Cybersurfing: Star Wars, 2001, and Modernism

In “Star Wars and the Modernism of 2001,” sculptor John Powers takes a look at the famous outer-space films made by Stanley Kubrick and George Lucas, examining their historical context (the moon landing, Civil rights movement, Femimism, the Vietnam war).
It’s an interesting piece, but it goes slightly astray in one way: Powers objects that Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY is too much a piece of optimistic boosterism that fails to reflect the cultural upheavals happening at the time. I would say that one of the film’s greatest strengths is that it does not seem embedded in the era when it was made (mid-to-late ’60s), achieving a sort of timelessness that has outlasted the intervening decades and allowed us to continue to enjoy it as a vision of the future, even though its very title now tells us that the story is set nine years in the past.

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