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Sci -Fi - Space Travel, Sci-Fi - Aliens

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001

Duration 2h 29m Rating (UK) U
Source of story Apparently derived from a collection of Arthur C. Clarke stories starting with “The Sentinel”.
Director Stanley Kubrick
Writers/Script Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke
Starring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Leonard Rossiter, Margaret Tysack, Robert Beatty

Elevator Pitch: In a future 2001 travel within the solar system is possible, and a strange monolith is found on the moon, which has made  a burst radio transmission in the direction of Jupiter. We, the viewers, know that a similar monolith appeared in prehistory, apparently enabling the primates to develop the use of tools. As a result of the discovery of the monolith the spacecraft, Discovery One, is dispatched towards Jupiter manned by two astronauts and the supercomputer HAL 9000. Much of the responsibility for the flight lies with HAL, but is it reliable?

Content: No sex, nudity, drinking, drug taking or smoking. The primates in a threatening environment on earth crouch together until they find the monolith, and then they arm themselves with bones. In the 2001 future, commercial space craft get people to the moon base. The suits meet to discuss the new monolith and then go to have a look at it. The spacecraft departs towards Jupiter and the astronauts carry out their day to day activities, which later is to involve a space walk from a small transport pod to replace a component. The checking of the component suggests to the crew and those monitoring on earth that HAL is malfunctioning. We see the results of this diagnosis.

A View: I’ll start of with today’s view. It is No 90 on the IMDb best film list and is generally feted as being a wonderful depiction of a possible future with realistic images of space travel. I watched it again yesterday, and I have to say that I did not rate it in 1968, and still don’t. The famous sequence where HAL goes loco is utterly contrived – just one aspect – Bowman would never have left the space craft without his helmet on (You are going to have to watch it). And the story is typical Arthur C. Clarke stuff, wonderfully presented technology with no characterisation and no real conclusion. You have to work it out for yourself. If you watch it prepare to be bored.

Additional Info: There is endless additional info on the internet. It is more interesting than the film.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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