THUMBAPALOOZA: EBERT PRESENTS “2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY”

We left the president’s mansion pretty pumped up. We arrived at The Virginia Theater around 7:30 to meet a packed house and a still long line of people outside the building hoping to get a ticket. Naturally, we entered the press enterance and found a seat. The inside of the theater is a brilliant work of architectual design, yet is still under renovation. The air was filled with the excitment of Roger Ebert taking stage and introducing the first movie of the festival – “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Following the screening, Keir Dullea (who played Dave) and Jan Harlan (brother-in-law of Stanley Kubrick, director of the film) joined Ebert on stage in a panal discussion.
There was also a phone call to Arthur C. Clarke (co-writer of “2001″) joined in a brief and humorous discussion with the panal from his home in Sri Lanka. Audience members asked questions at the end. Years ago, I never would have imagined myself in the presence of Keir Dullea in the year 2001. Yet here I am. What a priviledge it is to experience the film in a time that was once only in our imaginations. ^ =========================
REVIEW: ^ 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) ^ * * * * * out of 5 stars ^ I interviewed Roger Ebert last November and I asked him the following question: What review are you most proud of and why? He replied, “I’m pleased that on deadline, before any other reviews had appeared, I was absolutely right about ’2001′.” He was absolutely right!
This movie is about David Bowman (Keir Dullea) and his ultimate battle of an on-board computer named Hal. Hal’s intelligence far exceeds that of any human and later goes mad (like what can happen to any human). This movie is a complicated movie about the the division of intelligence – from the beginning of man to the future. But where else does a division take place? That’s the question and mystery Stanley Kubrick left behind. Regardless of the philosophical questions presented, you’re in for a trip.
Ebert said in a welcome letter to his festival visitors, “”’2001: A Space Odyssey,’ is among the landmarks of cinema history, but few people will ever get the chance to see it as it was originally filmed, in 70mm; the format is overlooked.”
The clarity and sound of this new print was outstanding! The montage of pictures and music created a space waltz – literally. We see people among the stars in real form. Sometimes no music – just breathing. Other times, you’ll hear music from Richard Strauss’ “Thus Spake Zarathustra.” The film is memorizing. Imagine yourself at a symphony watching space images fly by you on a huge movie screen.
Ebert said, “Kubrick’s film is almost unique in enhancing the music by its association with his images.”
Usually, music enhances a film. In this case, the film enhances the music. And yet the vast amount of silent moments in this film are just as powerful as those scenes with music and images. Simply put, “2001″ was ahead of its time – and in a sense it still is with all it’s mysteries still be ironed out by experts today.
Ebert concludes in his review. “Our minds have given us the tools to understand where we live and who we are. Now it is time to move on to the next step, to know that we live not on a planet but among the stars, and that we are not flesh but intelligence.”
Not flesh but intelligence. Profound, Roger!
I hope American audiences will get the chance to see this re-mastered print edition. I would love to take another waltz in this space odyssey in 2001.
Read Herb Kane’s next report from “Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival” and get the scoop on the screening of “Such a Long Journey”>>>




Posted on April 28, 2001 in Festivals by
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