Double feature: Okay, so, “2001: A Space Odyssey” is set in space, while “Mon Oncle” takes place in a modernist home in the French suburbs. But both concern themselves with progress and evolution, contrasting the earthy warmth of the past with the chilly possibilities of the future.
Both will dazzle your aesthetic sensibilities, tickle the wry/sophisticated side of your funny bone, and try your patience (in parts). They require – but amply reward – concentration, as their structures contain deliberately repeating patterns, looping back in cycles even as they move forward.
Both have something to say about the shadows of technology: the potential for objects to control people (or, at least, rearrange their lives); the desire to find – and thus the tendency to intuit – a soul in the machine.
Both combine high-concept sweep and detailed, small-scale flourishes (the furniture in the space station lounge!, the “personalized soundtrack” emerging from the dangling pay phone receiver!) into visionary packages that can withstand multiple viewings.
(Creative Commons licensed original images courtesy of “dmhergert” and “unsure shot” at Flickr)