2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey ★★★★★

Cinema City, Norwich.

This year has been a real treat so far, last month I had the opportunity to see Blade Runner in the cinema and now as part of a Stanley Kubrick season I was able to see his hypnotic sci-fi epic 2001: A Space Odyssey on the big screen. This is one of the most discussed, dissected and studied films in cinema history and has already been taken apart by those ten times more qualified than me so I won't even attempt a detailed discussion here.

The groundbreaking special effects by Douglas Trumball revolutionised science fiction forever in what is undoubtedly the most influential film on the genre, paving the way for the likes of Star Wars and Blade Runner. Sci-fi was no longer a B-movie genre. Kubrick's meditative pacing allows for deep reflection on the evolution of mankind, the alienation attributed to technology and a grandiose statement on how far we've come as a species in what is easily the most famous match cut of all time, the bone tossed into the air by our primitive ancestors becoming a space ship.

There is so much unforgettable imagery to behold, in what is less of a movie and more an art installation. Kubrick's cold and distancing approach to filmmaking has its detractors but his oeuvre of work is undeniably awe-inspiring and intellectually stimulating. Over 50 years on it remains just as visionary, just as haunting and visually breathtaking, I'd forgotten just how damn terrifying certain aspects are and picked up a lot more satirical comedy this time round. I don't think any other director has been as successful at making art house cinema appeal to the masses through the guise of entertainment.

Had this ranked at number 2 in my Kubrick ranking. What was I thinking? Of course it's number 1.

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