FILM / Director's Cut: Corridor to the stars: Ron Fricke celebrates Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey

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I remember very vividly watching the last 20 minutes of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Stargate Corridor sequence at the end gave you a sense of finding out what the film led to. The monolith is sending a signal and the traveller in the spaceship is following the signal to see where it's going. So it's a journey to the infinite.

It was very beautiful, very philosophical. I didn't feel like I was in a cinema any more; it was like being in a temple if you will. It wasn't hitting my personality, it was speaking to my inner being. It was a feeling, not an intellectual thing. I felt I was seeing the real meaning of life played out in front of me. It was a cathartic, mind-expansive experience. It altered my consciousness - and I wasn't on drugs.

I was also deeply impressed by the fact it was done in a 70mm large format. Usually, those kind of personal films are done on a small scale - on 16 mm and a very low budget. So 2001 seemed to set my own personal frame of reference. And, because so much of it is non-verbal, it got me thinking of doing non-verbal films about humanity's relationship to the eternal - who we are, where we are, what's going on on this planet. It's a kind of Nineties spiritual thing.

Ron Fricke directed and photographed 'Baraka', which is on general release, and also worked on Koyaaniqatsi. '2001: A Space Odyssey' is available on sell-through video (Warner Home Video, pounds 10.99).

(Photograph omitted)

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