2001: A Space Odyssey – How did 1968 MGM film become one of the greatest Sci-Fi films

2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey poster

The story, which seems to be simple, is profound. 2001: A Space Odyssey released in April 1968. Stanley Kubrick is the producer as well as the director of this film. Kubrick and the legendary science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke collaborated on the script.

There have been excellent films in the genre before it, masterpieces like Forbidden PlanetThe Day the Earth Stood Still, and The Incredible Shrinking Man.

2001 is a quantum leap forward in filmmaking and the portrayal of subjects like spaceflight and human evolution.

Concise – 2001: A Space Odyssey

2001 is a story of evolution. After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the Lunar surface, humanity sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from the intelligent supercomputer H.A.L. 9000.

Bluntly, 2001 is one of the best science-fiction films made to date. Stanley Kubrick was a genius filmmaker, and this is one of his fine works. Although many misunderstand the film, that’s the reason why it’s underrated. However, it’s still considered one of the best films of all time, and I’ll have to agree.

The power of Stanley Kubrick’s classic is bound up with the story of its making.
The power of Stanley Kubrick’s classic is bound up with the story of its making.

This is the film that put science in science fiction.

Its depiction of space travel and the future of the human race remains unsurpassed to this day. It was so far ahead of its time that humanity still hasn’t caught up.

In my opinion, this film is the epitome of Kubrick’s work and the one for which he will be most known. It’s a picture like no other, not only revolutionizing science fiction but changing the way films conceptualize.

How did 1968 MGM film become one of the greatest Sci-Fi films?

There are some good reasons behind this:

2001: A Space Odyssey visual effects

2001- Special visual effect
2001- Special visual effect

Kubrick led the effort to create or utilize ground-breaking new methods for doing special effects.

The achievement of these effects was through a combination of creative camerawork, hard work, and dedication. The filming technique is known as slit-scan photography.

All kinds of methods, including slit-scan photography, were used to create the climactic Star Gate sequence; it’s one of the best scenes in sci-fi history.

The music

It’s invariably true that all of the groundbreaking science fiction films have also come fully furnished for galactic exploration with a brilliant soundtrack.

Aside from the magnificent display of ingenious special effects, other factors play a part in establishing the feel of the film.

The music played all classical complements what the eyes are seeing and makes you feel the significance of man’s journey through his evolution from ape to space traveler.

The influential 19th and 20th-century music employed in 2001: A Space Odyssey composes for its own sake. The opening sequence is – the sun rising over the Earth and the moon (kind of a signature track).

Introduction of aliens as benign, if still superior

Most of the filmed sci-fi films of the years before 2001 (a handful of exceptions) portray extra-terrestrials as intruders, invaders, and monsters to be feared and fought.

2001 not only introduced an alien intelligence so vastly superior to ours that the director wisely avoided trying to visualize it on the screen.

Not in a baleful manner, their goal gently guides humankind toward a greater level of existence entirely.

Realism, realism, realism

2001: A space odyssey - Spacecraft interior
2001: A Space Odyssey – Spacecraft interior

When Kubrick set out to make 2001, he was determined to make a movie firmly grounded in science. His sets on the space station and the Discovery build to simulate the necessary rotation, to create artificial gravity – something never utilized in other films. From his spacecraft interiors to the surface of the Moon, Kubrick strove to make the most realistic space odyssey.

The beauty of 2001: A Space Odyssey

The beauty of 2001
The beauty of 2001

The film still looks marvelous. There is surprisingly little dialogue – another sign of Kubrick’s genius.

The beauty of 2001 is that the ending doesn’t need to mean anything complex, it can just be a purely plot-driven explanation, and the perception of the entire movie can be an entertaining journey through space.

Stanley Kubrick is one of the finest filmmakers the world has known, and 2001 is his finest accomplishment. Also, the musical background is glorious, the colors are dazzling, and there’s a compelling use of HAL as a villainous computer.

In conclusion

2001 is primarily a technical film. While it’s a long film and sometimes slows down, it’s accurate in portraying the journey of a man. It’s not a subject that would have faired well in a shorter film with a faster pace. Those with short attention spans will find it difficult to watch this film.

All in all, this film is one of the best films made to date and one of the very best science fiction films made. Everyone must see this film at least once.

For anybody to dismiss 2001: A Space Odyssey as boring, they must have no interest in science, technology, philosophy, history, or the art of film-making.

Finally, I understand why most Hollywood films are so shallow and void; they recognize their target demographic.

I strongly recommend watching this film in a dark room with no distractions to achieve the full cinematic beauty, and hopefully, it will not disappoint.

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