2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey ★★★★★

How did I go 31 years without seeing this? I think I pretty much saw it in optimum conditions though - 70mm print, back centre at the BFI Main Theatre (with the added bonus of an in-person John Landis intro - as his "Screen Epiphany").

Anyway, not much can be said about this that hasn't been said before. Random thoughts:

The ingenuity for the effects is astounding - much would be ruined if it was replaced with CGI. The spinning space station, the spacewalking sequences, the sheer scale of some of the shots; awe-inspiring.

The sound design is incredible, peerless in fact. The use of breathing as the only sound in a few scenes is particularly startling, and also found interesting is the use of silence and the other extreme of discordant noise; not only in the soundtrack but in the alarms and the sound from the monolith.

The slow pace too, you could cut the essentials down to an hour or so I'm sure. It's all so precise and beautifully put together; I was transfixed.

Pure cinema in every respect - a reminder of what the artform can achieve. I don't pretend to understand it all but wow, as an experience and a piece of film-making it's sensational.

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