Country: United States/United Kingdom
Script: Stanley Kubrick, Athur C. Clarke
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Douglas Rain
Oscar wins: Best Visual Effects
Oscar nominations: Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction
Stanley Kubrick's science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey is probably the most influential film of all time, it's Jesus' Christ of cinema, and was a landmark for the science fiction genre, which was until then just adventure stories about flying saucers scary aliens and cardboard box robots. But what we see in 2001: A Space Odyssey is a realistic view of what people back then thought the future, an outer space that we could picture us as real, and it influenced a lot of film, like Star Wars and Aliens for example. Or put it this way. 2001 was the first real science fiction film and an introduction to how scary the future can be and how robots are taking over the simplest tasks, that's why it's clean everywhere because there's nothing else but machines. Star Wars gave us a future that had existed for thousands of years, where everything is dirty and rusty. Alien gave us the fear of all the horrible unknown creature that is waiting for us.
The film actually starts in the past, millions of years before, where our ancestors, the apes, is trying to make their living in a desert landscape, where other species, like the jaguars is the most dominant. But suddenly a supernatural black monolith appears from nowhere. This monolith gives the apes the intelligence, like when one of the apes realize that he can use a skeleton bone to kill other animal. We then jumps millions of years forward to the year of 1999 where scientist have discovered the same kind of monolith on the moon. Two years later, they discovered the same signals around the planet Jupiter, and a space ship is send there to find out more. The ship is not run by humans, but by a giant computer named HAL 9000, which might not be as perfect as one might have thought.
2001: A Space Odyssey is simply a perfect film in every way. The special effects which seems more realistic than today's CGI animation, although some of the lightning and lack of shadows on the model ships are sometimes poorly done, I'm afraid, which makes it a little unrealistic, but that is just a little detail. But the space ships themselves and all it's movements is actually stunning, specially how the space station rotates, and the way that they made the pods move. I loved all the details, all the people in the windows on all the space stations, makes it even more beautiful and realistic.
Besides the special effects, there's the plot which involves of course human against the machine, where the machine is taking control over everything we do, and have basically replaced us, and starts to think on his own, and even kills if necessary. It's a clear future warning that one should never let any machine have any kind of powers, and responsibilities, which makes HAL 9000 one of the meanest baddasses in the history of cinema.
My conclusion is that it's a great masterpiece which still stands the test of time, although it's now over ten years since the years in which the space odyssey should have occurred. There's things that looks like iPads, and it's ten years ahead of it's time. But it's kind of mind-blowing that only one year after the film the first human set his foot on the moon. And it might have not seen so unrealistic back then that the year 2001 would look exactly like in this movie. Although with all it's tiny errors, 2001: A Space Odyssey stands out from any other science fiction movies because it's realistic, it's repentant and it's a mysterious journey into space that does not require any scientific explanations, you have to find out what's going on yourself. Thumbs up.
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