Ηλσι (Louis-Charles)’s review published on Letterboxd:
It's Hal's Birthday!
While it watching it this time, I couldn't help remember the first time I actually watch it. It was in the summer of 2013, my friend and I went to the library to pick some films and we see 2001 on the shelve. We mostly picked it up because of Kubrick's name on the cover. We recently had started watching his films (A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and FMJ). We had heard of 2001 before, but didn't know much about it, only that it was considered one of the greatest science-fiction film ever. So when we finally get home, of all the films we took, we decided to watch 2001.
So I start the film and we have this nice black screen. For 10 seconds... for 30 second... My friend tells me: "Did you start it?" and I answer "Well, yes I did". Then he replied "You sure you did?" and I say "Yes I did" showing him that we're now at the 2 minutes mark. This was the start of a really peculiar watch. First off, we were really off-putting by the incredibly slow pace of the film. The Dawn of Men sequence was just weird. We had no idea what we were watching and what was happening. Most importantly though, no one was talking! We were used to more "typical" films and 2001 really wasn't fitting this list. Finally, we got to meet Dr. Heywood R. Floyd. I got to say my memories of our reaction to that part are blurry. I don't think we were really impress by anything and were mostly trying to understand to link between a guy going on the moon and a bunch of apes.
Then, starts the second chapter of the film and I think this part might have been the most painful for us. Slow. It was so goddamn slow. It was almost unbearable. I need to point out that we were still trying to figure the story of the film at that point. We really didn't get much since the style of the film kind of messed up with our heads. We mostly found the whole sequence with Bowman, Pool and HAL incredibly boring. Sure, we were impressed by the special effects, but we were in awe at how a film can be so slow. Then my friend left (we were watching at my home). I don't know why he left, he might have had something to do, but I'm pretty sure he didn't mind skipping the last 30 minutes.
Even though, my friend wasn't there anymore, I wanted to finish the film. I might have found it boring, but I was intrigued and needed to see the end of it. So it's alone that I watched the final chapter: Jupiter And Beyond The Infinite. Well, I didn't get the most straightforward part of the film so I can tell you I was totally lost here. It was my first experience watching something with no explanation whatsoever. I had no clue what was happening during the Stargate sequence, neither during Bowman's time on Jupiter. Yet, I was intrigued by all that. When the film was over I was like "What the hell did I just watch!?" and remember going on Internet to read about it.
This was my first experience with 2001, since then my feelings for the film have changed greatly. Something that I found long and painfully boring has become something deeply fascinating and one of the greatest film I've seen. And still to this day I have no clue what happens during the final chapter and only love the film more for it.