2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey ★★★★★

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is a triumph in filmmaking, a chef-d'oeuvre and an incredible spectacle that has you hypnotised from the first shot and accompanying bar, taken from Also sprach Zarathustra’s fanfare Sunrise. Plenty of theories behind the symbolism and metaphors incorporated within this movie exist with none of them being necessarily right or wrong. Stanley Kubrick’s direction and storytelling left me with a ‘this is it, make of it what you will’ experience.

The film’s symbolic nature heavily hints at life, from conception through to death. Kubrick cleverly uses objects such as spacecrafts docking in space stations to reflect said symbolism. This is also one of the best examples of music choices ever seen in film with the classical compositions forcing all the required emotions from the audience. In addition to this and what I feel is 2001’s greatest asset is the visual experience. This film is 50 years old, that is an unbelievable statistic bearing in mind it still looks stunning today. The sets are mind boggling for its age, even the matte paintings look great. Kubrick’s use of camera angles tell a story in itself especially at the beginning with the hominid tribes. The ground shot of the hominid attacking the animal skeleton is incredibly powerful as it beats down on the skeleton showing all its might.

When you think of the movies that were directly inspired by 2001 it is easy to acknowledge the film’s hugely positive impact within the industry, but what makes this movie even more important is the plethora of films that went on to be inspired by the legacy 2001 left behind. Who can imagine a world without Star Wars (1977), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Alien (1979) and Interstellar (2014). For this reason alone Stanley Kubrick’s classic should be cited as one of the most significant films of the last one hundred years.

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