The movie itself displays similar technical precision, though watching it again, I was struck by how mixed my feelings were. Of course it's a technical marvel, its set designs and special effects—plus its marriage of image and music—truly astonishing. But its plodding, spacey story left me frustrated and exhausted; Starchild, WTF? (These feelings may have been exacerbated by the fever I had.) Not that I resorted to the Film Forumesque scoffing that the audience directed at every radically 60s set, imperfect effect, and also at bizarrely inappropriate moments: how is it funny early on when, post-monolith, the apes beat a rival ape to death with boar bones? It wasn't a typical crowd for the Philharmonic, younger and scruffier than the tuxedo'd set; one person sitting behind me said to his companion that he hardly recognized anybody. Which, good! But then there were people like the fellow who made a dramatic hand gesture in the air during a dramatic musical moment—aw! Like you're the conductor!—and the two sitting nearby who apparently like to whisper everything they know about movies (not much!) while they watch one. Orchestras around the country are looking to attract new and younger audiences. But god help us if it's just a bunch of talkers, gum chewers and wheezy breathers.
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