Friday, February 10, 2012

12. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey is mostly boring. That’s the truth. However, notice I used the word “mostly.” That’s because when 2001 isn’t full of drawn out scenes of a space station turning in orbit, it has scenes that tickle your brain and do what only art can do, make you think.  The film is about an ancient and mysterious artifact, The Monolith. Before The Monolith came, our ape-like ancestors could not use tools, after it came, they could. The main character of the movie, an astronaut named David Bowman, meets The Monolith again out in space at the end of the movie, and the scene that plays out is just stunning. You see Bowman meeting progressively older versions of himself, culminating in him seeing the Earth as a giant infant, suggesting The Monolith has guided humans through evolution and that mankind has only just begun to fulfill its potential. 2001 will bore you mostly, but the moments where it doesn’t will inspire you and make you wonder about our origins.

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