I just watched the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey for Bo, who pledged in my studio's Kickstarter to raise money for a series of art books. Thank you, Bo!
Read on for some spoiler-filled reaction comics!
I got online after finishing the film to read interpretations/theories, and I like the idea that this is actually a 3-minute close-up with the monolith. The monolith's score is playing, after all, and a visitation from the monolith, which seems to usher in major developments, would be a fitting beginning for us as we move from nothing into the universe of this film.
Oh, my poor 7th grade science teacher...are you guys ready to go to the sad place? I have a sad story. When I was in 7th grade, there was an initiative to re-energize (so to speak) science classrooms in my school district by plucking working scientists out of their labs and dropping them off into middle school classrooms with little-to-no training on how to teach (or control a room full of pubescent hellspawn). This poor guy--I can't even remember his name--sat in something brown at lunch on his first day, and it only got worse from there. He lasted 3 months before he was replaced, and his last act in our classroom was showing us 2001: A Space Odyssey. I'm pretty sure he didn't give enough fucks at that point to even ask for permission.
I was frustrated that after investing two and a half hours in a slow
movie I was left with a trippy star baby scene I didn't understand, but it's okay for a film to be ambiguous or complex, and unfold more upon multiple viewings and reading multiple theories from others. I think Kubrick himself stated that he didn't want to spell it out for people, and was happy that people wrestled with the film's meaning and came to their own conclusions.