zodiackiller’s review published on Letterboxd:
I remember a couple of years ago when I wasn't even close in calling myself interested in film. I liked the blockbusters, you know. Think I was around 15 years old. I had heard about this one, though, and I was curious. I have always liked sci-fi, so I guess I was entitled to watch it. Like you probably just guessed right now, I fell asleep. And that only about 45 minutes in.
After joining this magnificent website, I started watching way more films (probably too many), and considering the praise this film had been given, I knew I had to rewatch it sooner or later. I think this is about a year or two after my first viewing. While not understanding one single bit about the last part, my second try was a lot better. My understanding for the first half of the film was decent enough to appreciate its symbolic traits, but I was left clueless about the last half. Nonetheless, this didn't really matter to me because all I really focused on after that viewing was the visuals.
After having seen it three times now, I have to say that I'm still a little stuck on the last part. Just to get this out of the way, 2001 is probably the best film I've ever seen. I'm not yet prepared to call it my favourite which I think is something totally different from best, but I would never give a film five stars if I didn't like it apart from the obvious reasons. This is one of the greatest film experiences I've ever had.
The main reasons why it is such an amazing experience for me is mainly the combination of the visuals and the music. This film is as old as my mum, but it is still arguably the best looking I've ever seen. It just shows how far ahead of time Kubrick was. Most films these days made can't compete with this no matter how hard they try. Step aside Gravity, you are no match. And then all of this combined with the most classiest of classy music, creating all sorts of atmospheres you could imagine. At times, 2001 feels like a horror film, and then two minutes later it suddenly becomes a joyride through the stunning achievements of mankind.
I don't think I'm prepared yet to analyze this. To be honest I'm actally really far away from it. I can definitely see how the first part is about evolution of the humans, but then it kind of goes a bit away from this. When the time travel or whatever you call it begins, that is when I don't really get much of it anymore. My first thoughts was that it symbolized how we pass through time, and then how we are reborn again, but I'm not very confident with that conclusion. You guys are very welcome to tell me your thoughts on this.
While this might just be the best film I've ever seen, I think I need some more understanding to call it a favourite. If I ignored my lack of comprehension of the last half of the film, it could definitely go up there with my favourites. I think it might be time to rewatch Blade Runner deciding my favourite sci-fi, but I think 2001: A Space Odyssey might have a slight lead for now.
Thanks for this, Kubrick.