A History of Sci-Fi Film Case Study; Production of “2001:A Space Odyssey”

A History of Sci-Fi Film Case Study; Production of “2001:A Space Odyssey”
A History of Sci-Fi Film Case Study; Production of “2001:A Space Odyssey”

Author: Alexandru Eduard Balaci


By the early 1950s, space travel had taken on positive connotations, whereas 20 years earlier it had been described as a distant future dream. In 1957, the Soviet Union launched a prototype satellite into space, called Sputnik 1, which was part of a scientific program to study radio waves in terrestrial space using satellites. Shortly after the launch of Sputnik, the United States also sent a satellite, “Explorer 1” which left the earth’s radius on January 31, 1958. Space exploration led mankind to a new era of scientific discovery. Later, one year after the release of the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”, the United States sent the first crew to land on the moon, aboard the spacecraft “Apollo 11”.

The film was produced based on the books by Arthur C. Clarke, while the film was directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Space and the film industry

The science fiction film industry was stimulated by the advance of scientific discoveries, namely travel to other planets, so that, considering the cultural trends in American society, space travel became a trend for film productions. In terms of “landmarks”, the production of “2001:A Space Odyssey” represents a starting point for all films related to space travel. The film is built to convey a clear message: the “dawn of human civilization” which is representative of space travel and later colonization of other planets. The action takes place in the future, in the year 2001, where a crew was sent with the ship “Discovery” to investigate the planet Jupiter. The ship is piloted by astronauts Frank Poole and Dave Bowman, played by Gary Lockwood and Keir Dullea.
More than half of the film has scenes on board the ship, where the astronauts are subjected to challenges that test their intelligence and reaction to actions. On board the ship “Discovery” was installed a computer type “Hal 9000” in which human intelligence and the possibility of speech was installed. The challenges the astronauts go through were caused by the onboard computer, Hal 9000, which begins to develop a consciousness of its own and wants to understand human nature.
In the final section of the film, Bowman travels through the galaxy via an orbital gate, built to make the jump between galaxies easier. As a result of this journey, Bowman receives the title “child of the galaxy”. Another iconic scene is the chess game between the pilots and the on-board computer, Hall, denoting the fact that artificial intelligence will soon become a reality.



Explorer 1 Overview


Sputnik 1, satelitul artificial care a deschis porțile Universului

The article is in Romanian

Tags: History SciFi Film Case Study Production #2001A Space Odyssey


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