In 1999, the final year of Stanley Kubrick’s life the world was a pretty boring place. I am sure Kubrick was sadly disappointed how Mankind was nowhere near the technological advancement he had pictured we would be when he made 2001 30 years previous. Shame on us.
2001: A Space Odyssey was a ground breaking piece of cinema in many ways – its narrative structure, its length, its ability to convey meaning through insinuation and its fantastical depiction of the future. While we may not have vast rotating vessels transporting crew members in hyper sleep to Jupiter a few of his other fictional inventions are certainly coming to light, especially in recent years.
The thing to remember and always keep in your mind while watching 2001 is that it was made in 1968 before serious technological advancements in space travel had been made. Just the sleek design of ships and pods along with the intelligent depiction of super computer HAL-9000 is enough to convey a futuristic world far superior in imagination from anything done since. James Cameron and Ridley Scott have openly admitted to being heavily influenced by Kubrick in their science fiction films Alien, Aliens and Prometheus and its plain to see where correlations lie. Not only did he influence the future of science fiction film making, he also managed to provide an incredibly uncanny prediction of future technology.
Have a look below and try and convince me that Stanley Kubrick is not a time lord.
1. The iPad
Here we see young Dave Bowman watching a BBC news report on small, internet enabled, portable screen, much like an iPad don’t you think?
2. The Video Phone
Heywood Floyd makes an important call to his daughter on her birthday on a very snazzy video phone. In 1969 AT&T created the first ever ‘Picture Phone’ which was a small, ugly contraption. Kubrick’s was much sleeker.
3. Moon Landing
Here is Kubrick’s design for a pod landing on the moon, a year before Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. Okay okay, he had a little help from NASA on this one, but still – impressive nevertheless!
4. Plane Shaped Shuttle
This shuttle from the movie looks like something Richard Branson would have designed for his Virgin 1 craft. Its also very similar to the Concorde which wasn’t around until a year later.
5. TV entertainment seat
If you’re like me and grew up in a working class family in the 90’s who had extended family all over the country, having a TV screen embedded into the seat in front of you seemed like total wishful thinking. It wasn’t until 1988 that Airvision put screens in seats on aeroplanes – 20 years after Kubrick did it.