WEEK 4 POST

In the text Film: From watching to seeing, Bill Goodykoontz and Christopher Jacobs describe mise en scène as all the what we see in a scene. A French term borrowed from the theater referring to what is “placed in the scene” mise en scène includes all the elements that film has in common with theater, such as setting, costumes, props, and blocking. Additionally, film is dependent upon additional considerations such as placement and movement of characters and props in the scene as they relate to camera shots, color, lighting, and other elements of cinematography. Actors are placed into the film’s sets by the director to bring a written character to life. The final performance is a collaboration process between the director, writers, and actors. Actors are as much part of mise en scène as other technical elements used in making a film such as lighting and sound. All three people must work together to create the finished film, and while the actor may not have much say in which aspects of his performance the director chooses, he does have a say in the performance itself. For this reason actors are as much part of Mise en scène as other technical elements used in making a film such as lighting and sound. (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014).

In the film 2001: A Space Odyssey Stanley Kubrick intended for the audience to think about themes, in the same way we look at an individual piece of artwork using our own individual insight. 2001: A Space Odyssey is a thematic piece for individual interpretation with no plot or character development on purpose. It is this lack of structure which allows the audience to fill in the blanks and come up with their own meaning to the film. ”Kubrick’s form foregrounds image and symbol and backgrounds character and plot.” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, p. 63). Actors use different methods of acting, often depending on the film, or role itself. Some methods include stylized acting, method acting, character acting and others. In keeping with Kubrick’s methodology of mineralizing character and plot and placing emphasis on the theme, the acting style used in the film by all actors is that of impersonator. “The term impersonator is considered somewhat demeaning in the acting world, suggesting that the actor has simply copied the manner, dialect, and behavior of a character, instead of creating the character.” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, p. 117). In the film 2001: A Space Odyssey this method is useful for advancing the overall theme of the film without distracting the audience with character development.

In the film 2001: A Space Odyssey all the major roles deliver a similar stoic and inconsequential performance. Additionally, the use of unknown actors helps further the cause. This intention void of human emotion is achieved by the actors mimicking the non-human personality of computers. In doing this, Stanley Kubrick is portraying the future attrition of human emotion in contrast to the seemingly more humanlike programmed artificial intelligence as is demonstrated by “Hal”, the HAL 9000 computer piloting the Discovery One. The first consequential dialog is delivered about forty five minutes into the film by actor William Sylvester, playing the character Dr. Heywood Floyd. Upon arriving aboard the US Space Station, Dr. Floyd meets a Soviet scientist, and her colleague Dr. Andrei Smyslov, who ask Floyd about “odd things” occurring at Clavius. His stoic unemotional delivery is evident in the clip below entitled “Dr. Heywood Floyd aboard the International Space Station”.


2001: A Space Odyssey [1968] scene — Dr. Heywood Floyd Aboard the International Space Station  [Video file] Retrieved April 10, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlPMxgHQKg8

Eighteen months later we are introduced to two crew members, David Bowman and Frank Poole aboard the U.S. spacecraft Discovery One bound for Jupiter. Actor Gary Lockwood plays the character of Dr. Frank Poole and actor Keir Dullea plays the character of Dr. Dave Bowman. We first see Dr. Frank Poole jogging aboard the spacecraft and then receiving a Birthday video greeting from his parents in the clip below. Although the dialog is minimal, you can see the unemotional disregard he has towards the blasé message. He seems more concerned with his tan than he does with watching the video of his parents. His performance is intentionally flat.

2001: Frank’s Parents [Video file] Retrieved April 10, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpzCGZnpXkE

In the next scene we see David and Frank sitting inside a pod aboard the Discovery One discussing Hal. Both David and Frank are almost indistinguishable from one another in appearance, speech and mannerisms. The drone like banter void of human emotion is meant to showcase the disappearance of uniqueness in favor of manufactured programmed interactions amongst humans. In this instance both actors are intentionally machinelike and thusly interchangeable.

2001:Hal Reads Lips [Video file] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s-PiIbzbhw

In the next scene we see David sitting inside a pod outside the Discovery One. Even after Hal has murdered all the other members of the Discovery One, Dave is calmly rationalizing and discussing his probable demise with Hal in the same tone and manner as when he was earlier discussing chess and art.


Hal 9000 VS Dave – Ontological scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey [Video file] Retrieved April 10, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwBmPiOmEGQ

As with all the actors who appeared in Stanley Kubrick’s epic science-fiction film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, the apex of Keir Dullea’s film career was in his lead role as the astronaut Dr. David Bowman. Because Keir Dullea’s character Dr. David Bowman was such a limited type of role using the impersonation style of acting; Dullea utilized many other different types of acting in numerous television and movie roles in the years that followed. Keir Dullea and Douglas Rain (the voice of HAL 9000) were the only two actors to return in the 1984 sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey entitled 2010: Odyssey Two.

Something Wonderful [Video file] Retrieved April 10, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmCMIJsYvZM

Years before working with Kubrick, Keir Dullea starred as David in the 1962 drama David and Lisa, the emotional story of a young man in a mental institution for teens who begins to understand his psychosis in the environment of others with mental and emotional problems. The film allows Dullea to show his more emotional and sensitive form of acting not displayed in 2001: A Space Odyssey.


David And Lisa Retrieved April 10, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox39j2wwhy0&feature=player_detailpage

Over the next thirty years five years Dullea played many main charactures, and avoided being typecast as a personality actor. Following his role in 2001: A Space Odyssey; Dullea has appeared in such various roles as Magnus Lofting in the 1977 horror film Full Circle, as Dr. Steiger in the 1984 thriller Blind Date, and as Senator John Russell, Sr. in the 2006 spy film The Good Shepherd. His many television roles have included appearances is westerns such as Bonanza and police drams such as Law and Order. Always a versatile and flexible actor, his career continues today. (“Keir Dullea”, n.d.) In 2009 Dullea starred as Jake the comedy drama entitled All Me, All the Time which displayed more of the actors versatility and range as a dramatic actor. See the clip below.


Keir Dullea and Mia Dillon [Video file] Retrieved April 10, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiI7QSol2Zk

References for week 4:

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Kuberski, P. (2008). Kubrick’s Odyssey: Myth, Technology, Gnosis. Arizona Quarterly: A Journal Of American Literature, Culture, And Theory, (3), 51.

Works cited for week 4:

“Keir Dullea” n.d. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keir_Dullea (accessed April 9, 2015).

Week 3 Post

Throughout the film 2001: A Space Odyssey Stanley Kubrick uses mise en scène, referring to what is “placed in the scene”; and sound to realistically depict an accurate vision of the future with astonishing attention to detail.

Sound is one of the most important elements of a film; however it is often one of the most overlooked. Filmmakers can draw from different types of sounds to compose the final soundtrack the audiences hear while they’re watching the film including diegetic and non-diegetic. Diegetic sounds exist within a film’s story world and include any music that is being performed or heard by characters in the story, sound effects and dialogue. Non-diegetic sounds are complementary sounds such as background music or enhanced sound effects intended to intensify the moods, or using unrealistic sounds for dramatic or comic counterpoint to the image. Opposite is diegetic; it is heard by the viewers, however it does not exist in the story world inhabited by the characters.

The three categories of movie sound; dialogue, sound effects, and music all work together within the film but are treated separately during production. Dialogue is the spoken words by two or more characters or narration by a char­acter in the story. Added layers of sound effects and music must not obscure important dialogue, an easier task when dialogue, music, and effects are all recorded separately. When edited properly, music is seamlessly combined with the rest of the sound so audiences are often unaware of when it starts and finishes.

With no dialog for the first twenty minutes of the film, 2001: A Space Odyssey relies heavily upon non-diegetic sounds such as background music or enhanced sound effects to intensify the mood of the film. The first part of the film, The Dawn of Man demonstrates first using solely sound effects and later only background music to enhance the mood.

The film opens four million years ago with a tribe of herbivorous early hominids serenely foraging for food in the African desert. One hominid is killed by a leopard, forcing the others to retreat and cower as a group in a cave for protection. After initial contact with the first monolith; in one of the most famous and iconic scenes of the film, one hominid has an epiphany on how to use a bone for a weapon. He picks up a bone from the skeletal remains of a wild boar and spontaneously begins smashing it. The scene cuts back and forth between the hominid merely smashing the skeletal remains of, and then killing a live wild boar. The climax of this realization culminates with the hominid throwing the bone high in the air. Background music is introduced early in the scene and soon becomes the dominant element, driving the inspirational mood of the scene to an almost divine level.

2001: Dawn of Man [Video file] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2iiPpcwfCA

Before long, two competing groups of hominids meet at a common watering hole. One inspired group now has several hominids armed with bones as weapons, while the other group remains defenseless. After an aggressive exchange of chatter and display of force, one hominid eventually clubs a rival to death. The entire scene is void of dialog and music, relying upon the introduced sound effects of the battling groups. This sole dependency of sound effects contributes to the primitive, visceral mood of the scene.

2001: Greatest Fight Scene[Video file] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wstIBq2H0z8

2001: A Space Odyssey also relies upon diegetic sounds within a film’s story world. A prominent example of this is the scene of David and Frank sitting inside a pod aboard the Discovery One discussing Hal. Although they are surrounded by onboard computers and equipment, the only sound you hear is the conversation between David and Frank discussing the fact that Hal reads lips.

2001: Hal reads lips  [Video file] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1s-PiIbzbhw

Throughout the film 2001: A Space Odyssey Stanley Kubrick uses both diegetic and non-diegetic sounds sound to realistically depict an accurate vision of the future. Much of the music is set to classical waltzes by Aram Khachaturian, Johann Strauss and others. The use of music and movement is designed to give the impression of the machines waltzing. Examples are evident in scenes of the space station spinning to a classical waltz, which is the ultimate expression of the state of grace that humanity-built technology has now achieved.

2001: A Space Odyssey-Strauss [Video file] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqOOZux5sPE

Another example of music used to set the mood of the film is Gregory Ligeti’s Requiem playing as background to the scientific team approaching the monolith on the moon. In this case Requiem evokes a religious tone suggestive of higher beings for the film.

2001: A Space Odyssey – The Monolith On The Moon [Video file] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU4Rk0NATNs

Other scenes in the film use sound to convey the sense of being located deep within a large spacecraft. The drone of the engines gives the audience the feeling of being near the engine room deep within the hull of a large ship. This background noise adds to the illusion.

2001: Hal kills[Video file] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4n3dbPqk58

Throughout the film 2001: A Space Odyssey Stanley Kubrick meticulously chooses sounds to produce very specific effects. In Italian musical terms, the qualities of music are chiefly characterized as colossal, in a fashion which suggests immensity. Additionally, the terms maestoso (majestic) and misterioso (mysterious) are relevant as well. Further, the soundtrack uses crescendo to build anticipation of something incredible unimaginable at the end of film. (List of Italian musical terms used in English, n.d.) Diminished the intensity of any one of the three categories of movie sound; dialogue, sound effects, and music would have greatly reduced the epic status of the film. The balanced, unified application of all three is what instills Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey a classic.

References for week 3

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

List of Italian musical terms used in English. (n.d.) In Wikipedia. Retrieved April 4, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Italian_musical_terms_used_in_English

Week 2 Post

In the text Film: From watching to seeing, Bill Goodykoontz and Christopher Jacobs attribute mise en scène to a French term borrowed from the theater as meaning what is “placed in the scene.” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014, P. 106) The filmmakers carefully choose and place everything in a scene to tell the story to the audience in ways that do not require dialogue to explain anything. As with such tangible things such as scenery and props; the intensity and direction of lighting will influence how an image is perceived by the viewer, and it can establish or enforce particular themes. Nearly all films draw on one or more of the three major types of lighting; high-key, low-key  and three-point lighting. Most scenes of most movies fall somewhere in between the extremes of high-key and low-key lighting, yet the film 2001: A Space Odyssey provides examples of all three major types.

The film uses high-key lighting extensively throughout. “A high-key lighting design has very bright light over everything, with few shadows and relatively low contrast between the lightest and darkest parts of the scene. This style of lighting is typical of comedies, happy scenes, institutional and office scenes, and the like. “(Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014, P. 138) Scenes from the US Lunar outpost terminal are flooded with light from the floor to the ceiling, punctuated only with a bright red seating arrangement. Evenly distributed light from many different angles results in minimal shadows from the people and furniture in the room. At the end of the film, when Bowman returns to what appears to be a laboratory setting back on earth the set is once again flooded with light from the floor to the ceiling. Even the floor itself appears to be illuminated. Both scenes give the audience a sense of clinical institutionalism. See photos and video below.

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[Untitled illustration of Dr. Floyd aboard US Lunar Outpost] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from:http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121113020234/althistory/images/c/c1/

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[Untitled illustration of Bowman as middle aged] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: http://thechaselounge.net/showthread.php?p=28770

Beyond the Infinite [Video file] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=GLZdnR7Nkus

The film uses low-key lighting extensively, as well. In contrast to high-key lighting, a low-key lighting design looks dark overall. “It is marked by extreme use of deep shadows, with very high contrast between the brightest parts of the scene and the darkest parts, which are obscured in shadows. Often there may be only a single source of light, coming from the back or the side of the main characters. Low-key lighting is often used for intense dramatic scenes, horror films, mystery thrillers, and the like. However, most scenes of most movies fall somewhere in between these extremes of high-key and low-key lighting.” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014, P. 138) In the beginning of the film during the dawn of man, the early hominids are filmed extensively in low light, especially in the night time cave scene. Scenes around the excavated monolith on the moon are very dark, for the most part. Further, there are multiple instances aboard various space craft and shuttles which are filmed in low light, to include the US Lunar shuttle and Discovery One. This permeating darkness amplifies the dramatic effect of the scenes. See photos and video below.

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[Untitled illustration of Cave] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: https://angasongtagaandalusia.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/stanley-kubricks-2001-a-space-odyssey-a-highly-philosophical-and-transcendent-work-that-awakens-the-human-mind/

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[Untitled illustration of Aboard US Lunar shuttle] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from:https://angasongtagaandalusia.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/stanley-kubricks-2001-a-space-odyssey-a-highly-philosophical-and-transcendent-work-that-awakens-the-human-mind/

The Monolith On The Moon [Video file] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU4Rk0NATNs&feature=player_detailpage

The third type of lighting; three-point lighting is used sparingly throughout the film. “Three-point lighting A lighting style based upon three primary sources of light, a bright key light and slightly dimmer fill light to the upper right and left sides of the camera, aiming at the subject to create a three-dimensional appearance with soft shadows, and a back light placed behind the subject and aimed at its back to create a rim of light that separates it from the background.” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014, P. 138) Scenes of David and Frank sitting inside a pod aboard the Discovery One discussing Hal uses three-point lighting, lending a halo appearance to both occupants. In the final scenes of the film during the evolution of the star-child, Stanley Kubrick is replicating the visual ambiance with special effects the star-child that he achieved with the earlier scenes David and Frank sitting inside a pod. This is intended to lend a feeling of divinity to both scenes. See photos and video below.
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[Untitled illustration of I’ve got a bad feeling about this] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: http://movieimage2.tripod.com/2001/part2.html

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[Untitled illustration of Star-baby] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from:https://angasongtagaandalusia.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/stanley-kubricks-2001-a-space-odyssey-a-highly-philosophical-and-transcendent-work-that-awakens-the-human-mind/

The Monolith On The Moon [Video file] Retrieved March 26, 2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1s-PiIbzbhw

References for week 2

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Week 1 Post

Writer: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clark

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Major actors: Keir Dulleu, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester

Year released: 1968

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey Trailer [Video file] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: http://www.liveforfilms.com/2014/10/21/stanley-kubricks-2001-a-space-odyssey-is-returning-to-uk-cinemas/

Plot summary: The movie 2001: A Space Odyssey is the story of human evolution.
2001: A Space Odyssey is the story of human evolution which crosses time and space through four main acts. The movie begins with the dawn of man, through modern mans space exploration towards Jupiter and beyond. The consistency of the plot occurs with an unexplained monolith that starts the evolution of mankind and ends with the next evolution of man. The movie suggests major leaps in human evolution are being instigated by human contact with black monoliths of unknown origin. The movie begins during prehistoric times depicting man’s contact with the first monolith. This first contact is responsible for the pivotal point in human evolution in which man discovers tools which we decide to use for killing and survival. We then move to the near distant future when we learn that a second monolith has been discovered on the moon. We next travel to Jupiter in a search for a third monolith. Finally we travel back to earth where we see a forth monolith. We are also presented with abstract sequences, which contribute to meaning beyond the plot and push the overall success of the film.

Story summary: The movie 2001: A Space Odyssey is a science fiction epic consists of four major acts.

Act One: The Dawn of Man.

The opening scene of the movie is of a tribe of herbivorous early hominids are foraging for food in the African desert. One member of the tribe is killed by a leopard and another member drives the animal away. The next morning they all awake to find a black monolith has appeared in front of them.

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Human Evolution Gets a Kickstart [Online image] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: http://movieimage2.tripod.com/2001/

First frightened and confused by the relic, they eventually touch it. Soon afterwards they realize how to use bone for weapons. First used to kill prey for food, they progress to killing the leader of another tribe. Happy with their success, the leader throws the bone used to kill the other tribe leader high in the air. The scene transitions from the bone to a spaceship.

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[Untitled illustration of Early man smashes skull] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from http://nathanbauman.com/odysseus/?cat=12

Act Two: Tycho Magnetic Anomaly One (TMA-1).

In 1999, humankind discovered a second monolith buried beneath the surface of the moon. The scene opens with Dr. Heywood R. Floyd traveling aboard a shuttle to a US Lunar outpost.

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[Untitled illustration of US Lunar Outpost] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: http://movieimage2.tripod.com/2001/

Upon arrival, Dr. Floyd makes a videophone call from a US Lunar outpost to his daughter, Dr. Floyd meets a Soviet scientist, and her colleague Dr. Andrei Smyslov, who ask Floyd about “odd things” occurring at Clavius.

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[Untitled illustration of meeting aboard US Lunar Outpost] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121113020234/althistory/images/c/c1/

Dr. Floyd tells the group he has no knowledge of any oddities going on and is not at liberty to discuss the purpose of his mission. Dr. Floyd is soon briefed on the lunar discovery of the monolith. The immidiate reaction is that it was intentionally buried four million years ago.

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[Untitled illustration of TMA-1] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: http://gameprogrammersnotebook.blogspot.com/2014/05/my-games-ground-control-to-major.html

After being escavated, it is discovered that the monoliths point of origin is Jupiter, and thus an expedition is planned for Jupiter with Dr. Floyd and four others in hopes of confirm the locating the source of the monolith.

Act Three: Jupiter Mission.

Eighteen months later, the U.S. spacecraft Discovery One is bound for Jupiter. Onboard are three scientists in cryogenic state including Dr. Floyd, and two conscious crewmen operating the Discovery One. Most of Discovery’s operations are controlled by the ship’s computer, HAL 9000 which the crew refers to as “Hal”.

Jupiter Mission

Jupiter Mission: 18 Months Later [Online image] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: http://movieimage2.tripod.com/2001/

During the voyage some mechanical problems develop on the Discovery One. Hal makes some suggestions on how to fix the problems. Hal learns that the crew members David Bowman and Frank Poole decide they will disconnect Hal if his recommendations are proven to be wrong.

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[Untitled illustration of I’ve got a bad feeling about this] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: http://movieimage2.tripod.com/2001/part2.html

At this point Hal tries to kill off all the crew members and take control of the ship. He terminates life support systems for the three scientists in cryogenic state.

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[Untitled illustration of Kaminsky] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/241294492510546829/

Having lured Frank Poole outside the Discovery One, Hal severs the life support line leaving Frank to drift off lifeless into space.

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[Untitled illustration of Frank drifting in space] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: http://movieimage2.tripod.com/2001/part2.html

Eventually there is only one crewmember left alive, Dave Bowman who successfully disconnects Hal and regains control of the Discovery One.

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[Untitled illustration of Dave disconnects Hal] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: https://megfiechter.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/2001-a-space-odyssey-that-triumphs-in-70mm/

Once Hal is finally shut down, a pre-recorded video message from Floyd plays. The message reveals the existence of the four million-year-old black monolith on the Moon, “its origin and purpose still a total mystery”.

Act Four: Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite.

Once Bowman finally reaches Jupiter he leaves Discovery One in a small pod to investigate another monolith discovered in orbit around the planet.

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[Untitled illustration of Jupiter and beyond the monolith] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: http://movieimage2.tripod.com/2001/part2.html

When Bowman approaches the monolith in his pod, he is suddenly pulled into a vortex of colored light.

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[Untitled illustration of vortex] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: http://movieimage2.tripod.com/2001/part2.html

The pod eventually returns Bowman to what appears to be a laboratory setting back on earth.

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[Untitled illustration of Discovery One pod returns to earth] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: http://movieimage2.tripod.com/2001/part2.html

After several bizarre phenomena Bowman sees progressively older versions of himself until he finally sees himself as a very old man lying in the bed.

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[Untitled illustration View of Bowman from inside pod] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: http://movieimage2.tripod.com/2001/part2.html

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[Untitled illustration View of Bowman as middle aged] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: http://thechaselounge.net/showthread.php?p=28770

In the end a black monolith appears at the foot of the bed.

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[Untitled illustration View of Bowman progressively older] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: http://movieimage2.tripod.com/2001/part2.html

As Bowman reaches for it, he is transformed into a fetus, thus restarting the circle of life. The movie concludes with the new being floating in space beside the Earth, gazing at it.

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[Untitled illustration of Star-baby] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: http://movieimage2.tripod.com/2001/part2.html

Chronological Presentation Style

The movie 2001: A Space Odyssey is filmed in chronological order,  although all events are not the same duration. Part one; the dawn of man begins the movie four million years ago. Part two; Tycho Magnetic Anomaly One takes place in the year 1999. Part three; the Jupiter mission  joins us eighteen months later. Part four; Jupiter and beyond the infinite takes us back to earth and time is accelerated for the duration of Bowman’s lifetime.

The aesthetic choice contributed to the general effect on the audience.

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey was filmed on an epic scale, contributing to status as one of the classic Science Fiction films of all time.

“The most basic element of 2001: the uncompromising, abstract beauty of the cinematography captured by Kubrick’s superb eye for mise-en-scene. His establishing shots, alone, would be enough to win the Cinematography Oscar in today’s world. One of Kubrick’s trademarks is his skill of boxing in the frame of the shot with the set, which greatest depth. Also, he adds more levels to photography by framing his shot through other objects.” (Showers, 2013)

Kubrick was a perfectionist with an astonishing attention to detail. He was intent on creating as accurate a depiction of the future as was possible at the time.

“Kubrick hired spacecraft consultants Frederick Ordway and Harry Lange, who had worked with NASA in developing advanced space vehicle concepts. It would be these two, rather than a conventional production designer, who would be responsible for conceiving the technological world of 2001.” (Williams, 2010, para. 7)

“Indeed, NASA administrator George Mueller and astronaut Deke Slayton are said to have dubbed 2001’s production facilities “NASA East” due to the level of accuracy in the designs and the amount of scientific hardware at the studio.” (Williams, 2010, para. 9)

Another thing that 2001 brings is a sense of wonder and unreality. Kubrick produces some of the most memorable scenes of the film portraying the illusion of zero gravity or space travel by ingenious camera effects. On the lunar shuttle the flight attendant seemingly walks a complete 180º ending upside down. This effect was achieved by rotating the set as the flight attendant walked stationary.

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[Untitled illustration of shuttle stewardess] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: http://movieimage2.tripod.com/2001/

And, in the centrifuge sequence Bowman climbs down a ladder, walks around the wall to sit with a seated Poole.  As with the flight attendant scene, the centrifuge sequence was achieved by creating a massive, spinning set.

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[Untitled illustration of revolving centrifuge] Retrieved March 18, 2015 from: http://movieimage2.tripod.com/2001/

The choice of storytelling method impacted the way the audience viewed the film.

Stanley Kubrick intended for the audience to think about themes, in the same way we look at an individual piece of artwork using our own individual insight. A Space Odyssey is a thematic piece for individual interpretation with no plot or character development on purpose. It is this lack of structure which allows the audience to fill in the blanks and come up with their own meaning to the film. That being said, foreshadowing is very present in the opening chapter, as well as harsh violence of the apes learning the boundaries of survival to set the mood and tone for the film. With little development of characters, the score also gives direction for the audience. Many parts of the score are still iconic today.

The film could have followed a different presentation style.

2001: A Space Odyssey has been described by some as a movie where literally nothing happens. The plot of the story crosses time and space, taking you from the dawn of human evolution through the next evolution of man, a new star-child. Nevertheless, the film does not have an interdependent beginning, middle, and end. Along the way there is minimal character development. The movie has many themes carried throughout the entire length of the film, such as man versus technology, the idea of an unexplained influence driving human evolution, and the destiny of man. This is done to illustrate mans insignificance in the universe. Other movies such as Star Wars have used different presentation styles spending a great deal of effort on character development, at the expense of the unparallel scope and breadth of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

References for Week 1 Post

Showers, R. (2013, November 2). 2001: A Space Odyssey Thoughts. Retrieved March 18, 2015, from https://feelthefilms.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/2001-a-space-odyssey-thoughts/

Williams, B. (2010, September 28). Designing the Future – The production design of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Retrieved March 18, 2015, from http://doubleonothing.com/2010/09/28/designing-the-future-the-production-design-of-2001-a-space-odyssey/