More than 50 years ago, in April 1968, Stanley Kubrick's magnum opus was released in theaters to confound audiences everywhere. Now, theater-goers will get to experience 2001: A Space Odyssey in the same way as those very first crowds. Under director Christopher Nolan's supervision, Kubrick's film has been effectively unrestored, meaning an analog 70-millimeter print was made from 2001's original negative. The new print, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, opens at Harkins Tempe Marketplace on Friday, June 15 for a week-long engagement.
Before the unrestoration, the last version of 2001 was Warner Bros.' 1080p, HD Blu-Ray release from 2007. That copy is crystal clear, with sterile whites and cooler hues, and "corrected" images to fix the wear-and-tear associated with
There's a current cinematic obsession with high-definition images, but it's disingenuous to pass off a
The images of any number of films — not just 2001 — have evolved since their original theatrical release. Animated Disney films often go through drastic changes, with even linework being sacrificed for a smooth, clear image. The obsession — or perceived obsession, rather — with high-definition, grainless images bastardizes the artist's original intent.
The Blu-ray of CINDERELLA (right) has been so scrubbed of grain that they've actually destroyed the linework in some scenes pic.twitter.com/TlqiVk5eY6— Stephen Duignan (@stephen_duignan) April 23, 2018
For a lot of viewers, this is just cinephilic noise. But, 2001: A Space Odyssey is
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2001 continues to inspire, even in a multi-disciplinary sense. Experimental electronic music producer and film score composer Oneohtrix Point Never's (shortened as 0PN) latest album, Age Of, taps into 2001 in various ways. By combining contemporary, industrial noises with baroque sounds of harpsichords and other stringed-instruments, 0PN emulates the famous neoclassical images in the last act of the film. Just as Kubrick combined classical trappings in a forward-looking picture that depicts the future, so has 0PN.
MYRIAD, a conceptual live show that serves as a companion to Age Of, was deeply inspired by 2001. In an interview with Dazed, 0PN described his project as an inverted 2001 narrative, focusing more on the HAL-9000 horrors than the pre-evolution sapiens.
2001: A Space Odyssey continues to provoke ruminations on the nature of existence and the future of mankind. It still inspires challenging work, like 2014's Interstellar or 2018's Age Of. Yet, in its 50 years of existence, nothing quite like it has ever been made again. The unrestored version allows for audiences to see the film with fresh eyes and without 50 years of changes.
2001: A Space Odyssey will screen on 70-millimeter film at Harkins Tempe Marketplace from Friday, June 15 through Thursday, June 21. Adult tickets range from $8 to $10.50. For showtimes and to purchase tickets, visit the Harkins website.