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Washingtonians - How is 2001's presentation at the Uptown? (1 Viewer)

RobertR

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For years people have been telling me that unless you see 2001 in 70mm, you haven't really seen it at all. I finally know what they mean. The film I saw at the Uptown today is actually a different film from the one I've seen 20 or 30 times on TVs large and small.
I've always felt that. It's the reason I'll only watch 2001 on the big screen.
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Peter Apruzzese

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To Bill Huelbig:
Could you let me know what route you took down to D.C. and the theater? I'll be leaving from the North Jersey area (the intersection of Route 80 & 287, so I'll be going south on 287 and hitting the Turnpike down by the Edison area) tomorrow morning for the screening.
Thanks in advance...
Pete
 

derek

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The overture ends, the curtains part, the music comes to life and the title credits roll...and I get chills over my whole body. This is what cinema is about. A fully immersive experience. Kubrick and his team take you there and by the end of the film you feel you've witnessed the history of time itself. But onto the presentation...amazing. I could not believe the detail and scope that the 70mm print on the HUGE Uptown screen provided. Yes some scenes were a bit grainy and I was suprised to see some with a bit of white speckles/nicks but WOW! The 5.1 audio was incredible with sequences that went from the gentle massage of the classical music to really shaking your eardrums at climatic moments. I can't tell you how awesome the whole presentation/setting was in the Uptown. They just don't make em like they used to.
ps - It was the first film I'd actually been to with an 'intermission.' :)
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Derek
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Bill Huelbig

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To Peter Apruzzese: Take the NJ Turnpike all the way to the Delaware Memorial Bridge, and stay on 95 South all the way to the Capital Beltway (495 West).
Take the Beltway to the Connecticut Avenue exit (Exit 33), then go down Connecticut Ave. south through Chevy Chase, MD and into Washington DC.
The Uptown Theater will be on your right (3426 Connecticut Ave.) We found plenty of parking spaces on Macomb Ave., about two blocks past the theater. The Cleveland Park Metro subway stop is one block north of the theater in case you want to head down to the Mall and do any sightseeing when the movie's over.
I went back again yesterday by Amtrak and that took even less time than the road trip (3 hours by train, 3 1/2 by car, from just outside NYC).
I sat in three different places at three different shows (7th orchestra row center, balcony, front row of orchestra) and I gotta tell ya: nothing beats the front row for the most immersive, spectacular movie experience you'll ever have in your life. The image was so large that the edges of the screen fell outside the range of vision of my glasses, but I didn't care. I could always turn my head if I wanted to see something on the sides. I totally forgot that there was a theater around me. No matter where you sit, you are going to love it. Please post a report when you get back!
--Bill
 

Bill Huelbig

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To Pete again:
The Macomb Ave. parking may have had restrictions for Monday through Friday (we were there on Saturday), but I'm sure you'll find something - just give yourself plenty of time. There was a long line yesterday before the 1 PM show, but it was mostly people buying advance tickets for "Harry Potter".
One more thing: if you decide to brave the front row, Seat 106 is in the exact center of the screen.
--Bill
 

Jefferson Morris

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quote: My only regrets are: 1) that I'll never again be able to really enjoy the DVD, and 2) that I'll never again be able to watch it on the big screen for the first time.[/quote]I know precisely what you mean. When I first saw the film at the Uptown ten years ago (which was also the first time I had ever seen it in a theater) I had already turned the film over quite thoroughly in my mind, having watched and analyzed it countless times on television and video.
What I had never done was truly feel it, in a visceral (and even emotional) sense. After that first Uptown viewing, it went from being one of my favorite films, to simply being the best film I had ever seen, period. Like Lean's Lawrence of Arabia, it simply requires a theatrical presentation for its full force to come across. For such films, simply put, size (and sound) matters. But rather than viewing this as a limitation or a sign of narrative weakness, I see it as the natural result of a master filmmaker taking full advantage of the medium in which he's working.
And even though I've bought numerous incarnations of 2001 on video over the years (VHS, letterboxed VHS, Criterion LD, MGM DVD, remastered Kubrick Collection DVD), I haven't watched it all the way through on TV since that first Uptown viewing. And I probably never will again. It is sort of a bittersweet paradox.
--Jefferson Morris
[Edited last by Jefferson Morris on November 13, 2001 at 11:11 AM]
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Bill: Thanks so much for the route - I used Mapquest and it sounded much more complicated than that. I wish I had more time down there - we're leaving in the morning and planning on the 4pm show. That should allow plenty of time for parking, walking and a lunch before the movie. Then, some light dinner after before the trip home.
For me, this is THE event of the year!
 

Bruce N

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My wife and I saw the 4:30 show today.
smiley_jawdrop.gif
smiley_jawdrop.gif

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"Why do I sense we've picked up another pathetic lifeform?"
 

Darren H

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What I had never done was truly feel it, in a visceral (and even emotional) sense.
I think you've hit it with your parenthetical comment, Jefferson. I've always loved 2001, but largely out of intellectual and aesthetic fascination. Seeing it at the Uptown, though, showed me just how tightly knit the drama is. Anyone who would regurgitate the tired Kubrick criticism -- his films are too cold and lifeless -- has obviously never seen 2001 on the big screen, because that is an emotionally riveting film, and certainly not a boring one.
If the theater weren't500 miles from my home, I'd turn around and go see it again.
Anxious to read your review, Peter.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Finally checking after yesterday's road trip. I've got to get to work in a few minutes, so I can only reiterate what others have said - it was stunning. I'm still recovering from the film.
More later...
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Bruce: where were you sitting? I was at the 4:30 show also, sitting in the 7th row, sweats 106 & 107 with my friend Bill - I had on the Turner Home Entertainment "Hoop Dreams" leather varsity jacket and was grinning like an idiot when that MGM logo filled the wall. :)
While not the best *presentation* of a film I've ever seen (although it's probably #3, right behind Apocalypse Now in 1979 and Heaven's Gate in 1980), this is - without a doubt - the single best movie-going experience of my life. Why? As noted, especially by Darren & Jefferson, the film is transformed by seeing it in its intended way. Every other showing might as well be pan-and-scanned, nothing compares to seeing that curved screen. From 7th row, the film just filled my peripheral vision. The impact of many of the film's key sequences is heightened considerably by the awesomeness of this large-screen venue. The film really is dramatic, emotionally charged and physically draining. It's a cliche, to be sure, but when it was over yesterday, I felt like a different person walking out of the theater. Non-chemical mind-expansion is the best way I can describe it. I've seen it a handful of times theatrically - including a private home 35mm screening two months ago, with one 70mm showing on a flat screen in 1978, but I've never truly seen the film until yesterday at 4:30.
Was it worth it? 9 hours in the car - 500 miles round-trip - losing a day of work; I'd do it again in a heartbeat!
 

Bill Huelbig

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Pete: Glad to see you made it down there and back - I felt a little responsible since I gave you the directions! Today's the last day and I wish I could go back one final time. Wouldn't it be great if the Uptown could show it once a year?
Among so many memorable aspects of the showing, I just thought of a funny one: heading over to the Cleveland Park Metro station after the movie, surrounded by people (me included) whistling the Blue Danube Waltz. The Ultimate Trip, indeed.
--Bill
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Bill: I meant to thank you in my post above, the directions were perfect.
I couldn't have asked for a better day to drive, either.
Yes, I wish it would play there once a year - I'd schedule a short vaction around it!
[Edited last by Peter Apruzzese on November 15, 2001 at 12:46 PM]
 

Jack Briggs

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..."the single best movie-going experience of my life..."
Mr. Apruzzese has reiterated what has become the theme of his thread, echoing the resolutely positive comments by Bill, Derek, et al.
Hey, look, when I saw the beautiful 70mm print that played at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood back in 1996, I was telling friends that it was like seeing the film for the "first time" all over again--and I had seen a number of 70mm prints throughout the years. This film has the power to come alive over and over again. And the immersive effect provided by a good 70mm print makes for an almost transformative experience.
Again, too bad about it playing at The Egyptian here in L.A.
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2001-a.jpg

[Edited last by Jack Briggs on November 15, 2001 at 02:19 PM]
 

Jefferson Morris

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Anyone who would regurgitate the tired Kubrick criticism -- his films are too cold and lifeless -- has obviously never seen 2001 on the big screen
The "cold and unemotional" argument always sort of irks me too, although I can understand why some people feel this way, if they only watch his films superficially (Having ruminated upon Kubrick at length, I feel I'm entitled to a bit of snobbishness here).
For me, watching Bowman on his deathbed, reaching out to the monolith just as his ape forebears did, yearning for transformation, apotheosis, is always an emotional moment, as is gazing into the face of the Star Child--humanity reborn, evolved, transcending technology and the limits of time and space (although I admit I had to first understand the significance of the image before I could be moved by it).
At first glance, the human beings in 2001 all appear to be cold, emotionless, mechanical, flatly conversing in meaningless pleasantries. And that, as is obvious to anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of the film, is entirely the point. Seen in this light, the dialogue and characterization are brilliant in their deliberate banality, the acting note perfect.
Hearing people complain that HAL seemed more emotional and sympathetic than the people is like hearing people criticize Blade Runner for the fact that Roy Batty is a more compelling, humanized character than Deckard. I believe the appropriate response is, "Well...duh."
One of Kubrick's favorite themes was dehumanization, and I would say this is what has led so many critics and filmgoers to the "cold/unemotional" criticism. There is a certain intellectual and ironic distance between Kubrick and his subjects, but I don't necessarily equate that with coldness. Lolita as an example, is a tremendously emotional film, in my opinion, despite its often satirical take on the protagonist. James Mason's little breakdowns (when Lo leaves for summer camp, and particularly his last, tearful attempt to reclaim her) remain powerhouse moments for me.
--Jefferson Morris
 

Jack Briggs

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Nice comments, Jefferson--and an excellent rebuttal to the "Stanley Kubrick-is-cold-and-unemotional" crowd. For me, there is no more uplifting a cinematic experience than 2001: A Space Odyssey. To this day, I still get goosebumps and misty-eyed when I view the scene of Moonwatcher discovering new uses for old bones. In fact, I was screening the DVD just last Saturday. ...
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2001-a.jpg

[Edited last by Jack Briggs on November 15, 2001 at 02:50 PM]
 

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