One of the best movies ever made, on one of the biggest screens in New York. What could be better?
It’s taken me many years and many viewings to realize that the movie is actually very, very funny. Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising for a movie that directly followed Dr. Strangelove, but the sombre serious air about the film disguised some of the comedy to my young mind watching the movie almost every year, running uncut on a local Philadelphia TV channel. Just a few of the many huge “jokes” packed into the film: the entire human condition condensed into chimp pantomime, fantastic visions of the future punctured by hilariously closed-minded humans more interested in sandwiches, and the most naked human emotions shown on screen coming from apes and computers as opposed to supposedly evolved humans.
2001 On the web: Kubrick 2001 presents an elaborate, though sometimes silly, animated explication. Then there’s The Underview, helpfully including the complete Zero Gravity Toilet instructions. [update: link no longer available]