director Stanley Kubrick
viewed: 08/22/2015 at the Castro Theatre, SF, CA
Still mind-blowing, even after all this time.
Actually, I think I can say that I found it far more mind-blowing than when I first saw it in the 1980’s, no doubt on a TV, most likely un-letterboxed in some pan-and-scan format. This knowledge has kept me from re-visiting the film for years, waiting for a chance to see it on the big screen. And finally chance offered itself. And I daringly took my 11 year old daughter and 13 year old son to one of the classically confounding films of the 20th century.
My son has developed a taste for Kubrick, so I figured that he would be more up for it. I did try to prime them with information about the film and tips that it was long and slow and not utterly clear.
Interestingly, they both kind of enjoyed it, though were completely confused by the ending and the black obelisks and ultimately what it’s all about. But then again, hasn’t that also been the case for adults all these years?
Me, this might have been the perfect timing to see the film. It’s such a visual and aural feast, a sensoria strange and open-ended, with the luminous and mind-bending ending that has you wonder, “What was that I just saw?” I don’t know what to add to the infinite discussion that already exists about this film, other than to say that I was immensely wowed by it, seeing it big (the only way to see it) and being struck by its immensity and wild far-reaching vision (even knowing what it was going in.)