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2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (2018)

Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer HAL 9000, sets off on a quest.

Review by Louise Keller:
Revisiting 2001: A Space Odyssey on its 50th anniversary in 70mm is a real trip. An unforgettable cinematic experience, Stanley Kubrick's film is a work of great scale and operatic proportions. Creation. The Universe. Man. The Circle of Life. Stanley Kubrick makes statements with scenarios, leaving us to fill in the gaps and make our own conclusions. It is an enthralling marriage of music, imagery, sound and philosophy.

Pretentious or brilliant? The screenplay by Kubrick and science writer and futurist Arthur C. Clarke canvasses many issues. The dawn of man; primates obsessed by technology; existentialism; space travel; artificial intelligence; evolution. Whatever your view, one thing is certain, this is a bold, unique vision: a work of art that embraces and stimulates the mind and the senses.

Who can forget the opening sequence? The five glorious, dramatic notes of Richard Strauss' tone poem Thus Spake Zarathustra, symbolising man's ascent into celestial spheres make the hairs on the back of our neck stand on end. Also effective is the later use of Johann Strauss' Blue Danube Waltz as the spaceship dances its gently rhythmic ballet as it docks at the space station. The impact of music and the eclectic soundscape proves to be far more powerful than dialogue.

Like a symphony, the film is divided into movements. It begins with the dawn of man; primates; a monolith. A revelation. Bones. Weapons. Tools. A gigantic leap propels us into a space shuttle and a gravity-free reality with astronauts, air-hostesses in 60s white bubble suits and a journey to the moon. Another monolith. Another leap. The spaceship Discovery heads to Jupiter guided by artificial intelligence: HAL replete with his logic-driven, calm, robotic dialogue.

The tense sequence in which the astronauts isolate themselves to discuss their course of action as they fear the A.I.'s programming is faulty is one of my favourites. HAL, with his unblinking red eye may not be able to hear them, but Kubrick's direction showing close ups of the men's mouths as they speak, leaves us with no doubt about his lip reading skills. 'This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it '; 'This conversation can serve no purpose'; 'Open the pod bay doors, Hal'. 'I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave'. These are classic lines of dialogue.

A vortex of psychedelic lights transport us to the last movement, where time is but a commodity. The neo-classical setting acts as an incongruous platform; the final scenes and grand visual statements left me with a sense of wonder.

Meditative and stimulating, the film toys with our perceptions and conceptions.

After leaving the cinema and this unforgettable journey among the cinematic stars, I looked upwards and saw Jupiter shining brightly in the dark night sky. The slightly distended, waxing gibbous moon glowed evocatively. I felt connected. Now that was a special moment.

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2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (2018) (PG)
(UK, 1968)

CAST: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter, Leonard Rossiter, Margaret Tyzack, Robert Beatty, Sean Sullivan

VOICES: Douglas Rain (as HAL 9000)

PRODUCER: Stanley Kubrick

DIRECTOR: Stanley Kubrick

SCRIPT: Arthur C. Clarke, Stanley Kubrick (Short story The Sentinal, by Arthur C. Clarke)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Geoffrey Unsworth

EDITOR: Ray Lovejoy

MUSIC: Music by Richard Strauss, Johann Strauss, George Ligeti

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ernest Archer, Harry Lange, Anthony Masters

RUNNING TIME: 148 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 24, 2018 (Exclusively at Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace

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