More about ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’
I’m still researching the critical reaction in 1968 to 2001: A Space Odyssey. I’ve already published an article (and I’m writing another about the response on its initial release) about how the finished result, at the premiere – and then when Kubrick cut another 19-minutes out of it – was a result of a man paring all words (and explanations) – regarding meaning – back, because the film was now purely film. And when I say film, I mean music (as well) because for the 20 years before music was synchronized with film (in the late 1920s), music was played live with most of the screenings of films for the general public.
At its most basic level, Kubrick took the majority of spoken words out of 2001 and left a film which he – basically, and in essence, at a very complex but still fundamental level – understood. He’d been working on it for more than three years – on every visual, literary and aural level – and when he decided to cut important explanatory bits of scenes out, Kubrick still knew what every scene that was cut was meant to be revealing to the viewer if it hadn’t been cut.