25 Favorite Films: 2001-A Space Odyssey (1968)


One of the scariest pieces of music ever involves one of the most experimental moments in all of movies. Late in Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi epic we see astronaut David Bowman enter a monolith outside of Jupiter (don’t ask how/why, just watch) and ventures into the outer reaches of space. Not only do we get some of the most psychedelic colors ever in a gorgeous, and long, sequence but Kubrick picks the creepiest scores ever to go with it. Thanks to Gyorgy Ligeti we have two pieces:

1) Requiem for Soprano, Mezzo Soprano, Two Mixed Choirs and Orchestra

2) Atmospheres

Now if there was a way that the universe has a score set, like an iPod playlist, and that’s what you would hear constantly then count me out on space travel. Pardon my french but I would constantly be shitting my pants if I had to hear this non-stop. These two pieces, and the score in general, really showcases how sound is integral to the film. Or lack of sound that is since this film is infamous for lack of dialogue. There is more ambient noise and soundtrack going than words which feels apt for a film taking place in the middle of the solar system. A scene like David trying to reason with HAL is all the more effective when you only hear the humming of a machine/engine.

Seriously you guys, go out and watch 2001: A Space Odyssey just on the basis of sound.

From the opening sequences involving early apes:

To the chilling, and very bizarre, final sequence:

It showcases just how incredible of a film it is just by listening rather than watching.

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