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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Why is this rare jewel of tragic comedy lost?, 30 March 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Possible Spoilers. One of my decent prayers to our Lord: The day of resurrection of this lovable study on DVD cometh.I enjoyed it first some 13 years ago in Münster, Westfalia.Since then ,I have seen it probably 50 times or so.

It cares about the last short period of Scottish poet Gowan Mc Land`s life.He had a dismissal from a professorship of poetry and now unfortunately is condemned to earn money with celebrating his artwork in clubs of interested housewives, New England.The housewives, which are shown there, don`t have real ambitions with artistry or poetry;they hope it could be entertaining to watch a person, whose only purpose is to make weird things like poems.This becomes very clear at the end of one of Gowan`s public readings;no one in the audience becomes aware when the performance is over, except the artist himself;he has to give his "fans" permission to applause. That`s a main subjekt here.The span beetween Gowan`s art and the demandings of ordinary life are heavy to handle for him.But,God almighty, suddenly,at a point,an artist can be overwhelmed by the power of profanity ;when falling in love with a beautiful young student-Geneva. The comical grandeur of this flic is in the splendid deconstruction of bourgeois mainstream opinions and the securities of conventionalism.For example,McLand has an invitation to a restaurant; there he points out that it`s one of the great deficits of the "old" Europe(to evoke a term of our beloved Donald Rumsfeld),not to be able to overrule the cultural degeneration of the"new"world(USA)(!).Such provoking black jokes you are invited to enjoy one after another. I am in the mood to praise the handling of entire human problems in this underrated,forgotten and adorable genius stroke for ever, but judge for yourself.This is the stuff celluloid was made for.10 stars of 10.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The most striking and faustian experience about what keeps the universe together, 20 March 2003

I was 12 when I first saw this masterpiece on German television. There somehow was the weird feeling how one can use the famous blue danube waltz to comment an extended spaceship docking sequence.It is obvious that for younger audiences this film is no stuff;especially not for lovers of the bruckheimerian bumm- bumm flics.But for those, who want to take a tour to the darker realms of intelligence ,this stunning picture is highly recommended. The story isn`t just that crucial as it was often mentioned out. It describes a magnificient circular motion from the "Dawn of Man" to the glorious perfection of mankind, which is also devine. In the center, there we have a struggle for live beetween an astronaut(i.e.Mankind)and the computer HAL(i.e.the representation of all technical devices we`ve developed in history).HAL is ,notwithstanding a computer,the only real character in the film; that focuses something of the bitterweetness of maestro Kubrick`s perspective of the human race.I think it means that we as beings just have not reach all the fulfilment of our opportunities.The story with us is not over yet.Classical music lovers will surely praise the use of modern avantgarde scores to push the dramatical impact and to undermine some things on the screen.One of the most metaphysical culminations of cinema history we have at the end, when the astronaut has an encounter with the unknown, supernatural power; it conducts our "hero" to the frontiers of consciousness. 10 stars of 10.