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Live cinema performance of ‘2001’ to land in Seoul

Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey” is a sci-fi classic that seems fresh even in 2017 -- particularly as we celebrate the Cassini spacecraft’s plunge into the Saturn last week, ending its 13-year exploration of the ringed planet and its moons.

The groundbreaking film has had a lasting influence on popular culture and its discussion of mankind’s place in the universe, particularly with its philosophical outlook.

And any mention of the film would be incomplete without reference to the integral atmospheric music, Kubrick having favored long renditions of music over dialogue to evoke emotions.

“2001: A Space Odyssey” (SPO)
“2001: A Space Odyssey” (SPO)
Fans of the iconic sci-fi film will have a chance to appreciate the film all over again, on an even grander scale, when the live cinema performance of “2001: A Space Odyssey” lands at the Seoul Arts Center on Thursday. The production has been touring the world with leading orchestras and choirs since its hit performance at London’s Southbank Center in 2010.

Indelibly linked to the film and given new prominence by the film is Richard Strauss’ heart-pounding “Also Sprach Zarathustra” which opens and closes “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Kubrick’s choice of Johann Strauss’ “The Blue Danube” to accompany the long shot of a spaceship gliding along in the vastness of space is probably one that cannot be bettered. The shrill sustained dissonant chords by modernist composer Gyorgy Liget that serve to heighten fear and nervous anticipation in the audience is yet another hallmark of a film lauded for its use of classical music for desired effect. Kubrick, who is said to have been obsessive about music in his films, not only chose the pieces, but the copies as well, preferring to work with existing recordings.

At Seoul Arts Center, the digital print of “2001: A Space Odyssey” featuring just the dialogue and sound effects will be screened on a specially designed 12-meter-wide screen to be accompanied by the live performance of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and National Chorus of Korea under the baton of SPO associate conductor Choi Soo-yeoul. The total running time is 160 minutes with a 20-minute intermission.

Tickets range in price from 10,000 won to 90,000 won.

For more information, call 1588-1210.

By Kim Hoo-ran (
Korea Herald Youtube