Beyond Chaos's Movie Review of 2001: A Space Odyssey

Rating of

2001: A Space Odyssey

Numinous. Transcendent. Cathartic.
Beyond Chaos - wrote on 06/12/10

There are so many things to say about 2001 but only a basic outline of the plot can be accepted as objective. This is one of the most subjective works in cinematic history, and rightfully so. It is also among a small handful of flawless films; its technical perfection in particular is undeniable.

I sat through all 2 1/2 hours in one viewing session, taking no breaks. This has never happened to me before outside the cinema. 2001 had a captivating, awe-inspiring, spiritual effect on me unlike any other film I have experienced. Its majesty - facilitating the opening of my subconscious - kept me transfixed on what is essentially music married to visuals with a near absence of drama (save for the thrilling HAL sequence) and very little dialogue.

2001 transcends the traditional three act structure; it is a symphony of four movements, closely resembling Beethoven's 9th (my favorite orchestral composition).

1st: Dawn of Man - lays the groundwork and themes (that will be echoed later) for what is to follow. The "larval" stage.

2nd: A sterile, silly yet plausible utopia, mirroring the jokey second movement. Mankind in its "pupa" stage.

3rd: The dark, moody movement which contains the film's only conflict (between HAL and the astronauts). The Discovery ship is the cocoon and the central character jettisoning from it (after a cold, bloodless set of murders that are reflections of the furious, violent apes at the beginning) leads to the emergence of the butterfly.

4th: Glorious, indescribable, orgasmic Presto movement. Transformation to the next stage - the Star Child.

2001: A Space Odyssey is a true work of art.

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