Cinematic Components Fuel Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”

Introduction

It is a sin to write this.  Mr. Stanley Kubrick told me so:

2001 is a nonverbal experience; out of two hours and 19 minutes of film, there are only a little less than 40 minutes of dialog. I tried to create a visual experience, one that bypasses verbalized pigeonholing and directly penetrates the subconscious with an emotional and philosophic content.1

-Stanley Kubrick

Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey certainly bypasses verbalized pigeonholing, but that doesn’t mean the film defies explanation and discussion.  The present piece will analyze how Kubrick succeeds at the rather lofty goal of creating this  “visual experience” by looking at three key cinematic components that Kubrick uses to tell this story.  First, we’ll look at aural components like dialogue, music, and soundtrack.  Then, we’ll delve into the visual components like special effects and cinematography.  Finally, we’ll deal with thematic components, focusing on Kubrick’s use of archetypes.  Together, these components produce a rare beauty: a pure expression of cinema and the power that it has to inspire the imagination.

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A Year of Masterpieces – Analyzing the Filmography of Stanley Kubrick

As I mentioned in my State of the Blog post this month, I am planning a series of in-depth essays on the films of Stanley Kubrick.  Near the end of each month, I will publish an essay on one of Kubrick’s films, and I intend these pieces to be worthy of the films that they are analyzing, not mere “reviews”.  This will not be a trivial pursuit.  And, I acknowledge that I may not be up to the Herculean task.  Regardless, these are some of my favorite films, and I hope to enhance my enjoyment of them (and yours!) through analysis and discussion.

Continue reading “A Year of Masterpieces – Analyzing the Filmography of Stanley Kubrick”

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