Kubrick 2001: A Space Odyssey Film Analysis

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Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is a film largely defined by a split between human visceral drives, and mechanical narrative detachment. The film appears to privilege visceral images (including the psychedelic Stargate scene in the film’s concluding segment, “Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite”) as a means of creating an enigmatic affective experience which prompts immersion in the film. Instead, Kubrick is more concerned with providing a strong visceral experience over narrative meaning, as evidenced in his assertion that the Stargate sequence’s “meaning has to be found on a sort of visceral, psychological level rather than in a specific literal interpretation When considering Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, pensive spectatorship is particularly…show more content…
HAL and the monoliths are indeed the film’s most interesting and enigmatic figures; in fact, numerous critics such as Robert Kolker, Michael Mateas, and Christopher Rowe have pointed out the fact that HAL has “more feelings than any of the human characters inhabiting the film” (Kolker, Introduction 9; Mateas 106; Rowe 44). Thus, these cyborgs are compelling figures which help to immerse spectators within the film as captivating enigmas, but their enigmatic nature disrupts the narrative’s clarity because of their opacity. For example, the film depicts monoliths on various locations throughout the universe, but their origin and fundamental purpose are not clearly explained to the…show more content…
While the loneliness of nihilism has always been possible, it lacks dramatic potential. To find something is a very different story. Since its inception, science fiction has become the popular medium for portraying that something, the presence in the universe that challenges or confirms the anthropocentric presumptions of the great monotheistic civilizations of Western society. As Stanley Kubrick was fond of noting, the psychologist Carl Jung predicted that any encounter with transcendent intelligence would tear the reins from our hands, and we would find ourselves without dreams. We would find our intellectual and spiritual aspirations so outmoded as to leave us completely paralyzed. Quite aptly, therefore, Kubrick said of his film masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey: “I will say that the God concept is at the heart of 2001, but not any traditional, anthropomorphic image of God.” He recognized that space travel is nothing less than a voyage into time: into the future and into the past, toward end time and back to
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