Film Review: 2001 A Space Odyssey

2001 A Space Odyssey is a Science Fiction film that was directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1968. Stanley Kubrick's films famously have a cold almost disconnection to the characters and their emotions as he never uses close ups to the faces of the characters meaning that audiences never get to experience those raw emotions up close which can be seen in figure 1. He also often uses symmetry in his camera directing which can give off the impression of a almost clinical and controlled effect. "Maybe only rocket science and deep space could absorb Kubrick’s famous coldness and control and tendency to visionary gigantism." (Bradshaw, 2014) This also relates to the dialog used in the film which is minimal and is manly used to tell small parts of the story.
Figure 1: Video Call

The visuals of the film are the most important and me
morable as Stanley Kubrick uses camera tricks and big composition shots to create the innovative look of the film. Kubrick himself has said “Do it right, do it better then do it all over again.” (Costa, 2011) in relation to all the times that the film crew had to think up new and innovative ways of filming the scenes the ways that they wanted to do. One scene in particular shows a female hostess walking inside a circular hallway which can be seen in figure 2. The scene was filmed by attaching the camera to a tubular frame that covered the whole set and then the camera and frame where the ones that spun, with the hostess walks in one spot, and then goes in through the exit at the end.
Figure 2. Hostess
Kubrick designs the film so that it is nearly 30 minutes before any proper dialog is spoken and it is even long still until a plot for the film is shown to be developing. He boils the film down to the visual effects and the use of colour and camera shots "He reduces each scene to its essence, and leaves it on screen long enough for us to contemplate it, to inhabit it in our imaginations." (Ebert, 1997) Kubrick is not so interested in the storyline or plot, but rather developing new camera angles and capturing a designers essence of the film.

Figure 3. Star Ship Corridor
Often Kubrick will explore symmetry or the use of rotund shapes in his camera work which can be seen in figure 3. For this film these shapes and designs work really well in relating to the themes of space as they give the film a futuristic feel.
Overall this film was stunning to look at but the story line lacked interest, however no matter a persons opinion on this film, 2001: A Space Odyssey went on to inspire many other science fiction films such as Interstellar and it used many innovative camera techniques which developed new and different ways of using a camera to create a space and complement a running theme.


Bradshaw,P (2014) 2001: A Space Odyssey review-still visionary after all these years.
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(Used on 25/10/16)

Costa,L (2011) The visual effects in 2001 - A Space Odyssey.

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Ebert, R. (1997). Great Movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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All illustrations ( figures 1, 2, 3) Kubrick, S. (1968) '2001: A Space Odyssey'
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(Used on 25/10/16)