2001: A Space Odyssey
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Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) 

Fan recreation of 2001: A Space Odyssey ending perfectly captures quarantine mood

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Aug 19, 2020, 10:40 PM EDT

Everyone's been handling quarantine boredom in their own way — be it trying to capture the magic of Disney’s theme parks with DIY rides in their homes, or even trying to pay tribute to well-known facets of popular culture, such as the iconic Simpsons couch gag.

Lydia Cambron went a similar route, but in a wholly original way. Not only did the industrial designer recreate the final eight minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but she also filtered it through the lens of the ongoing global pandemic, showcasing what it’s like for a person currently quarantining at home, and the way self-isolation has a way of messing with your sense of time, and sometimes, even reality.

The video, which Cambron has titled 2020: An Isolation Odyssey, is described as a “reenactment of the iconic finale” of the Stanley Kubrick-directed 1968 sci-fi classic, with Cambron playing the key role of astronaut Dr. Dave Bowman.

“Restaged in the context of home quarantine,” reads the rest of Cambron's description. “The journey through time adapts to the mundane dramas of self-isolation — poking fun at the navel-gazing saga of life alone and indoors.”

As you can see in the video below, which features a side-by-side comparison of both the designer’s efforts and Kubrick’s work, Cambron has paid incredible attention to detail, not just reenacting each scene shot for shot and attempting outfits in the vein of the original, but also ensuring that the decor of each space matched those she was trying to pay homage to, further heightening the feelings she’s trying to evoke and resulting in what is a very effective reenactment of the scenes from the movie. 


If you'll recall, the last few minutes of the film feature Bowman (played by Keir Dullea) waking up in a neoclassically furnished bedroom while still in his spacesuit, before eventually depicting him as an older version of himself — now dressed in more casual clothing — eating dinner alone, before finally showing him as an old man dying in bed, before encountering an alien monolith, which transforms him into a human fetus where he remains, floating in space, enveloped in a ball of white light. 

According to her website, Cambron began the project in late March, transforming her one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment into a setting like that of the film, before finally completing and posting it in May, during the height of the pandemic in New York City. 

“The stacked videos and synced movements also reveal parallels in emotion,” said Cambron of her choice to show both the original scenes and her own reenactment together. “The narrowness of daily life in a single space, transitioning from confusion to acceptance, a distorted sense of time, and ‘returning’ after a transformational event — all experiences analogous to quarantine.” 

However, she notes one important difference between her take and the original. 

“The adapted version delineates the passing of time through wardrobe rather than age, identifying each phase of the character’s journey with a product of self-care or PPE,” explained Cambron. “Tools of private entertainment or self-betterment are also used as props, questioning our confidence in products and productivity as anchors during times of uncertainty. Multitasking while [working from home], conjuring guilt or longing with unused exercise equipment, your entire being reduced to a measure of time — these scenes all illustrate the absurd comedy of trying to maintain control during this unprecedented and unpredictable time.” 

For our list of all the events, films, TV shows, and more affected by the pandemic, click here