Analysis of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey - Table of Contents

Introduction

Are you one of the league who find Kubrick's cinema fascinating and wonderful but are also confused by seeming peculiarities? Are you certain those often under-the-radar-over-the-head weirdnesses must mean something? Or maybe you're just curious? Well, I am the person who "discovered" the open door opposite Room 237 (and a lot more besides) so if you're looking for Kubrick high strangeness then you've come to the right place. But if I delve into the high strangeness, the oddities are simply a component part of analyzing the themes and ideas that Kubrick carries from film to film.

Here's my request. That you, please, think in terms of art with intention, which isn't conspiracy and has nothing to do with conspiracy theories. Would you think of music composed of unspoken themes as being conspiracy? What's difficult is teasing out the artist's conscious intention as versus accidental as versus the viewer's role as an active pilgrim walking the road that art provides to accessing the unconscious and mythic archetypes. As an author and artist, I know what it is to hope for at least a few such pilgrims, confident they are the minority, that most think in terms of being only entertained, and to attempt to compose for both. Even with those who are just wanting a good story, or who want to dissect a film for practical good-cinema purposes, the majority would likely admit that it is the inherent mystery in Kubrick's films that functions as their primary gravity. It is that sense of something deeper, a subterranean coherence that provides the glue, that compels individuals to return and perhaps begin to move, without their even realizing it, from a passive state into a more active, participatory role where art becomes a transformative experience rather than just visual popcorn.

Note on method of analysis and a kind of disclaimer:

For the real film buff, I've gone through and listed shots, images from each, and length of time of shots. Because I raised myself on the old Evergreen Black Cat cinema books which took pains to do the same and loved studying them. And because that is the only way to really begin to do a good, involved analysis of Kubrick's films, which are very complex internally and in their relationships as an oeuvre.

Kubrick's films elicit a lot of whys and wherefores,"What does this mean?", because he included so many seeming puzzles inviting review, mysteries that demanded second and third notice, editing quirks and both subtle and obvious shifts in staging. My analyses haven't much to do with the psychology, but look at Kubrick's choices of stories, music, places he filmed, staging, the differences between the literature and the script that made it onto celluloid and how he chose to edit it all together, carrying themes from film to film, and based on these elements I dip into a variety of possible influences. But, of course, I do not know for certain about any of my insights, and I could very well be in error from beginning to end. So, please keep in mind I make no claim on knowing anything but that art should never be dissected like this and I apologize to Stanley for being a cinema heathen, well, except for the fact that I believe Stanley constructed his films for spelunking, for following the clues in the maze, so no apologies really are necessary.

Link to the main Kubrick page for all the analyses.


An In-depth Shot-by-shot Analysis of Stanley Kubrick's Film 2001: A Space Odyssey - Table of Contents

The Dawn of Man - Shots 1 thru 105 (about 19:48)
To the Moon - Shots 106 thru 222 (about 54:33)
The Oracle - Shots 223 thru 360 (about 1:27:02)
The Oracle Unfolds - Shots 361 thru 511 (about 1:56:56)
Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite - Shots 512 thru 597 (about 2:20:22)

Supplemental Posts

Examining Kubrick's Single Horizontal Flip of a Front Screen Projection Landscape in the Dawn of Man Section in 2001 and the Meaning of that Flip in Relation to the Final View of the Monolith in the Film

The Relationship Between the Chess Game in 2001, Dave’s Dinner in the Room Beyond the Infinite, and Danny on the Reversed Rug in The Shining


Link to the main Kubrick page for all the analyses
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