2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey

[Published December 26th, 2001, Show Business Weekly]

As 2001 draws to a close, the time is right for a challenging alternative to the escapist fare that currently dominates our screens. By the time you read this, the movie that shares its title with the current year, 2001: A Space Odyssey, might very well not be playing at the Times Square Cinema it currently occupies. Warner Bros., the company releasing the film, has not publicized the movie in any media, and it’s unfortunate because 2001, of all films, needs to be seen on a big screen.

Director Stanley Kubrick’s vision of a possible future remains a rapturous and mysterious experience. With minimal dialogue, hypnotic widescreen compositions, and sequences traversing epochs of space and time, Kubrick relates his views on where we’re from, where we are, and where we’re going.

Especially in this time of painful questions, 2001’s suggestion that there are answers greater than we’ll ever know is a humbling experience. It’s no surprise that, at first release, many major critics panned 2001, and its lack of promotion today seems a suspect extension of that gut reaction. Perhaps it was Kubrick’s ultimate suggestion that human beings are a step in the evolutionary ladder, as opposed to an end, which led many to accuse him of misanthropy and pretension. It seems that derision still extends to some today, but one look at this new, restored print should put past and present detractors in their place.

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