Paramount Theater was running 2001: A Space Odyssey tonight as the opening feature in their 70mm week for the Classic Film Series. Sadly, it wasn’t the best print. The focus went soft on the edges of the screen a fair bit after reel changes. But it still sounded fantastic. After watching for the umpteenth time tonight, a few random thoughts and observations:

  • The initial space sequences to The Blue Danube make me miss a time when space exploration could inspire that sense of wonder and majesty. The “waltz” of the Pan-Am shuttle and the rotating space station just makes me smile. I think it is the use of classical music that just makes the experience feel regal and I have not the foggiest idea why we as a people lost sight of that.
  • Tangentially connected to that idea, there’s some serendipity in watching this movie only a couple of days after the 1 year anniversary of Neil Armstrong passing.
  • I will always love the design of the ships. The Discovery is so massive. In my mind I see it moving like some gargantuan arrow shot by and unseen archer through space. And the shuttle is amazing, sleek…it feels like a glimpse of the future even now 45 years after.
  • Related to that: give me practical effects work over digital every time. I can forgive some digital cleanup to make the illusion a little more complete (say digitally inserting the images of people working behind the windows of the station as the shuttle docks), but models and practical effects will always feel more real to me even if they don’t always wear well with age.
  • (Spoiler alert) To the people who laughed when Frank Poole has his EVA accident: you people are sick and need help. Yes, it happened at this screening.
  • I don’t think I’d ever noticed before how much it sounds like Jerry Goldsmith’s score from Alien was cribbed at least in small part from the original score of 2001. Specifically the scene when Discovery first comes into view, when Bowman is running laps in the central core. Sounds very similar to the closing credits in Alien.
  • They also used the second klaxon alarm that sounds in the pod when Bowman goes extra-EVA.
  • I know why some people don’t get or don’t like the montage when Bowman goes through. But I wouldn’t cut a second of it. I feel like it’s the closest anyone will ever get at trying to convey the concept of the infinite in a way that makes sense.
  • The more often I see this, the more I think 2010: The Year We Make Contact doesn’t need to exist. I really don’t get why they ever made that one.
  • EVA scenes: creepy as hell even when you know what’s coming.

Anyway, just some thoughts as I get ready for bed. If you have any attachment at all to the film, I’d appreciate your thoughts as well.

1 Comment for this post you say something?

  • 27 August 201311:21 pm Derek K.

    It’s okay. But it’s no Lady in the Water.

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