2001 : A Space Odyssey
The first time I heard of 2001 was in my senior year of high school, in the school's planetarium. A friend recommended that the class watch the movie for the senior test and write a report on the film. At that point, I had never heard of Stanley Kubrick. I was an avid videographer, having made home movies complete with a cast, credits, sets, and costumes on a regular basis. In the end, my high school class didn't watch 2001. Instead, we watched Cosmos, which bored the shit out of me. I appreciate Carl Sagan now, but then, I know I would have preferred classical music and apes, rather than a flared collar and bell bottom pants.
Since graduation, I have been in awe of Kubrick's films. They're masterfully crafted and everything seems to have been considered. Nothing is missed and every detail is deliberate. I watch his films at the end of a long day of work and unwind, to great visuals and cinematography. When I'm really fidgety, I will watch a John Carpenter film like Prince Of Darkness or They Live, but there's nothing like a Kubrick film and nothing as masterful as 2001.
The film was recently screened at the Hollywood Bowl, with a live pit orchestra performing the soundtrack. If you haven't seen the film, you can't grasp what a magnificent experience it is to watch a movie that is designed for classical music with sweeping visuals, cut to pieces such as Blue Danube or Also sprach Zarathustra. The weather was your typical California perfect: 68-72 degrees, wth a clear sky and 7mph winds. Most people brought their own food and wine. I brought food but no wine: this was not an experience to be squandered, for the sake of a buzz. The quality of the sound system was sub-par but one would almost think this was done intentionally, to showcase the magnificence of the live orchestral sound. As a former member of an orchestra, this would be the ultimate gig to play on tympani drums or acoustic bass. You're literally delivering thundering lows and earthshaking drum rolls.
I am still processing the entire experience and will most likely continue to process the experience, for years to come. My view of the film has forever changed from the film being something of a jewel contained in a small box, to a public display of one of humanity's greatest accomplishments: the triumph over a computer that only accepts voice commands for input sporting and an annoying red nightlight that never turns off -- until it has successfully terminated your life support.