I have just returned from what can only be described as a singular experience. I went to the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood and saw 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Cinerama Dome has a huge curved screen which can accommodate 70 millimeter films, which is what 2001 is. In fact, back in 1968 the film was shown at the Cinerama Dome two days after its premier in Washington, D.C. since this was one of the few theaters equipped to show the movie the way it was supposed to be shown.
I can’t believe I am admitting this, but I believe this is the first time I have actually seen the entire 2001. I can’t believe I didn’t see it when it came out in 1968 – I would have been fifteen at the time – but it is possible I didn’t. Or if I did, I was preoccupied with my high school boyfriend at the time and didn’t pay attention or else I watched the whole thing and was confused by it and the memory didn’t stick. Any of the above could be true. I remember a few years back, Ray was watching it on television and I was not all that interested. It was slow and I was tired, as I recall. I elected to go to bed. All that being said, I am embarrassed now that it has taken me literally 48 years to see this superb film. Good grief.
What is so great about it, you ask? First, the visuals are stunning. Not just the the cool modern furniture at the space station, but all the visuals from the interior shots of life on a spaceship to the awesome visual sequence towards the end of the film Also, the music is perfect – ranging from Johann Strauss waltzes to Richard Strauss Thus Spoke Zarathustra to Ligeti’s discordant chords. Finally, the story – man’s evolution via help from outside forces (a highly evolved entity or society) is mysterious and compelling. The combination creates a film experience that is hard to beat. I am now a complete fan of this film and can easily see why it has received so many honors over the years.
I think the big – or huge – screen really allowed the audience to experience this story the way that Stanley Kubrick wanted it to be experienced. If you ever get the chance to see 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Cinerama Dome then don’t walk – run – to buy those tickets. You will not be disappointed.
Inside the Cinerama Dome Tonight
The Film on the BIG Screen
Original Poster of the Film