Seeing Jef's Original/Unoriginal checklist on a weekly basis has reminded me that I want some kind of regular feature to write. Jef's cataloguing of films that come from a source vs. films that spring fresh from a screenwriter or director's head is an informative, funny time saver for me.
Jef's feature has a simplicity that would be dogged by my unstoppable neuroses. I would immediately start laying out my notion of the transmogrification of previous materials alchemizing a new and sometimes better, purer work (more original for being an update!).
That, however, would be too complex for such a feature, and thankfully, Jef doesn't muddy up the works like I would.
'Round these parts, muddy those works up I will, chiefly bringing front and center the perennial and but recently turned forty years old 2001: A Space Odyssey
This is a film which, by Jef's basic standards, is unoriginal, being gleaned from the Arthur C. Clarke (RIP) material eventually released under the same name. I've never read it, but Kubrick never left a work in its original state. He went Meta on its ass over what was always a long and freakishly psychic process.
The fact that Clarke was writing his book while Kubrick was shooting the film (from Clarke's primary short story, The Sentinel), and that Kubrick was also working (who knows with what fidelity) from a screenplay that he and Clarke had both worked on, leads one further into a quandary of who got it first.
Which leads me finally to my reason for posting, which was Kubrick's comment from an interview in which he rose to defend his film from its early critical (and often NY based) lacerations:
..I would say that there are elements in any good film that would increase the viewer's interest and appreciation on a second viewing; the momentum of a movie often prevents every stimulating detail or nuance from having a full impact the first time it's seen. The whole idea that a movie should be seen only once is an extension of our traditional conception of the film as an ephemeral entertainment rather than as a visual work of art. We don't believe that we should hear a great piece of music only once, or see a great painting once, or even read a great book just once. But the film has until recent years been exempted from the category of art—a situation I'm glad is finally changing.
I would say that of all the films I've seen in the past few months (it being the whirlwind of a year that it's been for excellent films), I definitely have a list of 'em I believe should be viewed more than once:
No Country For Old Men
Four Months, Three Weeks, and Two Days
Atonement (Love it or hate it, it might be worth seeing again simply to figure out whether you love it or hate it)
There Will Be Blood
The Darjeeling Limited
3:10 To Yuma
And of course, the one I'm most anxious to relive:
Gone Baby Gone