*2001: A Space Odyssey* at NY Phil, 9/14/18
I saw a screening of *2001: A Space Odyssey* with the score played live by the New York Philharmonic on 9/14/18. I've always loved this movie and feel a special kinship with it, because both it and I were released in April of 1968!
This is my sixth movie at the NY Phil - - I saw *Breakfast at Tiffany's* and episodes 4 thru 7 of the *Star Wars* series. One of the biggest thrills of seeing a beloved movie in this setting is just seeing it on a big screen with a big audience. It's a completely different experience than watching it at home. I was surprised to hear the audience laugh as often as they did in *2001,* and they burst into applause a couple of times (at the end of the opening credits, when the "Also Sprach Zarathustra" excerpt ended, and at the end of the "Blue Danube" sequence).
I hadn't noticed how many witty moments there are in the movie: the Zero Gravity Toilet, the bush baby, the Howard Johnson's. The spacecraft models and invented-for-the-movie technology are astonishing in their rightness, but the hair, makeup, costumes, and especially the furniture SCREAM Mid-Century Modern. The audience chuckled at the hot pink Djinn chairs.
I read a book years ago about the making of the movie and was shocked to hear that the Dawn of Man scene that opens the film was filmed on a soundstage. That really does look like the desert. Generally it still looks pretty good but there were a couple of shots where the background looked more than a little like a photograph... The highlight of this scene was the extraordinary lifelike ape makeup and costumes. I assume the baby apes were real, they were awfully cute.