Watch the Trailer for a Stunning New 70-Millimeter Print of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Released by Christopher Nolan on the Film’s 50th Anniversary

Sure, you’ve prob­a­bly seen 2001: A Space Odyssey. But have you expe­ri­enced 2001: A Space Odyssey? That par­tic­u­lar verb no doubt implies dif­fer­ent con­di­tions to dif­fer­ent peo­ple. Maybe it means hav­ing seen the film dur­ing its ini­tial 1968 release. Maybe it means hav­ing seen it at a cer­tain… height of con­scious­ness. Maybe it means hav­ing seen it in the large-for­mat Cin­era­ma screen­ings that hap­pened again when it was re-released dur­ing the actu­al year 2001 — as I did, not hav­ing been born yet in 1968. Nei­ther was Christo­pher Nolan, who, per­haps for that rea­son, has struck a brand new 70-mil­lime­ter print of Stan­ley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke’s sin­gu­lar vision of a human­i­ty thrust into pre­vi­ous­ly unimag­in­able encoun­ters with intel­li­gences both extrater­res­tri­al and arti­fi­cial.

“The film took for grant­ed a broad cul­tur­al tol­er­ance, if not an appetite, for enig­ma, as well as the time and incli­na­tion for pars­ing inter­pre­tive mys­ter­ies,” writes Dan Chi­as­son in a recent New York­er piece on 2001’s 50th anniver­sary. “If the first wave of audi­ences was baf­fled, it might have been because 2001 had not yet cre­at­ed the taste it required to be appre­ci­at­ed. Like Ulysses, or The Waste Land, or count­less oth­er dif­fi­cult, ambigu­ous mod­ernist land­marks, 2001 forged its own con­text. You didn’t solve it by watch­ing it a sec­ond time, but you did set­tle into its mys­ter­ies.”

Half a cen­tu­ry lat­er, 2001 stands as one of the most firm­ly dri­ven pil­lars of cin­e­mat­ic cul­ture — a mono­lith, you might say — and one of the most suc­cess­ful film direc­tors alive has invit­ed us all to share in his wor­ship at its base.

“One of my ear­li­est mem­o­ries of cin­e­ma is see­ing Stan­ley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, in 70mm, at the Leices­ter Square The­atre in Lon­don with my father,” Nolan says in the press mate­ri­als for the release of the new print. “This is a true pho­to­chem­i­cal film recre­ation. There are no dig­i­tal tricks, remas­tered effects, or revi­sion­ist edits. This is the unre­stored film — that recre­ates the cin­e­mat­ic event that audi­ences expe­ri­enced fifty years ago. ” You can see its trail­er at the top of the post, and if you’ll hap­pen to be at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val next month, you might con­sid­er catch­ing its pre­miere screen­ing on May 12th. If not, its wider release begins in Amer­i­can the­aters on May 18th, so do keep an eye on your local art-house list­ings, espe­cial­ly for those art hous­es equipped to screen in 70-mil­lime­ter, a for­mat that makes “the ulti­mate trip,” as 2001’s late-60s posters hasti­ly re-brand­ed it, that much more so.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey Gets a Brand New Trail­er to Cel­e­brate Its Dig­i­tal Re-Release

1966 Film Explores the Mak­ing of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (and Our High-Tech Future)

James Cameron Revis­its the Mak­ing of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey

Did Stan­ley Kubrick Invent the iPad in 2001: A Space Odyssey?

Andrei Tarkovsky Calls Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey a “Pho­ny” Film “With Only Pre­ten­sions to Truth”

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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