Both ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Gravity’ took us out of this world, but the reputation of Stanley Kubrick’s classic – now re-released – is safe. It’s not that ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ doesn’t look dated – it does, a bit – but it remains as intelligent and provocative as ever, bearing years of conceptual dreaming. Until today’s equivalent of novelist Arthur C Clarke commits a hefty chunk of time to envisioning the beginning of human civilisation, as well as the far future, there will be no new film to supplant it.
Though it was showered with praise for its technical achievements, ‘2001’ lingers more potently in the mind as a tall, black riddle: where are the new bones, the new tools, that will take us higher? Douglas Rain’s clammy voice work as Hal 9000, the murderous machine, remains one of Kubrick’s snazziest pieces of direction.