Film of the Day – 2001: Space Odyssey

Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick: The acclaimed director of a number of Hollywood classics including The Shining, Clockwork Orange and 1968’s “2001: Space Odyssey” – the latter of which being his first big commercial success delving into the sci-fi genre. Starring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood and the voice of Douglass Rain, the film has become embellished in pop-culture, particularly thanks to its iconic antagonist HAL 9000.

The film begins with the ominous introduction of a featureless black monolith structure millions of years prior to the events of the film, as we see it influence in some way a group of primal hominids, provoking them to attack a rival group with bones as weapons. Fast-forwarding through human evolution and we pick up again aboard Discovery-1; a US spacecraft on a journey to Jupiter. With the ship’s crew largely in suspended animation, the majority of the dialogue is between the two conscious pilots, Bowman (Dullea) and Poole (Lockwood), as well as the vessel’s sentient in-built computer system: HAL 9000. After a number of routine checks go awry, a message from mission control suggests there may be a fault in the AI (Artificial Intelligence) of the HAL unit – a message which is met with a subtle hostility from the computer itself. As the two astronauts see the rampant computer system growing increasingly suspicious and hostile towards them with each passing comment, they must use their ingenuity and cunning to avoid detection if they ever want to reach their destination.


2001: Space Odyssey – Friday 6:30pm on Sky Cinema (Classics).