Stanley Kubrick has directed some of the greatest motion pictures ever to appear on the big screen. From Paths Of Glory to Eyes Wide Shut, his career achievements read like a cinematic honor roll, and yet I believe 2001: A Space Odyssey is his finest work, a film of breathtaking beauty and grandeur.
Of course, not everybody agrees. As the film's detractors are quick to point out, the pace of 2001: A Space Odyssey is slow (one contemporary reviewer described the film as “a monumental bore”). Yet far from criticizing Kubrick for his choice of tempo, I praise him for moving the events of the film along slowly. In doing so, we the audience are given a chance to absorb everything that this view of the universe has to offer. We are the wide-eyed children, gazing up in wonder at the beauty of the cosmos.
If you think about it, with all the marvels that undoubtedly exist within the known universe, is it even reasonable to assume they can be adequately explored by way of a few rapid montages set to kitschy new-age music? Far from sharing in the belief that 2001: A Space Odyssey is too long, I always find myself wishing there was just a little bit more.
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