Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #153 2001: A Space Odyssey

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Movie #153 2001: A Space Odyssey

(1968, US, d. Stanley Kubrick)

Watching 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the greatest cinematic experiences of all time. This morning, I was blessed enough to be able to see the film in a 35mm surround sound theater at USC and let me just say that I’m so glad I waited this long to see it. Stanley Kubrick himself refused to comment much about this film, instead stating that the picture is a visual experience and words cannot really be used to define it. In fact, the 2 hr. 4o minute film only contains 40 minutes of dialogue. The rest is a cinematic treat of the highest class, taking us from the landscapes of the dawn of man to the universe of space. Like any Kubrick film, this can be analyzed from a number of different perspectives, but the biggest question of all still remains: “What the hell did I just watch?”. Though later marketed for being one of the trippiest movies of all time (after producers realized LSD and marijuana were commonly ingested items prior to seeing the film), 2001 is one of the smartest and most complex and beautiful movies ever made. It deals again with themes last touched upon in his previous effort, Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb: mankind’s obsession/love affair with machines. As machines become more like mankind, mankind becomes more like machines. Hence, it is only when we are able to step past this and destroy this relationship will we be able to move forward as a society. Kubrick infuses this sentiment in a drama about a galactic quest to uncover an extraterrestrial question. Covering three vastly different storylines along the way, the audience is introduced to the “ape-men” and their introduction to the Machine, a group of astronauts on a top secret mission, and a murderous computer codenamed HAL 9000. It would be impossible to justly interpret this film in just a paragraph so for the film’s sake, I will stop. But let me just say that a simple DVD or Netflix of this won’t do. Get the BluRay and watch it on surround. If y0u have the taste for something a little out there and something that will make you think, watch this movie. Rather, experience it.

  1. […] is a masterwork – and strangely enough, feels like it is taking the same critical path as 2001: A Space Odyssey did when it came out. Perhaps this is the next 2001. I would be lying to you if I said that thought […]

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