The A-Z of Geek Cinema: K is for Kubrick’s Odyssey
I don’t normally get super angry at films. I mean, I dislike them, I hate them, I hate ON them. But I rarely get actually physically ANGRY at one. Jay Weidner’s Kubrick’s Odssey part 1 is the rare exception. And I don’t even think it’s possible for me to put into text form how actually angry I got at this film. It caused me to say out loud (to an empty house, mind you), “Oh you… but that’s… FUCK YOU.” It’s such a weird documentary, full of gross inaccuracies, ignorant to how the process of filmmaking works, and utterly dismissive of one of the greatest single achievements of human existence, with only bare lip service paid in order to cover any arguments made against. It’s supremely dumb, and while I won’t go into all the ways it is an affront to both Stanley Kubrick and NASA, I will go into WHY it bothers me so much.
First of all, the film’s thesis: Stanley Kubrick was contracted by the US government (though it’s always phrased as “the US’s rulers” in the film’s narration, hinting at a layer of conspiracy theory that the director doesn’t elaborate on a whole lot, but is pretty blatant nonetheless) to fake the first moon landing and all subsequent moon landing footage and photographs, was charged with keeping this secret, and put hints to this secret in all his films, but mostly in 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining.That’s the reason he got as much freedom as he did to make any movie he wanted. It then goes on to state that he was likely KILLED because of Eyes Wide Shut revealing too much of the secret. So first off: WHAT? Secondly: WHAAAAAAAAT?
First off, the idea that people think the moon landing was faked always bothers me. It is one of the most stunning achievements in human history: man escaped the planetary bonds that tie him to Earth’s soil, and set foot on another heavenly body. It is a truly inspiring accomplishment, all questions of patriotism and Cold War nonsense aside. We sent men, in a metal capsule, on top of a giant tube of fire and fuel and fury, into the cold void of space and landed them on the magnificent desolation of the moon. The deniers of this seek to… well, deny that, to deny us the idea that we can be more than the earthbound creatures we have been thus far in our existence. And I can’t abide by that. The sheer impossibility of what was done, and the human will and intelligence to overcome this, are inspirational to me still. So to say this was faked, and all done for show, to one-up the Russkies… I can’t go for that. No. No can do.
Secondly, the evidence the director uses is either specious and iffy at best, and flat out wrong for the most part. He shows a lack of understanding in how the film 2001 came together, not even mentioning Arthur C. Clarke’s role in writing the film, and relies on evidence from another moon landing skeptic, who himself shows a complete disregard to the photochemical development process. His “evidence” of symbols in The Shining is the worst use of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon I’ve seen in quite some time, and again ignores some of the circumstances of filming and screenwriting and adaptation in order to justify his off-kilter thesis.
I tried to be objective when viewing this. My friend recommended it to me, even after my incredibly negative reaction to the film’s subject when he told me. It just goes against almost everything I believe when it comes to logic and reality and science, and is almost willfully defiant of anything resembling sense, that my only course of action is this: