When Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey first appeared on screens
in spring 1968, nothing quite like it had ever been seen before.
And, although the science and technology of motion picture special effects
have made huge strides in the intervening years, there hasn't been a film
quite like it since. It isn't just the spectacular - and the extraordinary
believable - look of the model and special effects shots, which are as
fresh and clean today as they were in 1968. It's the courage and
the audacity of the film and its maker to try something new, something
provocative and challenging to the audience, something intensely intellectual
yet expressed in almost completely visual terms. It had long been
commonplace to regard moving pictures as a handmaiden (and poor cousin)
to literature, to see language as the proper means of communicating
ideas, and images as capable of expressing and arousing only
feelings and sensations. 2001: A Space Odyssey dared to suggest
that images might be capable of embodying and evoking real ideas
about the nature and origin of human intelligence. In so doing, it
revolutionized the movies and carved itself an unassailable niche in motion
The following sections
are written by Robert C. Cumbow:
A Space Odyssey is a spectacular movie that grows more wondrous with
each viewing. Awesome in its scope, Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece
explores the mysteries of interplanetary space....and of human destiny.
"A uniquely poetic piece of science-fiction," 2001 is "hypnotically
entertaining; technically and imaginatively it is staggering" (The New
Yorker). "Kubrick's special effects border on the miraculous
- a quantum leap in quality over any sci-fi film ever made" (Newsweek).
As producer, director and co-writer of the screenplay (with Arthur C. Clarke),
Kubrick brought complex ideas to the screen with astounding immediacy through
dazzling special effects that won a much deserved Academy Award.
Moving from the prehistoric birth of intelligence to the emergence of man
as pure thought, 2001 is a remarkable achievement. Director
of photography Geoffrey Unsworth brings you a resplendent universe, while
the stately music of Strauss makes the galaxies sing. The entire
film is a stunning, sensual marvel - a cinematic experience like no other
before or since.