Introduction to 2001: A Space Odyssey

Introduction to 2001: A Space Odyssey


The introduction to 2001: A Space Odyssey had me slightly confused at the very beginning, I was confused as to why a director would open their film with 3-4 minuet of a pure black screen. I have always been under the impression that the first few minuet of a film are very critical and used to draw the viewer into the film. Just like the first paragraph, or first few pages, to a chapter of a book would. That is why I found it so odd when the screen was just black for so long before the title screen came up. After the title screen came up and faded away there was another black screen, which I thought was again going to last for a while. Although to my surprise it did not. To my surprise rather than a black screen a beautiful sunset appeared. Then the camera cut to a family of monkeys, which ends up being the main focus of the film.

The film follows these two different families of monkeys, who are both trying to survive off of the same land. The first confrontation between the two families happened around a little pond that the monkeys are using for water. One family of monkeys in occupying the watering pond, and the other wants it. The original family ends up keeping the watering pond for themselves and scaring off the others. The family of monkeys that does not get to stay at the pond leaves the area and moves back to where they came from.

Next the camera shows some more clips, and screenshots of the dessert area that the film is set in. Then its shows some old bones to an animal that had died. Then a monkey picks up one of the bones. He then starts to examine the bone interested with the idea of what to do with it. The monkey soon begins to use the bone in his hand to hit the other bones with. As the other bones begin to break the monkey realizes that this bone in his hand can be used as a tool, and a weapon. With this realization the monkey takes his family back to the pond to confront the other group of monkeys again, and challenge them for the water. This time with the help of the bone which is used as a weapon the group of monkeys is able to take over the watering area. At the very end of the film the monkey who discovered the bone throws the bone into the air in a feeling of victory.

I think that the meaning behind this film is showing the progression of technology. I say this because the bone being used as a tool was a major step in the direction of tools that humans now use for many things in daily life. Along with the black rectangle that appears in the middle of the film that interest the monkeys so much. Although you never find out what exactly the black box is it is obvious by the way it was being treated that it was something new, and futuristic.


2 thoughts on “Introduction to 2001: A Space Odyssey

  1. I was very intrigued by this opening scene; I thought the movie was going to be more like how the rest of the movie was. I thought he stretched out the first part a little too long. He could have portrayed his idea with a shorter sequence.


  2. The opening scene left me very confused as well. I like the comparison you made to an opening scene being similar to the opening paragraph of a paper. That first paragraph is crucial for catching the attention of readers. In this case, I thought the minutes of darkness was an overkill. Overall, an interesting film!


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