The year 1968, also referred to as ‘2001’ was a groundbreaking year for cinema. the five synth notes that play out the title track promises nothing short of an epic. Oh, and what an epic it was! crafted to perfection by the pioneer: King Kubrick.
Stanley Kubrick produced, directed and co-wrote this film drawing inspiration from Arthur C. Clarke’s short story ‘The Sentinel’, but little did they know that 2001: A Space Odyssey would go on to become the bedrock of the science fiction genre. The film pioneered film technology that was far ahead of its time, the production itself was as Space Age as the picture portrayed.
Kubrick’s weakness of the classical symphonies are synchronised with precision to visuals of epic proportions, creating the vast atmosphere of a space opera. the silence and eeriness are designed to create a horrifying sensation of isolation through chants mimicking hymns from a time yet to come. The soundtrack and the score are probably the most iconic elements of this film, that can easily be regarded as an audio-visual symphony of the modern age.
A Visionary par excellence, Kubrick’s almost accurate depiction of the future showcases technology which are still teething even after the turn of the century. The genius, in the 1960s foresaw Artificial-Intelligence, Video Calling and Tablet technology to name a few, and of course, HAL; the original Siri, IBM Watson, and so forth.
2001: A Space Odyssey, amazed current viewers and early audiences alike with breakthrough techniques in special effects which was awarder by the Academy for its excellence, an award much deserved. The anti-gravity walk scenes and a very subtle ‘floating pen’ scene were flawlessly captured without the cheats of modern CG, the simplicity of using two panes of non reflective glass to hold and manoeuvre the pen is what makes this film a masterpiece. Watch the making below.
The grand scale of the picture doesn’t take away the tiniest of details, like the branding of IBM and Pan-Am, suitably envisioned to portray the near future; just goes to show the importance of highly skilled art direction.
“I’m afraid. I’m afraid,” *HAL SHUTS DOWN*
“Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I’m half crazy all for the love of you. It won’t be a stylish marriage, I can’t afford a carriage. But you’ll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.”
The silence plays out an eerie melancholy as the film progresses through the galactic tesseract in a kaleidoscope of unearthly shapes and colours to an unknown place, very neoclassical in aesthetic. Its a strange dimension where the constraints of time is left open to calculation. The beginning and the end of life is suggested in a strange light. An unborn child, looming in space, gazing at the earth from outer space; bringing to end an epic classic, and giving birth to an exploration into a whole new genre of cinema.