My Top 25 Films

8. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001 pic 1.

Open the pod bay doors, Hal.”

Go on, roll your eyes. Many people do, when I name drop 2001: A Space Odyssey as one of my favourite films. I understand as well; this movie does come across as primarily ‘one for the critics’ (unless your name was Pauline Kael).

But this film, arguably Stanley Kubrick’s most influential, was much more (and less) than an odyssey of groundbreaking visual effects and high minded philosophical ideas. It came with a classical Hollywood soundtrack – yet was also realistically silent for large portions. In HAL 9000 it had one of cinema’s great understated antagonists.

The film needs little plot synopsis. It is very much an experience, as much one as any other you’re ever likely to have in a cinema. I’m fortunate enough to be able to say I have seen it in that setting; I know many others of my generation have not. With a little imagination I’m sure you can share my sentiment though.

Love it, hate it, or feel indifferent about it, but if there’s one thing for sure, you certainly won’t forget 2001 once its classic imagery of space and the wider universe has forged itself onto the back of your thankful retinas.

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One thought on “8. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

  1. I think indifference is unlikely to be a reaction to this film. Personally I love it and think it is the greatest science fiction film ever made. I took my ten year old to the re-release last year for his first viewing, and whilst the ending baffled him, he also thought it was an amazing film. So not just one for the critics. Actually I think the critics weren’t too impressed initially.

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