The darkly gilded depths of the Edison – resembling as it does something like inside of the Nautilus, or maybe the League of Extraordinary Gentleman's rec-room – might at first seem an odd atmosphere for as pristinely, intensely cinematic a movie experience as 2001: A Space Odyssey. Yet despite the dazzling interiors at every turn, Stanley Kubrick's 1968 masterpiece managed to captivate attendees at the Jules Verne Festival’s 40th anniversary screening Sunday night from every corner of the Edison’s cavernous lounges, on multiple screens positioned at all angles to best encourage relaxed noshing and quaffing the club’s signature cocktails. The event promised more than a mere swanky movie night, and delivered with a pre-screening discussion and posthumous presentation of the JVA's Legendaire Award to Kubrick, accepted on his behalf by his daughter Vivian.
Beloved of the fans, not just for her score for Full Metal Jacket or the documentary she shot on the set of The Shining as a teenager, but also for her precocious turn at age seven in 2001 as Heywood Floyd’s little daughter – yes, she’s “The Bush Baby Kid” – Kubrick along with eternally debonair leading man Keir Dullea (who so closely resembles the elderly version of himself in the film now, it’s almost disconcerting), and actor Daniel Richter, who performed as the lead ape-man in the film's opening sequences, regaled the audience with tales from the making of the film and their feelings toward 2001’s unparalleled artistic achievement and lasting legacy. As if that weren’t already a grand enough evening of posh sci-fi glee, the end of the discussion saw a sprightly Malcolm McDowell join them on stage with further anecdotes about his friend and partner-in-crime Stanley. All delivered with his usual charm and witty aplomb, but the die-hards in the room would be forgiven if some of it went right past them, just trying to wrap their heads around the sheer awesomeness of Dave Bowman and Alex DeLarge standing on stage next to one another. Nerdgasm!