In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
A diplomat is nearly assassinated. In order to save him, a submarine is shrunken to microscopic size and injected into his blood stream with a small crew. Problems arise almost as soon as they enter the bloodstream.
Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.
"2001" is a story of evolution. Sometime in the distant past, someone or something nudged evolution by placing a monolith on Earth (presumably elsewhere throughout the universe as well). Evolution then enabled humankind to reach the moon's surface, where yet another monolith is found, one that signals the monolith placers that humankind has evolved that far. Now a race begins between computers (HAL) and human (Bowman) to reach the monolith placers. The winner will achieve the next step in evolution, whatever that may be. Written by
Stanley Kubrick worked for several months with effects technicians to come up with a convincing effect for the floating pen in the shuttle sequence. After trying many different techniques, without success, Kubrick decided to simply use a pen that was taped to a sheet of glass and suspended in front of the camera. In fact, the shuttle attendant can be seen to "pull" the pen off the glass when she takes hold of it. See more »
In the Dawn of Man scene, there are Tapirs roaming freely around the primates. There is not fossilized evidence of tapirs existing in Africa, but there are fossilized Tapirs in South America and Malaysia. Along with the Winter section of the scene, the film could not be hinting at the birth of man occurring in Africa. See more »
"Thus Spake Zarathustra" is the only musical piece in the film whose conductor and orchestra are not mentioned in the closing credits. For all other pieces, the orchestra which plays it, and the conductor who leads it, are given screen credit. See more »
Like a Circle around the human condition, 2001 starts at the beginning, skips the middle, and proceeds to the ending, right back where we started. Noting the weakness of words compared to image(s), Kubrick wisely dispenses with dialogue, preferring the power and essence of the scenery, and allowing the intelligence of the audience to do the deciphering. Or not, depending on the audience.
A monolith in cinematic history, 2001 is a high water mark of direction, execution, and achievement. If one considers the ambition of the film (a film about everything), and the measure of success the film achieved to that end, a very sound argument for this being the greatest of all films can be made.
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