Yesterday we ran a tribute to one of the great American films of all time, 2001: A Space Odyssey, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last week.
To also celebrate the occasion, latter-day wunderkind filmmaker Christopher Nolan is taking a 70mm print of the film to this year’s Cannes Film Festival for screening on the French Riviera in honor of the milestone.
Nolan, who will be making his very first appearance at Cannes, is one of a multitude of filmmakers, past and present, veteran and fresh out of the box, who has been profoundly influenced by Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece. Some of Nolan’s films, in particular Interstellar, have ambiguous nods to 2001, whether directly or indirectly.
Some of Kubrick’s family are also making the trek to the festival, his daughter Katharina and his decades-long producing partner and brother-in-law, Jan Harlan. Kubrick himself passed away at the age of 70 in March of 1999, not long after completing his final film, Eyes Wide Shut. Other than 2001, Kubrick was also at the directorial helm of such cinematic classics as Dr. Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, Spartacus, The Shining, and Full Metal Jacket.
Nolan had this to say about the upcoming screening in a press release:
“One of my earliest memories of cinema is seeing Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, in 70mm, at the Leicester Square Theatre in London with my father. The opportunity to be involved in recreating that experience for a new generation, and of introducing our new unrestored 70mm print of Kubrick’s masterpiece in all its analogue glory at the Festival de Cannes is an honour and a privilege.”
Thierry Fremaux, Director of the Cannes Film Festival also passionately added:
“Stanley Kubrick in the Official Selection! It is a great honour for the Festival de Cannes to host the 50th anniversary celebration of one of the most extraordinary films in the history of cinema. And to welcome to the Festival for the first time Christopher Nolan, whose presence creates a precious bond between past and present, without which cinema would have no history. We are looking forward to this unique 70mm projection which will prove, if proof were necessary, that cinema was indeed invented for the BIG screen.”
The 70mm print of 2001: A Space Odyssey will also screen across U.S. theaters beginning May 18th. In 35mm it was an incendiary, transcendent experience, which elevated every one of an audience member’s perception and senses.
In 70mm, it will be an experience like no other, almost like seeing the film for the very first time, even for the biggest stalwart fan of the film. It’s befitting of a size and aspect ratio for a film that is also a massive artistic entity itself in every way, and a perfect way to celebrate its half-century point.