Based on Arthur C Clarke’s short story ’The Sentinel’, 2001: A Space Odyssey redefined the sci-fi genre. With its radical structure (a single cut elides 4 million years), scant dialogue and oblique narrative this was the first movie to emulate the philosophical seriousness of writers like Clarke and Philip K Dick, and the first to see that special effects could become an integral component in the art-form.
The film’s pacing is deeply unfashionable (except in the art-house) but seen on the big screen it still holds up as a spellbindingly immersive experience. Made at the height of excitement around the space age – just a year before the first Moon landing – the movie combines a typically cold Kubrickian rationalism with a genuine sense of awe, mystery, and (often overlooked), beauty.
2001 came in at #6 in the 2022 Sight & Sound poll of critics and academics, but topped the list voted by film directors.
Sunday’s screening in our PANTHEON series will feature free refreshments and a short introduction by an expert in the field.
Sunday July 16
Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke
Also in This Series
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Singin' in the Rain
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Man with a Movie Camera
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2001: A Space Odyssey
Based on Arthur C Clarke's short story The Sentinel, 2001 redefined the sci-fi genre. With its radical structure, scant dialogue and oblique narrative this was the first film to emulate the philosophical seriousness of writers like Clarke and Dick.
One of the greatest films about film ever made, Federico Fellini's 8½ (Otto e mezzo) turns one man's artistic crisis into a grand epic of the cinema.
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In the Mood for Love
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