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Critics reviews
2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick United Kingdom, 1968
Not long ago, I got to see The Shining from a 35mm print and with an audience for the first time, and discovered that the film was a lot less scary and unsettling than I’d remembered, and a heck of a lot funnier. . . . It’s the most obviously flawed of Kubrick’s late films (the second half can be enervating), but also an unambiguous depiction of depression and of toxic male ego.
June 30, 2018
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However well Kubrick’s most audacious movie may work on a large TV monitor, it is difficult to recapture the quality of the spectacle that, projected in 70mm on a Cinerama screen two stories tall, rendered the moon landing fifteen months later anticlimactic. The opportunity has returned.
June 26, 2018
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I will (try to) never say anything mean about Christopher Nolan’s movies ever again, because what he’s pulled off is pretty astonishing. . . . The distance between you and a very large image has been minimized, and the level of detail is outstanding. You can really peer into this image and probe wherever you’d like.
June 25, 2018
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Cannes has never been big on science fiction, especially science-fiction studio blockbusters. In a way, though, 2001 is the ideal Cannes film, in how it straddles art and mainstream cinema, austerity and magnificence, personal vision and commerce.
May 19, 2018
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Directed by Stanley Kubrick from a script he co-wrote with Clarke, the film is a triumph of imagination, intelligence and technique. It moves from the abstract to the factual and back to the abstract again with elegant precision in a manner that echoes man’s own evolutionary journey.
July 20, 2015
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Science, art, and the spiritual have been linked for centuries across pictorial traditions, but they achieve a unique synthesis in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, an audaciously cerebral epic that, whenever seen or contemplated in its original 70mm format, never feels like anything less than a miracle of human imagination.
March 02, 2015
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There’s something ineffably alienating about 2001. Alienating is possibly too strong a term for it, but it’s maybe ever so slightly… off… It’s the irony that a film about man’s place within the cosmos and the charting of two crucial tipping points in the human evolutionary process could feel so bereft of pulse. It’s an old and haggard refrain, but Kubrick’s inhumanity is there for all to see.
November 27, 2014
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It’s not that 2001: A Space Odyssey doesn’t look dated—it does, a touch—but rather, it feels as intelligent and provocative as ever, bearing years of conceptual dreaming. Until today’s equivalent of novelist Arthur C. Clarke commits a hefty chunk of time to envisioning the beginning of human civilization, as well as the far ends of the future, there will be no new film that supplants it.
December 23, 2013
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Kubrick’s movie, which I hadn’t seen since college and always recalled with slight derision for its dated paranoid bombast, came to immediate life, as if it were a painting stripped of darkened varnish and rendered contemporary again. It was the music that effected this change… Employed as an overture, [Ligeti’s “Atmosphères”] immediately sets a very high bar for the artistic originality required for the movie not to wither and shrink from the screen in full public view.
September 26, 2013
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For many, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY is not simply a masterpiece, but the apotheosis of moviegoing itself. In no other film is the experience of seeing images larger than oneself linked so directly to contemplating humanity’s place in the universe.
October 22, 2010
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Seeing this 1968 masterpiece in 70-millimeter, digitally restored and with remastered sound, provides an ideal opportunity to rediscover this mind-blowing myth of origin as it was meant to be seen and heard, an experience no video setup, no matter how elaborate, could ever begin to approach. The film remains threatening to contemporary studiothink in many important ways…
March 01, 2002
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Like that black monolith whose unheralded materialization propels the evolution of consciousness through the three panels of the movie’s narrative triptych, Kubrick’s film has assumed the disquieting function of Epiphany. It functions as a disturbing structure, emitting, in its intensity of presence and perfection of surface, sets of signals. That intensity and perfection are contingent upon a conspicuous invisibility of facture commanded by the power of a rigorously conceptual imagination.
February 01, 1969
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