Articles on Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey

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RR (makeup) (Group A): “Introductory Readings for Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey” Robert Poole, in his article, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” explores how the film was put together, edited for better responses from viewers and critics, and how our culture and politics of the 1960s influenced its making. Poole describes how Kubrick’s ahead-of-their-time special affects set the stage for future science fiction films and inspired many. Poole gives his readers a summary of the film, describing how man evolved from ape and into man who took to spaceflight. Kubrick’s film didn’t have great success at its initial premiere. In a celebrity premiere, Kubrick remembers the shock of its initial release, he says, “I have never seen an audience so restless…By the end of the film some were already leaving, and I will never forget my irritation at watching the sight of the Star Child’s enormous eyes gazing at their backs as they headed up the aisles towards the exit” (CP 174). This didn’t stop Kubrick, who then took to editing more of the film and removing large pieces of dialogue. What he did had worked. And Poole writes, “2001 succeeded because it was (as Kubrick put it) ‘a non-verbal experience’, or (in Clarke’s words) ‘a realistic myth’” (CP 174). The main demographic that the movie largely spoke to were the young. Poole writes, “…The children loving the film while their parents grumbled about its obscurity,” and, “’You’re not supposed to understand it, you’re supposed to watch it!’ chided one youngster” (CP 172). And for hippies and Vietnam veterans it had acquired a cult status. They filled the cinemas with marijuana smoke and according to Poole, had the “…Psychedelic ‘ultimate trip’ sequence” (CP 172). Regardless of how... ... middle of paper ... ..., according to Fry, “…Tells the story of humanity’s genesis, quite appropriately through the ironically presented visual suggestion of a post-Darwinian Garden, an anti-Eden…” (CP 178). Fry also compares the opening scene with that of the biblical Cain and Able story. He says, “…”Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him,” and, “The shots that follow, however, show the Cain figure triumphant, not outcast, like the biblical Cain” (CP 181). This is an “anti” bible example as well. Whereas Cain was outcast and punished by God, the ape-man was triumphant and his violence helped further his evolution. In conclusion, Fry and Poole made great arguments for Kubrick’s movie. While I have seen this movie several times as a child in the 1970s and early 1980s, the articles have me looking forward to seeing 2001 again. I look forward to this ‘visual’ story.
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