The Stanley Kubrick Website (unofficial website)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Kubrick spent five years developing his next film, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The film was adapted from the short story The Sentinel, by science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, and the screenplay was written by Kubrick and Clarke in collaboration. The film's theme, the birthing of one intelligence by another, is developed in two parallel intersecting stories on two very different times scales. One depicts transitions between various stages of man, from ape to "star child", as man is reborn into a new existence, each step shepherded by an enigmatic alien intelligence seen only in its artifacts: a series of seemingly indestructible eons- old black monoliths. It also depicts human interaction with our own more directly created and controlled offspring intelligence. The film was conceived as a Cinerama spectacle and was photographed in Super Panavision 70. Upon its release in 1968, the film appeared to defy genre convention, sometimes considered unlike any science-fiction movie before it, and clearly different from any of Kubrick's earlier films or stories. It contained ground-breaking special effects designed by Kubrick to give the viewer a "dazzling mix of imagination and science", and winning Kubrick his only personal Oscar, an Academy Award for Visual Effects. Kubrick was very much interested in science and the possibilities that life existed beyond Earth. When Kubrick first contacted Clarke through his friend about helping him write the film, he assumed Clarke was a "recluse", then living in Ceylon. They first met in person in New York, although Kubrick did not offer Clarke the job of writing at that point, nor was the possible film discussed. LoBrutto notes that Clarke was impressed with Kubrick's intelligence. Subsequently, after they agreed to the story, Kubrick worked closely with Clarke for three months to produce a 130-page treatment for the film, and consulted with other experts and agencies while doing so.[56]:146 Initially, Clarke worked in Kubrick's apartment office on Central Park West with an electric typewriter. Kubrick describes the movie as "a nonverbal experience", but would not elaborate on the film's meaning during a Playboy magazine interview in 1968, saying that he "tried to create a visual experience, one that bypasses verbalized pigeon-holing and directly penetrates the subconscious with an emotional and philosophic content ... just as music does ... You're free to speculate as you wish about the philosophical and allegorical meaning. In contrast within a film infused with allegory and symbolism, the film was also noted for its groundbreaking scientific realism in depicting space flight, for example in its depiction of various strategies to deal with zero-gravity, the absence of sound in outer space, artificial intelligence, and the fact that interplanetary space travel will require different kinds of vehicles engineered for different stages of the journey. 2001 was the first of several Kubrick films in which classical music played an important role. At the suggestion of Jan Harlan, Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss was included, used for the opening credits, in the "The Dawn of Man" sequence and again in the ending scene which astronaut David Bowman, as the "star child", gazes at Earth. Kubrick also used music by avant-garde Hungarian composer György Ligeti, his work's first wide commercial exposure, along with Johann Strauss's Blue Danube Waltz. The film was not an immediate hit among many critics, who faulted its lack of dialogue, slow pacing, and seemingly impenetrable storyline. Others, like Penelope Gilliatt, called it "a great film", and numerous directors were inspired by it. It has been considered amongst the greatest science fiction films ever made, as well as one of the most influential. After it was shown at a private screening at the Vatican, producer Jan Harlan recalls that a cardinal stood up and said to the audience, "Here is a film made by an agnostic who hit the bullseye." Today, many film critics and moviemakers regard it as the most significant Hollywood film of its generation, with some, such as Spielberg, calling it his generation's "big bang". Lockwood considers 2001 a "life-changer" in terms of technology and the possibilities of film, realizing it would be even during the filming: "When you've got the best moviemaker of all time, Stanley Kubrick, with one of the best sci-fi writers of all time, Arthur C. Clarke, combining, well, I kinda knew." It is a staple on All Time Top 10 lists.

Quick facts

Directed by Stanley Kubrick Produced by Stanley Kubrick Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke Starring Keir Dullea Gary Lockwood Cinematography Geoffrey Unsworth Edited by Ray Lovejoy Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer1 Release dates April 2, 1968 April 3, 1968 (United States) May 15, 1968 (United Kingdom) Running time 161 minutes (Premiere)[1] 142 minutes (Theatrical)[2] Country United Kingdom[3][4] United States[3]
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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Kubrick spent five years developing his next film, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). The film was adapted from the short story The Sentinel, by science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, and the screenplay was written by Kubrick and Clarke in collaboration. The film's theme, the birthing of one intelligence by another, is developed in two parallel intersecting stories on two very different times scales. One depicts transitions between various stages of man, from ape to "star child", as man is reborn into a new existence, each step shepherded by an enigmatic alien intelligence seen only in its artifacts: a series of seemingly indestructible eons-old black monoliths. It also depicts human interaction with our own more directly created and controlled offspring intelligence. The film was conceived as a Cinerama spectacle and was photographed in Super Panavision 70. Upon its release in 1968, the film appeared to defy genre convention, sometimes considered unlike any science-fiction movie before it, and clearly different from any of Kubrick's earlier films or stories. It contained ground-breaking special effects designed by Kubrick to give the viewer a "dazzling mix of imagination and science", and winning Kubrick his only personal Oscar, an Academy Award for Visual Effects. Kubrick was very much interested in science and the possibilities that life existed beyond Earth. When Kubrick first contacted Clarke through his friend about helping him write the film, he assumed Clarke was a "recluse", then living in Ceylon. They first met in person in New York, although Kubrick did not offer Clarke the job of writing at that point, nor was the possible film discussed. LoBrutto notes that Clarke was impressed with Kubrick's intelligence. Subsequently, after they agreed to the story, Kubrick worked closely with Clarke for three months to produce a 130-page treatment for the film, and consulted with other experts and agencies while doing so.[56]:146 Initially, Clarke worked in Kubrick's apartment office on Central Park West with an electric typewriter. Kubrick describes the movie as "a nonverbal experience", but would not elaborate on the film's meaning during a Playboy magazine interview in 1968, saying that he "tried to create a visual experience, one that bypasses verbalized pigeon-holing and directly penetrates the subconscious with an emotional and philosophic content ... just as music does ... You're free to speculate as you wish about the philosophical and allegorical meaning. In contrast within a film infused with allegory and symbolism, the film was also noted for its groundbreaking scientific realism in depicting space flight, for example in its depiction of various strategies to deal with zero-gravity, the absence of sound in outer space, artificial intelligence, and the fact that interplanetary space travel will require different kinds of vehicles engineered for different stages of the journey. 2001 was the first of several Kubrick films in which classical music played an important role. At the suggestion of Jan Harlan, Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss was included, used for the opening credits, in the "The Dawn of Man" sequence and again in the ending scene which astronaut David Bowman, as the "star child", gazes at Earth. Kubrick also used music by avant-garde Hungarian composer György Ligeti, his work's first wide commercial exposure, along with Johann Strauss's Blue Danube Waltz. The film was not an immediate hit among many critics, who faulted its lack of dialogue, slow pacing, and seemingly impenetrable storyline. Others, like Penelope Gilliatt, called it "a great film", and numerous directors were inspired by it. It has been considered amongst the greatest science fiction films ever made, as well as one of the most influential. After it was shown at a private screening at the Vatican, producer Jan Harlan recalls that a cardinal stood up and said to the audience, "Here is a film made by an agnostic who hit the bullseye." Today, many film critics and moviemakers regard it as the most significant Hollywood film of its generation, with some, such as Spielberg, calling it his generation's "big bang". Lockwood considers 2001 a "life- changer" in terms of technology and the possibilities of film, realizing it would be even during the filming: "When you've got the best moviemaker of all time, Stanley Kubrick, with one of the best sci-fi writers of all time, Arthur C. Clarke, combining, well, I kinda knew." It is a staple on All Time Top 10 lists.

Quick facts

Directed by Stanley Kubrick Produced by Stanley Kubrick Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke Starring Keir Dullea Gary Lockwood Cinematography Geoffrey Unsworth Edited by Ray Lovejoy Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer1 Release dates April 2, 1968 April 3, 1968 (United States) May 15, 1968 (United Kingdom) Running time 161 minutes (Premiere)[1] 142 minutes (Theatrical)[2] Country United Kingdom[3][4] United States[3]
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