Sunday, February 22, 2015

Vintage Academy Gold- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

At The Matinee offers a new category for the month of February, titled Vintage Academy Gold, in honor of tonight's Academy Awards ceremony.

Poster art for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968),
from an MGM promotional ad (featured in
Boxoffice Magazine).
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)- Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's science-fiction work  is one of my favorite films, and was light years ahead of its time (in regards to the incredible special effects in the film).

Filmed in Super Panavision 70mm and Metrocolor (MGM's trademark color process for films that were shot on Eastman Kodak's Eastmancolor stock), Kubrick's masterpiece was panned by critics and average moviegoers, but was popular with younger movie audiences at the time.  At first, MGM executives were reluctant to release the film, but then followed Kubrick's advice.

The film premiered at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C. on April 2nd (which was remodeled to show films in the Cinerama format), and played at the theater for 51 weeks.   This was during the time when traditional three-strip "Cinerama" prints were phased out for single-strip 70mm Cinerama projection prints.   On an interesting note, my father saw 2001: A Space Odyssey at a Cinerama venue in Atlanta, Georgia during its original release in 1968.

Kubrick's masterpiece was nominated for four Academy Awards, and won one Oscar for best special effects. 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the all-time greats in science-fiction film.  To quote one of my Hood instructors- "If you want to see 2001: A Space Odyssey, see it on the biggest screen possible."  Now if Frederick had a respectable cinema venue...

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Turner Classic Movies will show 2001: A Space Odyssey during its "31 Days of Oscar" schedule of Academy Award-winning films, this Sunday at 12:45 PM EST.

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