Friday, November 5, 2010


My husband and I saw "2001-A Space Odyssey" in 1968 and this truly great movie (and deservedly rated in the Top Ten Greatest movies on nearly every critic's list) has caused a 42-year ongoing debate about the "meaning" of the movie. I believe that the monolith (tychomagnetic anomoly--tma--1..2..4) is God and Gerald states that since Clarke was an atheist, that CAN'T be the meaning! We debate the "Star Child", HAL, and nearly every aspect of the movie.

The best thing about the movie is it piqued his interest in classical music. He wore out the movie soundtrack record and we had a tape and now we have a CD of it. He now loves Ligeti, Strauss, and Wagner. As Kubrick is our favorite director, we went to see "A Clockwork Orange", "The Shining", "Barry Lyndon", "Full Metal Jacket" and "Eyes Wide Shut", and he appreciated the classical music Kubrick used. Gerald had not been fortunate enough to see the older Kubrick movies: "Paths Of Glory", "Dr. Strangelove", "Spartacus", "Lolita", "The Killing", "Killer's Kiss", "Seafarers", "Fear and Desire", "Day Of The Fight", and "Flying Padre", so I bought or rented them!

When we saw "Platoon", Gerald leaned over and asked, "What's that music?" I answered, "It's "Adagio For Strings" by Samuel Barber." He said dismissively, "I think that Oliver Stone's copying Kubrick using classical music!"

Over the years, he has been pleased to learn of classical music in other films: Bach from "Slaughterhouse 5" and "The Godfather"; Pachelbel from "The Godfather"; Mascagni from "Raging Bull"; Mendelssohn from "Breaking Away"; Debussy from "The Right Stuff"; Vivaldi from "Kramer Versus Kramer"; Wagner from "Apocalypse Now"; Bartok, Ligeti and Penderecki from "The Shining"; Shostakovich from "Eyes Wide Shut"; Rossini, Purcell, Elgar, and Beethoven from "A Clockwork Orange"; Shubert, J.S. Bach, Mozart, Handel, Parsiello, and Vivaldi from "Barry Lyndon".

Gerald had never seen "Fantasia" until it was re-released on its 50th anniversary in 1990. What a veritable treasure trove of discovery: Dukas, Shubert, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Punchinelli, Tchaikovsky.

I told him the definition of an intellectual: a person who can hear "The William Tell Overture" and NOT think of the Lone Ranger; I also told him an intellectual is someone who can listen to "Also Sprach Zarathustra" and NOT think of Promise margarine!

1 comment:

Mona Lisa said...

That's too funny about the William Tell Overture!