Thursday, 23 October 2014

Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Figure 1. 2001: A Space Odyssey Poster 

2001: A Space Odyssey as a whole is more of an idea than a story. Its scenes are made for purpose and to portray ideas. As Humanick says in his article “At its core, the film is a journey, a summarization of those questions that are both the simplest in their inquisition and most profound in their answers: Who are we, where do we come from, and where are we going?” (Humanick, 2007). One question to keep in mind is what exactly is Kubrick trying to say about technology? At first he shows technology to be amazing and fantastical however later on it is flawed and dangerous. It’s interesting what Rob Gonslaves says in his review “Technology may have enabled long-distance communication, but hasn't improved its human quality at all.” (Gonslaves, 2008). Maybe what Kubrick is trying to say is that humans can possibly achieve great things however they’re still flawed.

 Figure 2. Ship interior

Whats interesting about 2001: A Space Odyssey in particular is the use of set to show the advancement of technology. Though thought has been put into the story more so has been put into the design. As Milne says “What matters for the lay spectator is that Kubrick's vision of space is as endlessly fascinating as a vast toyshop of intricate, superbly photogenic working models.” (Milne, 2010). The spaceship interiors are full of buttons to press and lots of gadgets made for a purpose.

Figure 3. Distance shot

Kubrick shows his sets through the use of panoramic and mid distance shots alienating his audience and forcing them to wait and watch rather than involving them. You feel like a spectator and that’s what makes 2001: A space Odyssey a thought provoking film.

Illustration list
Kubrick, S (1968) Figure 1. 2001: A Space Odyssey Poster (Accessed on the 21/10/14) 
Kubrick, S (1968) Figure 2. Ship interior (Accessed on the 21/10/14) 
 Kubrick, S (1968) Figure 3. Distance shot

Gonslaves, R (2008) (Accessed on the 21/10/14) 
Humanick, R (2007) (Accessed on the 21/10/14) 



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