed.

Any special effects that you particularly like?  Cinematic or otherwise?

31 thoughts on “I’m Afraid I Can’t Do That”

    1. Thanks for putting this up Bill. I haven’t seen it in years and I think it’s fascinating. I love that the moon men are all devils and skeletons.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I still marvel at how real the amputation effect of Lt. Dan’s legs was in “Forrest Gump.”

    Chris in Owatonna

    *BSP* I’ve got a meet-and-greet book signing at Sweet Reads Books in Austin tomorrow from 11-2. The store is directly across Main St. from the amazing SPAM Museum. Why not come to Austin and make a day of it. There’s also a cozy little coffee shop half a block from the book store. And the bookstore owner, Lisa Deyo, is an absolute gem. She goes the extra mile to promote local authors. *End BSP*

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve always enjoyed playing with sound effects. Years ago, I was part of an on-stage recreation of some radio shows. I got to be the foley guy with all of the special effects gear, as well as doing supporting character roles. It was loads of fun. We did an episode of The Shadow, Sorry Wrong Number, and one other drama that I can’t remember. I recently joined the fan club of The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society (MORLS). I think they, occasionally, do live shows. I’d be interested in helping out.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Back when I was writing and producing radio commercials, it was great fun to work with the sound guy. In one commercial, I needed the sounds of ducks quacking, a gun going off, an elephant trumpeting and an enormous splash.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Not really. This is not coconut shells simulating horse’s hooves. This is the sound engineer pulling the required sound from his extensive sound library. The fun part is with radio, you can produce just about anything you can imagine.

          Liked by 2 people

      1. I friend of mine was a production assistant on APHC way back when; I remember her talking about being sent out to buy a can of shaving cream, and then having that rejected for not sounding enough like shaving cream, and then having to go out and look for something that sounded more like shaving cream.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. Way back when, one of the local theaters did a play called ‘1940’s Radio Hour’ and I built several of the sound effects. Rows of pegs on strings were marching feet. A length of canvas hanging over a large wooden spool with a crank, made the sound of wind. A small door with various kinds of locks and knobs could be any door.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m like Jacque – I would love to know how JimEd Poole” did all those sound effects we’d here on TLGMS (see Glossary, top right corner) – the Vroom of the Intimida Sherpa I can imagine, but th t’s about it.

    And WHAT special effects? There are special effects??

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It seems like I’ve always liked 2001 the movie. But then I watch it and there’s that weird part at the beginning with the monolith and the gorillas and the space baby thing and none of it makes any sense. But the middle, and HAL, well, that part is fun. These days it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s created in a computer.

    Course for me, the lighting is what I focus on the most. Moving lights and the color changing abilities of LED’s have given me lots of tricks which could be considered special effects. The show I just did, there was one cue where the pool of light closed down (zoomed in) as it faded. The audience probably barely noticed but it made me giggle every night. And doing ‘part cues’ so one light will lag behind the others as they fade out is one of my favorite tricks. It might be the back light so the artist is left in a nice back color for an extra half second. Or it might be the table lamp next to them that holds an extra second. You wouldn’t even think about it, but it was put there intentionally and it makes a difference.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. when I think of special effects I go back to my neighborhood friends when I was a kid who used to love watching the Hercules and Jason and the Argonauts movies and in those they had the beginning of special effects were the guy did stop action film footage of the three headed dragon and the skeletons that were fighting and Medusa and it was very cool to see how he could stage a battle between Hercules and the special effects enemies
    I loved watching the progress as time went on remember the 3-D chess game in Star Wars and how cool some of those new special effects were that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg put out?
    The other side of it was Sean Connery quitting the James Bond series because he was tired of playing second fiddle to all of the special effects and gadgets that were involved in the series it took away from the storyline and his acting when he played second fiddle to ejection seats and Q’s inventions
    Today the post pandemic. Has begun and my mom and I are going to movies on Tuesday nights again and I’m afraid there’s a bit of a problem because most of the movies are built around the special effects of fighting and modern cinematography
    I love a good old movie and those are just hard to come by these days
    in terms of special effects I’d like to see remember that all bugs bunny cartoon or he pulled out a pencil and eraser on the end of it and he raced Elmer fudge head I would like to see a special effects or we could erase Putin and trump and make the world a better place

    Liked by 2 people

  6. when I think of special effects I go back to my neighborhood friends when I was a kid who used to love watching the Hercules and Jason and the Argonauts movies and in those they had the beginning of special effects were the guy did stop action film footage of the three headed dragon and the skeletons that were fighting and Medusa and it was very cool to see how he could stage a battle between Hercules and the special effects enemies
    I loved watching the progress as time went on remember the 3-D chess game in Star Wars and how cool some of those new special effects were that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg put out?
    The other side of it was Sean Connery quitting the James Bond series because he was tired of playing second fiddle to all of the special effects and gadgets that were involved in the series it took away from the storyline and his acting when he played second fiddle to ejection seats and Q’s inventions
    Today the post pandemic. Has begun and my mom and I are going to movies on Tuesday nights again and I’m afraid there’s a bit of a problem because most of the movies are built around the special effects of fighting and modern cinematography
    I love a good old movie and those are just hard to come by these days

    Like

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