2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey ★★★★★

With 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick created a fantastic piece of art. You can look at it many, many times and still discover new things you didn't notice the last time you watched it. The same goes for the story. You can interpret this in many ways. There are just so many layers to discover. All the small elements Kubrick chose to put in the movie play a part in the bigger whole. Besides that it's just a joy to watch it for the combination of the images and music, the effects, the carefully designed sound, the color schemes and the way Kubrick and his DP set up the scenes. Every frame is a masterpiece in 2001.

The first part. "The Dawn of Man". I think this is THE most important part of the movie. A lot of what's going on later in the movie, is already explained in this first twenty minutes or so. If you missed this part, you missed a lot of what 2001 is trying to say. Many viewers consider the first part as kind of tedious watching twenty minutes at a bunch of apes. The essence of the movie/story is shown here in a wonderful way. The primates make a big leap in evolution in a very short time and is continued throughout the movie. Mankind can't keep up with technology advancing so fast. Kubrick seemed to know what was coming with what is available today in terms of gadgets. Also in a very short time, Kubrick shows what mankind is made of and shows their basic emotions. The fear of something new, the curiosity, the territorial disputes, the wanting to explore something and the most important thing, the discovery of a certain "tool" and how to use them. But also there is a lot of compassion to be found in those scenes.

The second part. The movie goes on with the greatest inventions made by men and the curiosity of the unknown and expanding our territory. The first scene is an amazing piece of filmmaking. Never before has a combination of music and images been this beautiful. Spaceships moving to classical music throughout infinite space. Extraordinary scenes where images melt with music. Something you also see a lot in other Kubrick movies. The journey that follows is fantastic. The sets look great and the whites make for a very sterile look. Kubrick chose the most real approach in how it really is in space. The times that we are outside the spaceships, is done in a very naturalistic way with the total absence of sound. At times we only here the breathing of a character. Done in such a way that it becomes very scary. Although there is so much open space, you feel very claustrophobic. The story of HAL in this part is very powerful. Technology turning against mankind, and mankind being reduced to it's most primal instinct. Survival. Miller got that right in Fury Road. But Kubrick did it first.

The third part. "Jupiter.....and beyond the infinite"
A scene i still can't fully comprehend after many viewings. This scene has so many things in it. Every time i think i figured out certain things, that changes into a different interpretation in the next viewing. That's what keeps this movie so interesting. Kubrick leaves a lot the imagination and intelligence of his audience to figure out things for themselves. Makes Kubrick one of the few directors that don't underestimate his audience and dumb everything down. But even if you don't understand or don't want to understand everything in 2001, there is still enough to enjoy in this scene. Audio/visually this scene is a masterpiece within a masterpiece.

It's very hard to explain why i like 2001 so much. I can't really tell people why. It has so much to do with emotions that i get out of this and at the same time, in a subconcience way, my mind is stimulated. This and the combination between music, sound and images makes A Space Odyssey a timeless masterpiece. You never get the feeling you're watching a movie made in the 60's.

The cold and detached view of Kubrick on mankind is most apparent here, and in a way it's a beautiful view. I always say to people that ask me what makes 2001 and other Kubrick movies so good that it is something you have to experience for yourself.

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