Screenings of 2001 and Blackmail

This weekend was another good weekend to be a classic movie fan in the Detroit area.  Friday night, I went to a midnight screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Now that’s a movie you definitely need to see in a theater to get the full effect.  This certainly wasn’t the first time I’d seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, but this made me appreciate it in a way I never had before.  First of all, it’s just cool to see all those effects on the big screen.  Let me tell you, watching the Stargate scene in a theater is probably the trippiest thing I have ever seen.  Plus seeing the movie on such a large screen brought out a lot of little details I had never noticed before.  Not that any of these details made a huge impact on the movie as a whole, but they are a testament to Stanley Kubrick’s relentless attention to detail.  And then there’s the audio.  With 2001, the sound and music is every bit as important as the picture.  I really don’t mess around with home audio systems (yes, I know, bad cinephile), so I loved being able to hear it the way it was meant to be heard.  Overall, it was an amazing experience.  Not that you can’t enjoy 2001: A Space Odyssey at home, but I think you get the most out of it if you really immerse yourself in it in a theater.

As much as I enjoyed seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey, things got even better when I went to the Detroit Film Theater on Sunday to see the silent version Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail with The Alloy Orchestra.  First of all, Blackmail was a Hitchcock movie I’d actually never seen before.  And I’ve seen The Alloy Orchestra perform at the DFT twice before with Nosferatu and The Phantom of the Opera, and they were amazing both times, so I was very excited to see them again.  I loved every minute of the Blackmail screening!  The Alloy Orchestra was, once again, fantastic and I absolutely loved the movie.  Their score created a great atmosphere for the movie.  I thought the movie was shot beautifully, there were so many shots I absolutely adored.  And it was interesting to see an early Hitchcock film that sometimes hinted at things that would come in his later movies.  The scene where Alice reaches for the knife reminded me of Grace Kelly reaching for the scissors in Dial ‘M’ for Murder. In one scene, there’s a shot of some stairs that left me half expecting the camera to do the infamous zoom effect from Vertigo. And this is the first Hitchcock movie that involved a chase through a national monument.  I simply couldn’t have asked for a more fabulous time.  If you ever have a chance to see The Alloy Orchestra perform live, I highly recommend going to see them.

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