2001: A Space Odyssey The ridicule and criticism of reincarnation

It has been called the most profound and philosophical science fiction movie ever made that no one can understand. This is the movie that I have been looking forward to for 4 years. I finally watched the whole movie completely and found that there are many things that have been drained and need to be repeated over and over again in order to discover more in the text. I still decided to write down my humble opinion of the film, just to witness another exploration of myself, no matter how deep or shallow.

The theme of Odyssey’s return to Greek mythology immediately gives a sense of history to the fantasy subject matter. With Homer’s epic poem and the 2001 space exploration, such a return is perhaps even more fatalistic. And the constant interpretation or refutation of Nietzsche’s theory that follows does indeed confirm the eternal reincarnation in a dichotomy.

The dawn of man, the Jupiter Mission, Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite, the first part of which some have split up to include a so-called “journey to the moon”. Such a four-part form does fit the symphony format, but it no longer fits Nietzsche’s trilogy of evolution. The camel, the lion, the baby, the three stages of human form and destiny can all be matched.

The film has a lot of very neat details, and the allusions are quite clever. I also benefited from a detailed summary in an article written by a great man, but I’ve saved it for space.

Music. The Blue Danube and Thus Spoke Zarathustra are undoubtedly the most important sounds in the film. The theme of “The Blue Danube” is a very elegant setting to highlight the technological achievements of mankind and the leisurely existence. In contrast, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” only appears in the most glorious part of the overture, appearing only twice in the film, both times when the black stone meets the sun when humanity faces a major change, to highlight the twist of fate. Kubrick is a genius, Johann Strauss’s Ballade is used for this, and Richard Strauss’s symphonic poem is used in the film, always makes me suspect that his purpose is not the composer but Nietzsche. Ultimately, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” itself is Nietzsche’s masterpiece on evolution – and this film – no one can understand.

Black Rock. Is God? Undoubtedly, it is an abstracted symbol, symbolizing the only guidance that mankind relies on when it is lost. The Black Stone appears four times, each time when mankind is seeking new territory or vainly trying to expand. The Oracle, I believe the Black Stone means the oracle. Corresponding to this, Dave is the prophet. To comprehend the will of God. Yet the attitude of others towards the Black Stone shows time and time again that humans are always the same as apes, at least in human terms.

Rivalry. Many people are talking about the second part of the movie, whether it is a computer error or a human error. Many are celebrating the ultimate victory of humans. I think the opposite, in which Kubrick mocked the indifference between human beings. HAL was shut down, the video embedded in secret before departure tells us that all astronauts do not know their mission, only the computer does. HAL received two contradictory instructions, but was asked to keep the pseudo-orders secret and carry them out. The pseudo-directives exist only because of the existence of suspicion. Man no longer believes in his fellow man, but in cold tools, and the beginning of the apes and their kind for water in the same way. What is the difference between HAL and a pistol? Except, of course, that it can choose the best time to destroy mankind on its own.

Evolution. It is still evolution in slavery. The change of tools. What is the difference between a bone thrown up by an ape and a bone-shaped spaceship? Mankind’s dependence on tools is unparalleled, and conversely, mankind is enslaved by them. Of course, modernity has had a clear revision of the idea of mankind: while believing in technology, mankind no longer treats it as a tool, but as the ultimate end. Humans have become the tools of technology. Humans are simply trying to outlaw, or even destroy, themselves. Is this statement right? Is it wrong?

Cold. All the scenery is so elegant, but with a coldness that is humanistic. We can find a clean layout with cold-toned backgrounds pieced together with scattered warm-toned subjects. The dialogue is also the same. Even the astronaut who is several light years away receives birthday wishes from his parents without any touching expression. The two people on the spaceship will be alone for several years without any conversation. The only conversation only started because of the need to take revenge on the computer. The astronauts who were tricked out of the ship abandoned their rescued companions and threw them into the vast universe in order to be rescued. On the contrary, the most humane one is the computer called HAL. It is a great irony that man has created a machine more human than himself. Perhaps this statement itself is a paradox, because man is no longer able to understand human nature.

Return. The structure of the spaceship is a cross-cut circle. In one spatial distortion, we can always find that the original place will reappear. In the third part of the incredible room, Dave “evolves” into Star Child, which is the embodiment of Nietzsche’s superman theory. Dave witnessed his own transformation over the years and finally returned to the original state of life. About that, it is not the original anymore, because the form of Star Child is not the one we are familiar with. Perhaps, that means the birth of Higher Tribe.

Time. The luxurious room at the end. The most surrealistic image in the movie. The rococo layout of the Louis XIV period, the noble knife and fork, the elegant dining gesture, Dave just keep witnessing himself changing positions, while changing is taken away by the age of the young face.

Perhaps we can also interpret this as human evolution requiring care for history, but I prefer another interpretation: human evolution has made humans forget the purpose of their evolution, which is tied to their heritage. This, of course, would be a return in itself, if humanity could return.

Silence. A great deal of silence. The first lines appear in the 25th minute after the film begins. Minutes-long gasps of sound. There is even the famous 5 minutes of complete blackout. If Kieslowski used the paradox of the plot to provoke thought, Kubrick’s weapon in this one is silence. That’s why this film can represent his highest personal achievement.

There are two other gimmicks: HAL is a highly intelligent computer, three letters shifted one to the right is IBM, and secondly, the film was shot in 1968, for many of today’s technological predictions have come true. Is this human creativity? Or has God already completed the script? You can comment on it yourself.

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