Have you ever heard of the term “I’d rather watch paint dry?” For all of you who don’t know English and are practically reading gibberish at this point, it’s an idiom for when something seems really boring. And I feel compelled to tell you that Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey takes the meaning of that phrase to an entirely different level.
From shots of a spooky space monolith with screeching music that last forever, to seeing a stewardess (who clearly needs a hip replacement, by the way) take forever delivering food to the spacecraft’s pilots, this film is so damn boring. However, so stunning and beautiful all at the same time.
Everything from the set design to the cinematography makes this masterpiece incredible eye candy. One of my favorite shots is of Bowman in his orange spacesuit walking down a white corridor to get to his space pod. The contrast of colors and the symmetry of the shot creates a sterile feel, similar to other parts in the film. But shots like these all lead up to one thing: the idea of being human.
Between Bowman and Poole’s behaviors and interactions seeming inhuman, almost as if they were filming for The Room, to actually feeling sympathy for robo-killer HAL being disconnected, 2001 makes you question whether if being human, or what makes us human, truly matters. Which philosophy will allow our species progress into the future?
Ok, I’m done having my existential crisis. That means I can now get back to helping you survive the film’s boredom so that you get the most out of it.
Biggest tip: watch it with people, put subtitles on, and talk over it THE ENTIRE TIME. I am not kidding whatsoever. The dialog is minimal anyways. This will make time fly (not really but it's better than nothing,) I promise. You'll find yourself talking about the film for the most part because of how visually stunning it is. But hey, you can talk about anything,. You bought exotic hummus today at the farmers market? There’s a new Drake single out? You got more than 7 hours of sleep the night before? The small talk possibilities are endless.
If you couldn't tell, I'm trying to seem like an intellectual in this week's piece. I don't want to blow it, so I'm going to wrap up before I say something stupid.
From everyone here at OU, we hope that your academic semester is like this Kubrick masterpiece: well executed and stunning.