When: Fri., Jan. 11, 7 p.m. 2013
You'll never have a better excuse to drop acid at a cinema in 2013 than with this double-feature of the 1968 all-time classics2001: A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes. First up at 7 p.m. is Apes, the much-remade and much-parodied classic with Charlton Heston as an astronaut who crashes on a planet of ... well, see the title. It could have been one of the most ridiculous films ever, but the tight script by Twilight Zone maestro Rod Serling, suspenseful directing by Patton's Franklin J. Schaffner and of course the ground-breaking makeup by John Chambers instead made it a classic that spawned four sequels, a TV series, a cartoon, the aforementioned remakes and much more. If you somehow don't know the ending, don't spoil it! My dad did when I screened this on VHS for my friend Doug when I was 11. It's one of the most fun things in cinema, watching someone see that for the first time.
Up next is Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey, the classic collaboration between the famously visual and abstract Kubrick and the famously prose-and-hard-science-based Clarke. If you want an explanation for the big black rock or the Giant Space Fetus at the end, read Clarke's book (written simultaneously with the screenplay in collaboration with Kubrick), but in the meantime, enjoy some of the most extraordinary visual sequences in film: creatures at the dawn of time gaining the power of imagination and invention, a desperate space walk, the aforementioned Giant Space Fetus. And of course there's HAL, the increasingly psychopathic computer who gives the film its most memorable character with his soothing, emotionless voice (done by actor Douglas Rain, who parodied his role in Woody Allen's Sleeper). It's more insane visuals than you can handle for a mere eight bucks! (NOTE: I don't actually know where one would get acid. I assume there's some kind of code word on craigslist, like "pineapple" or something.) —Zack Smith