Today I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, at the Castro Theater here in SF, for its new 70mm print/50th birthday release extravaganza. This is a movie that gets better and reveals more of its beauty and mystery with every viewing. Seeing it today, roughly a couple years since my last viewing, in 70mm, was a transportive experience.
I think a lot of what makes this movie so special and important is that it's pure cinema. It's a film made not just to tell a story, but it's a work of film as an art itself.
What I mean is that the movie's sole purpose is to tell its story through the medium of film, and using the medium itself to tell the story, without any outside manipulations or effects, digital or otherwise.
Watching it today, there were so many sequences that I could not figure out how they were shot. Sequences that people today wouldn't bat an eyelid at, given modern-day special effects.
But when you think about the fact that 2001 was made purely using actual, physical, tangible things that you can see, on the tangible medium of film, it astounds you.
And that's part of the beautiful mystery of the film. Not just is the story ultimately a mystery, but the way it is told and committed to film is just as mysterious.