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Kubrick's Cinema Odyssey [Paperback]

Michel Chion
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Price: £20.70 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Library Binding £62.01  
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Book Description

1 Jun 2001
Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968), based on Arthur C. Clarke's novel, is one of the most ambitious films ever made, an epic of space exploration that takes in the whole history of humanity (as well as speculation about its future). A technical triumph that stands up today, 2001 is topical also because of its meditation on the relationship between man, animal, and machine. Haunting and enigmatic, it's a film that contains myriad images that seem to defy explanation. In this multilayered study, acclaimed critic and theorist of film sound Michel Chion offers some keys to understanding 2001.Setting the film first in its historical and cultural contexts (the Space Race, the Cold War, 60s psychedelia), Chion goes on to locate it within Kubrick's career. He then conducts a meticulous and subtle analysis of its structure and style, arguing that "2001" is an 'absolute film', a unique assemblage of cinema's elements, through which pulses a vision of human existence. 'Animals who know they will die, beings lost on earth, forever caught between two species, not animal enough, not cerebral enough'. In a supplementary chapter, Chion argues that Kubrick's last film, "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999), is a return to 2001, a final statement of its concerns. And in a series of appendices Chion provides production details, an analytic synopsis, credits and a consideration of the legacy of 2001.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: BFI Publishing (1 Jun 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851708390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851708393
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 969,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Michel Chion is a film-maker, lecturer and Cahiers du Cinema critic. He is the author of David Lynch (bfi, 1995) and a series of books on sound, including The Voice in Cinema.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
More than thirty years after it's original release "2001: A Space Odysssey" remains as mystical and mystifying now as it did then. Few who have seen it have not enjoyed it on some level, but far far fewer would claim to understand it. Perhaps the beauty of this film is that is was not meant to be understood in the literal manner that we have become accustomed to, but,as this book suggests, should be approached as a meditation on themes and an exploration of what cinema is. The books' subject matter alone might lead some to believe it will be equally dense and difficult to understand, but in fact it is clearly written in a style that is intelligent, provocative and clear without being overly academical. It places the film within a historical and artistic context, examining the global events of the time as well as placing the film within Kubrick's body of work. It then goes on to examine in great detail the film from a much more unusual perspective....which I'll leave for those of you that are sufficiently interested to find out for yourselves. I won't claim that this book will tell you what "2001..." is about, but it makes some very interesting suggestions as to what Kubrick was trying to do with this film, and for that alone it is thoroughly well worth reading!! Highly recommended.
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars flawed but worthwhile 20 April 2002
By "dmolon" - Published on Amazon.com
This analysis of 2001 is one of the most unique and enlightening I've read to date. It finally acknowledges Kubrick's brilliant use of sound and music which few other directors besides Godard and Scorsese have ever rivaled. It's utterly perplexing, however, that for all of Chion's insights he fails to even acknowledge Kubrick's manipulation of Ligeti's "Adventures" for the alien sounds in the 18th Century bedroom sequence (and the composer's successful legal action for this alteration.) His interpretation of "Eyes Wide Shut" is simply bizarre and neglects to regard the return of Ligeti's music and its insistent and concise use in the film. Regardless, Chion's book certainly expands on the formal understanding of what still remains the greatest film ever made.
11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Poor Examination 24 Dec 2001
By Dorian Gray - Published on Amazon.com
I have enjoyed the film "2001" countless times, and decided to buy this book; what a waste of time. This book offers little other than very basic scene analyisis, and some general (and fairly weak) speculations about the film. I was also supprised that the author was mistaken about which characters were in what scenes, and seemed to think that both Frank and Dave are interchangble. A large portion of the book doesn't even pertain to 2001, and mostly served as an excuse for the author to promote his other books, which he shamlessly suggests you buy. Well I'm sorry I got this book and certainly won't be purchasing any of his other books. If you want a book about 2001, I suggest looking elsewhere; as I will be!
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