Why should you see 2001 on a big screen?

Seeing the film on TV scarcely does it justice. For one thing, the film 
is typically cropped when broadcast (the outer edges of the film are 
unceremoniously cut off). Unfortunately for Art, Kubrick, a former LOOK 
photographer, uses composition to convey meaning, along with dialogue, 
soundtrack, editing, etc. The cropping destroys this composition (it's 
like reading HAMLET with 5% of the words missing).

Even worse, on a small screen you can miss many subtle details (e.g., 
the shot of the IBM nameplate in nearly the same place on the screen as 
the HAL nameplate, which gives a little extra credence to the HAL/IBM 
connection, to those who need some).

The final sequence, with just breathing, is masterful in the theatre. 
You are surrounded by the breathing sounds; you really feel a part of 
that room. This is lost on the TV.

You miss scale, details, colors, awe, a great many of the things that 
make this such a great film!

          *          *          *          *          * 

Now that the obvious has been stated, a word for the videotape. The
25th anniversary edition has great color, and in that respect, 
surpasses many prints of the film extant today, which long-in-the-tooth
are missing frames, and which have a pinkish hue. If you're not seeing
a brand new print, the video may actually be superior. In Dolby 
surround, through a home stereo, and on a good TV, it's not so bad. And 
there's always the virtue of being able to freeze-frame, which gives you 
time to examine the background, which even at the slow pace tends to 
fly by.

Back to Table of Contents.