Friday, 15 February 2013

Classic Movie Review 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) PosterJust watched this film for the first time ever (I'm working my way through all of Stanley Kubrick's work) and felt I just had to write this. This film is based on a Novel written by British Sci-Fi legend Arthur C Clarke who also wrote the screenplay with Kubrick.

The music starts, the music that everyone knows, even if they haven't seen the film probably one of the most famous movie themes of all time. But then surprise we see a scene, a landscape of a baron land. This is not the future this is the past and dawn of early man. This film obviously follows Darwin's theory of evolution. We see early man all chimp like and in tribes doing nothing much but eating and sleeping, but then comes the turning point the theme kicks in again and see one of them bang a bone on the ground, this is showing what probably happened the turning point of man using his surroundings and tools to defend himself and then without warning.... We are shot to the future with an amazing jump cut I am not going to spoil it but I thought it was so clever. Its like Kubrick is showing us in a way that this is how the rise of man started and this is where he could go, and its all in a matter of a few minutes which if you look at the age of Earth as a whole our age of man really is like a matter of few minutes... Metaphorically speaking of course.

Blue Danube Waltz kicks in (which makes me feel Kubrick was a huge fan of classical music Clockwork Orange comes to mind) and we are shown various ships and stations orbiting lazily through space, I know it may only be model shots but for 1968 this is breathtaking. It maybe easy to create things these days on computers, but I for one still love puppetry and model work, it always feels more human and crafted to me as films should be (Empire Strikes Back Yoda over CGI prequel Yoda any day). You can't ignore the special effects in this film so ahead of its time.

We are introduced to a Doctor, who is making his way to the moon to look at an object that has been unearthed on the moon and has experts baffled. We go from the moon to deep space, ever more with music going with the amazing images. Kubrick is one of the finest visionary Directors of all time, he doesn't use words or has someone describing what is happening we just watch and listen to the fantastic soundtrack, as film should be we use our eyes and ears and just get swept away in it all.

 The famous jogging scene in the round room of the ship, as it turns is probably easy enough to make now but back in 68 this must of been revolutionary for the time! This film is quite scary because we see the astronauts using what can only be described as iPads to watch the news on, I joke not its like Arthur C Clarke was predicting the future. We are eventually introduced to "HAL", the robot over seeing the crew, voiced by Douglas Rain he is absolutely amazing, for me even tho he's just a voice he steals this film, so calm and robotic yet some what sinister at the same time.

I'm not going to ruin this film because it is such an easy film to spoil, if you like sci-fi or just love a great film that does film at the best for our sight and hearing you need to see this, I can't believe I left it so late. Also scenes from future films like Independence Day finally seem more cooler, "good morning Dave" when Jeff Goldblum turns on his laptop in said film is a pure nod at this film. It is a mesmerizing film. One of Stanley Kubrick's best (and that is saying something because most of his work is amazing).
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