When it comes to the greatest achievements of the cinematic medium, it is impossible to leave out the greatest sci-fi masterpiece ever made. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, one of the most challenging auteurs in the history of cinema, 2001: A Space Odyssey is an essential part of the cinematic canon for experienced directors as well as young film fans.
A brilliant adaptation of a short story by Arthur C. Clarke, 2001 is visual poetry at its finest. Probably one of the most ambitious films ever made, Kubrick attempts to trace the trajectory of human evolution starting from our hominid ancestors. Even after all these years, Kubrick’s conceptualisation of the next step in our evolutionary ladder is striking.
The legacy of 2001 is simply incomparable. It has not only influenced other modern masters such as Christopher Nolan and Alfonso Cuarón but it continues to generate conversations about evolution, religion, existentialism and the future of technology among other subjects which is why it is often referred to as the pièce de résistance of Kubrick’s enigmatic filmography.
Adding to the extensive mythology of 2001, one programmer named Bhautik Joshi managed to create visions of the film which were stylised as paintings by Pablo Picasso. According to Joshi, this was done through the use of neural networks which is why there were some frames where the colour was not transferred properly.
In an interview, Kubrick himself compared his vision of cinema to the union of music and visual art: “Actually, film operates on a level much closer to music and to painting than to the printed word, and, of course, movies present the opportunity to convey complex concepts and abstractions without the traditional reliance on words.”
“2001 is basically a visual, nonverbal experience,” the director noted. “It avoids intellectual verbalisation and reaches the viewer’s subconscious in a way that is essentially poetic and philosophic. The film thus becomes a subjective experience which hits the viewer at an inner level of consciousness, just as music does, or painting.”
Even though he had shared his opinions about some of the more mysterious elements of the film like the Star Child and the monolith, Kubrick maintained that 2001 operated like music because it resisted superficial interpretations and accessed our emotional cores. Watching the translation of Kubrick’s creation into the visual language of Picasso is truly a treat for all fans.
Watch Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey in the style of Picasso below.