2001: A Space Odyssey The following paper will analyze the movie, “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Stanley Kubrick” and “The Centinel” by Arthur C. Clarke. Although there are many themes present between the story and the film, the following are the most dominant. I will be discussing Scientific themes, Religious and Moral Themes, and Clarke’s development of the short story into a full-length film. The first issue, I will be discussing the scientific themes of the movie. The movie, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” has a one of a kind vision of science and technology.
The movie “2001” brings a great new style of reality and realism to space technology and travel. Since there was no great technology in 1968 and space travel was not as well defined as today, Kubrick stayed away from fantasy and focused more on reality of space travel, a scientific theme throughout the movie. “2001” definitely shows the viewer the outer space in a very effective way. The outer space is large and empty, which Kubrick displays very well. His computer, HAL 9000, is one of the most popular computers in my opinion. HAL 9000 is a big machine, and speaks like we expect machines to speak, and is apparently designed to have some emotion.
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HAL 9000 was built to be invincible with very little flaws and that characteristic is typical to be put in movies, illustrating the point that often movies have too much faith and trust in machines. HAL 9000 was designed to finish his mission and was given enough intelligence and feelings to do so, but when he begins to malfunction, he starts killing the humans on board as a symbol of his dominance over the human race. Therefore, even though HAL 9000 is a computer, he possesses many human like characteristics. The discussion about science leads into the second point of monoliths and technology. web defines a monolith as something, such as a column or monument, made from one large block of stone.
This is first portrayed in the first couple of scenes in the movie. As the gorilla finds the monolith, picks it up and uses it as a weapon to kill prey. Next, when the gorilla throws the bone up in to the air, it becomes a space ship over Earth. As I researched, this was the longest time change in history of all the movies. Considering the bone became the spaceship just shows that even though technologically people have progressed, the minds still stayed relatively the same with the same goals.
As a saying my mother once told me, Men are like children, but when they get older they change their toys. I find this to be relevant in “2001” as the time change only portrays a different time period but more or less the same content. Because the movie is very slow paced, in my opinion, it gives the viewer a lot of time to question everything that is happening and make sure to understand everything. There is not much conversation there either which is not serving as another distraction. Makes the theme of the movie very clear. Stanley Kubrick also includes the monolith into the movie, as it is in the “Sentinel” by Clarke.
In the story it is symbolic for power. The monolith is also symbolic because in the movie, the power of the monolith is parallel to the advancement of technological growth. Because every time the monolith is mentioned, there is another mention to power. Finally, the third reasoning about Clarke’s development from his short film story into a full-length film ties closely together with Kubrick and his “2001.” Even though most of the movie is in slow motion, from this motion sequence, the film goes in to the very distant future where later discovered is a sentinel or the monolith on the moon, clearly a reference to the main focus of Clarke’s views. In the movie however, the jumps between one time frame to another by Kubrick leaves a lot to the imagination without him defining every moment of the movies existence.
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It is brilliantly portrayed to make the audience think instead of just watch. One very clear difference between the story, “Sentinel” and the movie, “2001,” is the narration of both. In the story, it is narrated by the astronaut / scientist, which is the main storyteller. However, in “2001,” the story telling is in the imagination of the reader. There is no narrator that tells you what is going to happen next, and the music is not one that foreshadows but rather serves as background music to underline the importance of the movie itself. Finally, in “2001,” Kubrick only helps to see what the monolith really is and leaves it up to the imagination of the audience.
However, in the “Sentinel,” Clarke clearly shows that it gets destroyed and again the readers are unsure what the truth about it was. In conclusion, there are many details about both the movie and the story that are completely fascinating. The fact that in 1968 technology had not been so developed as portrayed in “2001” showed great knowledge in a field that had not been researched extensively in that era. Although there are many themes present between the story and the film, the most significant were Scientific themes, Religious and Moral Themes, and Clarke’s development of the short story into a full-length film.
Finally, I found the movie and the story to be very fascinating especially considering it was produced in 1968. Thank you for the new experience.
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