2001 coming back in 70mm, unrestored

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by HiFi Guy 008, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    A very wise decision not to date the film. The apes have a bit of risk in that regard, but not too bad. I am so looking forward to seeing this projected.
     
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  2. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    Ah, so. Well at least we don’t have to have a battle not unlike the blade runner is Deckard an alien? endless debate about the end of 2001: Here’s a long forgotten interview from 1980 with a Chinese interview owhere Kubrick the lays out the meaning of the ending of 2001. I would’ve thought it was self-explanatory but some people just aren’t happy till they hear it from the horses mouth. Probably a good thing he didn’t lay out the story before, because it sure sounds a hell of a lot like Kurt Vonnegut’s “slaughterhouse five“ to me!


    In case the video is taken down, ScreenCrush transcribed Kubrick’s explanation:

    “I’ve tried to avoid doing this ever since the picture came out. When you just say the ideas they sound foolish, whereas if they’re dramatized one feels it, but I’ll try.

    The idea was supposed to be that he is taken in by god-like entities, creatures of pure energy and intelligence with no shape or form. They put him in what I suppose you could describe as a human zoo to study him, and his whole life passes from that point on in that room. And he has no sense of time. It just seems to happen as it does in the film.

    They choose this room, which is a very inaccurate replica of French architecture (deliberately so, inaccurate) because one was suggesting that they had some idea of something that he might think was pretty, but wasn’t quite sure. Just as we’re not quite sure what do in zoos with animals to try to give them what they think is their natural environment.

    Anyway, when they get finished with him, as happens in so many myths of all cultures in the world, he is transformed into some kind of super being and sent back to Earth, transformed and made some kind of superman. We have to only guess what happens when he goes back. It is the pattern of a great deal of mythology, and that is what we were trying to suggest.”
     
  3. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
  4. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    "Salughterhouse Five" was published in 1969, but Vonnegut must have been working on it for years. Plus, it's not really that far-out-there idea. I mean, what were all those nasty little green men going to do with Earth blondes in cages back home?
     
  5. HiFi Guy 008

    HiFi Guy 008 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Connecticut
    Slaughterhouse Five is also a great film. Missing from online and cable channels. Worth seeking out.
     
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  6. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    I lean more towards the side that Kubrick threw in the towel and just made it vague because it was easier, and because he had a release date to hit (and was overbudget on the film). Several people have quoted Kubrick to me as saying, "let them make up their own damned ending," or words to that effect, but I've never been able to verify it.

    Don't forget that Clarke wrote the original 1951 short story, "The Sentinel," on which 2001 was based. Clarke himself was generally fairly direct and to the point in his own work. I think there's a point where people try to interpret a lot of depth and meaning in something that's actually a lot simpler than they imagine. And yet I think both Kubrick and Clarke would be thrilled that their work is still being discussed and debated, 50 years after it was released... and you have to admire that.
     
  7. Mugrug12

    Mugrug12 Crome Yellow

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Thank you for saying this. I completely agree and I have to believe that were the ending not this way, it wouldn't be something that stays in your head and leaves such an impression. I've seen it multiple times and we still talked about what it might mean on the whole walk home last month.
    I think it's kind of sad how we've gotten to a place these days where everything has to be explained and fit into a black and white narrative. Like the blade runner thing people mentioned. Star Wars we now know where the force comes from and even how Han Solo got his name. Which girl the Beatles were singing about in which song etc. some mystery is good for us! And yes I read the Clark book but it's just a different work imo. Sorry for the rant!
     
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  8. HiFi Guy 008

    HiFi Guy 008 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Connecticut
    Just saw a documentary about the Chelsea Hotel inNY Arthur C Clarke wrote the book version of 2001 there.
     
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  9. Wes H

    Wes H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    Kubrick, like any director, had to make some compromises for budget and time. One example was his frustration with trying to depict aliens that Bowman would meet at the end. He rejected a number of concepts as unoriginal or not fantastic enough. Doug Trumbull was close to creating humanoid-like "floating light patterns" using a modified slit scan machine, but this was only 2 weeks from the end of production and Kubrick told him there was no more time to cut it into the film, even if his "aliens" were successful.*

    IMHO, much of the film's ambiguity or vagueness comes from Kubrick's overestimating the average viewer's patience with, and acceptance of, a predominantly visual form of storytelling. You have to take into account that from the beginning, Kubrick & Clarke had planned on an extensive voice-over narration that would run throughout the entire film. Major story events--such as the computer, HAL, going nuts because he was brooding over having to keep a secret from the crew--were all going to be explained to the audience via this disembodied narrator. But as Kubrick began editing the film, he felt that the images could speak for themselves and wrote Clarke (in late 1967) that the narration could be drastically reduced (much to Clarke's horror)... finally deciding to jettison all the narration.* I believe that Kubrick really wanted "2001" to be something of an art film, but the planned narration was giving it a documentary slant that weighed it down.

    I don't think it is really all that difficult to interpret the film's narrative if one really listens to all the dialogue (and there's not much of it) and pays attention to all the visual cues. It may take more than one viewing, but eventually the "light" comes on and one comes to terms with it. Still, the film invites multiple interpretations and survives them all -- which I think is the beauty of it. As you said, and I fully agree, Kubrick & Clarke would be thrilled that their work is still causing a stir after half a century.

    *[Info from Michael Benson's outstanding book, Space Odyssey, pub. by Simon & Schuster, 2018]
     
  10. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US

    Oooh. Arthur, you naughty boy. What were you up to at the Chelsea, I wonder? :shh:
     
  11. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    I wonder if some of the alien test exists in the Kubrick archives? We were told Kubrick got rid of everything, but it turns out he was really a pack rat. Cheers!:p


    I have to apologize for a lot a typos in that article post, iPhones are useless to old men as input devices.
     
  12. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    I watched in 70mm yesterday at AFI. AMAZING. While there was this idiot yapping about the print damage and how it has these "distracting" scratches during the intermission, I was actually quite impressed that there wasn't more print damage for a 50 year old film that was only optically corrected. I thought the theater was reasonably comfortable with the only fault being that the floor seats don't have a pitch which puts people heads in the picture. Kinda sucks actually.

    As for the film, I noticed a serious blemish during the ape opening. A scratch right around the time of the American flag during the meeting of the alien discovery discussion, and of course the vertical lines during the star gate montage (which is normal for any projection). While it was noticeable because of of the fact that it was a vertical sequence, it all but disappeared to my eyes because of illusion when it went to horizontal. As sad as it is, I wouldn't have cared about any of that crap if it wasn't for video forums for example that go on endlessly about it.

    The colors were simply awesome and they seemed very right. In particular from someone that has color corrected many times for a living I was looking at not only primary colors but also comparisons with known entities. In particular like the American flag where the shade of red is particularly important, or the blue lights that Kubrick particularly picked in production photos that one can also match to skin tones. Then you have simply things like the orange of a carrot or the green of a vegetable. The whites were very white and natural looking, and while the black was not really ink black, it was far from bad either. It is the nature of a fading film print, and I accept that for all that you get in detail! Matter of fact during the star gate journey I was so deep into it, it was hard to care about anything else.

    When Robert Harris was going on and on about the dangers of using current Kodak Eastman film stock and how you will see the glass panel in the pen retrieval sequence my BS detector went off like a madman. I saw no such kind of issue and the same goes for a lot of this bunk that any photo-chemical process is going to be an issue to accuracy.

    Robert Harris has made it clear that he detests any photo-chemical process for projector public display and people should only accept his restored vision (though this a stark contrast to his review where he admires the original bluray endlessly which is based on the IP that was used for this projection??) and all I have to say THANK GOODNESS FOR NOLAN for allowing me to see this incredible experience.

    It is obvious that technicians like this and of course the complainers about film damage (that still goes on in the idiocy of forum comments about the forthcoming 4K bluray...worse than Star Wars fanboys actually) will only accept digital changes and thinks this is somehow keeping better with reality.

    When I looked closely, and I mean very closely at the faces, all I could think is I don't see Digital Noise Reduction??!! lol I thought as I looked closer and closer that it is like an infinite world and like seeing a bunch of ants moving around (and obviously using the millions of sensors on my eyeballs paired with the brain processing it), it is so vast.

    I was not in that studio, I did not obviously supervise what Nolan did, but if this is truly untouched and only worked with optically (working off Kubrick's notes) all I can is that I was floored. I am still excited to see that nothing has really aged, and all the slow motion of space shuttles are just as revolutionary and more so as impressive as the CGI crap of today.

    The sound was somewhat tinny and high pitched and especially so in the parts that hit you (I am sensitive to loud sound), but I still enjoyed quite a bit of it, and went in with no expectation on that front. Though dialog was clear, and I particularly noticed the instrumentation being so ripe in the strings. I think it is the mix of the time and like Close Encounters, has a way about it, that I hope isn't screwed with too much in an Atmos setting.

    But the main star was the beautiful detail. Forget the film damage. Any fool knows that it is there....see the film for what it is before it is too late. The photo-chemical process gives you a 3D quality that you are not going to get with a FLAT SCAN. This is just a scientific fact. There are technicians to this day that do not get this concept. They refuse to understand it, and that is why they champion the lower detail of a digital sensor that can only scan one direction, one way, and go on and on about the nonsense of the way film is produced and speak in the fantasy crap about the generations of light capture as if it is any way shape or form indicating of the same kind of inaccuracy of a computer digital recreation.

    I once had a poster pm me and say that they refused to see the film because it is so many generations printed. I said, you do know that other than then the fact that negative is aged, that it is the same print generation as the original way it is projected right? They don't give a crap, they would rather just parrot the wrong headed information like the technician that started this as if it is any different than any other analog print like EVER.

    All I can say is thank you Christopher Nolan. Thank you for helping to give film fans a choice, and while there are certain people that want to rob you of those choices and censor and destroy that voice, that doesn't change the fact that it is wrong.

    I would have no problem with bluray "restorations" if these technicians would stop their inauthentic tweaking. While the original bluray was very good, it is obvious in loss of detail compared to what I just saw. The 70 mm presentation smashed that bluray to bits.

    By the way, I take back what I said about the Apes possibly dating the movie. Those apes were more awesome compared to what I remember. I watching detail like a hawk, and I was amazed at how convincing it still is. Man Kubrick was ahead of his time. No wonder this dude is the master.

    My wife said to me "why do you ever care what people think, there is no way that it will take away from the experience of what I just saw!". In some ways I wish I was more like her. She just shrugged and said, I sure enjoyed it. She said it was one of the most beautiful movies she ever saw. Yeah, in the words of Marlon Brando in Apocalypse now, her words hit like a diamond bullet through the forehead. Precise. To others that care, buy the ticket and get your ass out there before it is too late.
     
  13. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    I was there last night but I think I mentioned to my friend in the car about the scratches so it wasn't me who said it out loud.
    During the stargate sequence, there were 2 lines running down the middle of the projection

    I've never seen 2001 in a theater, so it was great to hear people's reaction as he unplugs HAL.

    Truth be told, unfortunately I don't see a big difference for 70mm....I guess I'd have to see 35mm played right next to it. I do see the difference on blu ray, however.
    BTW AFI is a great venue. I moved to MD when I was 16 (1988) and the Silver theater was boarded up. I am still amazed that AFI moved in there and restored the whole place.
     
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  14. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    I wish I could "screen shot" the face detail from the theater because that most certainly wasn't the same on the bluray. I have seen the bluray at least 15 times and I know what I saw. That and the pale dull color of the bluray. I have always thought that it wasn't as awe inspiring as Harris proclaimed it to be.

    Maybe a review would help

    2001: A Space Odyssey - Keir Dullea
     
  15. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    I also thought the sound on the blu ray was better than what I saw at the AFI last night. Maybe my stereo is better than the one at AFI :)
     
  16. Wes H

    Wes H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    Good review... and I agree with a lot of what you said, so I'll only add a few additional observations from my viewing at the AFI screening on Thursday night.

    Thursday was sold out, and as I was in the lobby meeting Keir Dullea until almost showtime, my son and I had some difficulty finding 2 seats together -- finally settling into the second row from the front. I usually don't like sitting that close, but the image was held up nicely (likely due to the finer grain of 70mm) and the enveloping soundstage was huge. Of particular interest, I noticed voices seemed to come from exactly where the actors were positioned on the screen -- a great example being Floyds's meeting with the Russians. The music was wide and glorious; a sheer delight.

    I saw the 1968 roadshow presentation and, while I won't claim to recall fine details for comparison after 50 years, I distinctly remember that "2001" was the first film where I was aware of surround sound effects in a theater. The particular scene where this first occurred was the leopard attacking an ape. As the scene faded to black, I was amazed to hear the ape's screams trail off to the right-rear of the theater. In various screenings of the film over the years, I've never heard that effect since then... until last Thursday at the AFI. Somebody got this right!

    The only hiccup with AFI's presentation (and likely only on that first showing) was at the very beginning. After the overture, the curtain opened to a black screen and we could hear that deep, sustained low "C" organ note at the beginning of the Strauss piece... but I knew something was wrong: The stylized MGM lion logo should have been on the screen by now. I thought that perhaps the logo might have been removed (studios love to mess with history), but when the trumpet began playing the ascending 3-notes and we were still looking at a black screen (and not the moon) I knew we were in trouble. Finally, the projectionist switched on the light... but by then the sun & earth had already risen over the moon. Unforgivable; especially as this is the main theater for the American Film Institute. I felt sorry for those seeing "2001" for the first time...

    I loved the color. Oh my, what color! Finally, finally, the space ships, space station, space pods, and all such craft were rendered white. Not blue--as we've had to endure on every video transfer (except Criterion's Kubrick-supervised laserdisc)--but the correct white! And Bowman's space suit is red -- deep and pure red --not orange-red. As Keir Dullea noted in his after-film talk, Christopher Nolan used Kubrick's notes to get the colors correct in these prints. We can only hope that whoever is working on the upcoming 4k video will view Nolan's print (or read Kubrick's notes, or watch the Criterion laserdisc) and finally get it right. Please!

    The damaged frames were fleeting and most were easy to overlook. I have to say, though, that the vertical scratches that ran for a few minutes through the "Beyond the Infinite" montage and into the beginning of the Star Gate sequence were unfortunate and somewhat distracting. I finally thought to myself, "Well, this is what the negative now looks like. It's still a privilege to see this, blemishes and all." And I just let it go. In 70mm on a big screen, this film is so compelling that its age blemishes can't bring it down.

    And, genesim, to add to what you said about the apes looking "awesome," I'm reminded of what Arthur C. Clarke said after the Academy Awards ceremony. When the Best Costumes Award went to "Planet of the Apes" (for their ape costumes) that year instead of "2001," Clarke quipped, "I think the Academy judges actually thought we used real apes."

    At Thursday's AFI screening the audience was asked, "Who has never seen '2001'?" and "Who is seeing it on a big screen for the first time?" If you combined the hands that went up for both questions, it seemed like half the audience was responding. I was surprised, though maybe I shouldn't be. The number of theaters showing older, classic films (and this is a classic among classics) are few and far between. Even fewer can show 70mm film. Maybe that was part of the draw? Whatever -- I was thrilled that so many came out to finally experience "2001" from film and on a huge screen, as it was meant to be. That's another thing I distinctly recall in 1968, as a teenager, upon leaving the theater. I told my dad, "That could never be shown on television!" I'm not sure that new audiences for "2001" will ever appreciate what a mind-blower this film was for (most of) us in '68, but I'm glad they are still coming and hope they appreciate its art of visual storytelling, as well as this meticulous, imaginative work of genius that it is.
     
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  17. genesim

    genesim Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Louis
    Well you clearly wasted your money if you were going for sound because the magnetic tape had vinegar syndrome and was unusable. Just like with any comment about scratches being a focus one would clearly have missed the point. No offense, but I think you should stick to the digital bluray.

    I noticed that too, right after I had the crap scared out of me again. There are certain films where you know it is coming, but it doesn't change the scare one bit.

    WOW, that sucks. Clearly not what happened to us. Everything played as it should have. I saw the MGM logo, and everything else as it should have been. Really sorry that happened to you.

    I agree, the trailer does not do this justice. Not at all.

    I love that story!

    My wife said that there should be little envelopes handed out after the film is over with Kubrick's explanation. I like that thought. He says just enough, but lets the viewer get the rest. I am so glad I went. I agree that this movie is not meant for a small screen. It just cannot be big enough.
     
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  18. Cokelike-

    Cokelike- Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbus, Oh
    They goofed at my showing at the Gateway in Columbus, also. The lights weren't turned off until well into the intro. The effect of those ghostly voices was ruined by having the lights on for 3 or 4 minutes.

    During the scene with Floyd meeting the Russians and sitting to chat with them briefly, I heard an announcement. "A blue blouse has been found..." or something like this. At first I actually thought it was the theater making this announcement , and I'm thinking, "Seriously?? During the movie??" until I quickly realized that it was part of the movie. But I don't recall this at all from my 2 disc DVD. Is this announcement heard on the DVD audio? (My DVD is away from atm.) Thanks!
     
  19. Wes H

    Wes H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    I wonder if these are union projectionists...

    Not sure I have every DVD edition, but I've always been able to hear that announcement on the Laserdisc, DVD, and Blu-ray editions I have. Maybe your surround channels need tweaking (boosting) for this film? That's where it should be coming from. Or maybe you're not listening for it in the right place. It is actually heard when Floyd and his associate first walk through the corridor past the Hilton Hotel desk. It goes: "A blue ladies cashmere sweater has been found in the restaurant and can be claimed at the manager's desk."

    At the AFI screening, Keir Dullea told a humorous story about that "blue sweater" audio announcement...
    When Kubrick was screening the scene of the Russians chatting with Dr. Floyd, he noticed a continuity error: One of the Russian ladies is leaning against a blue sweater that is draped over the back of her chair, but in some angles it is not there! Too late (or too expensive) to reshoot, Kubrick came up with the clever idea to include a surround-channel voice announcement about a "found" blue sweater, to fend off any critics who may spot it suddenly missing.
     
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  20. Wes H

    Wes H Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    I'm sure that projectionist felt pretty bad after that major goof -- one which was almost bad enough to have the film stopped, rewound, and restarted. (Kubrick would likely have demanded it.) No doubt, this projectionist learned his/her lesson when it came time for your showing!

    I agree, that trailer is a joke... Obviously cobbled together from one of the earlier digital transfers.

    I dunno. Today's audience likely whipped out their smartphones right after leaving the theater and looked up any of a thousand analytical blogs on its meaning, including quotes from Kubrick. Such is the world we're in now...
    It certainly would have helped in '68, although Arthur C. Clarke would rather you wait and buy his novelization instead! ;)
     
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  21. Cokelike-

    Cokelike- Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbus, Oh
    Great story. Insightful answer, thanks!
     
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  22. coffeetime

    coffeetime Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lancs, UK
    I’m going to be watching for reviews of the home 4K HDR very closely. Like yourself I was absolutely floored by the colours in the 70mm presentation; the white whites, the black blacks, the colours in the landscapes and sun rises/sets during Dawn of Man, the muted but gorgeous reds of the inside of the pod when Bowman and Poole go to talk, all of it.

    If the HDR/Dolby Vision home versions can capture what was up on screen with the current 70mm presentation, I’m upgrading to 4K HDR. I’ve held of so far, even with Blade Runner being available (admire my restraint!) but if 4K HDR 2001 on 4K Blu gets it right, a 4K HDR TV & AVR will go from a nice to have to a must have.

    Fingers crossed.
     
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  23. DaveySR

    DaveySR Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    This sounds like the correct presentation, as advised by MGM. The Overture was to play with house lights due to patrons still entering the theater. Here's MGM's Presentation Procedure:
    2001: A Space Odyssey Essential Presentation Procedure
     
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  24. Kiko1974

    Kiko1974 Forum Resident

    Start saving money or if you don't need to you can start browsing for HDR UHD sets and UHD BD players. If you find something you like you can get it now and feast yourself with Blade Runner in the meantime.
     
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  25. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    I don't really know if I'll bother with this show. Everytime it comes out in a new format, it's breathtaking all over again. On blu-ray with my new tv it was fantastic -- all I could hope for. You have to know when to stop, sometimes.
     

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