2001: a space Odyssey

Out 29 oc­to­ber / Cert 12 / 149 mins

Empire (UK) - - RE.VIEW - Ben travis

Some clas­sics are so highly re­garded that they be­come un­touch­able mu­seum pieces, fos­silised by their own for­mi­da­ble rep­u­ta­tions — films to be revered rather than ac­tively en­joyed. 2001: A Space Odyssey would per­haps seem to fit that cat­e­gory. But if you’ve been put off, step over the ‘do not touch’ rope, re­move the pro­tec­tive cas­ing and watch it. What gets lost when bril­liant films are canon­ised is how alive they re­ally are — for all its no­to­ri­ous iconog­ra­phy, 2001’s greatness lies in more than its cul­tur­ally ubiq­ui­tous images. Kubrick’s tech­ni­cal mas­tery, the scalp-itch­ing mono­lith mu­sic, the ab­stract plot­ting — it all pulses and breathes, some­thing to be ex­pe­ri­enced rather than merely ob­served. the 50th an­niver­sary means we now get a pris­tine 4K HDR edi­tion, but if 2001 re­mains on your ‘I’ll watch it some­day’ list, forget the mile­stone an­niver­sary, shrug off its cul­tural weight, and just sit back for 149 min­utes of mind-bend­ingly vivid sci-fi.

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