Film Review: Full Glory of Cinema Art Resides in 70mm ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’

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CHICAGO – It is the 50th Anniversary of director Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and the film has lost none of its power, freshness and thought process, in a journey of truth that ponders existence. The film has been recently restored in 70mm (overseen by director Christopher Nolan) and now is on a roadshow tour, including Chicago’s historic Music Box Theatre. Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

The scope of the project, which used the cutting-edge special effects of 1968, is like a fine art painting in the 70mm film format, filling the edges of the widescreen with pure and rich cinema. In that undertaking, Stanley Kubrick not only evolved his reputation as a filmmaker, but advanced the filmmaking in a way equivalent of the transition from silent film to sound. The influence of “2001” can be seen in all science fiction films afterward, including and especially “Star Wars,” and has generally inspired a generation of movie creators. One such grateful admirer is director Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk”), who painstakingly oversaw a new 70mm photochemical recreation (not digital) made from the original camera negative, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary. This is a must-see for those who appreciate both fine art and the history of film.

The “Dawn of Man” sequence begins the film, as ape-like creatures millions of years ago awaken to find a black, rectangular monolith. Their curiosity regarding it eventually perplexes them, and somehow they are impelled to take up bones as weapons. One such bone is thrown into the sky, and cuts to a future space station orbiting earth. The next chapter of the story is about to begin.

A space bound bureaucrat, Dr. Heywood Floyd (William Sylvester) arrives at the station, assigned to investigate an epidemic on the Moon. When he arrives there the same monolith that bedeviled the apes has been dug up under the lunar surface. Shattering that exploratory crew, it may also affect a mission to Jupiter, where the next chapter begins… with a ship computer named HAL (voice of Douglas Rain), and astronauts David Bowman (Keir Dullea) and Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood). What transpires next might alter the destiny of everything.

“2001: A Space Odyssey” opened in Chicago on May 18th – at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 North Southport – part of a nationwide road show release. See local listings for theaters and show times in your area. Featuring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Douglas Rain and Daniel Richter. Written by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke. Directed by Stanley Kubrick. Rated “G”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “2001: A Space Odyssey”

The Dance of Space in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “2001: A Space Odyssey”

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