You Need to Watch the Most Crucial Sci-Fi Movie on HBO Max ASAP

In the 50+ years Since the release of my favorite sci-fi movie of all time, there have been many attempts to take its crown. So far, these would-be suitors and usurpers have yet to produce a rightful heir, despite many laudable efforts. This represents a remarkable achievement given that the film has little dialogue, no major box office stars and certainly no creepy aliens in the conventional sense of the word – no belly breakers, faces or eggheads. to slender limbs. There is, however, an unmistakably extraterrestrial presence: a precision black monolith of indeterminate material.

Director Stanley Kubrick, who had just completed his Cold War satire, Dr Strangelovecontacted science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke in 1964 with a view to developing Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel” into what would become 2001: A Space Odyssey. They collaborated on the film’s script, and Clarke also developed the story into a novel, which was published after the film’s release.

The ASAP Trophies is a celebration of the best sci-fi movies streaming right now. Recommended and written by Reverse readers.

Although used to working with big names — Kirk Douglas (Spartacus) and Peter Sellers (Dr Strangelove) among them – Kubrick chose to cast relatively unknown actors in 2001. Keir Dullea, who looks suspiciously like Neil Armstrong, became astronaut Dr Dave Bowman. The real stars of the film, however, are not human but appear in the guise of the spaceship Discovery supposedly flawless computer HAL 9000, and this enigmatic monolith.

From the perspective of 2022, and given that there has been no manned spaceflight beyond low Earth orbit for almost 50 years, the year 2001 now seems like an ambitious forecast for technological and technical marvels depicted in the film. However, it was the 60s, when anything seemed possible. NASA was all-system-go on the Apollo program, following JFK’s bold declaration in 1962 that America would send a man to the moon before the end of the decade. It is in this context that 2001 was developed and created.

Part of what makes 2001 so intriguing is your chance to see the 1968 vision of futuristic space travel. MGM

The film, which is currently streaming on HBO Max, is structured in three distinct parts and follows a linear plot beginning approximately four million years ago, when the Monolith appears to telepathically transmit knowledge of the use of a bone as a weapon for the alpha male of a group of hominids.

Fast forward to 2001 and the discovery of an identical monolith on the Moon. There is a masterful scene here that suggests the monolith is aware of its surroundings. Just as several scientists in spacesuits gather in front of the monolith for a group photo, it emits a piercing electronic scream, much like an uncooperative baby would at a family event. Wasn’t it WC Fields who once said, “Never work with animals or monoliths?” It was something like that.

Kubrick’s expertise is his ability to convey to audiences the harsh environment and vast vacuum of space, as well as the fatal consequences of any malfunction or serious accident. Another possibly realistic situation that 2001 suggests is that of disclosure to the general public if ever an artifact of indisputable extraterrestrial origin were discovered. Would the authorities consider the consequences of a public disclosure as too great a risk of causing panic and a global existential crisis?

Many shots from the film have become iconic, and for good reason.MGM

The final act concerns the destination of this electronic cry, and the Discovery mission to locate the recipient of the signal. It appears to be another monolith, positioned near the moons of Jupiter, but it is actually a “stargate” or space portal.

Much has been done over the years of the film’s final sequences. For me, the ambiguity of those final scenes – where Bowman may have first thought he’d traveled halfway across the solar system and ended up at the Tsar’s palace in St Petersburg – is 2001 apotheosis. Since his previous film, Dr Strangelove has a very clear and unequivocal ending, Kubrick was always going to look for something totally extravagant for his fellow man.

The importance of 2001: A Space Odyssey in the history of cinema cannot be underestimated either in the genre of science fiction or, indeed, in any genre. Even the inspired soundtrack has passed into cinematic legend; When you hear the Blue Danube Waltz, imagine 19th century Vienna or 2001? Its iconic status has been assured for over 50 years, and it shows few signs of fading.

2001: A Space Odyssey is streaming now HBO Max.

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