Funky Science Fiction!

I recently rewatched one of my favorite movies, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.  I intended to read while it played, and just look up when the “best” parts came on, but I was instantly hooked again.  I had to to gaze, amazed, at every second.  Some parts of act III lag a bit, but it’s still a stunning masterpiece.

Anyway, watching that reminded me of Eumir Deodato’s jazz-infused reinterpretation of Straus’s famous theme used in the film.  Deodato took the 1896 piece of music, which Kubrick used in his 1968 movie about 2001, and remixed it in 1972.  So something from the past that was used to represent our future–which is now also in our past–was updated for a modern setting, which itself is now part of our past as well. And I was introduced to this song by my septuagenarian mother.

Talk about time warps!  Man, that just blew my mind.  It’s like watching 2001 or something.

 

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Three New Videos of Mozart’s Symphony 41

I enjoy classical music on YouTube, especially when video creators are thoughtful enough to put long works in multiple movements together on playlists.  It’s nice to hear a single performance that way, rather than having to string together videos from different sources on your own.  Oddly, perhaps music’s greatest symphony, Mozart’s “Jupiter” symphony, no. 41, has never had a decent single performance together that I’ve been able to find. 

But now three have gone up in just the last few weeks. 

First, this audiophile gives us the four united movements in videos that feature the written score:

Next, this classical-leaning fellow illustrates his four videos with paintings of the mythological Jupiter, king of the Roman gods:

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Recommended Reading: 2001: A Space Odyssey

20011Although I was first exposed to Kubrick’s classic film in high school, I was too sleepy/ dumb/ apathetic to pay much attention.  Despite that, I was pretty familiar with it, if only because of the ubiquitous references to it in pop culture (I can remember at least a few just from Sesame Street). 

A few years ago, I found myself planning for the last day of summer school, where I would spend the first half of the day reviewing and then administering a final exam, and the second half of the day grading it and filling out paperwork.  As the students would obviously be done with the course itself after the exam, an extraneous activity was needed to fill the time while I worked.  (Technically, administrations are supposed to have us give the exam and grade it during the second half of the last day, while we’re simultaneously supposed to continue doing regular class work with them–an expectation so impossibly ridiculous that nobody anywhere has ever tried to enforce it).

Not being a fan of time-wasting movies, I wanted something calm and cerebral for them to try.  Remembering 2001, I checked it out of the library.  As long and slow as it is, (and as much as I was trying to focus on my work, which I mercifully finished earlier than I’d expected to), I was dazzled by it, by all of it: the visuals, the music, the ambition of the story’s epic scope.  How could such a simple and simply-told movie be so fantastically overwhelming? 

Since then, this has been a landmark of art in my mind.  Thus it’s not surprising that, eventually, I’d read Arthur C. Clarke’s novel, which he wrote at the same time as he and Kubrick wrote the screenplay. 

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