2001: A Space Odyssey is a 4K/UHD Release possible?

Josh Steinberg

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I can only speak for me, but I don't like to see it. Every time I see these excised scenes, whether put back or as extras, it just kind of ruins things for me. I'm not talking about things like Once Upon a Time in America, where it was taken away from the director, I'm talking about movies where the director did the work and was happy with the final version. It's like watching what is called the censorship ending of Vertigo - I knew it existed because it was actually in the script that I have, but to see it? It ruins the movie and once having seen it I can't get it out of my head.

This also, for me, applies to Making Of featurettes - I really liked The Social Network - saw it twice - and then made the very bad mistake of watching the making of on the Blu-ray and it so made me hate everyone involved and the way in which that director works, that I literally could not watch the movie again.
Fortunately, we can have it both ways - the material can be made available on the disc for those who are interested, but it's there as a bonus feature so that those who prefer to watch only the film itself can do just that.

I can only speak for myself, but fortunately, I have never watched a deleted scene or making of documentary that has ruined my ability to enjoy the main feature. In general, I usually conclude that the deleted scenes were deleted with good reason, and I find making of pieces more interesting when more time has elapsed between the original production and the creation of the documentary, but I've never felt that anything was ruined by it.
 

Robert Harris

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In a general sense, there is a huge difference between a film recut for time, after being rushed into theaters, and a "director's cut" created for an extra skew.

Lawrence was rushed into a releasable form, and then recut twice. None of the three versions are the current approved version, which was still not the version DL wanted.

Zhivago is a very different version from the premiere, as the film wasn't ready to go out, and prints took weeks to produce.
 
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B-ROLL

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Really what is all the hullabaloo about Directors having a say what should be in their films?

These movies were made for the fans.What should be in these movies is what the FANS want!

One of the greatest directors of all time was Alan Smithee and he NEVER asked for a "Director's Cut" of any of his movies!

:wacko:
 

YanMan

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To get back to marshman's original intent by starting this thread, I sure hope Warner is planning something special for this film for the 50th anniversary as well. If any movie deserves a special celebration/new edition for its 50th, 2001 is at or near the top of the list IMO. 50th would be a wonderful excuse for a 4k release (not necessarily with HDR).

But to WB... no need to wait, I will take something sooner!
 
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PMF

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[...] If any movie deserves a special celebration/new edition for its 50th, 2001 is at or near the top of the list IMO. [...]
First and foremost, if there's a better "2001" ahead then bring it on.
With that said, YanMan...what is that other film title in contention with "2001" for your "top" of the list? [just for the fun of it].
 

PMF

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[INNER MONOLOGUE after last POST]:

"Don't be ridiculous PMF.
"Of course there's a better "2001" ahead.
"Wasn't that the case with the 4K's of RAH's "Spartacus" and Criterion's "Dr. Strangelove"?
"Yes, it's just a matter of time".:)
 
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Dr Griffin

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Mr. Harris, in your 2007 BD review of 2001 you stated the 65mm negative was over-used. Can anything now (10 years later) be done with it to yield an even more impressive image than did the 35mm elements? I think the present Blu-ray looks very good, which already reveals some things that maybe weren't meant to be seen. Or, would any new transfer have to use the 35mm elements and the latest technology to improve upon the 2007 transfer?
 

PMF

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Mr. Harris, in your 2007 BD review of "2001" you rated that edition with the much missed "Extremely Highly Recommended".
It is 9 years later and I now wonder, in light of all the advancements we've since seen with BD's, what your review of that very disc might be, today?
Also, what is the current condition of the OCN?
 
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Robert Harris

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Mr. Harris, in your 2007 BD review of "2001" you rated that edition with the much missed "Extremely Highly Recommended".
It is 9 years later and I now wonder, in light of all the advancements we've since seen with BD's, what your review of that very disc might be, today?
Also, what is the current condition of the OCN?
The orig 65mm negative has been overprinted and well loved, with multiple replacement sections.

WB takes extremely good care of their elements, hence any restoration could easily be harvested from the OCN and masters.
 

owen35

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I was also at the premiere of "The Shining" in LA (11:00 pm if memory serves) and aside from the end sequence (which was improved after the showing), I also recall lengthy tracking shots of Danny riding his Big Wheel throughout the house. The audience was thrilled with how it came out due to the newness of the Steadicam, but it did go on forever. The final version of "The Shining" was vastly improved.

I also have a slight "tick" when I hear a "director's cut" years after the release. Spielberg did it multiple times with CEO3K with less-then-ideal results; Cimino reworked "Heaven's Gate" by removing the necessary intermission; Friedken diminished The Exorcist by cutting out the intense rhythm of the film as well as adding that flaccid ending. So not all "Director's Cuts" are equal. I think the film as the director envisioned at the time of his delivery--even a few weeks after release--should be respected and not tampered with.
 
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Worth

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I was also at the premiere of "The Shining" in LA (11:00 pm if memory serves) and aside from the end sequence (which was improved after the showing), I also recall lengthy tracking shots of Danny riding his Big Wheel throughout the house. The audience was thrilled with how it came out due to the newness of the Steadicam, but it did go on forever. The final version of "The Shining" was vastly improved.
Which version do you consider the final one? The 144 minute American cut or the 119 minute European one?
 
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Allansfirebird

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I also have a slight "tick" when I hear a "director's cut" years after the release. Spielberg did it multiple times with CEO3K with less-then-ideal results; Cimino reworked "Heaven's Gate" by removing the necessary intermission; Friedken diminished The Exorcist by cutting out the intense rhythm of the film as well as adding that flaccid ending. So not all "Director's Cuts" are equal. I think the film as the director envisioned at the time of his delivery--even a few weeks after release--should be respected and not tampered with.
To which I retort - the director's cut of Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven massively improved and clarified the film.
 

Stephen_J_H

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"Director's Cut" is a loaded term, as in some cases it implies (correctly) that a film was taken away from the director and recut from what was presented to the studio. In other cases, it's a version that the director has recut on the basis of having seen it with an audience and had sober second thoughts about what "plays" and what doesn't (Terrence Malick's The New World comes to mind, and there are some Kubrick examples as well). Then there are the director's cuts where the cut is made several years later for various reasons. I am less likely to defer to a director's intentions where the director had final cut, then recuts his film several years later saying "well, this is what I REALLY wanted to do." However, where a director is given an opportunity to return to an original version of the film based on a change in either ownership of the film or a better relationship with the studio, I will defer. Kingdom of Heaven, cited above, is an example of a film that was recut just prior to release because Fox balked at the running time, and the Director's cut is indeed far superior to the theatrical cut.
 
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Nelson Au

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I saw 2001 at the Castro theater in San Francisco in 2001. First time I'd seen it on a large screen since I was a little kid during its premiere. The 2001 viewing looked great and I could see things I never noticed before. When the blu Ray came out, I was seeing the same things I remembered from the theatrical viewing. If it can be improved even more on blu ray, that would be great. I don't know what the source for the film was, but it looked great.
 

PMF

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And then there are other examples of a "Director's Cut".
Take, for example, "The Godfather, Part III".
I recall, upon the initial VHS release, a marketing of the product that boasted a "Director's Cut" with some 8,9 or 10 additional minutes.
Did it make the film better? I have no idea.
To my mind, I felt that "Godfather III" was rich in unfulfilled possibilities.
Many stories and themes were there, but crammed all into one film that seemingly would have benefited further were Coppolla and Puzo given some breathing room and many more months of time.
Maybe I'm romanticizing it, yet I can't help but wonder; had Paramount not been so anxious to get it out by Christmas Day, there might had been not one - but two - masterpiece films.

And how does everyone here feel about the theatrical film version of "Amadeus" vs. The Director's Cut?
Now, add into the mix playwright Peter Shaffer who, after the success of the film produced, yet, another revision of the stage play.

As for Stanley Kubrick, we can look to his final film of "Eyes Wide Shut" as, yet, another example.
The genius is right there for all to see, but one can only wonder where his last-minute final edits and tweaks would had taken this work.
I view "Eyes Wide Shut" as being akin to the handful of classical composers whose final works are presented as an "unfinished" symphony.
Of course, in the world of film, never have we yet seen a marketing campaign that would dare assume ticket sales, were they to advertise a director's final film as being "unfinished"; but that is how I approached "Eyes Wide Shut" and favorably judged it on those very merits.

Finally, there are those questions that also come with the restorations of films.
Take our resident archivist Robert A. Harris, for instance.
Rightfully, his approach is to maintain the dignity of what a late filmmakers original intents had been.
So, in this case, were RAH to restore "The Shining", "2001" or "Eyes Wide Shut", one can only wonder where his research of Mr. Kubrick would take him. I would imagine that Christiane Kubrick could supply many answers, not to mention the answers already supplied by Stanley Kubrick, himself; as I am certain both he and RAH had many rap sessions on his entire body of work, when first restoring "Spartacus".

I wonder if Mr. Harris is free to comment on what a Stanley Kubrick definitive might be, in terms of cuts, running times and aspect ratios on any or all of his works?
 
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Brian Kidd

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And how does everyone here feel about the theatrical film version of "Amadeus" vs. The Director's Cut?
Now, add into the mix playwright Peter Shaffer who, after the success of the film produced, yet, another revision of the stage play.
Not to dwell for too long off the topic, but Theatre is an art form where revision is the standard, not the exception. Plays are constantly edited or rewritten to fit the needs of a production or the desires of the playwright. Because every performance is unique, there is an opportunity to refine a script, staging, etc. that isn't as feasible with film. That isn't to say that there aren't people who know a particular production so well that even a minor change makes them take up arms, but Theatre is much more transitory than film. With film, millions of people see the same exact thing for years on end. With Theatre, literally every performance is different from every other performance. During my college years, I spent my summers performing in The Lost Colony, which is the oldest historical outdoor drama in the U.S. The play was written by Paul Green, who had previously won the Pulitzer for In Abraham's Bosom, back in 1937. By the time Green passed away in 1981, he had substantially rewritten his original 1937 script. Comparing his final revision to the original production script is interesting because, though they are the same story, there are massive cuts and rewrites. Both are unmistakably the work of the same author, but the final revision allows the reader to see what worked in 1937 that didn't work some forty years later. I think that is part of what excites me so much about Theatre: It's a living thing.

Sorry for the digression. :)
 
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PMF

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Not to dwell for too long off the topic, but Theatre is an art form where revision is the standard, not the exception.
Agreed. But who is to say that the same thing can't be afforded to filmmakers, as well; just as long as we have all of the versions available and at our fingerstips within the BD formats.
I liked the observations raised by Post #33 and #36 from owen35 and Stephen_J_H and would further offer up as an example the William Friedken controversies over his recent color palates of "The French Connection". At first, I stayed away from it; but then RAH had written some favorable and quite interesting comments that led to my purchase. And I am not sorry for that purchase, either. But I was also glad that the controversies shortly thereafter had led to our finally having the original version made available, as well.
I own both; but I believe we'd be less up in arms if all versions and visions of our classic films remained available. I also like having "Once Upon a Time in America" and "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" in both its known and extended running times.
And though I am the furthest individual from these aforementioned masters, I must admit that many of my own Posts often recieve a tweak or a complete overhaul. I sometimes write after a long day of work; with some being mid-night shifts. After stepping back or getting some sleep, I realize that an idea could have been stated with a greater clarity. And, if lucky, my HTF option to "Edit" has not yet expired.;)
But, like yourself, I do not want to digress from the "2001" topic at hand.
And I return to my questions from Post #38.
Is there a Stanley Kubrick definitive in terms of aspect ratios and running times?
Or, in borrowing from Brian Kidd's comparisons of theater and film, are these all just "transitory" devices of the filmmaker, as well?
 
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