Monday, September 27, 2010

2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey


Sometimes a classic cannot be perfect. And sometimes you'll get polarized into why films so old are turned into classic, that you had watched it for nothing. When I've watched 2001: A Space Odyssey, it seems that I've learnt that lesson that  many film lovers should learn. A classic cannot be a classic to your view.

2001: A Space Odyssey has no narrative at all and use a minimal amount of dialogue. But we don't have to worry about that because director Stanley Kubrick doesn't intend to bore the audiences and send them out to the matinee of the cinema. He intends to show science fiction as an art form and we should appreciate that because like Blade Runner, it doesn't go to usual conventions in the genre like laser guns or car chases or aliens. These factors are cliche and unoriginal.

The movie takes place in 2001 where it starts 4 million years ago where a tribe of primates find this rectangular door call the monolith. But in this chapter, one of the apes find out you can use a bone as a tool and a weapon as well. This scene shows how it's the beginning of mankind.

It changes to a chapter where several scientists went on a mission to find a device called a TMA-1 that was buried during the prehistoric period also known as the monolith.

Later it goes into the most important section where two astronauts are on a mission to Jupiter on Discovery One monitored and controled by HAL 9000. AS the chapter progresses, it goes into the concept of human vs machine and should we be controled by technology or should control the technology and not let them interfere.

It seems that things changed a lot before, during and after 2001 that seems to matched the movie. The Cold War ended, WE had the 9/11 attacks, changes in technology such as touch screen gadgets then we went into conflict to fight off terrorists. Hoever when we are talking 2001 and space exploration, it seems much had changed but with severe consequences. We seen the Columbia mission turned to a failure killing seven astronauts. We have delayed plans to revisit the moon and China and India had their go on space exploration.

But with 2001: A Space Odyssey we should consider this a classic and so should I.

The movie gets so imaginative and clever Kubrick's ideas on technology, space exploration and the infinite future with each of its underlying intepretations like can we behave with upgraded technology in our lives, what is important about the monolith, and can we rely on artificial intelligence, do we have a fear on technology. All these questions everybody who've seen this film would ask.

The soundtrack is excellent and is some of the grandest scores put there in cinematic history. The use of classical music shows how beautiful and yet eerie outer space is. It plays an important part in the movie as it would evoke particular emotion to the viewer and so. 2001 is beautifully shot and the special effects are quite an achievement in cinema.

Unfortunately the problem in this movie is that each scene doesn't have enough layer. Many films work in a certain level of layer and the more layer, the more engaging it is towards the characters. However 2001 has less of that, it certainly gets boring to realize how great the movie is.

2001 is some of the most influential films of all time thanks to Kubrick's experimental ideas. If you look at other films of the last decade like Wall-E, Moon or Solaris they all pay homage to the movie. This should be the best science fiction of all time.

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