50 Years Later, There’s a New Print of 2001: A Space Odyssey. And It’s Drop-Dead Gorgeous.

This MUST be watched in full screen!


Thanks to Christopher Nolan, there’s a new 70mm print of Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Nolan saw the film as a child in London, and, like many people, never got over the experience. in a good way.

After the success of Dunkirk last year, he spent months overseeing the project to create the new print. He emphasizes that it’s not a restoration:

“For the first time since the original release, this 70mm print was struck from new printing elements made from the original camera negative. This is a true photochemical film recreation. There are no digital tricks, remastered effects, or revisionist edits. This is the unrestored film – that recreates the cinematic event that audiences experienced fifty years ago.”

2001: A Space Odyssey opens on 18 May 2018, for limited runs in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and San Francisco, with more cities to follow. You can find ticket and engagement information at the 2001: A Space Odyssey website.

(Speaking of engagements, there’s no word yet on whether the 18 May release date will lead to a postponement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, which is scheduled for the next day in Windsor. What a dilemma for those poor guests!)

The recreated edition will be released on DVD and Blu-ray this fall, but you really want to see this on a big screen with big sound.


Here’s the original trailer for the 1968 release of 2001: A Space Odyssey:

“Open the pod bay doors, HAL.”

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Un-Cute Video of the Day, 12 May 2018 — That Time a Mulleted Donald Trump Molested a Very Creepy Drag Queen

I’d forgotten all about this until the video resurfaced a couple of days ago. It took place in 2000, at the Inner Circle Press Roast in New York, when Rudy Giuliani was mayor.

I rarely post anything political here, but this was irresistible.

Waffles

The historic district of Brussels smells of waffles and chocolate. I’d eaten plenty of chocolate during my time there, but somehow never got around to waffles until my last full day in the city.

In S03E09 of Skam, the innovative Norwegian streaming series, one of the characters gets terribly excited when he hears that the school cafeteria is serving waffles. His reaction seemed all out of proportion to the news, and I could never figure out why he rushed off to place an order.

Offerings from a Brussels Waffle Shop

Offerings from a Brussels Waffle Shop

Now I know.

My selection

This was my last taste of Belgium (except for the 17 pounds of chocolate I brought home with me, and, yes, officer, it is for personal use only).

In Bruges in Bruges

I’d been dreaming of doing this for years.

I sat there, in that little café off Bruges’ central square, took out my IPad, and watched In Bruges.

in Bruges.

I didn’t watch the entire film, of course, just a few favourite scenes.

I know it might seem silly and trivial, but it made me inordinately happy.

It made my trip to Belgium.

Lunch at Soup. Soup at Lunch. And the End Is Near.

I had an excellent light lunch at a tiny sidewalk restaurant called Soup, a couple of blocks from Bruges’ Market Square.

Soup

Soup

Leek Soup

Leek Soup

Delicious, fresh-made Leek Soup, with cheese and croutons and good bread, and a strawberry treat for dessert, all for €6.50. Made and served by delightful, friendly people.

It was such a pretty place, and there were enough empty tables so that I wasn’t keeping anyone from dining, so I decided this would be a good time to do what I’d come to Bruges to do…

(To Be Continued)

In Bruges

Confession time. The main reason I came to Belgium was not the Breugels nor the chocolates, not the Rubens nor the mussels.

It was because 10 years ago, I saw Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges, and I knew I had to go there someday to see the city for myself. In Bruges is easily one of my five favourite movies of the 21st century, and there are only 82 more years to go, so that might be a lock.

Belgium is a small country. It’s less than an hour’s train ride from Brussels to some of the prettiest towns in Europe. On a rainy Wednesday morning, I was off the Bruges.

After the stateliness of Brussels’ Grand Place, the historic central square of Bruges seemed disappointingly commercialized, with a group of carnival-type rides and amusements. The city center is a World Heritage Site, and the tackiness detracted from its beauty.

Bruges, which survived the two World Wars with little damage, is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. It’s a canal city, like Amsterdam and Venice, and boating along the canals gave me an unforgettable view of some of Bruges’ marvelous architecture.


These are the grounds of the Groeningemuseum, which has a small but brilliant collection. Among the stunners is this triptych called “The Last Judgment”, attributed to Hieronymus Bosch and his workshop.

"The Last Judgment". Image found on the Net

“The Last Judgment”. Image found on the Net.


In Bruges

This is a heavily edited trailer for In Bruges. The dialogue in Martin McDonagh’s movies is rude, crude, and profane enough to make Al Swearengen blush. You’ll have to watch the film to hear it, though, because it’s been purged—not by me—from this video.

Brussels Miscellanea

With only one big adventure to go, we’re nearing the end of my time in Belgium. I’ll be posting the last of these travel notes this weekend. Meanwhile, here are a few random images from Brussels.


The Grand Place

The Grand Place, surrounded by buildings that date from the 17th century. is Brussels’s magnificent central square.

It gleams. Many of the architectural features are gilded, and the gold paint glows in the sunshine. These pictures don’t really capture that glow, possibly because it rained every day I was in Belgium. (No problem. I wasn’t in Brussels to work on my tan, or, to be more accurate, to work on my beige.)


I Found a Record Shop!

I used to spend rainy Saturday afternoons making the rounds of the bookshops and record stores near Dupont Circle. There were more than a dozen of them Before The Internet, but only one of the bookshops is still open. Finding this place in Brussels was the first time I’ve seen a record store in years.

The musicians pictured on the storefront, clockwise from the center, are Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, and Jim Morrison. It took me a while to identify Morrison, and until I noticed the harmonica, I thought Bob Dylan was Lou Reed.


“Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here”

This Big Brother-ish image dominates one of the staircases in the Old Masters Museum.


Théâtre Royal de Toone

The Théâtre Royal de Toone, an historic Brussels puppet theatre, can trace its origins to the 1830s. Depending on the performance, the dialog is in French, Dutch, or the local patois. When the show is something familiar, like Hamlet or Carmen, you can enjoy the performance without understanding every line.


The puppet theatre is in the attic above a rather shabby but extremely popular pub. It’s one of the oldest in Brussels, and it has that run-down, lived-in feel of a classic dive bar.

The Théâtre

During intermission, you can visit the small, one-room display of historic puppets.


Cheesecake

Cheese Cake Cafe

This place looked so American, so not-European that I walked right past it. I didn’t come to Belgium to eat hamburgers or pizza.

And then I turned around and walked right back.

The allure of cheesecake is impossible to resist.