2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey ★★★★★

Still an all timer achievement from Kubrick.

One of the most complete science fiction narratives that is at once grand in its scope but, at the same time, intimate in its portrayal of humanity. Whether it’s our staring at screens, our wonder at the unknown, or our base instinct for power and aggressive dominance. 

Kubrick and Clarke take us through a multi part saga in a singular cinematic experience. One would have to wonder if this version hadn’t existed and were to be made today how much needless narration would’ve been added. If the modern interpretation would have a general emphasis on using computer generated imagery, and not just for galactic images but the animals in the first portion. 

So much of the film feels timeless for a work that has a year in the title. Some aspects feel reflective of technology from today, some are still too advanced for us. The commentary, if anything, feels more relevant to today’s time than it did when it first came out. So, of course, this was not universally loved then. 

The visual storytelling is very much unmatched, rather than relying exclusively on expositional dialogue for the majority of its sequencing. Dialogue is used for important information and is instead fluidly implemented as a vessel for character establishment and integration. It’s not a film about the “arc” of any one person or thing, but about the collective. 

The deliberate pacing may not be to everyone’s liking in these days of action packed Hero’s Journey types, but I would say that everyone (interested in the world of film) should watch this at least once.