Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

2001: A Space Odyssey (1966) – Classic Review

2001-poster_2048

What to write about Empire magazine’s 16th best film ever made, when virtually nothing was understood…
Stanley Kubrick’s mind-bending, somewhat surreal feature is a strange one, with so much going on throughout the film, but at the end of it all, it’s hard to put it all together, coherently at least.

At first, “2001″ appears to be a timeline, showing the evolution of man and what we have come from, yet it goes deeper than a simple evolution story, much, much deeper.
For 1968, the special effects are amazing. The remastering may have assisted with clarity and grandness of it all, however for it’s time, it would’ve blown audiences away.

The minimal dialogue, long and drawn out scenes and limited sounds are the tip of the iceberg when mentioning what makes “2001″ eery and rather disturbing. There are endless questions regarding “2001″, but ultimately it is one that is left to interpretation, with Stanley Kubrick knowing the real meaning of it all, whatever it is.

After all the alienating features, it isn’t hard to see that “2001″ is a revolutionary film. There are several films that have undoubtedly been influenced immensely by “2001″; Star Wars goes without saying. The outer space shots of the various spacecrafts are near-identical to the death stars and voyagers seen throughout that franchise.

2001-a-space-odyssey-originalOther notable influenced pieces would be 2013’s Gravity which appears to have borrowed “2001’s” clever and realistic use of sound, or lack there of, and the outer space disaster theme.

Above all else, Apple would’ve benefitted most from 2001, with the revolution in computerised operating systems “Siri” simply being H.A.L’s sweet and innocent younger sister.

H.A.L-9000, the spacecraft’s super computer that is capable of human-like conversations is enigmatic in it’s humanly but daunting omniscient presence. This “being” is explored to an extent with the use of extreme close-up shots and cleverly executed P.O.V shots used with a fisheye lens, that give so much life and emotion to what is essentially a red light with a monotone voice.
Kubrick’s idea of the future could be summed up entirely with H.A.L being the symbol of how technology will eventually fight back; a scary thought, and an unnervingly plausible one.

Overall, “2001″ is more than a film. It’s a test of the mind that climaxes in an extensive burst of psychedelia that may or may not have been intended to make sense. How one perceives it could be entirely different to how another does, and that’s what Kubrick may very well have been trying to achieve.

If that was the case, he succeeded admirably.

3.5/5

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This entry was posted on March 4, 2014 by in Classic Reviews and tagged .
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