(fig. 1 Poster (filmsite.org, 2014)
2001 A Space Odyssey (1968) directed by Stanley Kubrick is a movie experience with impeccable design, sound, plot, lighting and message. The skill with which every frame is shot can leave one breathless. Composition and perspective play a major role. An example of the beautiful symmetry you can see throughout the whole film is on fig. 2 where the viewer is drawn into the character using perspective.
(fig. 2 Movie still)
The film also plays on ideas that resonate through people which are not necessarily into science fiction. In addition the classical music, used so masterfully, adds to the goose bumps that the stunning visuals produce.
The Guardian talks about the movie: “Kubrick is plainly fascinated by the impedimenta and implications of space travel, and apart from a sequence involving an endearingly sulky computer, so offended by a suggestion that it has made a mistake that it announces in the silkiest of tones its intention of taking over command, there is remarkably little plot to 2001. The film, in fact, might be best described as a factual philosophical speculation, rather than as the drama it sets out as but never develops into: and like all good speculations, it leaves the spectator up in the air with a tantalising vision as food for thought.” (the Guardian, 2010)
At the start of the film the viewer is left in the pre-historic times where apes are portrayed as really basic creatures, driven by their basic instincts. When the ape-men wake up one morning they tremble in fear and awe with a strange black and smooth monolith that appears seemingly out of nowhere. Maybe as a metaphor for the spark of intelligence that drove the ape-men to use tools and to start mastering their own faith.
A fast-forward the film follows a space expedition in the future where the same monolith is floating in space. What follows are some trippy scenes with which the viewer can only speculate and try to explain what Kubrick meant. As seen on fig. 3 a still from the movie, where a fetus wrapped in a bubble travels in space.
(fig. 3 movie still)
Roger Ebert talks about the film: “The genius is not in how much does in "2001: A Space Odyssey," but in how little. This is the work of an artist so sublimely confident that he doesn't include a single shot simply to keep our attention. He reduces each scene to its essence, and leaves it on screen long enough for us to contemplate it, to inhabit it in our imaginations. Alone among science-fiction movies, “2001" is not concerned with thrilling us, but with inspiring our awe.”(Ebert, 1997)
As stated by the website rottentomatoes.com: “A mind-bending sci-fi symphony, Stanley Kubrick's landmark 1968 epic pushed the limits of narrative and special effects toward a meditation on technology and humanity.” (Rottentomatoes.com, 2014)
In conclusion, 2001 A Space Odyssey is a movie experience unlike any other. The viewer cannot help but feel that there is something very contemporary in it. A true cinema masterpiece that seems to exist not to entertain but to provoke, to make the viewer aware, to think, to contemplate.
the Guardian, (2010). 2001: A Space Odyssey: Archive review. [online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2010/oct/21/space-odyssey-review-science-fiction [Accessed 17 Oct. 2014].
Ebert, R. (1997). 2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Review (1968) | Roger Ebert. [online] Rogerebert.com. Available at: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-2001-a-space-odyssey-1968 [Accessed 17 Oct. 2014].
Rottentomatoes.com, (2014). 2001: A Space Odyssey. [online] Available at: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1000085-2001_a_space_odyssey/ [Accessed 17 Oct. 2014].
Fig. 1 Poster: Filmsite.org, (2014). 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). [online] Available at: http://www.filmsite.org/twot.html [Accessed 17 Oct. 2014].
Fig. 2 Movie Still Staff, T. (2014). Roger Ebert's Top 20 Best- and Worst-Reviewed Films. [online] The Hollywood Reporter. Available at: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/gallery/roger-eberts-top-20-best-433116 [Accessed 17 Oct. 2014].
Fig. 3 Cineoutsider.com, (2014). 2001: A Space Odyssey Blu-ray review | Cine Outsider. [online] Available at: http://www.cineoutsider.com/reviews/bluray/t/2001_a_space_odyssey.html [Accessed 17 Oct. 2014].