Seeing one of the best sounding and looking films on a giant screen was one of the best experiences I have had with film. Every time I have seen this flick, it seems to suck me in like a vacuum. It puts me in a trance. But sitting near the front in a cinema so the screen looked as big as possible… Not only was the music giving me chills, but somehow seeing it in this fashion gave me a new perspective on a movie that I have seen at least 50 times.
Each scene felt new somehow. Stanley Kubrick’s famous sense of humour clicked with me for the first time for 2001, since I first saw it on far too much LSD as laughed like a moron without knowing why. Favourties include the ‘Zero Gravity Toilet’ and many of HAL’s lines, including: “It can only be attributable to human error. This sort of thing has cropped up before and it has always been due to human error,” and, “My mind is going. I can feel it,” said as that is literally happening. This style is not for everyone I am sure, but Kubrick’s incredibly dry and odd sense of humour had me giggling like a twit, much like when I first saw it, surely irritating the other people watching. But I was in a trance, I couldn’t help it!
A nice touch by the venue was that there was actually an intermission when it is prompted on-screen, a touch I wasn’t expecting. Trailers for old, black and white films before the beginning was another great addition, particularly the great trailer for Billy Wilder’s ‘Witness for the Prosecution‘. This, and the slightly grainy look older films have, all combined to shoot me into a time capsule, much like when I was lucky enough to see ‘La Grande Illusione‘ on a giant screen.
When it finished with that fantastically bizarre ending, ideas of what it meant spun around my brain. Like most I’m sure, I have often pondered on what the ending could mean. It has been far too long since I read the book, so my decision was based on the film’s ending, though I am sure they are similar if not the same. Having read some of Nietzsche’s work years ago, after it finished, suddenly the answer was obvious and I’m sure many share the same interpretation.
The film begins with man’s evolution from primates, and finishes with the next step of our evolution as Bowman sees himself age, then transforming into the starchild, the next step. Simples! It seemed so obvious. I have seen 2001 countless times though, that surely helped. That and it seems to fit into the philosophy of Nietzsche so well.
After the credits rolled, my eyes closed as I listened to the music, I was finally snapped out of my trance and didn’t leave my seat for several minutes. The experience was one I never expected, and given my love for the movie, I don’t think it will be one I’ll forget for a long time. I was fortunate enough to see it with my father who, after the ending, immediately commented, “how the hell do people come up with this shit!”
Indeed. That this all happened on the day after my birthday made for the best gift I could imagine. 50 years later and this film looks better than a lot of crap churned out by Hollywood, especially on a giant screen!
seeker of wisdom
Sporadic film reviews by a wanna-be filmmaker
Barber life, struggle, life
Reviews, predictions & rants from the mind of Jason Singer with no plot points given away...ever.
The good, the bad and the ugly; an uncensored look at the latest films hitting the big screen.
". . . first hand coverage, second hand news"
reflection + romance + release
Poetry Meets Film Reviews
My thoughts on films, music, books, travel
Art Cinema & Literature site NS
Ramblings of the Cinema
And I thought I just had a crazy personality!
Wanderers in the world
Humanity, Positive, Gratitude
Film, Music, and Television Critic
Writer in San Francisco, CA
Movie reviews and occasional rants
wow 50 times! I agree it’s definitely a film that holds up to many viewings. I remember was great to see it in 70mm (back in 2014) and marvel at all the details. As you say, it was made for cinema, with the epic visuals and sound. A battle between 2001 and Blade Runner as for my current favorite sci-fi film.
I’m not sure how the giant “starchild” could help earth while inside a bubble, but I guess it’s still a “baby” and will change into a god-like being 🙂 I once read Arthur C Clarke’s book sequels 2061 and 3001, and saw the movie 2010, but none of them could match the original film.
I am interested in watching 2010 just for the hell of it. But yeah this was made for the cinema. It was epic!! I read the next two books aaaages ago but didn’t get through the third one. I must buy them again.
The starchild is watching over humanity, and guiding them so that they can also evolve and leave the prison of Earth. 😛 I love that ending, you can come up with any idea really cos its so strange and ambiguous.,
LikeLiked by 1 person
Great post 🙂 I love 2001: A Space Odyssey and I am also a huge Kubrick fan. I think it is interesting that you saw this while you are on LSD. I wonder If you would have had the same reaction If you saw The Beatles Yellow Submarine, or a majority of Ken Russell’s 70’s work. 2001 ages like fine wine. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂 P.S. in case you are interested, I have a blog entry on my site regarding my favorite Stanley Kubrick films 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
Wow, Barry Lyndon at the top eh? I must admit, I haven’t watched that one all the way through. I tried many years ago but I wasn’t as obsessed with film as I am now. I’ll have to give it a good watch!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Envious! Seeing 2001 on the big screen — that is a bucket list item for any cinephile! I also really like the additional touches you mentioned that the theater did, playing old of-the-time trailers for other films, adding an intermission. That all adds to the experience. Was it a higher priced admission for this?
nah, 10 bucks, which is the normal price here, Probably way more than it is in the US, i dunno. But yeah it was normal price, and the experience was amazing. Half a brownie really made it cool, the stargate sequence made me feel like I was on acid!
No, wrong. 10 bucks is super cheap here. Try 17 or more for that kind of shit.
Fuck!! Heh, its the one thing we get that is cheaper than you guys. Stuff from meat to gas to cigarettes get taxed to all hell. We really get screwed in a lot of ways but people are just blind and don’t see it