Introduction to 2001: A Space Odyssey

The introduction portion of 2001:A Space Odyssey is referred to as ‘The Dawn of Man’. The introduction starts out with no music, just the sounds of the apes and another animal (maybe a tapir?) foraging for food in the desert. A second rival group of apes come in to the territory of the apes that were in the area first. We can hear the cries of the apes as they try to defend their territory. The original group of apes stand their ground and the intruding pack backs down. The scene grows quiet and is soon followed by the next shot where a mysterious rectangular object appears in the center of the apes living space. A strange sound begins to play and the apes go ballistic. One of the apes gets daring enough to get close to the odd object and eventually touches it. Soon the apes all start to calm down and begin caressing the rectangular object. The object to me seems to be a test of the current state of development in the world. This object tests the intelligence of life on earth. The next scene is focusing on a single ape that is using the first form of technology by smashing the bones of an animal with another stronger bone. The ape precedes to use the bone as a weapon to kill animals for food. The music playing during this scene is incredibly famous, giving off vibes of discovery. This is then followed by the most famous seen of the movie when the ape throws the bone into the air and and uses a jarring effect, appearing as if the bone turned into a space ship in orbiting Earth. The 180 degree rule is broken in this scene. The bone is thrown in the air, exits the top of the screen, then shown again spinning in the opposite direction. An interesting idea by Kubrick that I don’t comprehend.


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