I think I first saw 2001: A Space Odyssey when I was 17 years old. I liked it — the hard science and special effects aspects of it — but I didn't remotely understand it. I saw it several times immediately afterward and my love for it grew, but not my understanding. It wasn't until I got heavily into the work of French artist Jean Cocteau, and his early film Blood of a Poet (1930), that I had a true ah-ha moment. Cocteau believed that film could work as "liquid poetry" and was capable of accessing and triggering deep brain states of dreams, fantasies, and the unconscious.
Realizing that 2001 was a fully realized example of such liquid poetry changed everything for me. Watching it with that mentality unlocked so many riches of what this film was trying to achieve. For decades, I watched it yearly, and never tired of it. And I don't suspect I ever will.
Sunday marked the 55th anniversary of this landmark film. Here are a couple of videos where filmmakers marvel at Kubrick cinematic masterpiece and talk about its enduring influence.