2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey ★★★★★

I have never more blown away by a movie before. 2001: A Space Odyssey is a psychedelic experience of visual story telling. The sharp vibrant colors, the selective lighting, the spinning sets, the meticulous camera work are so hypnotic. Kubrick uses all these tools submerge the audience into the ambiguous narrative.

This is the definitive Science Fiction Film. The practical effects still hold up today. I saw it on a HD Blu-Ray and it looks amazing. In an extra special on the disc, George Lucas said this was his biggest inspiration for Star Wars. This movie changed sci-fi forever.

There is no exposition that tells you what it all means. There's no dialogue until 30 minutes in and the last line of dialogue is spoken 20 minutes before the movie ends. There are countless interpretations on what it means. Kubrick has barely given us any hints

My interpretation Spoilers 

The movie starts with the Dawn of Man. The two groups of monkeys were territorial but were never too physical. They didn't kill for food as it was readily available in the bushes. Then the monolith appears and implants ideas of Tools in their heads. They immediately use their tools for violence; kill for food and kill enemy tribes. The ape then throws the bone up into space and it transitions into a scene of space with man made ships. This million year jump cut represents the advances in our technology: from bone hammers to spacecrafts. Inside the spacecrafts we see just how far humans have advanced. Dr. Floyd sleeps on the shuttle casually like it's a normal bus ride to work. We also see how people fight now. Floyd has a very passive aggressive discussion about his territory (His secret mission) with an enemy tribe (Russians). On the moon we finally see the second monolith. Instead of teaching them things this time, it sends a signal to Jupiter. I believe the Alien entities put them there to test if humans have advanced into space conquest. On the Jupiter mission we meat Dave, Frank, and Hal 9000. Hal is supposed to be an AI who never makes a single mistake. Hal has surpassed Human intelligence. When a part of the ships breaks, Hal offers a solution that Frank and Dave don't like so they agree to unplug (Kill) Hal; Human's nature to kill what they don't understand and AI has taken their power/territory. Hal figures out their plan and decides to terminate every human on board. Here is were Hal makes his first mistake. As Hal becomes more human and is driven by survival he does not anticipate that Dave will make it back on the ship. Dave then kills Hal while he pleads for mercy. Hal lost because he became more human and Dave won because he became less human. The third monolith appears and Dave is sent through a portal into the unknown. This both frightens and intrigues him. Here the entities keep him in a familiar looking room as Dave is forced to look as his life go by without looking back. He looks at the final monolith and points his finger at it like Adam pointing at God in the Sistine Chapel. Dave is then reborn as a God-like baby heading towards Earth. To me this is the most ambiguous moment of the film. I think it means as Technology advances what we are capable of also advances until we ourselves can play as God. It is the net stage in our evolution.

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