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2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)

When astronauts are sent on a mysterious mission, their ship’s computer system begins to display increasingly strange behavior, leading up to a tense showdown between man and machine.

2001: A Space Odyssey is concerned with the evolution of humanity and how the creation of artifical intelligence can proof a real threat to humanity. “An epic drama of adventure and exploration” – As a way of capturing the vastness of space and all these motifs, Stanley Kubrick can be seen using his signature cinematographic technique – Leading lines towards the center of the frame or the subject can be seen everywhere in his perfectly symmetric compositions. Odd angles, but also close-ups and medium close-ups help introduce a claustrophobic atmosphere and discomfort. There is also a sense of sterility, which can be seen in the extremely clean and corporate look given to the space station that Dr. Heywood R. Floyd disembarks onto.
Modernist furniture, bright white lights and smooth surfaces help reflect a bland uniformity that is not dissimilar to a corporate branded world. The high key look serves the purpose of reinforcing this location as a common place to the viewer, a casual and routine environment, which helps strengthen the actual details of the conversation. The film, however, also does not miss out on low key lighting, which can be seen accentuating the conflict between HAL, the spaceship computer and Dave Bowman. HAL‘s omnipresent eye is red, which is a colour showing up many times during the film. In this sterile and clean environment, red shows contrast, being the colour of blood, which is life-filled, loud and stimulating. It represents the colour of life and strong passionate feelings, from anger to love and sexual passion. As a result, the red seen in the cockpits of the spaceships and various furniture, reminds us of the life aboard, but also shows that it is somehow insignificant compared to the clean white stations, or the darkness of space – reminding the viewer about how tiny we are viewed from the perspective of our galaxy. Through the red of HAL‘s eye, we can therefore also see human qualities, that even the astronauts seem to acknowledge.

Cinematographer: GEOFFREY UNSWORTH
Year: 1968
Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1

2001: A Space Odyssey
Next Film: Children of Men
Previous Film: Alien

January 5, 2018

If you like these Stills, make sure to buy the movie, it is our absolutely highest recommendation.

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