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2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
MGM/UA
Official Site

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Producer: Stanley Kubrick

Written by: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke; from the book by Arthur C. Clarke

Cast: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, Williiam Sylvester, Daniel Richter, Leonard Rossiter, Margaret Tyzack, Robert Beatty, Douglas Rain (voice of HAL)


1998 witnessed the 30th anniversary of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, Stanley Kubrick's epic film about the rise of the human species on earth and into outer space, our technological advancements, and the significance of a reappearing monolith. The 33rd anniversary may not seem as numerically symbolic, yet it is the year we can finally look back on the myriad creations woven throughout the story and compare them to a reality-based version of 2001. Amazingly (excluding very few fashion and architectural details) a picture of minimal disparity emerges. Certainly, we are years away from inter-stellar travel and we're discovering that moon colonies may not be the way to go, but real human astronauts began permanent habitation of space in November. Even Kubrick's most ambitious attempts at predicting a future world will probably have some foundation in reality before our time is up.

Many have found the available narrative to be an eternal enigma, wrapped in a riddle, and secretly shrouded by mystery. Countless different opinions exist regarding the message in 2001, but the visual decadence that the filmmaker indulges in is (even by special effects standards in the new millennium), unquestionably, amazing and significant to the story in and of itself. Though seemingly simple by design, all the complexities of man's journey through the ages are at work here. From the howl of the enlightened apes reclaiming their drinking pool to the slowly slurring speech of the dying HAL-9000 computer aboard an American spacecraft almost 50,000 years later, carefully chosen events bluntly shape a remarkable picture of humankind's naive fragility. The fear that human inventions might someday turn on their creators and destroy us has grown into a fully realized social issue, another example of life reflecting art.

Multiple viewings of the film may expand your concept of what Kubrick saw when he looked to the heavens. It is a matter of principle with me, however, that any calculated definition of the meaning behind the monolith is viable, so long as your faith in the entire tale holds true. Those who see the film and determine to find a simple understanding of what transpires between the "Dawn of Man" and the "Jupiter Mission" are in for a frustrated conclusion to their movie experience. This film is a happening that must be consumed with all the intensity of a universal phenomenon. The few verbal exchanges serve to emphasize the magnitude of the situation, and each new scene with Dr. Floyd represents the progression of politics from a localized effort to the global village of information and technology we are accustomed to today.

Projections in the areas of technology and politics progressed new stylizations in the realm of cinematography also, lending several special effects images to the collective consciousness, including the HAL-9000's fisheye point of view and Dave Bowman's chromatic experience at the end of the film. And, the humming orchestral accompaniment for this precise, deep-space ballet serves to remind us how beautiful it is to practice the recombination of humankind's greatest acheivements. For the last 30 years, film and artistic productions have been borrowing from every aspect of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, indirectly forming our present and future expectations of life beyond our planet. This is too important a video rental to pass up at this poignant time and place in space.

ó Freida Peoples



hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Lee Koch



Pink Floyd

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