#84 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Starring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood. Written by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke. Directed by Stanley Kubrick. 142 minutes long.
Simply one of the greatest films ever made, it's scope, skill and creativity are off the chart. With this single film, Stanley Kubrick changed an entire genre and influenced film makers for the next 46 years, including this year's Interstellar which owes a huge debt to Odyssey and indeed pays homage to it with it's own spiraling spaceship docking sequence.
Telling the story of mankind from his very dawn on the Earth to his next evolutionary step to the stars as our destiny is gently nudged by an alien intelligence we never glimpse, hear nor understand. With no attempt made to explain the reasons behind their extraordinary gift of technology, nor any efforts made to explain the final act of this extraordinary film, 2001 is a truly stunning and genuine work of cinematic genius.
Despite having seen this countless times both at the cinema and at home, 2001 never fails to thrill me, and I continue to marvel at its scope and achievements.
Whether it's marrying long, non-speaking special effects shots of spaceships in orbit, docking, landing or just flying, perfectly, with classical music, or throwing us a stunning 45 million year forward in the story thanks to its legendary jump cut, or it's exquisite attention to detail or even just the sequence where HAL 9000 pleads for its artificial life, 2001 is an utterly brilliant film that allows you to supply your own answers to the final act without leaving you feeling cheated or frustrated.
One of my all-time favourite films which hasn't aged or dated a day. If you get a chance to see it on the big screen, do it.