2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey ★★★★★

Arthur C Clarke’s future-predicting, ground-breaking, thought-provoking science fiction Space Odyssey novel could only be directed by someone who shared a similar imagination. Stanley Kubrick applies his unique direction and vision to Clarke’s original narrative to translate and express his personal interpretation of the novel, which was written concurrently to the film’s screenplay.

From the evolution of man to the technological advancements of space exploration, the film stays true to the key themes tackled in the novel. But more than anything else, Kubrick’s ingenuity opened the door for the fantastic visualisation of one of cinema’s most devilish villains, HAL.

Of course there are moments where the novel and the film differ in approach, which is only natural for a source material that relies so heavily on the individual’s own interpretation. These minor details – including changing the location from Saturn to Jupiter and the appearance of the monolith, which was originally written as a crystalline structure rather than the solid-black obelisk that dwarfs us – are the result of technical restraints due to the period it was produced.

Though it divided opinion on release, Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey was later rewarded with the acclaim it deserved and has since been heralded as one of the most compelling, allegorical and inspirational films of all time.

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