Friday 13 August 2010

Stars in my eyes

I am genuinely very excited. Why? Because a beautiful remastered print of 2001: A Space Odyssey is doing the rounds, and my local arthouse cinema is showing it on Sunday evening. Complete with an introduction from a film studies prof who's just written a BFI book on the film!

2001 has been one of my favourite films since I first saw it nearly thirty years ago. To my mind it is still one of so very few films that make space travel look like space travel ought to. Quite apart from the beautiful silence (no engines roar as the Discovery glides across our screens), everything looks graceful and that's how I'd want it to be, even if it wasn't. Add the god-like genius of Kubrick to the mix, with his understated direction, beautiful lighting and aseptic set-design, a timeless classical soundtrack, a story that still has the power to both amaze and bewilder, and one of the all-time great movie characters in HAL and you have all the ingredients for what is still regarded as a masterpiece of the genre, more than four decades after its original cinema release. A masterpiece that I've never seen on the big screen: I've owned the film on laser-disc, VHS and two separate DVDs, but I've never had the 2001 cinematic experience until now... so yes - I'm very excited.

And in a pleasing and entirely serendipitous moment of synchronicity, I went out into the back garden last night to watch the Perseids. My God, it's full of stars...


  1. I expect a full report on your blog about this screening! I'm very jealous; if I could see one classic film on the big screen, it would have to be this one. Is the BFI book worth picking up (considering I've already got two books about 2001)? I've read a few of the BFI Classics series and I've found that some are great (Richard Dyer's take on Seven springs to mind) and others, um, less so (I won't name them).

    1. I hope the next post answers your question.