By now, you’ve likely seen Christopher Nolan’s beautiful if not perplexing and perhaps inconsistent “Interstellar.” As grand as any Nolan film, “Interstellar” bent time, space, and minds last year, opening to generally positive reviews and performing admirably at the box office, ranking fifth among Nolan’s domestic grosses, coming in behind all three Batman films as well as his last non-Dark Knight flick “Inception.” However, the movie killed overseas, raking in nearly half a billion at international cinemas. Well in advance of its November 2014 release, “Interstellar” was already amassing many comparisons to Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 masterpiece “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Naturally, two films that catapulted characters and audiences into the far reaches of space and other realms would garner claims of commonalities, but as each successive trailer debuted, it became harder and harder to deny any similarities.
Prolific Vimeo user Jorge Luengo Ruiz highlights myriad similar shots between the two films in the video below, though he pointedly does so without weighing in as to whether Nolan created a ‘2001’ for the current generation or even anything close to rivaling the classic. Ruiz simply highlights shared visuals, nearly to the point of dizziness (almost half the video is comprised of spinning space crafts Space Station V and Endurance). Though images of spacecraft whirling through the stratosphere are certainly analogous, it is in the latter half of the video where Ruiz really hammers his point home. The films’ respective depictions of travels through wormholes and space-time, of Coop (Matthew McConaughey) and Bowman’s (Keir Dullea) journeys, as well as the interiors of their cockpits, are startlingly alike.
It is no surprise that a film like “Interstellar” would resemble ‘2001.’ Nolan is an admitted fan of Kubrick’s work, and ‘2001’ surely influenced his own end product. Yet “Interstellar” has proven to diverge in some not insignificant ways from its predecessor, namely in that Nolan hits viewers over the head with explanations, while Kubrick prefers open interpretations. Kubrick relies little on dialogue, while Nolan uses it more than frequently. While the films have kindred visuals, like the ones Luengo highlights, they are perhaps more notable for their fundamental differences.
You can watch the three-minute mash-up below and decide for yourself how similar the movies really are. [35MM]