I’m Afraid I can’t do That

2001: A Space Odyssey begs you to ask many questions, but the one question I have is… WTF did I just watch? 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the most confusing masterpieces ever made. From the visionary mind of Stanley Kubrick, 2001: A Space Odyssey bares the pacing, visionary style, and thought provoking narrative of one of his films. Though I have to wonder if he was on drugs while making it. I have always known about this movie. From a very young age, my parents told me all about it. They said it was really long and boring. I knew at some point I would see the movie. It has been parodied relentlessly in a number of media. I was more familiar with the parodies than I was with the actual movie. Elements of the movie were parodied in The Simpsons, Futurama, and WALL•E, just to name a few. Though its also been very influential in sci-fi works as well. No doubt we have 2001: A Space Odyssey to thank for a lot of other great movies. This is a very difficult movie to explain, but I’m going to attempt to anyway…

2001

Hal 9000

2001: A Space Odyssey has an iconic opening with an even more iconic musical theme. The sun peers out from behind the moon and transitions to a shot of the Earth. The first segment takes place in the dawn of man. Some may wonder why a science fiction movie starts with a bunch of apes, but trust me it has a purpose. We then transition to a space shuttle with scientists who sort of explain what their mission is. After that segment, two astronauts are now traveling to Jupiter. It is here where we meet HAL 9000. An artificially intelligent red eye who decides the mission is more important than the survival of the crew. The basis of HAL 9000 has been redone a number of times. Unfortunately, it may not be too hard to imagine this machine being built in the not too distant future. In the films final segment, we are taken through a visual drug trip that transcends time itself. Ending with another iconic shot of a baby embryo in space. Like I said, this is a difficult movie to explain. I’m still trying to comprehend it. I would call it boring, but not like fall asleep boring. 2001: A Space Odyssey is 2 hours and 41 minutes long. I think it might be the longest movie with very little dialogue. 30 minutes can go by with no talking whatsoever. Sometimes all you hear is one sound like breathing or beeping. What makes the movie a masterpiece is the music and visual effects. It’s actually all practical effects (which is impressive). 2001: A Space Odyssey may be a long think heavy movie, but it’s an important one nonetheless. Film students will love it. It’s a genuinely one of a kind experience.

2001 2

Time and Space

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