"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."
I have successfully watched the first movie on my list! I also read and watched reviews and interpretations of it, to get a better understanding of how society views it. However, I haven’t really gotten to learning about the basics of filmmaking like scriptwriting, cinematography, casting, etc. I plan to get started with that soon, hopefully by the next blog post I can talk about that.
*This isn't going to be an in depth summary of the movie, but I will always include a link to the Wiki for the film if you want to understand fully what I'm talking about. Or better yet, just go out there and watch it!!!
Click HERE for 2001: A Space Odyssey SUMMARY
In this space age epic directed by Stanley Kubrick, the idea of evolution and the existence of man is explored. There is a very jarring and clever comparison that Kubrick introduces in the beginning of the movie, but doesn’t become very clear until about halfway through this almost 3 hour movie (2 hours, 41 minutes). This is the comparison of apes and humans, and how the story of evolution is the same and will continue no matter how advanced we may seem. Another main motif of this movie is the usage of tools by mankind, and how it can come to control us. All of these elements create an ageless tale about humanity told through a rousing soundtrack, inventive cinematography, and simple but strong acting.
Personally, I thought that this film was okay. Before all the actual professional movie critics out there torment me, let me explain. I guess that my generation of kids just have a naturally shorter attention span, and this movie can get TEDIOUS at times. It takes about 20 minutes for any dialogue to happen, and when it does, it's very minimal. Some sequences are 10 minutes long, focusing on a single moving subject, with no real action at all. While I thoroughly appreciated the now widely recognizable movie soundtrack, I thought the pacing was way too uneven and sluggish at times. However, I could still see how people could see that this was a masterpiece. I can't argue that this is a classic, it launched a new era of space age type movies (which included the cult classic Star Wars) and it's different interpretations have spurred a debate that can last for years upon years (that ending though!). The toned down acting is perfect for the feel of the movie. I think that in order to fully appreciate this movie, a person would have to sit down and let it just wash over them, taking in the slightly more thrilling parts in stride.
Astronaut David Bowman, played by Keir Dullea
An example of some inventive filming techniques on Kubrick's part. The stimulated gravity effect was done by an almost hamster wheel like machine, where Bowman (Dullea) ran in one place while the surrounding environment was spinning. The camera followed Bowman on a track positioned separately from the spinning wheel.
A beautifully framed scene of David Bowman
In one of the most telling scenes in the movie, Kubrick uses a cut to transition from the apes on earth to the humans in space. The bone was a tool that the apes used, which ended up completely changing their society. It's possible that Kubrick was creating a metaphor here, showing that humans will always use tools, and eventually the things that we make can come to control us. The movie is very existential, and simple scenes like this can come to mean so much more than what they appear to be at first.
The iconic opening musical piece to the movie, named "Also sprach Zarathustra" composed in 1896 by Richard Strauss. This musical introduction paired with a rising sun let's you know you're in for a thought provoking experience.
This should go without saying.
Kelby Custodio, Junior at Pacifica High School.