2001 A Space Odyssey Essay

741 words - 3 pages

2001 was released in the tumultuous spring of 1968, at the same time that Americans were reeling from President Lyndon Johnson’s announcement that he would not seek reelection and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. It might seem odd that so many people would get so excited about a science fiction movie in the midst of urban race riots and campus protests against the Vietnam War, but to many, 2001 had far greater importance than its sci-fi trappings. Baffling early audiences with its non-traditional structure, theme, and presentation, the film was soon embraced by many members of a younger generation entranced by its consciousness-raising message and its psychedelic special ...view middle of the document...

7 million worldwide.[2] Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke’s companion novel of the same name has sold over four million copies worldwide,[3] and his three follow-up novels to the story have all spent several weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. One of these sequels was turned into a moderately successful film, 2010: The Year We Make Contact, released nearly 15 years after 2001. Audiences, critics, and filmmakers consistently rank the film among the 100 best ever made. Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert has stated that if asked which films would still be familiar to audiences 200 years from now, he would select 2001, The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, and Star Wars as his first choices.[4]

Like other popular works of science fiction, such as Star Trek and the Star Wars movie trilogy, 2001 is constantly referenced in popular culture. Films as diverse as Woody Allen’s Sleeper and Jan DeBont’s Speed have featured homages to 2001. The film’s theme music, taken from Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathrustra, has been heard everywhere from the opening notes of Elvis Presley’s 1970s Las Vegas lounge act to car commercials. Music videos have featured costumes and sets directly...

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