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Cult Classics : 1. 2001 A Space Odyssey


Many movies were destined to be blockbusters but only a few movies become cult classics one such movie is 2001: A Space Odyssey. Directed by Stanley Kubrick this Science Fiction blockbuster has set certain high parameters in this genre which is impossible to conquer.

The Film begins with the segment, Dawn of man where he captures large landscapes of the primitive era. This 25-minute dialogue-less sequence proves that with effective Camera work and apt Background music we can create the most haunting scene of all time. The Ape-man who was confronted by a mysterious monolith, teach himself that bones can also be used as a weapon, by making it as the first tool at that time.

Then the camera pans out to outer space where we find Dr. Heywood Floyd (played by brilliant William Sylvester), on his way to a space station and the moon. The scene opens with a Pen floating in the space and buck doesn't stop there, soon we will be introduced by video calling phone, a Digital portable pad, and a mysterious artificially enhanced intelligence HAL 9000.

The moon landing sequence is co-incidentally as accurate as the real one( which happened a year after the release). The total Lip -reading sequence involving HAL, Dave, and Frank is considered to be one of the great shots in the cinema. Then we also witness the wormhole sequence in the movie which astronaut Dave Bowman travels through Sound and Light. The film concludes with an ambiguous and debatable ending where monolith appears once again.

This movie is silent in most of its run time, approximately 80 minutes in total 161 min duration. After the premiere, the movie duration is reduced by 15 minutes. Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke proves that if spell bounding visuals are aided by perfect screenplay will create miracles at the box office.

To Describe the efforts of Stanley Kubrick in making this project a reality even a 1000 page book is not enough. So, some of the interesting facts were mentioned below,

1. The Total Budget of the Film is $10 million. Nearly 65% of the budget is spent on special effects.

2. The only Oscar won by the film was for its special visual effects.

3. For Floating Pen sequence Kubrick worked several months then decided to simply use a pen that was attached to a sheet of glass and suspended in front of the camera.

4. Originally, HAL was considered to be Athena and have a female voice. Douglas Rain provided the voice for HAL.

5. For the facial make-up, first, a plastic skull substructure with a hinged jaw was developed. After making facial molds of the actors' faces, the make-up men applied rubber skin to their faces and added hair, like making a wig. Lip movements were achieved by using fake teeth and tongues which is used to hide the actor's real mouths.

6. The total box office collections of the movie are approx $190 million.

7. Vivian Kubrick (Stanley's Daughter) Played the role of Floyd's daughter.

8. One of the only MGM films in which Leo the Lion does not roar in the beginning.

9. The Dawn of Men sequence was shot on set, in Shepperton Studios, England. They used an elaborate front projection system which was created especially for the film.

The Scenes in the movie still appear to be fresh and real even after 49 years. This really proves that the legacy of a visual spectacle is irreplaceable. And the impact that was created by 2001 has been an inspiration for many prominent filmmakers and writers and its influence will continue to flourish for another 50 years. Loved the post?? Click on Like, Share button. Subscribe for more posts.

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