Directed and produced by the legendary Stanley Kubrick, (The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, Eyes Wide Shut) with a screenplay co-written by Kubrick and noted science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, the film centres on a pair of astronauts (played by Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood) who are heading to Jupiter to investigate a signal sent from a mysterious black monolith found on the moon, when their trip becomes endangered by their on-board computer, Hal. Well, that’s part of it; it actually starts with an extended sequence set on earth before human life began, involving apes and the same black monolith. And its ending, which features a floating foetus, remains as mind bending as ever.
Warner Bros have done a sterling job in their digital transfer; the groundbreaking special effects and spectacular space scenes look more like they should be competing with the likes of Cuarón’s Gravity than any other film from last century, and the classical recordings (which Kubrick originally used as temporary fillers during the edit, but decided they worked so well that he kept them) seem as fresh and imaginative as ever. The docking of the space shuttle and the space station to the wonderful sound of Johann Strauss’ waltz Blue Danube has to be one of the most mesmerising scenes in cinematic history and the recurring notes of Richard Strauss’ Thus Spake Zarathustra never lose their cold, magnificent impact.
It’s beautiful, jaw-dropping stuff. Book it and savour it - it’s a masterpiece that’s sure to be the major highlight of the BFI Sci-Fi programme.
|What||2001: A Space Odyssey|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
28 Nov 14 – 28 Dec 14, Various
|Website||Click here for more information.|