Even though it initially received mixed reviews at the time of release, many critics have re-evaluated it, with contemporary praise directed particularly towards its plot and special effects. It is now widely regarded as one of the greatest films of world cinema, and was ranked the second greatest film of all time in the Sight & Sound Directors' Poll and the greatest by the Moving Arts Film Journal.
Mankind finds a mysterious black rectangular crystalline monolith that has been planted on Earth ever since the dawn of man. This monolith is called Tycho Magnetic Anomaly-0, or TMA-0. When Heywood Floyd and a crew of astronauts fly to the moon in 1999, they find another monolith and call it TMA-1. Yet another monolith effects another space mission in 2001, because there has been another space expedition to Jupiter, a monolith near the planet. This monolith is TMA-2.
Interpretation and analysisEdit
Because of 2001: A Space Odyssey's unorthodox style and small use of dialogue, many have made their own interpretations and analyses of what the film's central message is. Common interpretations and theories about the film's theme include evolution of life, progression of technology, and extraterrestrial life. Much debate is also centered around the meaning(s) of the numerous monoliths found throughout the picture.
Film analyst Rob Ager's theory on the meaning of the monolith is that it represents the cinema screen and noted that the dimensions of the monolith were the same as the cinema screen. Another website, shedding more light on this analysis, suggests that the dimensions of the monolith are a metaphor for the manipulation of reality by the media. Other people have also suggested that the monolith is a religious icon or a symbol of knowledge.
Stanley Kubrick received his only personal award for Best Visual Effects, while he received another nomination (with Arthur C. Clarke) for Best Original Screeenplay, and another one for Best Director. Anthony Masters, Harry Lange, and Ernest Archer were nominated for Best Art Direction.
Kubrick was, once again, nominated for many personal awards (two BAFTAs, Best Director from Kansas City Film Critics, and Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures from the Directors Guild of America).
2001: A Space Odyssey received much recognition from the AFI (American Film Institute):
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("Open the pod bay doors, HAL.")
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