A long and exhausting day of studying for my AP Human Geography final led me to sit next to my younger brother on the couch. He was bored from playing with his Legos all day. Both of us wanted to watch a film that would make us think(my brother is 6, but he is a genius) but also soothe our mind. 2001: A Space Odyssey was just right. The disk went into the DVD player and I was in for a unique experience. I can not count the number of times my jaw dropped because of the images onscreen. It is a film in which movies are taken to a different world. In this world, the director no longer feeds the viewer with plot details. In this world, movies no longer have one interpretation. In this world, films transcend human intelligence and do not cater to no one and nothing. That is the world Stanley Kubrick and his films, especially 2001, have created.
One who is planning to study eye trace should definitely examine any one film by Kubrick. However, 2001 is the definitive film for studying films' manipulation of eye movement. Instead of having to find where to look at on the screen like many modern films do, Kubrick center frames almost every shot in the film. It's just so delightful when a director can show you where to look when none of the objects on screen are producing any noise. Every shot is meticulously set up and the result is just breathtaking. The scene where the space pod is being brought down and the people inside of the building are just the size of ants is just breathtaking.
A distinct feature of 2001 is, without a doubt, is the music. Kubrick originally a score from legendary composer Alex North. Anyone who has seen the film know that the score was not used. Instead, Kubrick uses classical music to enhance the experience. What does classical music add that a musical score designed for the film would not be able to achieve? I'll give you an example. After the most brilliant edit in the history of cinema(from tool to tool or bone to satellite), a scene lies in which a ship is docking. A cinematic composer would have created a song which would have undermined the process and complexity of docking a ship. However, Kubrick wants the viewer to understand how painstaking and complicated this docking process is. Why would he want the audience to understand this? This is a scene of comparison between the man-apes and the futuristic civilization of humanity. The humans have reached a level of complexity so great the man-apes wouldn't be able to fathom the level of innovation. The scene actually builds to the final Therefore, The Blue Danube by Johann Strauss is played throughout this beautiful and breathtaking scene. The result is extraordinary.
In the film as mentioned before, there are many themes that the film juggles with successfully.The film's most prominent message, "Humanity's humility and respect will lead to success and humanity's pride and arrogance will be its downfall." When the man-apes encounter the monolith, a recurring symbol, they treat it with great reverence. They are given the strength to defeat a rival tribe. Later, futuristic astronauts approach it with brashness and treat it in a dominating manner, taking pictures with it and measuring every inch of it, and therefore, they are punished with a sharp, ear-piercing noise.
2001: A Space Odyssey is a cinematic masterpiece, unique by even Kubrick's standards. It is the rare film which is humorous, suspenseful, horrifying, respectful, breathtaking, and beautiful and this is all in one film. Mr. Kubrick, I sincerely thank you for this gift to humanity.
FAA Rating: 4 Space pods out of 4 Space pods
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