Sunday, 18 October 2015

Space Oddities: 2001 A Space Odyssey Review

Fig 1.

When watching Stanley Kubricks '2001: A Space Odyssey' there are several defining moments that you will have seen manipulated or transformed in some way throughout the history of cinema post 'A Space Odyssey'. As James Berardinelli said "Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Despite gaining additional adherents and growing more respected with each passing day."(J. Berardinelli)  With this film there is a much deeper meaning then simply the plot. In a way this is a plus due to the difficulty to fully understand the story without leaving the viewing full of confusion and thought. You can see similarity's from this film with recent blockbusters such as Interstellar. Not only that but shows such as The Simpsons have had their own versions of this story by Kubrick. This shows us how influential this motion picture has been for cinematography, still being referenced years after its initial release. 

Fig 2.

Throughout the film there is very little character development that takes place. This is partially because Kubrick was focusing on something deeper then just the characters and their journey through the story, but rather focusing on the viewers journey. We can see this from a quote from Rodger Eberts review on the film "There is hardly any character development in the plot, then, as a result little suspense. What remains fascinating is the fanatic care with which Kubrick has built his machines and achieved his special effects." (R. Ebert 1968). Another reason in which it is believed that character development was kept to a minimal is due to the state of the character. You jump from characters to characters and there are times where you wont see the character again once the switch has happened. Such as the apes at the start for example. Not only that but one of the main characters is a computer named Hal. The way in which Kubrick depicted this sinister machine was brilliant. He was subtle yet slowly used to portray a view that may have been from Kubrick which might possibly be to not trust machines. 

Fig 3.

Another aspect you can see come through with the inspiration of this film is simply the time of production. The film was made in the late 60's, a time where a lot of people would consume psychedelic drugs. One of the main scenes is when David Bowman ( Keir Dullea) enters the space time tunnel. Kubrick uses a lot of different coloured and streaking flashing lights which many people have described as a 'trip'. This can been seen even from viewers who have not consumed any substances, it feels as if you're being drawing through the portal a long with Bowman. The use of the high speed zooming and the alteration of the lights is visually stimulating and also a very impressive piece of visual effects for the time. We can see the influence of the time due to the reaction of the audience when it first was out in cinema. As Bill Gibron said in his review when talking about viewing the movie for the first time " 2001 wasn’t done screwing with my underdeveloped brain. Not by a long shot. As the scent of marijuana mixed with Tic Tacs filled the theater, that infamous space baby made his grand finale entrance, and frankly, I was floored." (Bill Gibron, 2005).

2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the films that will always be a classic and revolutionary in the cinematic world. The complexity of the idea and the plot joined in with the endless meanings behind it. Not only that but just the experience that it can bring to the viewer, in past or present. This will be a film that will stay in your mind and you will not forget about for a good amount of time to come, if its the extensiveness of Kubricks prolonging methods or about the difficulty to understand and comprehend what you just watched. 


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Berardinelli, J. -

Ebert, R.(1968) -

Gibron, B. (2005) -

1 comment:

  1. Good - the highlighter issue is sorted :)

    Please just have another look at the referencing guide to make sure that your bibliography (where the quotes are taken from) and Illustrations list (image references) have all the required elements, as there are still a few bits missing.