I knew 2001 was an iconic film, and that certain set-pieces had entered the common cultural lexicon, but I didn't expect it to be quite so...patiently voyeuristic. Some of the shots are, compared to modern cinema at least, epic in duration and often consist of nothing more than landscapes or lingering character shots. But they work, and more often than not they're stunningly beautiful. The scene where the scientists visit the moon artefact stood out for me: the composition of every frame came together with the music to really push the impression that this was a monumental moment in human history.
As a complete amateur in the world of film I don't really feel I have the right vocabulary to adequately describe why the film had the effect on me that it did. The Blue Danube space scenes were utterly entrancing, the Beyond the Infinite chapter left my heart pumping and the ending, even though it's one of the images now burned into the common consciousness, left me breathless. I haven't even mentioned the amazing set design or mind-boggling cinematography which constantly surprised and confused.
One of the few films I've seen recently where the utter genius of its creators is etched into every frame. I genuinely feel as I've learned something after seeing it. I'm just not sure what.