Understanding "2001: A Space Odyssey", Part 1

Dec 6, 2008

Understanding "2001: A Space Odyssey" - Part 1

There has been some buzz on the blogosphere lately about the confusing nature of the Movie "2001: A Space Odyssey". If you feel this same confusion, never fear. You have come to the right place. (Also, never fear, I promise never to use the word "blogosphere" again.) I understand the crap out of this movie. So hold on, cuz you are about the get the interpretation of your life:

The Movie begins with a segment depicting prehistoric man: Australopithecus Afarensis. A fun fact is that this scene doesn't actually go with the rest of the movie. It is a short film the director originally created for his filmography class in JR. College. Ironically, his teacher really hated his movie, so it didn't get to debut on Student Movie night as planned. The director never quite got over it, so he added it on the front of this movie just to stick it to his teacher.

So, the real movie begins at the beginning of the 21st Century. It is a little hard to tell, but most of this movie takes place in space. We actually never get to see what life on earth is like at this point in time. However, judging by the furniture in the space station, it is safe to assume that Ikea is the ruling power.

What we see starts out pretty strait forward. There has been a discovery on the moon, and a bunch of guys sit around in a room and talk about it. But this is all very symbolic, and without coming to terms with some of the symbolism, you will feel like a fish out of water.

(You will also really start to notice by now that the movie is moving very slowly. That is something you are just going to have to get used to. Everything in this movie takes a long time. Things that could be shown in one or two minutes take five or six minutes in this movie. This was a very revolutionary way of filming. Back in the day, movies moved so fast you often had to watch the WHOLE time, just to keep up with the story. But the director's vision was to have each shot move so slowly and take so long that the audience would get bored enough that their boredom would cycle all the way back into interest. No one had ever tried anything like this before. That is why the movie got so many stars.)

He used the idea of a monolith in his short film about prehistoric man, and decided to run with it. This monolith, which later resembles a large, smooth chocolate bar, symbolizes impatience and greed. (And it doesn't like to have it's picture taken, just like all those people out there who are impatient and greedy.) He really wants to warn against impatience, because it is the number one thing that will insure that people will walk out of his movie.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the interpretation of "2001: A Space Odyssey", which will be published as soon as I can come up with it.