2001: A Space Odyssey ★★★★★

On 4K IMAX. They've clearly done a lot of little cleanup to the vision (although tbh I never quite noticed how dodgy elements of the sound are - clearly no ADR), but the most amazing thing about seeing this at such a giant scale is the sheer physicality of so many of those glorious perspectival spins or shots that have contrapuntal movement. Also, everyone loves the toilet instructions, but I never noticed just *how* many instruction panels are everywhere, replete with minute detail. The production design is, um ... out of this world. (Flees.)

Every time I watch this, I wind up keying in to another element, and I assume that eventually I'll run out of things to find, but not this time! This time, it's geometry. The opening shot is a symphony to circles, and the shot of the monolith that transforms our hero ape into a tool-wielding man features two occluded circles above it. The zenith of progress of man's use of tool in "The Dawn of Man" is the circular space station - which is still under construction. (Note, too, "The Dawn of Man" uses a different font, with an irregularly shaped "o", relative to the other font [or fonts, there may be small variations] used with its crisp, perfectly round o.) When the monolith is discovered on the moon, the last shot before the handheld picture taking stuff reveals a faint but clear circle around the monolith. Other circles include HAL, the stunning closeup of Bowman's eye that takes us beyond the infinite, and the membrane around the Star Child. I'm sure someone's unpacked this more than I have, and the relationship of smooth to rough edges, the precision of the floors in the end chambers versus the ornate rounded furniture, and so on. That's the magic of 2001: whichever way you dig into it, you'll find gold.

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