Just 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
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).