"2001: A Space Odyssey"

The Quintessential Flick, the Ultimate Trip

“2001 - A Space Odyssey” is one of the most studied motion pictures; many film students have told me in the past that they have had to do long papers on the style and how it was filmed since the motion picture was revolutionary in it’s time. There have been many books written about how the motion picture was made... You can also see many of the movies influences to this day in other Science Fiction movies, George Lucas has even commented that many of his shots in his Star Wars movies were homage’s to Kubrick’s masterpiece.

“2001 - A Space Odyssey” has also been one of the most debated movies, people have been asking each other “What Does It Mean” since the movie was first released back in 1968. Is it about Aliens, or is it about God? Are “The Aliens” angels? What or where is David Bowman’s final destination: Is he in an alien zoo, or heaven?

Another aspect of the movie that’s been debated is one of the characters of the movie… who is actually more of the voice of one of the props or scenery: HAL 9000. The ships computer who either lies or malfunctions, and eventually is responsible for the death of most of the crewmembers… has become synonymous with out-of-control machines and technology.

A real testament to this film is that even after almost 40 years, people are still talking about this film and trying to find it's deeper meaning. But is there anything more to this movie? As it's director has said, that's all up to you...

"I tried to create a visual experience, one that bypasses verbalized pigeonholing and directly penetrates the subconscious with an emotional and philosophical content...I intended the film to be an intensely subjective experience that reaches the viewer at an inner level of consciousness, just as music does...You're free to speculate as you wish about the philosophical and allegorical meaning of the film." Stanley Kubrick

Beyond the Infinite - Ren's Interpretation...

Ren's RantsThe essence of A Space Odyssey for Science Fiction and Adventure movie fans is pretty simple and so profound and should cause the copies of the DVD to fly off the shelves at the local video mart… An artifact (The Monolith) is found on Earth's Moon in the year 2001, which dates back to man’s first steps of evolution and the evidence surrounds the find points to the fact that it was purposely buried by an advanced intelligence. It’s buried in such a way to encourage its discovery...

A Space Odyssey is of course a story about a journey, but not of one man’s trip such as Odysseus’s. 2001 is about the progression of the human race and three progressive stages of development, each portrayal demonstrates the various beginnings of each phase: Cavemen discovering the use of tools, Man's exploration and exploitation of Space, One man's journey through "The Star Gate" and finally as a new born "infant" as a symbol of the very beginning of the next phase of evolution.

While it’s been quoted that “the monoliths were doors of transcendent perception;” meaning that these objects are supposed to be thresholds to the next step in man’s evolution and how we see ourselves in the universe, It’s never explained where the monoliths come from and who put them where they are found (in Africa, the moon and orbiting Jupiter). Anyone can make a case for the Monolith’s origins being ether “Aliens” or God. One of the main characters who spends the rest of his “life” in a futuristic-Victorian home could be interpreted as a zoo or heaven. All of his needs are taken care of while the final years of his life “over-lap” before his final transfiguration.

While the Monolith is as mysterious as the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail, it’s also a metaphor for how modern secularists wants to put “God” in a neat and tidy box and how modern secularism wants to know the bounds of His power and existence. There is nothing about The Monolith that is ornate, there is no grandeur or grace. The Monolith also represents the dark and cold relationship our society has with the faith. The trip between Earth and Jupiter (and beyond) could also represent how much distance we’ve put between us and The Almighty.

The down side is that there’s little film-noir or Art Deco in the classic sense, it’s the ultimate of utilitarian set design and costumes. With the exception of the opening scene, most of the scenes are filmed in the sterile environments. Like all of my "Flicks To Hold You Over" s is the spirit of adventure and exploration while keeping the sense of wonder intact even after the an artifact was discovered or part of the human nature is explored.. this movie has both...

Even though there is a coldness to 2001: A Space Odyssey and lacking the up beat humor or optimism of the other films I have and will review, it’s still a great Motion Picture about a unique journey that tries to answer the mean of life and what lies beyond the threshold of the Super Natural.

Bookmark and Share