Attendees of the on-going Cannes Film Festival have received a special treat from the hands of Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. What Nolan hails as the “unrestored” version of Stanley Kubrick’s 1969 revolutionary, sci-fi behemoth, 2001: A Space Odyssey, — a film that shattered the conceptions of cinema’s possibilities and to this day succeeds at hypnotizing movie-audiences — premiered at Cannes as a part of the festival’s special presentation. Nolan was personally involved in the 70mm restoration process as well as the new Blu Ray version of the film in 4K HDR. Nostalgic and whole-heartedly excited, Nolan has described the film as a personal favorite, recalling his first time seeing it with his father in London when he was only a boy: “You sit there and you just go, ‘This is a film that’s not observing any conventions,’” Nolan told The New York Times.
The past few decades have experienced a number of hailed revivals of films like The Red Shoes, Peeping Tom, and Killing of Sheep, titles that otherwise lacked quality or were entirely un-viewable and lost to damage or poor maintenance. Many masterpieces of both American and world cinema are brought back to life due to the noble efforts of such cinema-warriors as the Criterion Collection, which offers high quality digital Blu Ray and DVD re-releases (some of which are now available on the streaming service, Film Struck) as well as the Film Foundation, a company that for many years, aided with the leadership of Martin Scorsese, has been advocating for extensive film negative restoration and preservation.
After the Cannes debut, 2001 received a passionate standing ovation. Audiences were once again blown away by the film’s scope and level of emersion, excited to learn that no re-editing has been implemented, the film maintaining all of its original content with the restoration effort focusing on picture and sound quality. Nolan has stated that this re-release can be considered to be identical to the film’s original format, giving it the classification of being an “unrestored” version. Scheduled to be released this Friday, May 18, in limited locations, audiences all around the world will be able to experiences the Kubrick classic the way it was meant to be seen 50 years ago.
Catch a screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey at Arclight Hollywood between May 18 and May 23! Limited seats left!