Star Child: Stanley Kubrick RIP

Hard to believe that way back on March 7, 1999, a few weeks before the release of his final film, EYES WIDE SHUT, Mr. Stanley Kubrick went on his own infinite journey at the cusp of 2001…I’m of the opine that 2001: A SPACE ODYESSY is one of the esthetic gifts from the Monolith to help speed Mankind into another evolutionary stage. Next to DR. STRANGELOVE, it’s the Kubrick I never tire of, and have seen at least six times on the big screen in genuine 70mm and numerous times on the home screen. Anybody who thinks 2001 is “boring” — I immediately assume are boring. I hope that we’ll be able to see the 17 minutes of footage shorn after the initial preview and I especially hope to see some of the many unused spfx shots of aliens that Douglas Trumbull has often referenced. In fact, I always find something new whenever I revisit the film, and I particularly enjoy the scene with Dr. Heywood Floyd and his casual sit-down with a group of Russian space counterparts; their surface banalities undercut by Floyd’s clear stonewalling of the Monolith’s discovery. And the transition between the skull-crushing bone and the floating weapons satellite is still the greatest cut in film history. Though Kubrick was a cynical sort, there’s nothing more optimistic nor benevolent in his entire oeuvre than the final moments of 2001: A SPACE ODYESSY.

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8 Responses to “Star Child: Stanley Kubrick RIP”

  1. Fine post (and opine), christian. Even with the advent of Blu-ray Disc and large flat panel LCD/Plasma/LED monitors to pair it with, nothing can ever come close to watching this film on the big screen (along with a 70mm projector and print). I can still remember the first time I ever saw it (at the old Pacific Theatre in Hollywood) and how it blew whatever was in my mind at the time. Thanks.

    • christian Says:

      Thanks much. And yes, you haven’t seen 2001 until you’ve seen it in 70mm.

      Woulda been amazing to see it in the Cinerama Dome opening day….

  2. “Anybody who thinks 2001 is “boring” — I immediately assume are boring”

    YES, I couldn’t agree with you more! Good post for the lost Stanley K.

    In 1975, 2001:ASO was re-released in 70mm, shown at NYC’s Ziegfeld theater. That was the first time I saw the film, I sat through it twice–in an almost empty movie theater!–and my life was changed (I was ten years old).

    • christian Says:

      Thanks Ivan.

      I would wipe out an army of waterhole apes with a single bone to see 2001 at the Ziegfeld…almost empty?

      I first saw 2001 in the theater when I was probably around 4 or 5 – I remember sleeping through it until the final shot…

  3. Ah, 2001 – my fave Kubrick film, hands down. Love it. Alas, never seen it on the big screen, much to my regret. Hopefully, some day. I think I’d like to sit close (third row), esp. for the last trippy Star Child sequence for the visual overload/stimulus alone would be worth it.

    • christian Says:

      Can’t believe you haven’t viddyed this on the big big screen. You haven’t seen it until you’ve seen it in 70mm. There must be a screening soon…

  4. My first good friend growing up was well off, and his dad bought one of the first home video players on the market. For a long time, he only owned two movies: This and Disney’s The Black Hole. As kids of six, we couldn’t sit through 2001, but we’d put on The Black Hole every day, to run in the background of our play sessions. I need to revisit 2001 now, 30 years removed from those memories.

    • christian Says:

      Yes, THE BLACK HOLE is galaxies away from 2001. TBH has some fun things, John Barry’s great score, the Cygnus, Maximillian, but it’s pretty silly and tries too hard to fit in the STAR WARS mold. Another one I saw in 70mm.

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