I caught most of "2010" the movie on Friday night. The movie, released in 1984, is, of course, the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Here's what I found fascinating about "2010" as I watched it again for the first time in many a year and only six months away from the actual 2010.
Back in 1968, the year 2001 really felt like the future. Not so any more. I think from 1968, the concept of a Hilton in space and a moon base probably seemed doable, what with the thrill of the Apollo missions and such. Besides, Arthur C. Clarke wrote the book so you know it was grounded in real science.
However, come 1984, things were quite different. While 2001 still seemed futuristic, I think most of us knew that there would not be orbiting Hiltons in space and a moon base wasn't going to get made. By 1984, we hadn't been back to the moon in a dozen years. And, yet, the filmmakers (and Clarke) had to create the sequel with the 1968 mindset. They had to maintain the world Clarke and Stanley Kubrick showed us in 1968.
Thus, you get Heywood Floyd talking about data on "cassettes." Odd that Clarke didn't see the new CDs then emerging as the next thing in data storage. You still have the clunky keyboards that were basically IBM Selectrics. You also have the computer screens which, for the most part, still hold up even though they look like Atari 2600 video games.
What I did like about the film, even more so now than in 1984 when I first saw the film, was the "normal" stuff. When the spirit of Dave Bowman returns to Earth to say a final farewell to his mom and wife, each woman lives in a hospital or apartment, respectively, that looks like something a person from 1984 (or 2009) would recognize. The domestic scenes in the movie "2001" seemed out there and cool. I think Clarke realized that the future he saw in 1968 wasn't going to come to pass by 2001 or 2010. So he and the filmmakers made good choices. It grounds the film in reality, a hallmark of Clarke's stories.
I visited Disneyworld's Epcot Center in 1984. I can't remember if I was reading the Clarke novel at the same time or not but I do remember feeling a connection between the book and the things on display at Epcot. Epcot really did feel futuristic even if what I read in "2010" was going to come to pass for awhile. There was a connection, a common destination point. Thing is now, that point seems farther away.
Anyway, just wanted to pass along a few thoughts on watching a show that supposedly takes place in a year less than six months away. Wow. We're really living in the future. Reminds me of the Springsteen lyric: "We're livin' in the future and none of this has happened yet"
What do y'all think of the concepts presented in 2001 and 2010, both the books and movies?