The film Leonardo DiCaprio compared to a “spiritual experience”

For more than three decades in the limelight, Leonardo DiCaprio has been delivering some of the most memorable moments in contemporary cinema. Ever since his first significant movie role in This Boy’s Life, the LA-born actor has proven his fearless commitment to his profession and has given a series of efforts that seem to increase in quality.

It’s difficult to think of DiCaprio and not immediately conjure up some of his most iconic moments in front of the camera. From his breakthrough roles in Romeo + Juliet and Titanic to his further recognition in Catch Me If You Can and Gangs of New York, it’s fair to say that he’s pretty much conquered what it means to be an actor.

Modern cinema would be little without DiCaprio’s turns in the likes of Inception, Django Unchained and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but that doesn’t mean that the actor himself has turned a blind eye to the great works of cinema that came before him. In fact, DiCaprio seems to have a deep passion for the cinematic medium and an envious knowledge of its history.

When Leonardo DiCaprio narrated his experience on 'moving sets' of  'Inception'- Republic World

When naming some of his favourite movies of all time, DiCaprio stated his love for the likes of Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves, Elia Kazan’s East of Eden and Federico Fellini’s 8½, showing the kind of films that have provided inspiration for the actor to go ahead achieve the kind of stardom that he undoubtedly has.

Science fiction also seems to engage the inner workings of DiCaprio, and he pointed out a Stanley Kubrick movie that seems to transcend the limits of the medium of cinema itself into an experience of genuine importance. Of 2001: A Space Odyssey, DiCaprio once told Esquire, “It’s beyond a movie—it’s a spiritual experience”.

Indeed, Kubrick’s legendary 1968 science fiction movie is not only a feat of cinematic genius but also holds vital symbolic meaning from the existential perspective of humankind. Written with iconic sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke, 2001 tells of the evolutionary journey of humanity, from bone-wielding prehistoric apes to space-faring explorers of outer space.

Kubrick charts humankind’s journey, which seems to be aided by a strange monolith that appears every time a significant evolutionary jump is made. 2001 is a stunning experience for the big screen, but it also sees Kubrick dive headfirst into the themes of the dangers of technological advancement and artificial intelligence.

The classic science fiction movie undoubtedly provokes thought and features an ending that stays in the mind long after the credits have rolled. Noting the cerebral quality of the film, DiCaprio said, “You have to submerge yourself in it with the idea that Kubrick’s intent was to make us understand our relationship with the universe. The more you watch it, the more questions it asks.”

Kubrick had always littered his films with points of interrogation for his audiences to sink their teeth into and explore their deep symbolic significance. For DiCaprio, the legendary director’s works didn’t get any better than 2001, which is rightfully considered one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time.

DiCaprio’s love for the film reveals an actor who is concerned with the existential reality of humanity and shows the kind of questions that plague his mind: Who are we? Where did we come from? While Kubrick merely toyed with the answers to these questions in 2001, the film takes us just about to the precipice of understanding before we, along with DiCaprio, fall back through space.

Check out the trailer for 2001: A Space Odyssey below.

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