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2001: Happy 40th Birthday

.: Taras forwarded me a link to a post by Tim Lucas, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the release date (06 April 1968) of 2001: A Space Odyssey, my all-time favorite film. I didn’t see it when it was released in April 1968, it wasn’t on my radar for some reason. I did see it in December that year, at the King’s Theatre on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg, with my friend Alan Dyer. In his post, Lucas captures the brilliance of this ground-breaking movie, why it is and will remain Kubrick‘s masterpiece, and one of the most important motion pictures of all time. Arthur C Clarke, who wrote the novel and co-authored the screenplay with Kubrick, passed away in March, just before the 40th anniversary of 2001’s release. 2001 introduced me to Clarke’s writing, which I have read and enjoyed for many decades.

As Lucas says about 2001, “It is what it is.”

2 Responses to “2001: Happy 40th Birthday”

  1. Garth Danielson Says:

    I remember being wowed after seeing 2001 for the first time. I’m pretty sure I saw it the first week it opened. The second week for sure. And after i saw it I never cared much again. Don’t know why. It’s that way with most of Kubrick’s films. Great but no desire to rewatch them. I would rewatch Dr. Strangelove or The Killing more than most. I have a laser disc of 2001 that I copied to three DVDR’s but haven’t watched it very much at all, in any format.

    Perhaps because I can see, in my mind, so many iconic images from the movie, even forty years later, I don’t feel the need to see it. Certainly the story doesn’t hold my interest too much. Give me Babylon 5 any day. I was just thinking about that. Since PS turns up on google more now that I have been linked to by the LEGO sites I see the searches that turn up. Babylon 5 turned up today. Someone searching for something B5 related. I have been thinking of tackling that series again. It’s been a couple of years.
    I am always interested in what people pick as their favorite book or movie. If it was a book I’d have to go with Harry P right now. The series is like one big book, but if I had to pick a book from the series I’d go with one of the last two. I couldn’t tell you what is my favorite movie. I can barely make a top ten list. Two films that tied for most watched, Star Wars (ep4) and Romy And Michelle’s High School Reunion, might be my favorites, but I’ve watched the last Harry Potter movie 5 or 6 times now. I see The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep and The Fountainhead just about every year for ages and some of those always get into my top ten. It’s hard to pick.
    Did you go out and buy that big screen tv yet? Toss in a Bluray player and a copy of 2001 and you can watch the money pour out of your bank.

  2. Randy Says:

    .: Thanks for the comment. All of Kubrick’s films are cold and distant, that’s a given. 2001 explored that to the extreme, and I loved the combination of that aspect and the clean, expansive feel to the technology of the time, as envisioned 40 years earlier.

    My favorite book for years has been The Left Hand of Darkness, but it also feels like it’s from another time. Recent fiction I’ve really enjoyed include Greg Bear’s Quantico and Bill Gibson’s Spook Country. In terms of movies I’ve watched repeatedly, historically 2001 is first, with at least 20 viewings, probably followed by Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (10+) times, and CE3K (at least 15 times). Again, all historical – I haven’t seen too many films repeatedly in the past 20-30 years like I did in the 1970s. I did go to see Saving Private Ryan four times in the theatre, I found it to be so powerful that I needed to see it again and again.

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