Helpful Questions for Viewers of 2001: A Space Odyssey

For those who decide to watch 2001 here are a list of questions you might want to try to answer to learn more about the movie. Kubrick movies are rarely straightforward, and usually have other meanings hidden within.

  1. There are at least five times in this movie where people are shown eating and only during the last instance does the food look appetizing. Why is this?
  2. Why is the Jupiter mission ship so oddly shaped? There isn’t really a technical reason for the front end to be spherical (no aerodynamics in space), nor for the tail end to be put so far back. What does it look like?
  3. Kubrick is capable of getting excellent performances from his actors (ie. Kidman in Eyes Wide Shut, the characters from Full Metal Jacket, Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove) so why are the characters in 2001 so freaking dull, and why is HAL 9000 the most interesting character on the Jupiter mission?
  4. The famous music for 2001 is Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Why did Kubrick pick that piece? What is Thus Spoke Zarathustra about?
  5. Why does Bowman break a glass at the very end of the film?
  6. There are a lot of company logos in this movie (at least for the time it was made– product placement being virtually nonexistant at the time). IBM makes the spaceship flight systems in the first space scene. Hilton and Howard Johnson have hotels on the space station, and the telephone proudly says Bell. Why would Kubrick put companies in his movie?

Think about that next time you watch 2001.