Mise En Scene
Grade - 98%
2001: A Space Odyssey
2001 makes heavy use of mise en scene to tell its story. The set design, lighting, spacing, costumes, and acting work together to convey the major elements of the story with minimal assistance provided by the dialogue. Moods are established, states of mind are revealed and the narrative is advanced mostly through visual effects - color schemes, symbolism, dress, body language, actions, set designs and scale.
The film starts out eons ago in Africa during "The Dawn of Man". A tribe of timid ape men live precariously in a barren landscape, and they struggle daily to avoid extinction. As the sun rises one day, the ape men first encounter the humming black monolith. It's a shocking sight to the ape men: a precisely shaped figure that's unique in an environment of jagged, irregular objects.
Even the ape men recognize that this monolith could only have been created by a higher form of intelligence. The monolith inspires one of the ape men to discover man's first tool - an animal bone that can be used as a weapon to kill other animals. Now the primitive ape men can survive, prosper and eventually evolve into modern man. They use tools to fight and over time they discover other tools as well. Man learns how to take control of his environment.