Today, college freshmen and baby boomers alike think fondly about it, whether they’ve seen it once or over ten times, they watch it each time in wonder, hardly questioning the 25 minutes they’re required to wait before hearing a single exchange of dialogue (a relic in our modern age), but 2001: A Space Odyssey was not always so fondly accepted by the general audience.
When it was first released in 1968, 2001 was considered cumbersome in its rhythm, length, and medium adaptation. That it became and remains a cornerstone film in the science fiction genre is a testament to the patience and work required to truly and deeply understand art. Rather than filling the screen with cheeky dialogue, flashy tech equipment, and blatant fear of the future and the unknown, Kubrick dug deep and brought back the historical functions of using outer space as a setting for art; Kubrick designed and presented his audience with an untainted space where raw human relations, strengths, and weaknesses were put on display and evaluated thoroughly and objectively without the possibility of an easy or convenient earthly escape.
To really question and get at the nature of human progress and development, determinism and free will, and control of technology, Kubrick created what amounted to a blank canvas on which you could witness the birth and death of his characters’ motivations and futures–by not relying on his characters’ personal historical context he presented them as blank canvases as well.
The deliberate care with which Kubrick shaped his characters, their costumes, and the sets they work on, all serve to help us tease out the insurmountable object of time with which they’re grappling with. As we’ve grappled for fifty years, those of us in the metro Washington, DC area now have a chance to rediscover, re-grapple, and re-immerse ourselves into Kubrick’s world by visiting Simon Birch’s, immersive art exhibit on 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Barmecide Feast at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.
Featuring a full sized reflection of the hotel room from 2001, the Barmecide Feast will be on display from April 8, 2018 to May 28, 2018. Admission is free but timed tickets are required. Should you be interested in making a weekend trip out of your visit, be sure to stop by the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center to witness the greatness of America’s history in flight with artifacts such as a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and the Space Shuttle Discovery. After your long and educational day, come unwind and relax with a complimentary glass of wine at our Washington DC Bed & Breakfast.
Photo Credit: Stanley_Kubrick_The_Exhibition_-_LACMA_-_2001_A_Space_Odyssey_-_Space_suits_(8999720714) (2)