2001: A Space Odyssey

Institute History

  • 1992 Sundance Film Festival


If you’ve never seen Kubrick’s epic 2001: A Space Odyssey on a full-sized screen, you owe yourself that experience. The film is less a story of people than a chronicle of time and space itself, a sophisticated and mesmerizing sound and light show. Spanning the centuries from the dawn of first human awakenings on Earth, to the era of free space travel where Bowman (Keir Dullea) is reborn amongst the stars beyond Jupiter, 2001 turns on the typical Kubrickian tension between the expansive potential of man’s imagination and the dehumanized rigidity of the machines he himself has invented to extend his knowledge and control. The film’s four parts are linked thematically by the presence of the mysterious black monolith, which, like a siren, calls man to explore and push toward the limits of the known. Kubrick describes 2001 as a “mythological documentary,” an apparent contradiction in terms which he achieves by wedding meticulous attention to detail with visually stunning special effects, accompanied by an evocative musical score. He literally transforms the familiar into the otherworldly as we watch.

based on Clarke’s short story

— Barbara Bannon

Screening Details

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