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2001: A space odyssey

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

The ultimate trip.

The Discovery is sent out to investigate an anomaly around Jupiter and strange things happen, including the malfunction of the ship's computer, Hal 9000.

Theatrical propaganda posters

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Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film science fiction thriller mystery Hal computer malfunction murder

Persons of interest

  • Keir Dullea .... Dr Dave Bowman
  • Gary Lockwood .... Dr Frank Poole
  • William Sylvester .... Dr Heywood R Floyd
  • Daniel Richter .... Moon-Watcher
  • Leonard Rossiter .... Dr Andrei Smyslov
  • Margaret Tyzack .... Elena
  • Robert Beatty .... Dr Ralph Halvorsen
  • Sean Sullivan .... Dr Bill Michaels
  • Douglas Rain .... HAL 9000
  • Frank Miller .... Mission controller
  • Arthur C Clarke .... Author
  • Stanley Kubrick .... Screenwriter
  • Stanley Kubrick .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report


Stanley Kubrick has never been the easiest director to watch (see A clockwork orange, Eyes wide shut), being extremely concerned about creating an entire mood rather than the ciphers that Hollywood vomits out, and 2001: A space odyssey is no exception. It's long and there are huge bits where nothing much seems to be happening but don't be fooled by your six second attention span: there's more going on than you think.

What Stanley does is use imagery to replace dialogue, and a picture is worth a thousand words (plus GST) so his films provide your brain with far more information than it thinks it needs. The result is a 4-dimensional (x, y, z and temporal axes) film rather than the standard three dimensions (x, y and temporal axes). Stanley also uses film to map the oldest communication centres of the brain: sight and sound. Artificial concepts like speech, vocabulary and grammar are such recent developments that they are very much connected with the higher and more conscious brain functions. Your subconscious is manipulated by the extra sensory input, spinning you out without apology.

Meanwhile, for hard-core science fiction buffs, 2001: A space odyssey is one of the best presentations of life in space that has ever made it to the big screen. There are few concessions to filmmaking beyond some gravity stuff on the moon and plenty of bonus stuff about travel, vacuum, needs and technology. The scenes on the space station and on the discovery are the coolest. the only thing that dates them is the hairstyles. For philosophy and mystery buffs there is the real big question of first contact (the concept, not the Star trek movie): will they find humanity through the use of technology as in Contact or have they already been here and left a message on the voice mail? What are they like? What will they do? There's also a good murder and some Luddite scare tactics (thinking machines are bad and shouldn't be used to replace human beings) to add a little spice.

Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood are the epitome of astronautical casting: young, but not too young, extremely intelligent, flexible in their thought patterns, cool under pressure and determined under attack. They represent the best of humanity in the same way that their contemporaries on the USS Enterprise represented the best of the United Federation of Planets. They even speak technobabble - woo hoo!

The actors playing the proto-humans in the opening scenes were all French movement artists and do their job so well that everything they do is completely comprehensible without the utterance of a single word. That is the power of image over speech: everyone on the planet understands the concepts of anger, fear, desire, understanding, bluff and power. You can make a film like this and speak to the world. Make a film in Hollywood and you speak to Americans.

2001: A space odyssey is a classic piece of filmmaking and one of the best science fiction movies ever made. If only for the sake of history, you should see this flick.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Disc 1:
    • Digitally restored feature
    • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
    • Picture: Widescreen 2.21:1
    • Languages: English, Italian
    • Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Italian captions, Spanish
  • Disc 2:
    • Remastered original soundtrack
    • Trailer

Security censorship classification


Surveillance time

143 minutes (2:23 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 8 March 2001
DVD retail: 3 September 2001

Cinema surveillance images

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