2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey ★★★★★

LIFF30 2016 #5


So I just saw "2001" at a film festival and it was kinda incredible. Why do I feel like I just ticked off my bucket list of things to die before you die. I've been waiting a long time to watch this on the big screen. I already seen the movie about 3 or 4 years ago, but my memory of the film isn't that strong. So when I was picking what movies I wanted to see at (LIFF), and this was on the list, as the festival also shows classic movies.

Re-watching this movie was quite the experience. Nothing like a massive screen and loud speakers blasting off beautiful music while drifting in space. From the dawn of man till the end of human life. The cycle repeats.

But seriously, what can I honestly say about "2001" that hasn't been said already. It's one of the greatest Sci-Fi films of all time. It's groundbreaking and pure genius. Even at the slower pace parts, I was still engaged. After it was over, I was contemplating on it.

For a 1968 film, it's visual effects still hold up today and looks way more convincing than today. Well, there was a couple of effects that was noticeable, but the rest (which is mostly practical) still looks amazing. The "Star Gate" sequence is one example of a trippy and a breathtaking effect that it owned Kubrick an Oscar.

Every shot in this movie is like something you would hang up on your wall. Kubrick has been known for being a perfectionist of his work. This is a work of an artist that doesn't just get praised for how much he dose, but how little. Three years of making this - you can get easily attached to your work that after awhile you find the hidden beauty of the story. Do it 40 or 127 times until you get what you want and exactly how you wanted. A similar method that Chaplin use for "City Lights". But it isn't just images that kept me attention and I don't think Stanley was intending on that. There's plenty of scenes that goes on forever, not for spectacle, but more of use to inhabit everything that's going on.

It also helps that music in this is so beautiful, but very eerie at the right moments. I can take the monolith on the moon scene as a great example of the bone chilling music. It may be scary for some, because of "Requiem for Soprano" playing in the background, but I kinda see like this:

Man discovers a 4 million year old structure buried under the surface of the moon. Perfect angles and a disturbingly flawless complexion. imagine if this event actually occurred in reality and you were sitting in front of your TV when a breaking news bulletin interrupts your program. Just imagine the weight of the emotions you feel. There is no explanation for how this structure could even exist. its impossible! It will be the most reality-shattering event in the history of the world.

It's one of my favorite scenes of all time, because the scene alone perfectly captures that feeling. No explanation. No answers. No reason.

Overall: Films like "Space Odyssey" is why I love movies. Extraordinary and beautiful work of art. "2001" isn't just a classic for it's effects or the show stealer Hal9000, but how it wants to inspire and enlarge us. A space voyage that evokes questions and kept the audience in awe for 48 years.

Matthew L. Brady liked these reviews