2001: A Space Odyssey-1968
Starring-Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood
Top 100 Films-#16
Scott’s Review #314
Reviewed December 31, 2015
In my mind, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a masterpiece, pure and simple, and simply must be seen repeatedly to let the message and the experience sink in. It is one of those films that is comparable to a fine wine- it just gets better and better with age and is palpable with deep-thought and allows the viewer to experience the good taste in film art.
The delicious quality is meant to be savored and enjoyed- the slow pace and odd elements only enrich the film. Needless to say, it is one of my favorite Stanley Kubrick films. Simply an epic journey through space.
Made in 1968, and the year 2001 way off, the film challenges and breaks down barriers and film, as Kubrick simply makes a film that he wants to make and the results are genius. The film contains no dialogue during the first twenty or the last twenty minutes.
The film begins in the African desert millions of years ago as the evolution of man is apparent- two tribes of the ape-men dispute over a watering hole. A black monolith appears and one of the tribes is guided to use bones as weapons.
Millions of years later, we meet a team of scientists- led by Dr. David Bowman and Dr. Frank Poole- as they embark on a mission aboard the United States spacecraft, Discovery One, on a mission to Jupiter. The ship is mainly controlled by an intelligent talking computer named HAL 9000- nicknamed “Hal”. Hal boasts that he is “foolproof and incapable of error”. As events unfold, the film dives into a study of humans versus technology in a cerebral game of mental chess.
The film is very tough to review in an analytical way as it is so intelligent and visually stimulating- it must be experienced. It challenges the viewer to think and absorb the events occurring.
Visually it is breathtaking and still holds up shockingly well from this perspective. The use of classical music throughout- especially in dramatic scenes is effective.
The stunning scene where David and Frank converse about their suspicions regarding “Hal”, as the intelligent computer system looks on, simply an orange light, but seemingly displaying a myriad of emotions (surprise, rage) in the viewer’s mind, is incredibly compelling.
2001: A Space Odyssey is an enduring masterpiece.
Oscar Nominations: Best Director-Stanley Kubrick, Best Story, and Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, Best Art Direction, Best Special Visual Effects (won)