Imaginary Memory

I have three kinds of memories: A. Those that I can’t remember well. B. Those that I can remember and that actually happened. C. Those that I can remember despite them never happening. Example of A: I don’t remember when I made my first step. I can’t remember which sock I put on first when I got up in the morning. Example of B: I remember the first kiss from the boy I loved. I don’t like to remember how I broke up with him. Example of C: I like to visualize people as apes when they are deliberately unpleasant to me, and I imagine them as having fallen behind in the process of human evolution. Stanley Kubrick, one of the greatest movie directors of the 20th century, exploited imaginary memory to the extreme when he made his most famous and influential film–2001: A Space Odyssey. In 1968, when he was asked to comment on the metaphysical significance of the movie, he replied: "It's not a message I ever intended to convey in words. 2001 is a nonverbal experience.... I tried to create a visual experience, one that bypasses verbalized pigeonholing and directly penetrates the subconscious with an emotional and philosophic content." Artistically, this movie proved pioneering and inspired many of the special effects-driven films, which were to follow the success of 2001. During the working process of this film, manufacturing companies were consulted about the design of both special-purpose and everyday objects in the future. His co-author, science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke, even predicted that a generation of engineers would design real spacecraft based upon 2001 "even if it isn't the best way to do it". Kubrick’s imaginary memory brings to life the creative process of his filmmaking and continues to fascinate contemporary audiences and critics. The famous Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw says, “You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’ “ Sometimes, questions are more important than answers, especially for the creative mind.

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