2001: A Space Odyssey

Hey there! Thank you for joining us on this Wednesday episode of Nerdy by Nature. On today’s show, we talk about one of the greatest influential movies ever made, and one which was ahead of its time: 2001: A Space Odyssey. We explore the meaning, the tech, and the story behind this epic tale.

Sentinel - Inspiration for 2001: A Space Odyssey

The movie was based on a short story entitled “The Sentinel” by Arthur C. Clarke. It was then expanded by Director Stanley Kubrick and collaborated with Arthur C. Clark for the movie. In fact Arthur C. Clark wrote a version of the story at the same time that the movie was being filmed. This movie first premiered April 3, 1968, before the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. This story takes us on a journey with mankind through pivotal evolution points.

The Dawn of Man; we are met with a picture of early man, and witness the next step of evolution. Due to a mysterious black monolith that appears on the scene, man is instantly bestowed knowledge on the use of tools, unlocking the doors of reasoning and logic.

spacesuit 2001 space odyssey

In the next scene change, fast forward some years, and we see man has. On the moon, the mysterious black monolith has been unearthed, and scientists are trying to discover the true nature of its existence. It is just me or does the black monolith was buried there on purpose?

Some months later, a mission to Jupiter had materialized, and we watch as Astronauts Frank Poole and Dave Bowman go about daily life, interacting with technology as they fly towards their destination. However, things go awry when their onboard computer; HAL-9000 appears to sabotage the mission, and then it`s a race to take back control of the ship disabling the computer.

In 2001: A Space Odyssey, the final scene shows Astronaut Dave Bowman making it to Jupiter. He is then met by a floating black monolith. While in his space pod, he is then taken on a trip through the Stargate with images of planets and space nebula. He finally materializes in a futuristic looking French provincial suite and watches himself aging from different viewpoints. Just as Dave is about to die in the bed, the mysterious monolith makes one last appearance, and his body is transformed into a Starchild.

Old man - 2001 space odyssey

Simple plot? Yes, but was does it all mean? A story of the evolution of man, and with the suggestion of some sort of intervention by either a God or an Alien presence (in the form of the black monolith). People claim that the monolith is simply a watcher in the process, and that man was destined to check off these points in time. Do you agree?

As for the technology side of things, this movie showcases the future of technology; how our world looks in a not too distant future. For a movie that was made in 1968, Kubrick sure had some bold predictions which are turning out to be true.

The HAL-9000 character is much more than a prediction of the future, it’s happening now. HAL, who is shown as a red “eye,” boasts a realistic yet obvious robotic voice displays moments of humanity. This may remind us what it means to be human.

2001: A Space Odyssey had quite the visuals, and featured breath-taking cinematic effects.  Quite amazing for 1968 and were so far ahead. There was no use of CGI at all at that time, so it was through the use of models and camera work that this film was able to depict a realistic look into space. In short, the film and techniques employed are an inspiration for future science fiction movies to follow.

If you haven’t seen this movie, it’s a must! 2001: A Space Odyssey on the list in the top 100 movies to see before you die, and multiple science fiction movie lists. The U.S. Library of Congress and the National Film Registry deemed it culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.



If you’ve seen this movie? What does it mean for you? We’d love to hear what you think. Let us know on Twitter or Facebook and continue the conversation.

Thanks for listening!

– Chris

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