The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Film Features

Dante's Pick: Director Joe Dante Selects His 13 Favourite Films
Ian Schultz , September 16th, 2016 08:40

To coincide with the release of his cult classic Matinee on Blu-Ray, the director of Gremlins, The Burbs and Explorers, Joe Dante, picks a Baker's Dozen of his favourite films for The Quietus


2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

It was a movie that all of the science fiction fans were kind of down on, because they were afraid that it was going to eclipse the memory of all the pictures they had seen and loved. And of course it did, because Kubrick famously did a sort of a recce of what had been done previously in the science fiction field. So he got Arthur C, Clark to give him some titles of some movies he should see, one of which was Things to Come, the H.G. Wells adaptation. And Kubrick took such a violent dislike to Things to Come that I think he just basically stopped doing that kind of research and just sort of said “Ah, I’ll go my own way, I don't care what’s been done before.” And 2001 is famous for being a head-trip movie. It was not well-reviewed when it first opened, and it was not popular until people started inundating the theatres with marijuana smoke. Because there was more going on here than meets the eye - this was not your straightforward story. It was up to that time probably the most faithful translation of literary science fiction to the big screen, which had always been kind of played down. The intellectual aspects were always kind of secondary to the spectacle. And in this case they were equal. And it’s a hypnotic movie as a lot of Kubrick’s movies are, but it’s hypnotic in a way that I don't think a lot of other movies have really captured, although they tried, there were a lot of imitations afterward. But it’s also… the very date of the movie, 2001, of course dates it, as do some of the tie-ins, like Howard Johnsons and Pan-Am, that sort of stuff, those companies don't exist anymore. But nonetheless, I think the movie exists in its own universe, and of course there’s a lot of discussion of what does it really mean, and what is it saying. But I think it's a work of art.