Michael’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's Hal's b-day 2day so like I was supposed to watch this and write impressions. But I forgot to write anything down during the film so I'm just gonna put some stuff.
I don't know what time I started. Roughly 2 hours and 30 minutes (factoring in some time to write this) from the time of publication? State of mind: tired, kinda wanted to put this off until the weekend, but.
The Dawn of Man scene is, without a doubt, the greatest thing ever filmed.
The rest of the movie is, without a doubt, the greatest thing ever filmed.
Lots of times, when I'm watching a movie, I'll be knitting. Just to like have something to do with my hands, y'know? It's not hard and I'm semi-good at it and takes .00002% of my brain capacity, so. But I only got, like, four rows done while this was on. It just pulls me in even though I've long lost count of how many times I've seen this.
The scene where the monolith is unveiled is so, so, so good. I can never quite figure out just what it is I feel.
And I love the scene where that monkey person learns to use the bone. I don't know what it is about it, but it's amazing.
The space waltz is awesome. There's this sense of rhythm to it, and to the whole film, that I just love. Not entirely sure what I mean by that, just don't really ponder it for too long.
The more I watch this film, the more I find myself disliking the ~everything in this film and even the advertising material is a clue to its true meaning~ camp. Like, take the "blue cashmere sweater" thing - I don't really think it's some supreme clue to the hidden nature of the film, I think it's just a joke about a mistake Kubr -- the director made. He wasn't a god, he just wanted us to think he was.
I love how stilted and weird the introduction from Floyd to the Russian people having drinks together is. They just stand up all at once. Like cluing us in before anyone even opens their mouth that this is not a very genuine interaction, that one party is hiding something the other is trying to get.
I can't remember how I felt when I saw the Moon Monolith the first time I watched this, but now, on re-watch, it feels so inevitable (more than just knowing that's what happens), it's like, of course that has to be there. I don't know what I'm saying. I'm very sleep-deprived.
I would probably be content just to watch spaceships and the people in them for hours, they all look so fascinating.
The rhythm of the film in the first parts of the Jupiter mission section is very relaxing, like, I can understand why people fall asleep watching this (I almost have many times). It always lulls me into relaxation, even with full knowledge of what's coming up.
(Adding this post-publication) None of you care but I play the tuba (non-professionally) and I performed in a concert a couple weeks ago and the tuba player next to me look exactly like Dave and it was freaky.
The HAL lip-reading scene reminded me all of a sudden of that scene in Veep when Selina is on Air Force One (I think?) and she has a video conference with some political person and she mutes it to talk with her team and immediately starts slinging those insults that Veep is so full of about how, like, fucking stupid she is before getting afraid that she reads lips so the entire team just awkwardly turns their backs to the camera and anyways. It's a tense scene (the 2001 one) but I started laughing because I thought of that.
Just: everything from here to the end is awesome. Perfect. I don't know why I bother watching, like, anything else. It's great.
Particularly HAL's deactivation scene to the end.
In a movie full of amazing visuals, my favorite might (as in I definitely will change my mind next time I watch this) be HAL's deactivation. Such a small room, but the way it's lighted and the way that orientations are played with...I just adore it.
And HAL's deactivation makes me more upset than when, like, genuinely bad things happen in my life. I haven't solidified my theory as to why HAL goes all batshit (it also changes every time), but I am a hardcore HAL sympathizer.
I capital-L Love that shot of the video flickering on Dave's face after he learns of the purpose of the Jupiter mission. Damn good.
Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite, in theory, should be boring, but there's something compulsively watchable about it. The effect it produces is weird. Disorienting. I love it.
And the scene in the Renaissance Room place scares the crap out of me. But oh-so-perfect.
I love how Dave is shown to age: it's so original, and even though it's unlike anything I've ever seen, it just seems to follow such a sensible form of logic, while also being completely confusing. What are you saying, that doesn't make sense? Neither does this movie, man!
I know most people are creeped out by the Space Baby, but he's my friend. I like him.
I feel like I've kind of hit a wall in my interpretation and analysis of this movie: I am not happy with the understanding I currently have, but I don't really know how, or where, to dive deeper. Well, there's still next year.