Listen: Christopher Nolan Talks “Unrestoring” ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ In New Podcast

The Playlist | 5/21/2018 | Alex Arabian
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Christopher Nolan is known for his daring storytelling, stunning visuals, and fantastic use of sound. It’s no surprise that he’s a fan of of Stanley Kubrick‘s seminal masterpiece “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Recently, Nolan performed what he refers to as an “un-restoration” process on the classic film, which he presented at Cannes to members of the Kubrick family and the main actor, Keir Dullea. Essentially, he transferred the film onto 70mm and utilized its excellent audioscape to the max, the use of which even he calls daring.

On the podcast The Treatment, Nolan explained to film critic Elvis Mitchell how divided ‘2001’ made audiences when it was first released. That wasn’t the case at the premiere at Cannes, which was overwhelmingly well-received. Nolan is famously partial to analog film. But why celluloid? Why present ‘2001’ in 70mm?

Celluloid - Film - Process - Analogy - Way

“Celluloid film, the photochemical process – it’s the best analogy for the way the eye sees that’s been invented,” Nolan said to Mitchell. “So, there’s a depth to the color, there’s a superiority to the resolution, there’s a depth to the blacks, the contrasts, everything. I mean, there are all kinds of things that digital technology can’t duplicate. It can do its own version and all that, and there are a lot of filmmakers who respond really well to that and really enjoy that version of imaging, but it’s different. And so when you start looking at film history, and you start looking at ‘2001’ and the experience that I was able to have watching it on an early re-release, to be able to give audiences today that same analog experience, I think it’s very important.”

Nolan also proclaims that Kubrick is the greatest filmmaker in the history of film, a bold statement from...
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