I consider 2001: A Space Odyssey, finished by Stanley Kubrick in 1968, one of the best movies of all time. Currently, it ranks second in my personal list of movies. I have watched this masterpiece so many times and it still does not feel worn out to me. In fact the more I watch it the more I love it. Indeed it is one of the best works of Kubrick, one of the biggest visionaries of cinema.

2001 is but far more than a movie to simply love. It is, more than most other examples, a movie made to be analyzed thoroughly. Each shot, each cut, and each sequence – even more: each action – is important and has a deep meaning for Kubrick. Because otherwise he wouldn’t have added them to the final work since Stanley Kubrick was and still is considered a perfectionist (a fact you hear from almost everybody who worked with him).

Indeed, I am not the first one to have the idea to analyze this movie. 2001 has in the past decades analyzed to the death – as well as parodied to death. I don’t want to know how many aspiring students from film schools grabbed 2001 and analyzed it in their papers. Besides those non-published papers you can borrow and read many if not uncounted books and texts either dealing with Kubrick in general or 2001 in particular.

So, why do I want to add another analysis to the bunch? Why the burden to create something like this while it would be far easier to simply read one of the already finished texts dealing with 2001?

The first reason is the fact that I love the movie and therefore want to gain an intellectual insight into the fantastic world with all its different layers. In the past years I have watched the movie, but I didn’t switch my analytic eye on. I simply enjoyed the ride and let my subconscious do the work. Now I want to watch 2001 with an open eye and working mind.

The second reason is my recent finish of the book “Story” from Robert McKee. I want to try to use some of the things I learned from it in this analysis as characters and a structural analysis. These things will be discussed in the early parts of this series. Later I want to analyze every scene and shot I think is interesting enough to mention. And this leads us directly to…

The third reason why I want to make this analysis is the lack of images. You know, many texts and websites that deal with 2001 write about this movie, but very few of them really show. Perhaps it is the copyright or the work you have to do to create the screenshots or something I don’t know. Nevertheless I find it very strange that nobody really uses these well composed images to show what they are talking about. In that sense my analysis might be the most in-depth to date because I will post many images and write about each moment or scene worth talking about.

I don’t know if I will bring any new insight into this movie. Perhaps I can find something new, perhaps not. Perhaps I will only walk down the path many other people have walked before. But I don’t care that much. I don’t care because I never read that much about 2001. Indeed for this series I looked around to see if I am correct with my assumption of the lack of screenshots but in all those years I simply watched the movie. Therefore, you can say that most of the things you will read here are my own ideas and thoughts I discovered for myself. If the things I discover are nothing new it at least shows that I can think as anybody else.

On the practical side, since this series will be rather big, I will split it into several parts which I add subsequently in the next days and weeks. This will make it easier for you to read and easier for me to write since I fear that this analysis will be getting really, really big.

Nevertheless I am excited to see where this will be going and end. I am sure this will be a hard but most of the time a fun ride for me in which I hopefully gain more insight not only into 2001 but movies in general.

I hope you will enjoy this series.



  • Looking forward to your next parts.

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