2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey ★★★★★

My Top 100 Favorite Films - #4

2001: A Space Odyssey is considered by many, myself included, to be the finest achievement in Stanley Kubrick's oeuvre. Since the film had recently turned 50, I thought it was about time that I reviewed one of my top 3 favorite films of all time, and yes, it still holds up to this day.

Thematically driven, slow paced, and with a nearly absent presence of plot and characters, 2001 is a film that tells its story primarily through visual means, as well as a great use of sound effects and music. More than anything, this is a film that is a tribute to the possibilities of mankind, even though it could be implied that our evolution is not completely down to free will or survival of the fittest. From the early primates' discovery of weaponry, to the commonplace use of space travel in the film's present, we see how mankind evolves over time, and how we overcome our obstacles and survive in the face of adversity. This is definitely a film that resonates to both my emotions, as well as my intelligence, as it reminds me of why I should be more appreciative towards the world around me, and it also makes me acknowledge that humanity, as a species, still have a lot to look forward to.

The film's atmosphere is definitely something to write several essays about. From the grandiose musical soundtrack, in which compositions by Johann and Richard Strauss, as well as György Ligeti, are used, conveys the miraculous nature of our existence and development as a species. When we consider the vastness of the universe, as well as the threatening nature of A.I., in the form of HAL 9000, it does seem rather lucky that humanity has been able to make it as far as we have. The visual effects, cinematography, production design and direction all shows us the magnificence of things that we perceive as being rather mundane, such as our use of technology and knowledge of space. It's definitely that makes me wish we would dare to take that risk and go that next step further as a species.

In conclusion, 2001: A Space Odyssey is still Stanley Kubrick's magnum opus. If you haven't seen it yet, I urge you to watch it ASAP.

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