2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey ★★★★★

"Now I'm sure you're all aware of the extremely grave potential for cultural shock and social disorientation contained in this present situation, if the facts were prematurely and suddenly made public without adequate preparation and conditioning."

It's not very often that I can say with a good degree of certainty that I've just seen something that can only be described as genuinely extraordinary. 2001, the breathtaking sci-fi masterpiece that it is, earns that most rare of distinctions, without a single doubt. Kubrick's operatic vision shot light years into the future, influencing countless films of today and many more yet to come. Both thematically and visually, it's almost overwhelming to behold as it unleashes its mesmerizing cinematic alchemy as only it could—I honestly can't even imagine what it must've been like to witness this on the big screen back during its original run. Fittingly, given the frequent absence of words and the reliance on sound and music, there is just so much to behold in unrelenting awe that no words can ever do it all justice. Multiple times throughout this I wondered whether Kubrick himself somehow leaped forward down our evolutionary trajectory and circled back to gift us this singular achievement in filmmaking. Very, very, very few films espouse such an unmistakably uncompromising identity, let alone one that has such poetic meaning beating beneath its surface. I won't be forgetting this voyage and its blinding proof of what this medium can be.

P.S. Even though I've known about this movie for many years, I kept putting off watching it for two reasons: 1) I saw the first 10 minutes or so when I was 12 and couldn't get into it and 2) Not too long ago, I somehow found myself scanning the plot summary for its sequel, one that carries with it a major spoiler (so avoid its description on here if you haven't seen 2001 first!). If it wasn't for my secret cinema recommender, it would've likely been some time until I felt like watching this knowing its ending. I'm glad to say that knowing didn't impact the film's sheer power in the slightest.
P.P.S. So, with that said, a massive THANK YOU to my secret cinema recommender. This was an amazing choice and one that I absolutely loved!!
P.P.P.S. The fact that this 52-year-old film has better visual effects than basically every Marvel movie is simultaneously mind-blowing and not that surprising, given its reputation.

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