I recently went to a midnight screening of 2001, which was obviously awesome (especially the last 3rd of it), totally one of the best movie going experiences of my life. I know not everyone like this movie (people I went with fell asleep) but people on this site seem to love it so, what are some other movies I should check out. What other sort of movies are about similar really massive themes or just have a similar kind of mind blowing factor.
Solaris is often compared to 2001, and I’ve never seen any Tarkovsky movies, so I’m also gonna check out Stalker (which actually sounds more interesting to me) ASAP.
Frankly, I think Solaris is much better than 2001. I highly recommend it (along with other Tarkovsky films).
solaris is a lot better even wild, wild planet is better, but it is good scifi
I feel the complete opposite, Glemaud. Though I’m a huge Tarkovsky fan, Solaris is his least interesting for me. Part of that too though, is that I read the Lem novel long before seeing any of the Solaris films, and I didn’t really like the story that much, heh. It seemed kind of obvious, and besides, Lem has written better (IMO). It was like seeing A Scanner Darkly and thinking, “But what about VALIS!?!?”
But yeah, not many films can really compare to 2001 in scope or mood, though many try.
And Max: Definitely check out Stalker first, it’s his best film IMO.
Not to derail the topic (but I’m about to) my favorite Tarkovsky’s are Solaris, Stalker and Zerkalo. Each for different reasons, but it’d be hard for me to pick one exactly. In terms of pure Sci-Fi, I highly enjoy Solaris.
There are two films that I consider of the same “caliber:” L’Avventura and The New World. Let me explain.
Perhaps the themes/ideas are in these films are not as profound as 2001, but all the films have a type of visual grandeur that many other films don’t have (Lean’s Lawrence also has the kind of visual grandeur I’m thinking of).
At the same time, L’Avventura and The New World are very poetic (story and characters are secondary), ambitious—they want to explain or deal with big themes—and largely succeed in their ambitions! This is what makes all of these films thrilling for me. I have a hard time thinking of other films that may qualify. (Maybe Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice. I don’t think Solaris has the same type of grand visuals or themes.)
To me it’s The Mirror (Tarkovsky), Eraserhead or maybe Mulholland Drive (Lynch), 8 1/2 (Fellini), A Woman Under the Influence (Cassavetes) & Citizen Kane (Welles). To me what ties these films together is that you can watch them over and over they are so dense and each one has blown my mind multiple times. I should also mention Metropolis (Lang), which is an excellent film and really a spectacle that is perhaps on the same level.
Is this a thread where we just list movies we personally think are better than 2001, or movies that share similar qualities?
I’ve always felt Resnais’ “Last Year at Marienbad” was equally as haunting / incomprehensible.
If it is indeed a thread where people list movies they think are better than 2001 I’ll need to leave.
I totally agree with you. The way the visuals, the score, and just the atmosphere work together in 2001 are mind-blowing. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything quite like it.
Come to think of it…
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – hear me out. The visuals are gorgeous at times, and almost always perfect for the scene; the score is magnificent, obviously, and just brings the film over the top every time it comes in; the pacing is slow when it needs to be – even though it’s technically an action movie, Leone knows when to hold a note for longer than you’d expect. Granted it doesn’t quite have the philosophical density of 2001. If that’s what you’re looking for, any of the above suggestions would probably work.
“Altered States” has some amazing, crazed imagery and some similar big ideas about evolution, time, the mind….run it with the sound up a ways to enjoy the effects tracks and Corigliani’s score.
“But what about VALIS?”
This should be driving all conversation.
“Other Movies of the “same caliber”
please let’s not go into this and popularize a thread which will be compiled from the same, fuckin’ usual suspects all over again.
I’m a prejudiced Kubrick nerd and I’m not able to name any movie of the same symphonic grandeur. It’s not that the directors were not able to explore this form but I think it was branded as uniquely Kubrickian ever since 2001. Some comedy directors made very smart references though).
Tarkovsky’s Solaris is about the internal abyss of human psyche. Kubrick’s film is mostly about the external eternity. I don’t want to undermine Tarkovsky’s genius, but as a cinematic symphony, as a piece of pure, perfect art I like 2001 more.
Solaris is better – and Stalker even more so – but to be fair 2001 was made a good few years before these movies and Tarkovsky would no doubt noted 2001
Stalker was a more moving experience than Solaris was even though I enjoyed them both. Start with Solaris if you want a story similar to 2001, except that the journey in Solaris is an inward one.
MAX27, I’ll also chime in and say watch SOLARIS first. If you want the same experience as 2001, then part of that has got to be excellence of production. And for the CRITERION release alone SOLARIS stands above kino’s poor release of stalker (not to mention stalker’s not quite as polished).
OTHER than that. People in the thread are naming some great mesmerizing epic films.
The New World
Everyone who recommended these is pouring gold into your goblet.
In directly Co-relating films to 2001’s epic scale of beauty, grand cinematic vision, extreme refinement and powerfuly bold music. I would recommend the following 10 films. (IN ORDER) This is of course excluding other Kubrick. Which would prob. top the list.
2. There Will Be Blood
3. The New World
5. Mulholland Dr.
7. The Fountain
8. apocalypse now
9. Taxi Driver
10. In The Mood for Love
Same caliber? Donnie Darko, The Fountain, The DaVinci Code and other Great American Films™ are as deeply profound as 2001.
Solaris is a fantastic movie but it is not equally as mind blowing as 2001 is.
The Fountain is not a better movie than Solaris but I think it would fit better with what you’re looking for. It has a great 3-tier story that travels through past, present, and future and completely deals with love in a heavy, human type of way.
Apocalypse Now is on the same caliber as 2001. Strong recommendation for that one.
Oh, and last but not least: The Holy Mountain. It’s the most trippy, psychedelic movie you’ll ever see. Mind blowing is an understatement for that one
Everything by Tarkovsky.
Red Desert by Michelangelo Antonioni – certainly had an influence on 2001
There Will Be Blood by PTA – the whole film is biting from Kubrick
Go watch The Mirror and Offret by Tarkovsky, not sci-fi, but they’re better than Stalker and Solaris.
I’ve been through the same existensial crisis as you – are there any other movies equal to 2001? The answear is no, but i’ll recommend transcendental movies like Eraserhead, Wings of Desire and Mulholland Drive. Even Bela Tarr is a look worth!
Comments about some of the recommendations:
I can understand the Koyaanisqatsi recommendation—visual images enhanced by the score; the poetic nature of the film; the ambition. I don’t know if it has the same grandeur (and quality of visuals), but it is similar type of film. It is somewhat ambitious, too.
The Fountain is similar in the sense that it’s trying to get an “meaning of existence” type questions. The visuals are interesting and good (although not quite the same level, imo). The problem for me is that the film felt like a pastiche of religious imagery and myths, and it just felt like the filmmaker was way over his head in terms of dealing with these things. However, if you disagree with this, I could see someone thinking of this film in the same class.
There Will Be Blood nicely put together. It’s subject matter is more in line with something like Citizen Kane (ie. powerful man looking for meaning in all the wrong places). The visual elements and use of score not in the same league as 2001 or The New World imo.
We shouldn’t forget Weerasethakul, Antonioni and Angelopoulos.
In terms of poetic films that have grand visuals and big ambition (taking on profound themes—and largely succeeding), what films come to mind that aren’t the usual suspects?
thanks for the recommendations everybody, tons of new shit to check out (pretty much every Tarkovsky movie) and old stuff re-watch now. And to contribute something I’m gonna say that Apocalypse Now is def up there with 2001, I can’t think of anything else off the top of my head and it’s hard to really compare it to stuff that I haven’t seen for a while, but remember liking, so I’m gonna leave it at that.
I’d add Fitzcarraldo to the discussion. It shares that same feeling of a bold ass movie being made.
mulholland dr. will leave you equally confused
donnie darko should get the fuck out of this thread