Home > Stanley Kubrick > And then there was the Shot

And then there was the Shot

Opening shot of Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey"

What’s that you say? The opening shot of 2001 is the Earth and Sun rising behind the Moon ? Not a black screen? Hmm…


When people think of the opening shot of  A Space Odyssey they usually think  of the famous shot that comes in right after the MGM logo: the Moon, Earth and Sun align while we hear Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra. They usually ignore the first 2 minutes of the movie  that appear to be a black  screen over the sound of an orchestra warming up.

But what if it’s not just a black screen ?

Try tilting your head or your monitor. Do you see it now ?

And since we are talking about an opening shot in the opening post of this blog, why not have a look at Jim Emerson’s Opening Shots Index ? According to him (and others), the opening shot is one of the  most important shots in a movie because it tells you how to view to movie, how to make sense of the actions that follow.

So, given what we just discovered above, how does it change the way we watch A Space Odyssey?

(Fun fact: Strauss means ‘ostrich’ in german)


  1. Dragos
    April 13, 2011 at 6:57 am

    eu unul am vazut niste urme de degete cand am inclinat monitorul…now everything makes sense!

    • April 13, 2011 at 8:36 am

      daca iti pui firefox 4 vezi mai bine

      • Dragos
        April 13, 2011 at 1:40 pm

        da…acum disting un chip umanoid;are o expresie perplexa, de parca e surprins de ceva, si in acelasi timp e curios- mi se pare ca se uita la mine…o capodopera filmul, fara discutie.

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