2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
(G) 141 mins

‘2001’ marks a new beginning in filmmaking: the use of film as art. Sure, films like ‘Citizen Kane’ were very artistic, but the point of the film was to tell a story. With this film, every shot and every sound are painstakingly chosen for beauty and…whatever word can be used to describe ‘the art of sound’ well.

So, judging by the previous paragraph what I’m going to say in this one. ‘2001’ is one of the most superbly directed films of all time. It’s far and away Stanley Kubrick’s finest work, and that’s saying a lot. Whether it’s the odd choral arrangement during the dawn of man, Tchaikovsky during the ballet of ships in orbit (after what’s considered the largest flash forward ever), or the simple act of breathing to portray the starkness of space, Kubrick’s handprints are on every shot of every scene. The film is a visual and audio masterpiece, and calling it that is an understatement.

Having said that, the film isn’t for everyone. The focus of the film is the visuals and the background sound; dialogue takes a back seat (In fact, there’s no dialogue in the first thirty minutes of the film). Plus there’s no real plot to the film until well past the halfway point. On top of that, Kubrick is notorious for his slow pacing. As a result, many perceive the film as boring.

But as I said, the focus of the film is the audio sounds and visual imagery; it achieves far more impact than dialogue can. Besides, it’s kind of difficult to convey the next step evolution in words. By the way, if anyone is as clueless as I am about the last sequence with the old man, go to Kubrick2001.com. It explains a lot (so that’s why the wine glass broke…)

+4


Oscar Awards
Avhievement in Special Visual Effects

Oscar Nominations
Best Director (Stanley Kubrick)
Best Original Screenplay
Achievement in Art Direction