2001: A Space Odyssey (film)

2001: A Space Odyssey (film)

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2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film
Science fiction film
Science fiction film is a film genre that uses science fiction: speculative, science-based depictions of phenomena that are not necessarily accepted by mainstream science, such as extraterrestrial life forms, alien worlds, extrasensory perception, and time travel, often along with futuristic...

 produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, writer, producer, and photographer who lived in England during most of the last four decades of his career...

, and co-written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS was a British science fiction author, inventor, and futurist, famous for his short stories and novels, among them 2001: A Space Odyssey, and as a host and commentator in the British television series Mysterious World. For many years, Robert A. Heinlein,...

, partially inspired by Clarke's short story The Sentinel
The Sentinel (short story)
"The Sentinel" is a short story by Arthur C. Clarke, which was expanded and modified into the novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Clarke expressed impatience with the common description of it as "the story on which 2001 is based." He was quoted as saying, it is like comparing "an acorn to...

. The story deals with a series of encounters between humans and mysterious black monoliths that are apparently affecting human destiny, and a space voyage to Jupiter tracing a signal emitted by one such monolith found on the moon. Keir Dullea
Keir Dullea
Keir Dullea is an American actor best known for the character of astronaut David Bowman, whom he portrayed in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey and in 1984's 2010: The Year We Make Contact...

 and Gary Lockwood
Gary Lockwood
Gary Lockwood is an American actor probably best known for his iconic 1968 role as the astronaut Dr. Frank Poole in 2001: A Space Odyssey.-Early life:...

 star as the two astronauts on this voyage, with Douglas Rain
Douglas Rain
Douglas Rain is a Canadian actor and narrator. He is primarily a stage actor, but his best known film role was as the voice of the HAL 9000 computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequel 2010 ....

 as the voice of the sentient computer HAL who "seems human" and has full control over their spaceship.

Financed and produced by the American studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of films and television programs. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer...

, the film was made almost entirely in England, using both the studio facilities of MGM's subsidiary "MGM British" (among the last movies to be shot there before its closure in 1970) and those of Shepperton Studios
Shepperton Studios
Shepperton Studios is a film studio in Shepperton, Surrey, England with a history dating back to 1931 since when many notable films have been made there...

, mostly because of the availability of much larger sound stages than in the United States. The film was also co-produced by Kubrick's own "Stanley Kubrick Productions". Kubrick, having already shot his previous two films in England, decided to settle there permanently during the filming of Space Odyssey. Though Space Odyssey was released in America several months before its release in England, and Encyclopædia Britannica calls this an American film, other sources refer to it as an American, British, or American-British production.

Thematically, the film deals with elements of human evolution
Human evolution
Human evolution refers to the evolutionary history of the genus Homo, including the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species and as a unique category of hominids and mammals...

, technology
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

, artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it. AI textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents" where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its...

, and extraterrestrial life
Extraterrestrial life
Extraterrestrial life is defined as life that does not originate from Earth...

. It is notable for its scientific accuracy, pioneering special effects, ambiguous imagery that is open-ended to a point approaching surrealism
Surrealism
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....

, sound in place of traditional narrative techniques, and minimal use of dialogue
Dialogue
Dialogue is a literary and theatrical form consisting of a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more people....

.

The film has a memorable soundtrack—the result of the association that Kubrick made between the spinning motion of the satellite
Satellite
In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

s and the dancers of waltz
Waltz
The waltz is a ballroom and folk dance in time, performed primarily in closed position.- History :There are several references to a sliding or gliding dance,- a waltz, from the 16th century including the representations of the printer H.S. Beheim...

es, which led him to use The Blue Danube
The Blue Danube
The Blue Danube is the common English title of An der schönen blauen Donau, Op. 314 , a waltz by the Austrian composer Johann Strauss II, composed in 1866...

waltz by Johann Strauss II
Johann Strauss II
Johann Strauss II , also known as Johann Baptist Strauss or Johann Strauss, Jr., the Younger, or the Son , was an Austrian composer of light music, particularly dance music and operettas. He composed over 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, and other types of dance music, as well as several operettas...

, and the famous symphonic poem
Symphonic poem
A symphonic poem or tone poem is a piece of orchestral music in a single continuous section in which the content of a poem, a story or novel, a painting, a landscape or another source is illustrated or evoked. The term was first applied by Hungarian composer Franz Liszt to his 13 works in this vein...

 Also sprach Zarathustra
Also sprach Zarathustra (Richard Strauss)
Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 is a tone poem by Richard Strauss, composed in 1896 and inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophical treatise of the same name. The composer conducted its first performance on 27 November 1896 in Frankfurt...

by Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems and orchestral works, such as Death and Transfiguration, Till...

, to portray the philosophical evolution of Man theorized in Nietzsche's work of the same name
Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None is a philosophical novel by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, composed in four parts between 1883 and 1885...

.

Despite initially receiving mixed reviews, 2001: A Space Odyssey is today recognized by many critics
Film criticism
Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films, individually and collectively. In general, this can be divided into journalistic criticism that appears regularly in newspapers, and other popular, mass-media outlets and academic criticism by film scholars that is informed by film theory and...

 and audiences as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made; the 2002 Sight & Sound
Sight & Sound
Sight & Sound is a British monthly film magazine published by the British Film Institute .Sight & Sound was first published in 1932 and in 1934 management of the magazine was handed to the nascent BFI, which still publishes the magazine today...

poll of critics ranked it among the top ten films of all time. In addition, in 2010 it was named the #1 greatest film ever made by The Moving Arts Film Journal
The Moving Arts Film Journal
The Moving Arts Film Journal is an online film journal known for its academic essays on the cultural and societal relevance of film, often offering scathing reviews of movies perceived to be low-brow, while at the same time recognizing all forms of cinema as note-worthy including often neglected...

. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, and received one for visual effects. In 1991, it was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

 and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry
National Film Registry
The National Film Registry is the United States National Film Preservation Board's selection of films for preservation in the Library of Congress. The Board, established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, was reauthorized by acts of Congress in 1992, 1996, 2005, and again in October 2008...

.

In 1984, a sequel entitled 2010: The Year We Make Contact was filmed.

Title


At first, Kubrick and Clarke privately referred to their project as How the Solar System Was Won as an homage to MGM's 1962 Cinerama
Cinerama
Cinerama is the trademarked name for a widescreen process which works by simultaneously projecting images from three synchronized 35 mm projectors onto a huge, deeply-curved screen, subtending 146° of arc. It is also the trademarked name for the corporation which was formed to market it...

 epic, How the West Was Won
How the West Was Won (film)
How the West Was Won is a 1962 American epic Western film. The picture was one of the last "old-fashioned" epic films made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to enjoy great success. It follows four generations of a family as they move ever westward, from western New York state to the Pacific Ocean...

. However, Kubrick chose to announce the project, in a press release issued on February 23, 1965, as Journey Beyond The Stars. "Other titles which we ran up and failed to salute were Universe, Tunnel to the Stars, and Planetfall", Clarke wrote in his book The Lost Worlds Of 2001. "It was not until eleven months after we started—April 1965—that Stanley selected 2001: A Space Odyssey. As far as I can recall, it was entirely his idea." Intending to set the film apart from the standard "monsters and sex" type of science-fiction movies of the time, Kubrick used Homer's
Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

 The Odyssey as inspiration for the title. "It occurred to us", he said, "that for the Greeks the vast stretches of the sea must have had the same sort of mystery and remoteness that space has for our generation".

Style



Clarke and Kubrick wrote the novel and screenplay simultaneously, but while Clarke ultimately opted for clearer explanations of the mysterious monolith and Star Gate in his book, Kubrick chose to make his film more cryptic and enigmatic by keeping dialogue and specific explanations to a minimum. "2001", Kubrick says, "is basically a visual, nonverbal experience" that avoids the spoken word in order to reach the viewer's subconscious in an essentially poetic and philosophic way. The film is a subjective experience which "hits the viewer at an inner level of consciousness, just as music does, or painting".

The film conveys what some viewers have described as a sense of the sublime
Sublime (philosophy)
In aesthetics, the sublime is the quality of greatness, whether physical, moral, intellectual, metaphysical, aesthetic, spiritual or artistic...

 and numinous
Numinous
Numinous is an English adjective describing the power or presence of a divinity. The word was popularised in the early twentieth century by the German theologian Rudolf Otto in his influential book Das Heilige...

. Roger Ebert notes: In a book on architecture, Gregory Caicco writes that Space Odyssey illustrates how our quest for space is motivated by two contradictory desires, a "desire for the sublime" characterized by a need to encounter something totally other than ourselves — "something numinous" — and the conflicting desire for a beauty that makes us feel no longer "lost in space", but at home. Similarly, an article in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy, titled "Sense of Wonder", describes how 2001 creates a "numinous sense of wonder" by portraying a universe that inspires a sense of awe, which at the same time we feel we can understand. Christopher Palmer has noted that there exists in the film a coexistence of "the sublime and the banal", as the film implies that to get into space, mankind had to suspend the "sense of wonder" that motivated him to explore space to begin with.

Plot


The film consists of four major sections, all of which, except the second, are introduced by superimposed titles.

The Dawn of Man


A tribe of herbivorous ape-men
Australopithecus
Australopithecus is a genus of hominids that is now extinct. From the evidence gathered by palaeontologists and archaeologists, it appears that the Australopithecus genus evolved in eastern Africa around 4 million years ago before spreading throughout the continent and eventually becoming extinct...

 is foraging for food in the African desert. A leopard
Leopard
The leopard , Panthera pardus, is a member of the Felidae family and the smallest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera, the other three being the tiger, lion, and jaguar. The leopard was once distributed across eastern and southern Asia and Africa, from Siberia to South Africa, but its...

 kills one member, and another tribe of ape-men drives them from their water hole. Defeated, they sleep overnight in a small exposed rock crater, and awake to find a black monolith has appeared in front of them. They approach it shrieking and jumping, and eventually touch it cautiously. Soon after, one of the ape-men (Daniel Richter
Daniel Richter (actor)
Daniel Richter is an American mime and actor. He is remembered as playing the leader of a tribe of ape-men in 2001: A Space Odyssey....

) realizes how to use a bone as both a tool
Tool
A tool is a device that can be used to produce an item or achieve a task, but that is not consumed in the process. Informally the word is also used to describe a procedure or process with a specific purpose. Tools that are used in particular fields or activities may have different designations such...

 and a weapon
Weapon
A weapon, arm, or armament is a tool or instrument used with the aim of causing damage or harm to living beings or artificial structures or systems...

, which they later use to kill prey for food. Later they reclaim control of the water hole from the other tribe by killing its leader. Triumphant, the ape-man leader throws his weapon-tool into the air as the scene shifts (via match cut
Match cut
A match cut, also called a graphic match, is a cut in film editing between either two different objects, two different spaces, or two different compositions in which an object in the two shots graphically match, often helping to establish a strong continuity of action and linking the two shots...

) from the falling bone to an orbital satellite millions of years in the future.

TMA-1


A Pan Am
Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal and largest international air carrier in the United States from 1927 until its collapse on December 4, 1991...

 space plane carries Dr. Heywood R. Floyd
Heywood R. Floyd
Dr. Heywood R. Floyd is a fictional character in the Space Odyssey series by Arthur C. Clarke. He is featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey and is the main protagonist in 2010: Odyssey Two and 2061: Odyssey Three. In the first movie he is portrayed by William Sylvester, in the second by Roy...

 (William Sylvester
William Sylvester
William Sylvester was an American television and film actor. His most famous film credit was Dr. Heywood Floyd in Stanley Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey...

) to a space station orbiting Earth for a layover
Layover
In transportation, a layover, also known as lays over or stopover, is some form of a break between parts of a single trip.-In mass transit:...

 on his trip to Clavius Base
Clavius Base
Clavius Base is a lunar settlement in the fictional Space Odyssey universe created by Arthur C. Clarke.The base, located at Clavius crater, is featured in both the novel and film versions of 2001: A Space Odyssey. According to the novel, the base was finished in 1994 by United States Astronautical...

, a US outpost on the Moon. After making a videophone call from the station to his daughter (Vivian Kubrick
Vivian Kubrick
Vivian Vanessa Kubrick is an American-born English filmmaker and composer, known for her work with her father, filmmaker Stanley Kubrick...

), he encounters his friend Elena (Margaret Tyzack
Margaret Tyzack
Margaret Maud Tyzack, CBE was a British actress.-Early life:Tyzack was born in Essex, England, the daughter of Doris and Thomas Edward Tyzack. She grew up in West Ham...

), a Russian scientist, and her colleague Dr. Smyslov (Leonard Rossiter
Leonard Rossiter
Leonard Rossiter was an English actor known for his roles as Rupert Rigsby, in the British comedy television series Rising Damp , and Reginald Iolanthe Perrin, in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin...

), who ask Floyd about "odd things" occurring at Clavius, and the rumor of a mysterious epidemic at the base. The American politely but firmly declines to answer any questions about the epidemic.

At Clavius, Floyd heads a meeting of base personnel, apologizing for the epidemic cover story
Cover-up
A cover-up is an attempt, whether successful or not, to conceal evidence of wrong-doing, error, incompetence or other embarrassing information...

 but stressing secrecy. His mission is to investigate a recently found artifact—"Tycho
Tycho (crater)
Tycho is a prominent lunar impact crater located in the southern lunar highlands, named after the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe . To the south is the crater Street; to the east is Pictet, and to the north-northeast is Sasserides. The surface around Tycho is replete with craters of various sizes,...

 Magnetic Anomaly One" (TMA-1)—"deliberately buried" four million years ago. Floyd and others ride in a Moonbus to the artifact, a black monolith identical to the one encountered by the apes. The visitors examine the monolith, and pose for a photo in front of it. While doing so, they hear a very loud radio signal coming from the monolith.

Jupiter Mission


Eighteen months later, the American spaceship Discovery One
Discovery One
United States Spacecraft Discovery One is a fictional spacecraft appearing in The Space Odyssey series, including the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Discovery One is a large, nuclear-powered interplanetary spaceship.-History:...

is bound for Jupiter
Jupiter
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet within the Solar System. It is a gas giant with mass one-thousandth that of the Sun but is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in our Solar System combined. Jupiter is classified as a gas giant along with Saturn,...

. On board are mission pilots and scientists Dr. David Bowman (Keir Dullea
Keir Dullea
Keir Dullea is an American actor best known for the character of astronaut David Bowman, whom he portrayed in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey and in 1984's 2010: The Year We Make Contact...

) and Dr. Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood
Gary Lockwood
Gary Lockwood is an American actor probably best known for his iconic 1968 role as the astronaut Dr. Frank Poole in 2001: A Space Odyssey.-Early life:...

), and three other scientists who are in cryogenic hibernation
Suspended animation
Suspended animation is the slowing of life processes by external means without termination. Breathing, heartbeat, and other involuntary functions may still occur, but they can only be detected by artificial means. Extreme cold can be used to precipitate the slowing of an individual's functions; use...

. "Hal" (voiced by Douglas Rain
Douglas Rain
Douglas Rain is a Canadian actor and narrator. He is primarily a stage actor, but his best known film role was as the voice of the HAL 9000 computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequel 2010 ....

) is the ship's HAL 9000
HAL 9000
HAL 9000 is the antagonist in Arthur C. Clarke's science fiction Space Odyssey saga. HAL is an artificial intelligence that interacts with the astronaut crew of the Discovery One spacecraft, usually represented as a red television-camera eye found throughout the ship...

 computer, which runs most of Discovery's operations. While Bowman and Poole watch Hal and themselves being interviewed in a BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 show about the mission, the computer states that he is "foolproof and incapable of error." Hal also speaks of his enthusiasm for the mission, and how he enjoys working with humans. When asked by the host if Hal has genuine emotions, Bowman replies that he appears to, but that the truth is unknown.

Hal asks Bowman about the unusual mystery and secrecy surrounding the mission, but interrupts himself to report the imminent failure of a device which controls the ship's main antenna. After retrieving the component with an EVA pod, the astronauts cannot find anything wrong with it. Hal suggests reinstalling the part and letting it fail so the problem can be found. Mission control concurs, but advises the astronauts that results from their twin HAL 9000 indicate the ship's HAL is in error predicting the fault. When queried, Hal insists that the problem, like all previous issues with the HAL series, is due to "human error". Concerned about Hal's behavior, Bowman and Poole enter one of the EVA pods to talk without the computer overhearing them. They both have a "bad feeling" about Hal, despite the HAL series' perfect reliability, but decide to follow his suggestion to replace the unit. As the astronauts agree to deactivate the computer if it is proven to be wrong, they are unaware that Hal is reading their lips
Lip reading
Lip reading, also known as lipreading or speechreading, is a technique of understanding speech by visually interpreting the movements of the lips, face and tongue with information provided by the context, language, and any residual hearing....

 through the pod's window.

While attempting to replace the unit during a spacewalk, Poole's EVA pod, controlled by Hal, severs his oxygen hose and sets him adrift. Bowman, not realizing the computer is responsible for this, takes another pod to attempt a rescue, leaving his helmet behind. While he is gone, Hal terminates the life functions of the crew in suspended animation. When Bowman returns to the ship with Poole's body, Hal refuses to let him in, stating that the astronaut's plan to deactivate him jeopardizes the mission. Bowman manually opens the ship's emergency airlock and bodily enters the ship risking death from anoxia
Hypoxia (medical)
Hypoxia, or hypoxiation, is a pathological condition in which the body as a whole or a region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply. Variations in arterial oxygen concentrations can be part of the normal physiology, for example, during strenuous physical exercise...

. After donning a helmet, Bowman proceeds to HAL 9000's memory core intent on disconnecting the computer. Hal first tries to reassure Dave, then pleads with him to stop, and finally begins to express fear—all in a steady monotone voice. Dave ignores him and disconnects each of the computer's memory modules. Hal eventually regresses to his earliest programmed memory, the song "Daisy Bell
Daisy Bell
"Daisy Bell" is a popular song with the well-known chorus "Daisy, Daisy/Give me your answer do/I'm half crazy/all for the love of you" as well as the line "...a bicycle built for two".-History:"Daisy Bell" was composed by Harry Dacre in 1892...

", which he sings for Bowman.

When the computer is finally disconnected, a pre-recorded video message from Floyd plays. In it, he reveals the existence of the four million-year-old black monolith on the Moon, "its origin and purpose still a total mystery". Floyd adds that it has remained completely inert, except for a single, very powerful radio emission aimed at Jupiter.

Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite


At Jupiter, Bowman leaves Discovery One in an EVA pod and finds another monolith in orbit around the planet. Approaching it, the pod is suddenly pulled into a tunnel of colored light, and a disoriented and terrified Bowman finds himself racing at great speed across vast distances of space, viewing bizarre cosmological phenomena and strange alien landscapes of unusual colors. He finds himself, middle-aged and still in his spacesuit, standing in a bedroom containing Louis XVI-style decor. Bowman sees progressively older versions of himself, his point of view switching each time, alternately appearing formally dressed and eating dinner, and finally as a very elderly man lying in a bed. A black monolith appears at the foot of the bed, and as Bowman reaches for it, he is transformed into a fetus
Fetus
A fetus is a developing mammal or other viviparous vertebrate after the embryonic stage and before birth.In humans, the fetal stage of prenatal development starts at the beginning of the 11th week in gestational age, which is the 9th week after fertilization.-Etymology and spelling variations:The...

-like being enclosed in a transparent orb
Orb
The word "Orb", from the Latin orbis 'circle', is another name for a round object, especially a disk or a sphere.-Orb as a word:Orb may refer to:...

 of light. The new being floats in space beside the Earth, gazing at it.

Cast

  • Keir Dullea
    Keir Dullea
    Keir Dullea is an American actor best known for the character of astronaut David Bowman, whom he portrayed in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey and in 1984's 2010: The Year We Make Contact...

     as Dr. David Bowman
  • Gary Lockwood
    Gary Lockwood
    Gary Lockwood is an American actor probably best known for his iconic 1968 role as the astronaut Dr. Frank Poole in 2001: A Space Odyssey.-Early life:...

     as Dr. Frank Poole
    Frank Poole
    Frank Poole is a fictional character from Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey series. In Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, Poole was portrayed by Gary Lockwood....

  • William Sylvester
    William Sylvester
    William Sylvester was an American television and film actor. His most famous film credit was Dr. Heywood Floyd in Stanley Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey...

     as Dr. Heywood R. Floyd
    Heywood R. Floyd
    Dr. Heywood R. Floyd is a fictional character in the Space Odyssey series by Arthur C. Clarke. He is featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey and is the main protagonist in 2010: Odyssey Two and 2061: Odyssey Three. In the first movie he is portrayed by William Sylvester, in the second by Roy...

  • Douglas Rain
    Douglas Rain
    Douglas Rain is a Canadian actor and narrator. He is primarily a stage actor, but his best known film role was as the voice of the HAL 9000 computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequel 2010 ....

     as the voice of the HAL 9000
    HAL 9000
    HAL 9000 is the antagonist in Arthur C. Clarke's science fiction Space Odyssey saga. HAL is an artificial intelligence that interacts with the astronaut crew of the Discovery One spacecraft, usually represented as a red television-camera eye found throughout the ship...

  • Daniel Richter
    Daniel Richter (actor)
    Daniel Richter is an American mime and actor. He is remembered as playing the leader of a tribe of ape-men in 2001: A Space Odyssey....

     as the chief man-ape ("Moon-Watcher" in Clarke's novel) – Richter, a professional street mime, in addition to playing the lead ape was also responsible for choreographing the movements of the other man-apes, who were mostly portrayed by his standing mime troupe.
  • Leonard Rossiter
    Leonard Rossiter
    Leonard Rossiter was an English actor known for his roles as Rupert Rigsby, in the British comedy television series Rising Damp , and Reginald Iolanthe Perrin, in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin...

     as Dr. Andrei Smyslov
  • Margaret Tyzack
    Margaret Tyzack
    Margaret Maud Tyzack, CBE was a British actress.-Early life:Tyzack was born in Essex, England, the daughter of Doris and Thomas Edward Tyzack. She grew up in West Ham...

     as Elena
  • Robert Beatty
    Robert Beatty
    Robert Beatty was a Canadian actor who worked in film, television and radio for most of his career and was especially known in the UK.-Career:Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Beatty began his acting career in Britain in 1939....

     as Dr. Ralph Halvorsen
  • Frank Miller as mission controller
  • Edward Bishop
    Ed Bishop
    Ed Bishop was an American film, television, stage and radio actor based in Britain.-Early life:Bishop served in the US Army from 8 October 1952 to 24 September 1954, working as a disc jockey with the Armed Forces Radio at St. Johns in Newfoundland...

     as lunar shuttle captain
  • Edwina Carroll as Aries stewardess
  • Penny Brahms as stewardess
  • Heather Downham as stewardess
  • Alan Gifford as Poole's father
  • Ann Gillis
    Ann Gillis
    Ann Gillis , sometimes credited as Anne Gillis or Ann Gilles, is a retired actress, starting her career in the early 1930s as a child actress and ending in 1947. She later came back into acting for a small part in 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968...

     as Poole's mother
  • Vivian Kubrick
    Vivian Kubrick
    Vivian Vanessa Kubrick is an American-born English filmmaker and composer, known for her work with her father, filmmaker Stanley Kubrick...

     (uncredited) as Floyd's daughter
  • Kenneth Kendall
    Kenneth Kendall
    Kenneth Kendall is a retired British broadcaster. He was a contemporary of Richard Baker and Robert Dougall...

     (uncredited) as the BBC
    BBC
    The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

     announcer

Kubrick and Clarke meet


Shortly after completing Dr. Strangelove (1964), Stanley Kubrick became fascinated by the possibility of extraterrestrial life, and determined to make "the proverbial good science fiction movie". Searching for a suitable collaborator in the science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 community, Kubrick was advised to seek out the noted science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke by a mutual acquaintance, Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film production and distribution company. Columbia Pictures now forms part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate Sony. It is one of the leading film companies...

 staffer Roger Caras. Although convinced that Clarke was "a recluse, a nut who lives in a tree", Kubrick agreed that Caras would cable the Ceylon
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

-based author with the film proposal. Clarke's cabled response stated that he was "frightfully interested in working with enfant terrible", and added "what makes Kubrick think I'm a recluse?" Meeting for the first time at Trader Vic's in New York on April 22, 1964, the two began discussing the project that would take up the next four years of their lives.

Search for source material


Kubrick told Clarke he was searching for the best way to make a movie about Man's relation to the universe, and was, in Clarke's words, "determined to create a work of art which would arouse the emotions of wonder, awe,...even, if appropriate, terror". Clarke offered Kubrick six of his short stories, and by May, Kubrick had chosen one of them—"The Sentinel"
The Sentinel (short story)
"The Sentinel" is a short story by Arthur C. Clarke, which was expanded and modified into the novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Clarke expressed impatience with the common description of it as "the story on which 2001 is based." He was quoted as saying, it is like comparing "an acorn to...

—as source matter for his film. In search of more material to expand the film's plot, the two spent the rest of 1964 reading books on science and anthropology, screening science fiction movies, and brainstorming ideas. Clarke and Kubrick spent two years transforming "The Sentinel" into a novel, and then into a script for 2001. Clarke notes that his short story "Encounter in the Dawn
Encounter in the Dawn
"Encounter in the Dawn" is a short story by Arthur C. Clarke published in 1953 in the magazine Amazing Stories. It was originally collected in the anthology Expedition to Earth, and, in one edition of the book, is titled "Expedition to Earth". In a later collection the title "Encounter at...

" inspired the "Dawn Of Man" sequence in 2001.

Parallel development of film and novelization


The collaborators originally planned to develop a novel first, free of the constraints of a normal script, and then to write the screenplay; they envisaged that the final writing credits would be "Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, based on a novel by Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick" to reflect their preeminence in their respective fields. In practice, however, the cinematic ideas required for the screenplay developed parallel to the novel, with cross-fertilization between the two. In a 1970 interview with Joseph Gelmis, Kubrick explained:

In the end, the screenplay credits were shared while the novel
2001: A Space Odyssey (novel)
2001: A Space Odyssey is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick's film version and published after the release of the film...

, released shortly after the film, was attributed to Clarke alone, but Clarke wrote later that "the nearest approximation to the complicated truth" is that the screenplay should be credited to "Kubrick and Clarke" and the novel to "Clarke and Kubrick".

Depiction of alien life


Astronomer Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan
Carl Edward Sagan was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator in astronomy and natural sciences. He published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books...

 wrote in his book, The Cosmic Connection, that Clarke and Kubrick asked his opinion on how to best depict extraterrestrial intelligence. Sagan, while acknowledging Kubrick's desire to use actors to portray humanoid aliens for convenience's sake, argued that alien life forms were unlikely to bear any resemblance to terrestrial life, and that to do so would introduce "at least an element of falseness" to the film. Sagan proposed that the film suggest, rather than depict, extraterrestrial superintelligence. He attended the premiere and was "pleased to see that I had been of some help." Kubrick hinted at the nature of the mysterious unseen alien race in 2001 by suggesting, in a 1968 interview, that given millions of years of evolution, they progressed from biological beings to "immortal machine entities", and then into "beings of pure energy and spirit"; beings with "limitless capabilities and ungraspable intelligence".

Depiction of computers


As the central character of the "Jupiter Mission" segment of the film, HAL was shown by Kubrick to have as much intelligence as human beings, possibly more, while sharing their same "emotional potentialities". Kubrick agreed with computer theorists who believed that highly intelligent computers that can learn by experience will inevitably develop emotions such as fear, love, hate, and envy. Such a machine, he said, would eventually manifest human mental disorders as well, such as a nervous breakdown—as HAL did in the film.

Clarke noted that, contrary to popular rumor, it was a complete coincidence that each of the letters of HAL's name immediately preceded those of IBM
IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

 in the alphabet. The meaning of HAL has been given both as "Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer" and as "Heuristic ALgorithmic computer". The former appears in Clarke's novel of 2001 and the latter in his sequel novel 2010. In computer science, a heuristic
Heuristic
Heuristic refers to experience-based techniques for problem solving, learning, and discovery. Heuristic methods are used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution, where an exhaustive search is impractical...

 is a programmable procedure not necessarily based on fixed rules, producing informed guesses often using trial-and-error. The results can be false such as in predictions of stock market, sports scores, or the weather. Sometimes this can entail selecting on-the-fly one of several methods to solve a problem based on previous experience. On the other hand, an algorithm is a programmable procedure that produces reproducible results using invariant established methods (such as computing square roots).
A heuristic approach that usually works within a tolerable margin of error may be preferred over a perfect algorithm that requires a long time to run.

Depiction of spacecraft


All of the vehicles in 2001 were designed with extreme care in order for the small-scale models as well as full-scale interiors to appear realistic. The modeling team was led by Kubrick's two hirees from NASA, science advisor Fred Ordway and production designer Harry Lange, along with Anthony Masters who was responsible for turning Lange's 2-D sketches into models. Ordway and Lange insisted on knowing "the purpose and functioning of each assembly and component, down to the labeling of individual buttons and the presentation on screens of plausible operating, diagnostic and other data." Kubrick's team of thirty-five designers often were frustrated by script changes done after designs for various spacecraft had been created. Douglas Trumbull
Douglas Trumbull
Douglas Huntley Trumbull is an American film director, special effects supervisor, and inventor. He contributed to, or was responsible for, the special photographic effects of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Blade Runner and The Tree of...

, chief special effects supervisor, writes "One of the most serious problems that plagued us throughout the production was simply keeping track of all ideas, shots, and changes and constantly re-evaluating and updating designs, storyboards, and the script itself. To handle all of this....a "control room"...was used to keep track of all progress on the film." Ordway (who worked on designing the station and the five principal space vehicles) has noted that U.S. industry had problems satisfying Kubrick with its equipment suggestions, while design aspects of the vehicles had to be updated often to accommodate rapid screenplay changes, one crew member resigning over an unspecified related issue. Eventually, conflicting ideas of what Kubrick had in mind, what Clarke was writing, and equipment and vehicular realities emerging from Ordway, Lange, Masters, and construction supervisor Dick Frift and his team were resolved, and coalesced into final designs and construction of the spacecraft before filming began in December 1965.

Stages of script & novel development


Arthur C. Clarke kept a diary throughout his involvement with 2001, excerpts of which were published in 1972 as The Lost Worlds of 2001
The Lost Worlds of 2001
The Lost Worlds of 2001 by Arthur C. Clarke was published in 1972 by Signet as an accompaniment to the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey.The book itself consists in part of behind-the-scenes notes from Clarke concerning scriptwriting , as well as production issues...

. The script went through many stages of development in which various plot ideas were considered and subsequently discarded. Early in 1965, right when backing was secured for Journey Beyond the Stars, the writers still had no firm idea of what would happen to Bowman after the Star Gate sequence, though as early as October 17, 1964 Kubrick had come up with what Clarke called a "wild idea of slightly fag
Fagging
Fagging was a traditional educational practice in British boarding private schools and also many other boarding schools, whereby younger pupils were required to act as personal servants to the most senior boys...

 robots who create a Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 environment to put our heroes at their ease". Initially all of Discoverys astronauts were to survive the journey; a decision to leave Bowman as the sole survivor and have him regress to infancy was agreed by October 3, 1965. The computer HAL
HAL 9000
HAL 9000 is the antagonist in Arthur C. Clarke's science fiction Space Odyssey saga. HAL is an artificial intelligence that interacts with the astronaut crew of the Discovery One spacecraft, usually represented as a red television-camera eye found throughout the ship...

 was originally to have been named "Athena", after the Greek goddess of wisdom
Athena
In Greek mythology, Athena, Athenê, or Athene , also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, justice, and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is...

, with a feminine voice and persona.

Early drafts included a short prologue containing interviews with scientists about extraterrestrial life, voice-over narration (a feature in all of Kubrick's previous films), a stronger emphasis on the prevailing Cold War balance of terror
Balance of terror
The phrase "balance of terror" is usually used in reference to the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War....

, a slightly different and more explicitly explained scenario for HAL's breakdown, and a differently envisaged monolith for the "Dawn of Man" sequence. The last three of these survived into Arthur C. Clarke's final novel
2001: A Space Odyssey (novel)
2001: A Space Odyssey is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick's film version and published after the release of the film...

, which also retained an earlier draft's employment of Saturn as the final destination of the Discovery mission rather than Jupiter, and the discarded finale of the Star Child exploding nuclear weapons carried by Earth-orbiting satellites. Clarke had suggested this finale to Kubrick, jokingly calling it "Son of Dr. Strangelove"; a reference to Kubrick's previous film. Feeling that this conclusion's similarity to that of his previous film would be detrimental, Kubrick opted for a more pacific conclusion.

Some changes were made simply due to the logistics of filming. Early prototypes of the monolith did not photograph well, while The special effects team was unable to develop a convincing rendition of Saturn's rings; hence the switch to Jupiter. (In his foreword to the 1990 edition of the novel, Clarke noted that if they had remained with Saturn, the film would have become far more dated as Voyager revealed that Saturn's rings were far more visually bizarre in closeup than anyone had imagined.) Other changes were made due to Stanley Kubrick's increasing desire to make the film more non-verbal, reaching the viewer at a visual and visceral level rather than through conventional narrative. Vincent LeBrutto notes that Clarke's novel has "strong narrative structure" which fleshes out the story, while the film is a mainly visual experience where much remains "symbolic".

Remnants of early drafts in final film


While many ideas were discarded in totality, at least two remnants of previous plot ideas remain in the final film.
HAL's breakdown

While the film leaves it mysterious, early script drafts spell out that HAL's breakdown is triggered by authorities on Earth who order the computer to withhold information from the astronauts about the true purpose of the mission. (This is also explained in the film's sequel 2010.) Frederick Ordway, Kubrick's science advisor and technical consultant, working from personal copies of early drafts, states that in an earlier version, Poole tells HAL there is "...something about this mission that we weren't told. Something the rest of the crew know and that you know. We would like to know whether this is true", to which HAL enigmatically responds: "I'm sorry, Frank, but I don't think I can answer that question without knowing everything that all of you know." In this version, HAL then falsely predicts a failure of the hardware maintaining radio contact with Earth (the source of HAL's difficult orders) during the broadcast of Frank Poole's birthday greetings from his parents.

While the film drops this overt explanation, it is hinted at when HAL asks David Bowman if the latter feels bothered or disturbed by the "mysteries" and "secrecy" surrounding the mission and its preparations. After Bowman concludes HAL is dutifully drawing up the "crew psychology report", the computer then makes its false prediction of hardware failure.

In a 1969 interview with Joseph Gelmis, Stanley Kubrick simply stated that "[HAL] had an acute emotional crisis because he could not accept evidence of his own fallibility"
Military nature of orbiting satellites


Another holdover of discarded plot ideas is with regard to the famous match-cut from prehistoric bone-weapon to orbiting satellite, followed sequentially by views of three more satellites. Kubrick initially intended to have a voice-over narrator explicitly stating these were armed nuclear weapon platforms while speaking of a nuclear stalemate between the superpowers. This would foreshadow the now-discarded conclusion of the film showing the Star Child detonating them. Piers Bizony, in his book 2001 Filming The Future, states that after ordering designs for orbiting nuclear weapon platforms, Kubrick became anxious to avoid too many associations with Dr. Strangelove and decided not to make it so obvious that they were "war machines". Alexander Walker
Alexander Walker (critic)
Alexander Walker was a film critic, born in Portadown, Northern Ireland. He worked for the Birmingham Post in the 1950s, before becoming film critic of the London Evening Standard in 1960, a role he held until his death in 2003...

, in a book he wrote with Kubrick's assistance and authorization, describes the bone as "transformed into a spacecraft of the year A.D. 2001 as it orbits in the blackness around earth", and states that Kubrick eliminated from the finished film the theme of a nuclear stalemate between the United States and the Soviet Union, each with a globe-orbiting nuclear bomb. Kubrick now thought this had "no place at all in the film's thematic development", the bombs now being an "orbiting red herring". Walker further notes that some filmgoers in the 1960s would know that agreement had recently been reached in 1967 between the powers not to put nuclear weapons into space, and if the film suggested otherwise, it would "merely have raised irrelevant queries to suggest this as a reality of the twenty-first century". Clarke, in the Canadian TV documentary 2001 and Beyond, states not only is the military purpose of the satellites "not spelled out in the film, there is no need for it to be", repeating later in the documentary "Stanley didn't want to have anything to do with bombs after Dr. Strangelove". Kubrick in a 1968 New York Times interview, merely refers to the satellites as "spacecraft", as does the interviewer, but observes that the match-cut from bone to spacecraft shows they evolved from "bone-as-weapon", stating "It's simply an observable fact that all of man's technology grew out of his discovery of the weapon-tool".

Nothing in the film calls attention to the purpose of the satellites. James John Griffith, in a footnote in his book Adaptations As Imitations: Films from Novels, writes "I would wonder, for instance, how several critics, commenting on the match-cut that links humanity's prehistory and future, can identify — without reference to Clarke's novel — the satellite as a nuclear weapon". Arthur C. Clarke, in the TV documentary "2001: The Making Of A Myth", describes the bone-to-satellite sequence in the film, saying "The bone goes up and turns into what is supposed to be an orbiting space bomb, a weapon in space. Well, that isn't made clear, we just assume it's some kind of space vehicle in a three-million-year jump cut". Former NASA research assistant Steven Pietrobon writes "The orbital craft seen as we make the leap from the Dawn of Man to contemporary times are supposed to be weapons platforms carrying nuclear devices, though the movie does not make this clear." The vast majority of film critics, including noted Kubrick authority Michel Ciment, initially interpreted the satellites as generic spacecraft (possibly Moon bound).

The perception that the satellites are nuclear weapons persists in the minds of some viewers (and some space scientists), however, due to their appearance and statements by production staff who still refer to them as weapons. Walker, in his book Stanley Kubrick, Director, notes that although the bombs no longer fit in with Kubrick's revised thematic concerns (thus becoming "red herrings"), "nevertheless from the national markings still visible on the first and second space vehicles we see, we can surmise that they are the Russian and American bombs." (Similarly, Walker in a later essay states that two of the spacecraft seen circling Earth are meant to be nuclear weapons, after asserting that early scenes of the film "imply" nuclear stalemate.) Pietrobon, who was a consultant on 2001 to website Starship Modeler regarding the film's props, observes small details on the satellites such as air force insignias and "cannons". In the film, a U.S. air force insignia, and flag insignias of China and Germany (including what appears to be a Maltese cross) can be seen on three of the satellites, which correspond to three of the bombs' stated countries of origin in a widely circulated early draft of the script.
Production staff who continue to refer to "bombs" (in addition to Clarke) include production designer Harry Lange (previously a space industry illustrator), who has since the film's release shown his original production sketches for all of the spacecraft to Simon Atkinson, who refers to seeing "the orbiting bombs". Fred Ordway, the film's science consultant, sent a memo to Kubrick after the film's release listing suggested changes to the film, mostly complaining about missing narration and shortened scenes. One entry reads: "Without warning, we cut to the orbiting bombs. And to a short, introductory narration, missing in the present version". Multiple production staff aided in the writing of Jerome Agel's 1970 book on the making of the film, in which captions describe the objects as "orbiting satellites carrying nuclear weapons" Actor Gary Lockwood (astronaut Frank Poole) in the audio DVD commentary says the first satellite is an armed weapon, thus making the famous match-cut from bone to satellite a "weapon-to-weapon cut". Several recent reviews of the film mostly of the DVD release refer to armed satellites, possibly influenced by Gary Lockwood's audio commentary.

A few published works by scientists on the subject of space exploration or space weapons tangentially discuss 2001: A Space Odyssey and assume at least some of the orbiting satellites are space weapons. Indeed, details worked out with input from space industry experts, such as the structure on the first satellite that Pietrobon refers to as a "conning tower", match the original concept sketch drawn for the nuclear bomb platform.
Modelers label them in diverse ways. On the one hand, the
2001 exhibit (given in that year) at the Tech Museum in San Jose and now online (for a subscription) referred merely to "satellites", while a special modeling exhibition at the exhibition hall at Porte de Versailles in Paris also held in 2001 (called 2001 l’odyssée des maquettes (2001: A Modeler's Odyssey)) overtly described their reconstructions of the first satellite as the "US Orbiting Weapons Platform".
Some, but not all, space model manufacturers or amateur model builders refer to these entities as bombs.

How one views the satellites may affect one's reading of the film. Noted Kubrick authority Michel Ciment
Michel Ciment
Michel Ciment is a French film critic and the editor of the cinema magazine Positif. Ciment is a Chevalier of the Order of Merit, Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters, and the president of FIPRESCI...

, in discussing Kubrick's attitude toward human aggression and instinct, observes "The bone cast into the air by the ape (now become a man) is transformed at the other extreme of civilization, by one of those abrupt ellipses characteristic of the director, into a spacecraft on its way to the moon." In contrast to Ciment's reading of a cut to a serene "other extreme of civilization", science fiction novelist Robert Sawyer
Robert J. Sawyer
Robert James Sawyer is a Canadian science fiction writer. He has had 20 novels published, and his short fiction has appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Amazing Stories, On Spec, Nature, and many anthologies. Sawyer has won over forty awards for his fiction, including the Nebula Award ,...

, speaking in the Canadian documentary 2001 and Beyond, sees it as a cut from a bone to a nuclear weapons platform, explaining that "what we see is not how far we've leaped ahead, what we see is that today, '2001', and four million years ago on the African veldt, it's exactly the same—the power of mankind is the power of its weapons. It's a continuation, not a discontinuity in that jump."

Kubrick, notoriously reluctant to provide any explanation of his work, never publicly stated the intended functions of the orbiting satellites, preferring instead to let the viewer surmise what their purpose might be.

Filming


Principal photography
Principal photography
thumb|300px|Film production on location in [[Newark, New Jersey]].Principal photography is the phase of film production in which the movie is filmed, with actors on set and cameras rolling, as distinct from pre-production and post-production....

 began December 29, 1965, in Stage H at Shepperton Studios
Shepperton Studios
Shepperton Studios is a film studio in Shepperton, Surrey, England with a history dating back to 1931 since when many notable films have been made there...

, Shepperton, England. The studio was chosen because it could house the 60'x 120'x 60' pit for the Tycho crater excavation scene, the first to be shot.
The production moved in January 1966 to the smaller MGM-British Studios
MGM-British Studios
MGM-British was a subsidiary of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer initially established at Denham Film Studios in 1936. The films produced there were A Yank at Oxford , The Citadel , Goodbye, Mr...

 in Borehamwood
Borehamwood
-Film industry:Since the 1920s, the town has been home to several film studios and many shots of its streets are included in final cuts of 20th century British films. This earned it the nickname of the "British Hollywood"...

, where the live action and special effects filming was done, starting with the scenes involving Floyd on the Orion spaceplane; it was described as a "huge throbbing nerve center... with much the same frenetic atmosphere as a Cape Kennedy blockhouse during the final stages of Countdown." The only scene not filmed in a studio—and the last live-action scene shot for the film—was the skull-smashing sequence, in which Moonwatcher (Richter) wields his new-found bone "weapon-tool" against a pile of nearby animal bones. A small elevated platform was built in a field near the studio so that the camera could shoot upward with the sky as background, avoiding cars and trucks passing by in the distance.

Filming of actors was completed in September 1967, and from June 1966 until March 1968 Kubrick spent most of his time working on the 205 special effects shots in the film. The director ordered the special effects technicians on 2001 to use the painstaking process of creating all visual effects seen in the film "in camera", avoiding degraded picture quality from the use of blue screen
Chroma key
Chroma key compositing is a technique for compositing two images together. A color range in the top layer is made transparent, revealing another image behind. The chroma keying technique is commonly used in video production and post-production...

 and traveling matte
Matte (filmmaking)
Mattes are used in photography and special effects filmmaking to combine two or more image elements into a single, final image. Usually, mattes are used to combine a foreground image with a background image . In this case, the matte is the background painting...

 techniques. Although this technique, known as "held takes", resulted in a much better image, it meant exposed film would be stored for long periods of time between shots, sometimes as long as a year. In March 1968, Kubrick finished the 'pre-premiere' editing of the film, making his final cuts just days before the film's general release in April 1968.

The film was initially planned to be photographed in 3-film-strip Cinerama (like How the West Was Won
How the West Was Won (film)
How the West Was Won is a 1962 American epic Western film. The picture was one of the last "old-fashioned" epic films made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to enjoy great success. It follows four generations of a family as they move ever westward, from western New York state to the Pacific Ocean...

), because it was a part of a production/distribution deal between MGM and Cinerama Releasing corporation, but that was changed to Super Panavision 70
Super Panavision 70
Super Panavision 70 was the marketing brand name used to identify movies photographed with Panavision 70 mm spherical optics between 1959 and 1983.-History:...

 (which uses a single-strip 65 mm negative) on the advice of special photographic effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull
Douglas Trumbull
Douglas Huntley Trumbull is an American film director, special effects supervisor, and inventor. He contributed to, or was responsible for, the special photographic effects of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Blade Runner and The Tree of...

, due to distortion problems with the 3-strip system. Color processing and 35 mm release prints were done using Technicolor
Technicolor
Technicolor is a color motion picture process invented in 1916 and improved over several decades.It was the second major process, after Britain's Kinemacolor, and the most widely used color process in Hollywood from 1922 to 1952...

's dye transfer process. The 70 mm prints were made by MGM Laboratories, Inc. on Metrocolor. The production was $4.5 million over the initial $6.0 million budget, and sixteen months behind schedule.

Special effects



The first director to use front projection
Front projection effect
A front projection effect is an in-camera visual effects process in film production for combining foreground performance with pre-filmed background footage...

 with retroreflective matting
Matte (filmmaking)
Mattes are used in photography and special effects filmmaking to combine two or more image elements into a single, final image. Usually, mattes are used to combine a foreground image with a background image . In this case, the matte is the background painting...

 in a mainstream movie, Kubrick chose the technique to produce the backdrops for the African scenes showing ape-men against vast natural-terrain backgrounds, as traditional techniques such as painted backdrops or rear-projection did not produce the realistic look Kubrick demanded. In addition to the "Dawn of Man" sequence, the front-projection system was used to depict astronauts walking on the lunar surface with the Moon base in the background. The technique has been used widely in the film industry since 2001 pioneered its use, although starting in the 1990s it has been increasingly replaced by green screen
Green Screen
The Green Screen international wildlife film festival is held annually in Eckernförde, Germany. The festival shows full-length and short nature documentaries about animals in their natural habitat. It is the only festival of its kind in Germany...

 systems.

The front projection technique used by Kubrick consisted of a separate scenery projector set precisely at a right angle to the camera, and a half-silvered mirror placed at an angle in front of the camera that reflected the projected image forward, directly in line with the camera lens, onto a backdrop made of specially designed retroreflective material. This highly reflective, but extremely directional, screen material is capable of reflecting 100 times the amount of light that is projected onto it, so that, theoretically, if the light falling onto the screen equals 1 foot-candle
Foot-candle
A foot-candle is a non-SI unit of illuminance or light intensity widely used in photography, film, television, conservation lighting, and the lighting industry...

, 100 foot-candles of light is reflected back to the camera, but the light only reaches the camera if it and the projected image are in perfect alignment with the axis of the camera lens. The image is then reflected back into the camera, along with the light from the objects and actors in the foreground which is 100 times dimmer than the reflected image. The projected image falling on the actors is washed out by set lighting and is invisible to the camera.

Front projection had been used in smaller settings before 2001, mostly for still-photography or television production, using small still images and projectors. The expansive backdrops for the African scenes required a screen 40 feet tall and 110 feet wide, far larger than had ever been used before. When the reflective material was applied to the backdrop in 100 foot strips, however, they discovered variations at the seams of the strips led to obvious visual artifacts, a problem that was solved by tearing the material into smaller chunks and applying them in a random "camouflage" pattern on the backdrop. The existing projectors using 4 by 5 inch transparencies resulted in grainy images when projected that large, so the 2001 team worked with MGM's Special Effects Supervisor, Tom Howard, to build a custom projector using 8 by 10 inch transparencies, which required the largest water-cooled arc lamp available.

Other "in-camera" shots were scenes depicting spacecraft moving through space. The camera used to shoot the stationary model of the
Discovery One spacecraft was driven along a track on a special mount, the motor of which was mechanically linked to the camera motor—making it possible to repeat camera moves and match speeds exactly. On the first pass, the model was unlit, masking the star-field behind it. The camera and film were returned to the start position, and on the second pass, the model was lit without the star field. For shots also showing the interior of the ship, a third pass was made with previously-filmed live-action scenes projected onto rear-projection screens in the model's windows. The result was a film negative image that was exceptionally sharper and clearer than a typical visual effects negative of the time.

For interior shots inside the spacecraft, ostensibly containing a giant centrifuge that produces artificial gravity, Kubrick had a 30-ton rotating "ferris wheel" built by Vickers-Armstrong Engineering Group at a cost of $750,000. The set was 38 feet in diameter and 10 feet wide. Various scenes in the Discovery centrifuge were shot by securing set pieces within the wheel, then rotating it while the actor walked or ran in sync with its motion, keeping him at the bottom of the wheel as it turned. The camera could be fixed to the inside of the rotating wheel to show the actor walking completely "around" the set, or mounted in such a way that the wheel rotated independently of the stationary camera, as in the famous jogging scene where the camera appears to alternately precede and follow the running actor. The shots where the actors appear on opposite sides of the wheel required one of the actors to be strapped securely into place at the "top" of the wheel as it moved to allow the other actor to walk to the "bottom" of the wheel to join him. The most notable case is when Bowman enters the centrifuge from the central hub on a ladder, and joins Poole, who is eating on the other side of the centrifuge. This required Gary Lockwood to be strapped into a seat while Keir Dullea walked toward him from the opposite side of the wheel as it turned with him.
Another rotating set appeared in an earlier sequence on board the Aries trans-lunar shuttle. A stewardess is shown preparing in-flight meals, then carrying them into a circular walkway. Attached to the set as it rotates 180 degrees, the camera's point of view remains constant, and she appears to walk up the "side" of the circular walkway, and steps, now in an "upside-down" orientation, into a connecting hallway.

The realistic-looking effects of the astronauts floating weightless in space and inside the spacecraft were accomplished by suspending the actors from wires attached to the top of the set, with the camera underneath them pointing up. The actors' bodies blocked the camera's view of the suspension wires, creating a very believable appearance of floating. For the shot of Poole floating into the pod's arms during Bowman's rescue attempt, a stuntman replaced a dummy on the wire to realistically portray the movements of an unconscious human, and was shot in slow motion to enhance the illusion of drifting through space. The scene showing Bowman entering the emergency airlock from the EVA pod was done in a similar way, with an off-camera stagehand, standing on a platform, holding the wire suspending Dullea above the camera positioned at the bottom of the vertically configured airlock. At the proper moment, the stagehand first loosened his grip on the wire, causing Dullea to fall toward the camera, then, while holding the wire firmly, he jumped off the platform, causing Dullea to ascend back up toward the hatch.
The colored lights in the Star Gate sequence were accomplished by slit-scan photography
Slit-scan photography
The slit-scan photography technique is a photographic and cinematographic process where a moveable slide, into which a slit has been cut, is inserted between the camera and the subject to be photographed.-Use in cinematography:...

 of thousands of high-contrast images on film, including op-art paintings, architectural drawings, moire patterns, printed circuits, and crystal structures. Known to staff as "Manhattan Project", the shots of various nebula-like phenomena, including the expanding star field, were colored paints and chemicals swirling in a pool-like device known as a cloud tank, shot in slow-motion in a dark room. The live-action landscape shots in the Star Gate sequence were filmed in the Hebrides islands
Hebrides
The Hebrides comprise a widespread and diverse archipelago off the west coast of Scotland. There are two main groups: the Inner and Outer Hebrides. These islands have a long history of occupation dating back to the Mesolithic and the culture of the residents has been affected by the successive...

 in Scotland and Monument Valley
Monument Valley
Monument Valley is a region of the Colorado Plateau characterized by a cluster of vast sandstone buttes, the largest reaching above the valley floor. It is located on the northern border of Arizona with southern Utah , near the Four Corners area...

 in Arizona and Utah in the U.S. The strange coloring and negative-image effects in these shots were achieved by the use of different color filters in the process of making dupe negatives.
Detailed instructions in relatively small print for various technological devices appear at several points in the film, the most notable of which is the lengthy instructions for the zero-gravity toilet on the Aries Moon shuttle. Similar detailed instructions for replacing the explosive bolts also appear on the hatches of the EVA pods, most visibly in closeup just before Bowman's pod leaves the ship to rescue Frank Poole.

An article by Douglas Trumbull
Douglas Trumbull
Douglas Huntley Trumbull is an American film director, special effects supervisor, and inventor. He contributed to, or was responsible for, the special photographic effects of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Blade Runner and The Tree of...

 about the creation of special effects for 2001 appears in the June 1968 issue of American Cinematographer
American Cinematographer
American Cinematographer is a monthly magazine published by the American Society of Cinematographers.American Cinematographer focuses on the art and craft of cinematography, going behind the scenes on domestic and international productions of all shapes and sizes...

.

Deleted scenes


Kubrick filmed several scenes that were deleted from the final film. These fall into two categories: scenes cut before any public screenings of the film, and scenes cut a few days after the world premiere on April 2, 1968.

The first ('pre-premiere') set of cuts includes a schoolroom on the Moon base—a painting class that included Kubrick's daughters, additional scenes of life on the base, and Floyd buying a bush baby
Galago
Galagos , also known as bushbabies, bush babies or nagapies , are small, nocturnal primates native to continental Africa, and make up the family Galagidae...

 from a department store via videophone for his daughter. The most notable cut was a 10-minute black-and-white opening sequence featuring interviews with actual scientists, including Freeman Dyson
Freeman Dyson
Freeman John Dyson FRS is a British-born American theoretical physicist and mathematician, famous for his work in quantum field theory, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering. Dyson is a member of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists...

, discussing extraterrestrial life, which Kubrick removed after an early screening for MGM executives. The actual text survives in the book The Making of Kubrick's 2001 by Jerome Agel.

The second ('post-premiere') set of cuts includes details about the daily life on Discovery, additional spacewalks, astronaut Bowman retrieving a spare part from an octagonal corridor, a number of cuts from the Poole murder sequence including the entire spacewalk preparation and shots of HAL turning off radio contact with Poole—explaining HAL's response that the radio is "still dead" when Bowman asks him if radio contact has been made—and notably a close-up shot of Bowman picking up a slipper during his walk in the alien room; the slipper can still be seen behind him in what would have been the next shot in the sequence.

Kubrick's rationale for editing the film was to tighten the narrative; reviews suggested the film suffered too much by the radical departure from traditional cinema story telling conventions. Regarding the cuts, Kubrick stated, "I didn't believe that the trims made a critical difference. [...] The people who like it, like it no matter what its length, and the same holds true for the people who hate it".

As was typical of most movies of that era released both as a "road-show
Roadshow theatrical release
A roadshow theatrical release was a term in the American motion picture industry for a practice in which a film opened in a limited number of theaters in large cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Dallas, and San Francisco for a specific period of time before the...

" (in Cinerama format in the case of Space Odyssey) and subsequently put into general release (in 70 mm in the case of Odyssey), the entrance music, intermission music (and intermission altogether), and post-credits exit music were cut from most (though not all) prints of the latter version, although these have been restored to most DVD releases.

According to Kubrick biographer Jan Harlan, the director was adamant the trims were never to be seen, and that he "even burned the negatives"—which he had kept in his garage—shortly before his death. This is confirmed by former Kubrick assistant Leon Vitali: "I'll tell you right now, okay, on Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Barry Lyndon, some little parts of 2001, we had thousands of cans of negative outtakes and print, which we had stored in an area at his house where we worked out of, which he personally supervised the loading of it to a truck and then I went down to a big industrial waste lot and burned it. That's what he wanted."

In December, 2010, Douglas Trumbull
Douglas Trumbull
Douglas Huntley Trumbull is an American film director, special effects supervisor, and inventor. He contributed to, or was responsible for, the special photographic effects of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Blade Runner and The Tree of...

 announced that Warner Brothers had located 17 minutes of lost footage, "perfectly preserved", in a Kansas salt mine
Salt mine
A salt mine is a mining operation involved in the extraction of rock salt or halite from evaporite deposits.-Occurrence:Areas known for their salt mines include Kilroot near Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland ; Khewra and Warcha in Pakistan; Tuzla in Bosnia; Wieliczka and Bochnia in Poland A salt mine...

 vault. A Warner Brothers press release asserts definitively that this material is from the post-premiere cuts, which Kubrick has stated totaled 19 minutes.

No immediate plans have been announced for the footage, but Trumbull intends to use stills from them in a book he is publishing.

Reuse of special effects shots


Although special effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull had been unable to provide convincing footage of Saturn for
2001 (thus causing the filmmakers to change the mission's destination to Jupiter), he had solved the technical problems involved in reproducing Saturn's rings by the time he directed Silent Running
Silent Running
Silent Running is a 1972 environmentally themed science fiction film starring Bruce Dern and directed by Douglas Trumbull, who had previously worked as a special effects supervisor on such science fiction films as 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Andromeda Strain.-Plot summary:Silent Running depicts a...

four years later in 1972, employing effects developed but not completed for 2001.

In spite of Kubrick's tendency to destroy scenes he shot but did not use in the film, unused footage from the final Stargate sequence appears in the Beatles film
Magical Mystery Tour during the sequence accompanied by their instrumental song Flying.

Release


The film's world premiere
Premiere
A premiere is generally "a first performance". This can refer to plays, films, television programs, operas, symphonies, ballets and so on. Premieres for theatrical, musical and other cultural presentations can become extravagant affairs, attracting large numbers of socialites and much media...

 was on April 2, 1968, at the Uptown Theater
Uptown Theater (Washington, D.C.)
The Uptown Theater, also known as The Uptown or AMC Loews Uptown 1, is a historic single-screen movie theater in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The theater is considered by many as "the best screen" in the Washington, D.C. metro area, and has been the site of many Hollywood...

 in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

  It opened two days later at the Warner Cinerama Theatre in Hollywood, and Loew's Capitol in New York. Kubrick then deleted 19 minutes of footage from the film before its general release in five other U.S. cities on April 10, 1968, and internationally in five cities the following day, where it was shown in 70mm format, with a six-track stereo magnetic soundtrack, and projected in the 2.21:1 aspect ratio
Aspect ratio
The aspect ratio of a shape is the ratio of its longer dimension to its shorter dimension. It may be applied to two characteristic dimensions of a three-dimensional shape, such as the ratio of the longest and shortest axis, or for symmetrical objects that are described by just two measurements,...

. The general release of the film in its 35mm anamorphic format took place in autumn 1968, with either a four-track magnetic stereo soundtrack or an optical monaural soundtrack.

The original 70 mm release, like many Super Panavision 70 films of the era such as Grand Prix, was advertised as being in "Cinerama" in cinemas equipped with special projection optics and a deeply curved screen. In standard cinemas, the film was identified as a 70 mm production. The original release of 2001: A Space Odyssey in 70 mm Cinerama with six-track sound played continually for more than a year in several venues, and for 103 weeks in Los Angeles.

MGM/CBS Home Video first released
2001 on VHS and Beta home video in 1980. MGM also published letterbox laserdisc
Laserdisc
LaserDisc was a home video format and the first commercial optical disc storage medium. Initially licensed, sold, and marketed as MCA DiscoVision in North America in 1978, the technology was previously referred to interally as Optical Videodisc System, Reflective Optical Videodisc, Laser Optical...

 editions (including an updated edition with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound), in 1991 and 1993. (Although Turner Entertainment had acquired the bulk of MGM's film library, the MGM company had a distribution deal with Turner.) There also was a special edition laserdisc from The Criterion Collection
The Criterion Collection
The Criterion Collection is a video-distribution company selling "important classic and contemporary films" to film aficionados. The Criterion series is noted for helping to standardize the letterbox format for home video, bonus features, and special editions...

 in the CAV
Constant angular velocity
In optical storage, constant angular velocity is a qualifier for the rated speed of an optical disc drive, and may also be applied to the writing speed of recordable discs...

 format. In 1997, it was re-released in VHS, and as part of the "Stanley Kubrick Collection" in both VHS format (1999) and DVD (2000) with remastered sound and picture.

It has been released on Region 1 DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

 four times: once by MGM Home Entertainment
MGM Home Entertainment
MGM Home Entertainment is the home video and DVD arm of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.-History:The home video division of MGM started in 1979 as MGM Home Video, releasing all the movies and TV shows by MGM. In 1980, MGM joined forces with CBS Video Enterprises, the home video division of the CBS television...

 in 1998 and thrice by Warner Home Video
Warner Home Video
Warner Home Video is the home video unit of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., itself part of Time Warner. It was founded in 1978 as WCI Home Video . The company launched in the United States with twenty films on VHS and Betamax videocassettes in late 1979...

 in 1999, 2001, and 2007. The MGM release had a booklet, the film, trailer, and an interview with Arthur C. Clarke, and the soundtrack was remastered in 5.1 surround sound. The 1999 Warner Bros. release omitted the booklet, yet had a re-release trailer. The 2001 release contained the re-release trailer, the film in the original 2.21:1 aspect ratio, digitally re-mastered from the original 70 mm print, and the soundtrack remixed in 5.1 surround sound. A limited edition DVD included a booklet, 70 mm frame, and a new soundtrack CD
Compact Disc
The Compact Disc is an optical disc used to store digital data. It was originally developed to store and playback sound recordings exclusively, but later expanded to encompass data storage , write-once audio and data storage , rewritable media , Video Compact Discs , Super Video Compact Discs ,...

 of the film's actual (unreleased) music tracks, and a sampling of HAL's dialogue.

Warner Home Video
Warner Home Video
Warner Home Video is the home video unit of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., itself part of Time Warner. It was founded in 1978 as WCI Home Video . The company launched in the United States with twenty films on VHS and Betamax videocassettes in late 1979...

 released a 2-DVD Special Edition on October 23, 2007 as part of their latest set of Kubrick reissues. The DVD was released on its own and as part of a revised Stanley Kubrick box set which contains new Special Edition versions of A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange (film)
A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 film adaptation of Anthony Burgess's 1962 novel of the same name. It was written, directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick...

, The Shining
The Shining (film)
The Shining is a 1980 psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. A writer, Jack Torrance, takes a job as an...

, Eyes Wide Shut
Eyes Wide Shut
Eyes Wide Shut is a 1999 drama film based upon Arthur Schnitzler's 1926 novella Traumnovelle . The film was directed, produced and co-written by Stanley Kubrick, and was his last film. The story, set in and around New York City, follows the sexually-charged adventures of Dr...

, Full Metal Jacket
Full Metal Jacket
Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 war film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. It is an adaptation of the 1979 novel The Short-Timers by Gustav Hasford and stars Matthew Modine, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey, Arliss Howard and Adam Baldwin. The film follows a platoon of U.S...

, and the documentary A Life in Pictures
Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures
Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures is a 2001 documentary about the life and work of Stanley Kubrick, famed film director, made by his long-time assistant and brother-in-law Jan Harlan...

. Additionally, the film was released in high definition on both HD DVD
HD DVD
HD DVD is a discontinued high-density optical disc format for storing data and high-definition video.Supported principally by Toshiba, HD DVD was envisioned to be the successor to the standard DVD format...

 and Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc is an optical disc storage medium designed to supersede the DVD format. The plastic disc is 120 mm in diameter and 1.2 mm thick, the same size as DVDs and CDs. Blu-ray Discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual layer discs being the norm for feature-length video discs...

. The Imdb.com listing of this DVD and the official Warner Brothers webpage have a complete listing of all the special features but both omit a documentary entitled "What is Out There?" featuring interviews with Keir Dullea and Arthur C. Clarke.

The film was rereleased to movie houses in Germany, France, and Japan in 2001.

In some video releases, three title cards
Intertitle
In motion pictures, an intertitle is a piece of filmed, printed text edited into the midst of the photographed action, at various points, generally to convey character dialogue, or descriptive narrative material related to, but not necessarily covered by, the material photographed.Intertitles...

 were added to the three "blank screen" moments; "OVERTURE" at the beginning, "ENTR'ACTE" during the intermission, and "EXIT MUSIC" after the closing credits.

Reception


Upon release, 2001 polarized critical opinion, receiving both ecstatic praise and vehement derision. Some critics viewed the original 161-minute cut shown at premieres in Washington D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, and Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, while others saw the 19-minute-shorter general release version that was in theaters from April 10, 1968 onwards. In
The New Yorker
The New Yorker
The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry published by Condé Nast...

, Penelope Gilliatt
Penelope Gilliatt
Penelope Gilliatt was an English novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, and film critic....

 said it was "some kind of great film, and an unforgettable endeavor...The film is hypnotically entertaining, and it is funny without once being gaggy, but it is also rather harrowing."
Charles Champlin of the
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

opined that it was "the picture that science fiction fans of every age and in every corner of the world have prayed (sometimes forlornly) that the industry might some day give them. It is an ultimate statement of the science fiction film, an awesome realization of the spatial future...it is a milestone, a landmark for a spacemark, in the art of film."
Louise Sweeney of
The Christian Science Monitor
The Christian Science Monitor
The Christian Science Monitor is an international newspaper published daily online, Monday to Friday, and weekly in print. It was started in 1908 by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist. As of 2009, the print circulation was 67,703.The CSM is a newspaper that covers...

felt that 2001 was "a brilliant intergalactic satire
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 on modern technology. It's also a dazzling 160-minute tour on the Kubrick filmship through the universe out there beyond our earth." Philip French
Philip French
Philip French is a British film critic and former radio producer.French, the son of an insurance salesman, was educated at the direct grant Bristol Grammar School, read Law at Oxford University. and post graduate study in Journalism at Indiana University, Bloomington on a scholarship.He has been...

 wrote that the film was "perhaps the first multi-million-dollar supercolossal movie since D.W. Griffith's
Intolerance
Intolerance (film)
Intolerance is a 1916 American silent film directed by D. W. Griffith and is considered one of the great masterpieces of the Silent Era. The three-and-a-half hour epic intercuts four parallel storylines each separated by several centuries: A contemporary melodrama of crime and redemption; a...

fifty years ago which can be regarded as the work of one man...Space Odyssey is important as the high-water mark of science-fiction movie making, or at least of the genre's futuristic branch." The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe is an American daily newspaper based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Globe has been owned by The New York Times Company since 1993...

's review indicated that it was "the world's most extraordinary film. Nothing like it has ever been shown in Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 before or, for that matter, anywhere...The film is as exciting as the discovery of a new dimension in life."
Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Roger Joseph Ebert is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.Ebert is known for his film review column and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and Siskel and Ebert and The...

 gave the film four stars in his original review, believing the film "succeeds magnificently on a cosmic scale." He later put it on his Top 10 list for Sight & Sound
Sight & Sound
Sight & Sound is a British monthly film magazine published by the British Film Institute .Sight & Sound was first published in 1932 and in 1934 management of the magazine was handed to the nascent BFI, which still publishes the magazine today...

. Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

provided at least seven different mini-reviews of the film in various issues in 1968, each one slightly more positive than the preceding one; in the final review dated December 27, 1968, the magazine called 2001 "an epic film about the history and future of mankind, brilliantly directed by Stanley Kubrick. The special effects are mindblowing."

However, Pauline Kael
Pauline Kael
Pauline Kael was an American film critic who wrote for The New Yorker magazine from 1968 to 1991. Earlier in her career, her work appeared in City Lights, McCall's and The New Republic....

 said it was "a monumentally unimaginative movie,"
and Stanley Kauffmann
Stanley Kauffmann
Stanley Kauffmann is an American author, editor, and critic of film and theatre. He has written for The New Republic since 1958 and currently contributes film criticism to that magazine....

 of
The New Republic
The New Republic
The magazine has also published two articles concerning income inequality, largely criticizing conservative economists for their attempts to deny the existence or negative effect increasing income inequality is having on the United States...

called it "a film that is so dull, it even dulls our interest in the technical ingenuity for the sake of which Kubrick has allowed it to become dull." Renata Adler
Renata Adler
Renata Adler is an American author, journalist and film critic.-Background and education:Adler was born in Milan, Italy, and grew up in Danbury, Connecticut. After gaining a B.A. in philosophy and German from Bryn Mawr, Adler studied for an M.A. in Comparative Literature at Harvard under I. A...

 of
The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

wrote that it was "somewhere between hypnotic and immensely boring." Variety
Variety (magazine)
Variety is an American weekly entertainment-trade magazine founded in New York City, New York, in 1905 by Sime Silverman. With the rise of the importance of the motion-picture industry, Daily Variety, a daily edition based in Los Angeles, California, was founded by Silverman in 1933. In 1998, the...

's 'Robe' believed the film was a "Big, beautiful, but plodding sci-fi epic...A major achievement in cinematography and special effects,
2001 lacks dramatic appeal to a large degree and only conveys suspense after the halfway mark." Andrew Sarris
Andrew Sarris
Andrew Sarris is an American film critic and a leading proponent of the auteur theory of criticism.-Career:Sarris is generally credited with popularizing the auteur theory in the U.S...

 called it "one of the grimmest films I have ever seen in my life...
2001 is a disaster because it is much too abstract to make its abstract points." (Sarris reversed his opinion upon a second viewing of the film, and declared "2001 is indeed a major work by a major artist.") John Simon
John Simon (critic)
John Ivan Simon is an American author and literary, theater, and film critic.-Personal life:Simon was born in Subotica, Bačka, County of Bačka, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, later, known as Yugoslavia . He is of Hungarian descent...

 felt it was "a regrettable failure, although not a total one. This film is fascinating when it concentrates on apes or machines...and dreadful when it deals with the in-betweens: humans...
2001, for all its lively visual and mechanical spectacle, is a kind of space-Spartacus and, more pretentious still, a shaggy God story
Shaggy God story
A shaggy God story is a minor science fiction genre characterized by an attempt to explain Biblical concepts with science fiction tropes. The term was coined by writer and critic Brian W. Aldiss in a pseudonymous column in the October 1965 issue of New Worlds. The term is a pun on the concept of...

." It has been noted that its slow pacing often alienates modern audiences more than it did upon its initial release.

Science-fiction writers had a range of reactions to the film. Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury
Ray Douglas Bradbury is an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 and for the science fiction stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man , Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th...

 was hostile, stating that the audience does not care when Poole dies. He praised the film's beautiful photography but disliked the banality of most of the dialogue. Both he and Lester del Rey
Lester del Rey
Lester del Rey was an American science fiction author and editor. Del Rey was the author of many of the Winston Science Fiction juvenile SF series, and the editor at Del Rey Books, the fantasy and science fiction branch of Ballantine Books, along with his fourth wife Judy-Lynn del Rey.-Birth...

 were put off by the film's feeling of sterility and blandness in all the human encounters amidst all the technological wonders, while both praised the pictorial element of the movie. Del Rey was especially harsh, describing the film as dull, confusing, and boring, predicting "It will probably be a box-office disaster, too, and thus set major science-fiction movie making back another ten years." However, the film was praised by science-fiction novelist Samuel R. Delany
Samuel R. Delany
Samuel Ray Delany, Jr., also known as "Chip" is an American author, professor and literary critic. His work includes a number of novels, many in the science fiction genre, as well as memoir, criticism, and essays on sexuality and society.His science fiction novels include Babel-17, The Einstein...

 who was impressed by how the film undercuts the audience's normal sense of space and orientation in several ways. Like Bradbury, Delany picked up on the banality of the dialogue (in Delany's phrasing the characters are saying nothing meaningful), but Delany regards this as a dramatic strength, a prelude to the rebirth at the conclusion of the film. Without analyzing the film in detail, Asimov spoke well of Space Odyssey in his autobiography, and other essays. The film won the Hugo Award
Hugo Award
The Hugo Awards are given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was officially named the Science Fiction Achievement Awards...

 for best dramatic presentation, an award heavily voted on by published science-fiction writers.

2001 earned Stanley Kubrick an Academy Award
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 for Best Visual Effects
Academy Award for Visual Effects
The Academy Award for Visual Effects is an Academy Award given for the best achievement in visual effects.-History of the award:The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences first recognized the technical contributions of special effects to movies at its inaugural dinner in 1928, presenting a...

 and was nominated for Best Art Direction
Academy Award for Best Art Direction
The Academy Awards are the oldest awards ceremony for achievements in motion pictures. The Academy Award for Best Art Direction recognizes achievement in art direction on a film. The films below are listed with their production year, so the Oscar 2000 for best art direction went to a film from 1999...

, Best Director
Academy Award for Directing
The Academy Award for Achievement in Directing , usually known as the Best Director Oscar, is one of the Awards of Merit presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to directors working in the motion picture industry...

 (Kubrick), and Original Screenplay (Kubrick, Clarke). Although it was not even nominated for Best Picture, 2001 is considered by many sources to be among the greatest films of all time.

Influence on film



The influence of 2001 on subsequent filmmakers is considerable. Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

, George Lucas
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, and director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones...

 and others, including many special effects technicians, discuss the impact the film has had on them in a featurette entitled
Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001 included in the 2007 DVD release of the film. Spielberg calls it his film generation's "big bang", while Lucas says it was "hugely inspirational", labeling Kubrick as "the filmmaker's filmmaker". Sydney Pollack refers to it as "groundbreaking", and William Friedkin states 2001 is "the grandfather of all such films". At the 2007 Venice film festival, director Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott
Sir Ridley Scott is an English film director and producer. His most famous films include The Duellists , Alien , Blade Runner , Legend , Thelma & Louise , G. I...

 stated he believed
2001 was the unbeatable film that in a sense killed the sci-fi genre. Similarly, film critic Michel Ciment in his essay "Odyssey of Stanley Kubrick" stated "Kubrick has conceived a film which in one stroke has made the whole science fiction cinema obsolete." Others, however, credit 2001 with opening up a market for films such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 science fiction film written and directed by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, Bob Balaban, and Cary Guffey...

, Alien
Alien (film)
Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a highly aggressive extraterrestrial creature which...

, Blade Runner
Blade Runner
Blade Runner is a 1982 American science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Sean Young. The screenplay, written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, is loosely based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K...

, and Contact
Contact (film)
Contact is a 1997 American science fiction drama film adapted from the Carl Sagan novel of the same name and directed by Robert Zemeckis. Both Sagan and wife Ann Druyan wrote the story outline for the film adaptation of Contact....

; proving that big-budget “serious” science-fiction films can be commercially successful, and establishing the “sci-fi blockbuster” as a Hollywood staple. Science magazine Discovers blogger Stephen Cass, discussing the considerable impact of the film on subsequent science-fiction, writes that "the balletic spacecraft scenes set to sweeping classical music, the tarantula-soft tones of HAL 9000
HAL 9000
HAL 9000 is the antagonist in Arthur C. Clarke's science fiction Space Odyssey saga. HAL is an artificial intelligence that interacts with the astronaut crew of the Discovery One spacecraft, usually represented as a red television-camera eye found throughout the ship...

, and the ultimate alien artifact, the Monolith, have all become enduring cultural icons in their own right." Video game director Hideo Kojima
Hideo Kojima
is a Japanese game director originally employed at Konami. He is currently the director of Kojima Productions and was promoted to Vice President of Konami Digital Entertainment in early 2011...

 has also cited 2001: A Space Odyssey as one of the chief influences for his Metal Gear
Metal Gear
Metal Gear is a series of video games.Metal Gear may also refer to:*Metal Gear , bipedal tanks appearing in the Metal Gear series-Metal Gear video game series:...

series, with Solid Snake
Solid Snake
Metal Gear, initially released in 1987, introduces Solid Snake, the rookie recruit of the elite special-forces unit FOXHOUND. Snake is sent by team leader Big Boss into the rogue nation Outer Heaven to rescue his missing teammate Gray Fox and discover who or what the "METAL GEAR" mentioned is, and...

 and Otacon inspired by Dave and HAL.

Influence on culture


One commentator has suggested that the image of the Star Child and Earth has contributed to the rise of the "whole earth" icon as a symbol of the unity of humanity. Writing in The Asia Pacific Journal Robert Jacobs traces the history of this icon from early cartoons and drawings of the earth to photos of the earth from early space missions, to its historic appearance on the cover of The Whole Earth Catalog. Noting that images of the entire earth recur several times in A Space Odyssey, Jacobs writes

Influence on technology and law


In August 2011, in response to Apple Computer
Apple Computer
Apple Inc. is an American multinational corporation that designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad...

's patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung
Samsung
The Samsung Group is a South Korean multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul, South Korea...

, the latter argued that Apple's iPad
IPad
The iPad is a line of tablet computers designed, developed and marketed by Apple Inc., primarily as a platform for audio-visual media including books, periodicals, movies, music, games, and web content. The iPad was introduced on January 27, 2010 by Apple's then-CEO Steve Jobs. Its size and...

 was effectively modeled on the visual tablets that appear aboard spaceship Discovery in the Space Odyssey film, which legally constitute "prior art". Legally, prior art is information that has been disclosed to the public in any form about an invention before a given date that might be relevant to the patent's claim of originality. Samsung appealed specifically to a clip appearing on YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

 arguing
Attached hereto as Exhibit D is a true and correct copy of a still image taken from Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film "2001: A Space Odyssey." In a clip from that film lasting about one minute, two astronauts are eating and at the same time using personal tablet computers. The clip can be downloaded online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ8pQVDyaLo. As with the design claimed by the D’889 Patent, the tablet disclosed in the clip has an overall rectangular shape with a dominant display screen, narrow borders, a predominately flat front surface, a flat back surface (which is evident because the tablets are lying flat on the table's surface), and a thin form factor.

Academy Awards

Award Person
Best Visual Effects
Academy Award for Visual Effects
The Academy Award for Visual Effects is an Academy Award given for the best achievement in visual effects.-History of the award:The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences first recognized the technical contributions of special effects to movies at its inaugural dinner in 1928, presenting a...

Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, writer, producer, and photographer who lived in England during most of the last four decades of his career...

Nominated:
Best Original Screenplay Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, writer, producer, and photographer who lived in England during most of the last four decades of his career...


Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS was a British science fiction author, inventor, and futurist, famous for his short stories and novels, among them 2001: A Space Odyssey, and as a host and commentator in the British television series Mysterious World. For many years, Robert A. Heinlein,...

Best Art Direction
Academy Award for Best Art Direction
The Academy Awards are the oldest awards ceremony for achievements in motion pictures. The Academy Award for Best Art Direction recognizes achievement in art direction on a film. The films below are listed with their production year, so the Oscar 2000 for best art direction went to a film from 1999...

Anthony Masters
Anthony Masters
Anthony Masters was a British production designer and set decorator. He was nominated for an Academy Award in the category Best Art Direction for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey....


Harry Lange
Harry Lange (film designer)
Hans Kurt Lange was a German film production designer and art director.Lange was born in 1930 in Eisenach, Thuringia. After World War II, Thuringia became part of Soviet-controlled East Germany; Lange escaped across the border to West Germany, where he studied art before moving to the United...


Ernest Archer
Ernest Archer
Ernest Archer was a British art director. He won an Academy Award and was nominated for another in the category Best Art Direction.-Selected filmography:...

Best Director
Academy Award for Directing
The Academy Award for Achievement in Directing , usually known as the Best Director Oscar, is one of the Awards of Merit presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to directors working in the motion picture industry...

Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, writer, producer, and photographer who lived in England during most of the last four decades of his career...



No Oscar for Best Makeup existed until 1981. Arthur C. Clarke and others commented that in the same year that 2001 was released, a special honorary Oscar for ape makeup was given to Planet of the Apes
Planet of the Apes (1968 film)
Planet of the Apes is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, based on the 1963 French novel La Planète des singes by Pierre Boulle. The film stars Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly and Linda Harrison...

, but the more realistic ape-makeup in 2001 was ignored. Clarke quipped that the committee may have not realized the apes were actors.

Other awards


Won
  • BAFTA Awards:
    1. Best Art Direction (Anthony Masters, Harry Lange
      Harry Lange (film designer)
      Hans Kurt Lange was a German film production designer and art director.Lange was born in 1930 in Eisenach, Thuringia. After World War II, Thuringia became part of Soviet-controlled East Germany; Lange escaped across the border to West Germany, where he studied art before moving to the United...

       and Ernest Archer)
    2. Best Cinematography (Geoffrey Unsworth)
    3. Best Road Show
    4. Best Sound Track (Winston Ryder)
  • Cinema Writers Circle, Spain:
    1. Best Foreign Film
  • David di Donatello Awards, Italy:
    1. Best Foreign Production (Stanley Kubrick)
  • Hugo Awards:
    1. Best Dramatic Presentation
  • Kansas City Film Critics
    Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards 1968
    The 3rd Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards, honoring the best in filmmaking in 1968, were given in 1969.-Winners:*Best Picture:**2001: A Space Odyssey*Best Actor:**Alan Arkin - The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter*Best Actress:...

    :
    1. Best Director (Stanley Kubrick
      Stanley Kubrick
      Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, writer, producer, and photographer who lived in England during most of the last four decades of his career...

      )
    2. Best Picture
  • Laurel Awards
    Laurel Awards
    The Laurel Awards were cinema awards to honor pictures, actors, actresses, directors and composers. This award was created by Motion Picture Exhibitor magazine, and ran from 1958 to 1968, then 1970 and 1971....

    :
    1. Best Road Show


Nominated
  • BAFTA Awards:
    1. Best Film (Stanley Kubrick)
    2. UN Award (Stanley Kubrick)
  • Directors Guild of America (DGA)
    Directors Guild of America Awards 1968
    The 21st Directors Guild of America Awards were given on 22 February 1969.-Film:*Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures:**Anthony Harvey — The Lion in Winter-Television:*Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television:...

    :
    1. Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Stanley Kubrick)

Top film lists


2001 was #15 on AFI
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

's 2007 100 Years... 100 Movies
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies
The first of the AFI 100 Years… series of cinematic milestones, AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies is a list of the 100 best American movies, as determined by the American Film Institute from a poll of more than 1,500 artists and leaders in the film industry who chose from a list of 400 nominated movies...

,
was named #40 on its 100 Years, 100 Thrills
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills
Part of the AFI 100 Years… series, AFI's 100 Years…100 Thrills is a list of the top 100 heart-pounding movies in American cinema. The list was unveiled by the American Film Institute on June 12, 2001, during a CBS special hosted by Harrison Ford....

,
was included on its 100 Years, 100 Quotes
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes
Part of the AFI 100 Years... series, AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes is a list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema. The American Film Institute revealed the list on June 21, 2005, in a three-hour television program on CBS...

("Open the pod bay doors, Hal."), and HAL 9000 is the #13 villain in the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains is a list of the 100 greatest screen characters chosen by American Film Institute in June 2003. It is part of the AFI 100 Years… series. The series was first presented in a CBS special hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger...

. 2001 is the only science fiction film to make the Sight & Sound
Sight & Sound
Sight & Sound is a British monthly film magazine published by the British Film Institute .Sight & Sound was first published in 1932 and in 1934 management of the magazine was handed to the nascent BFI, which still publishes the magazine today...

poll for ten best movies, and tops the Online Film Critics Society
Online Film Critics Society
The Online Film Critics Society is a professional association for film critics who publish their reviews, interviews, and essays on the Internet.The OFCS was founded in 1997...

 list of "greatest science fiction films of all time." In 1991, this film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

 and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry
National Film Registry
The National Film Registry is the United States National Film Preservation Board's selection of films for preservation in the Library of Congress. The Board, established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, was reauthorized by acts of Congress in 1992, 1996, 2005, and again in October 2008...

. Other lists that include the film are 50 Films to See Before You Die
50 Films to See Before You Die
50 Films to See Before You Die was a television programme first shown on Channel 4 on Saturday 22 July 2006, to celebrate the relaunch of Film4 as a free-to-air TV channel available to digital terrestrial homes in the United Kingdom. It consisted of a list of 50 films compiled by film critics,...

(#6), The Village Voice 100 Best Films of the 20th Century (#11), the Sight & Sound Top Ten poll (#6), and Roger Ebert's Top Ten (1968) (#2). In 1995, the Vatican
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

 named it as one of the 45 best films ever made (and included it in a sub-list of the "Top Ten
Art Movies" of all time.)

American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

 recognition:
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition)(2007) – #15
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills
    AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills
    Part of the AFI 100 Years… series, AFI's 100 Years…100 Thrills is a list of the top 100 heart-pounding movies in American cinema. The list was unveiled by the American Film Institute on June 12, 2001, during a CBS special hosted by Harrison Ford....

     (2001) – #40
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains
    AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains
    AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains is a list of the 100 greatest screen characters chosen by American Film Institute in June 2003. It is part of the AFI 100 Years… series. The series was first presented in a CBS special hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger...

     (2003):
    • HAL 9000 – #13 Villain
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes
    AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes
    Part of the AFI 100 Years... series, AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes is a list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema. The American Film Institute revealed the list on June 21, 2005, in a three-hour television program on CBS...

     (2005):
    • "Open the pod bay doors, Hal." – #78
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Cheers
    AFI's 100 Years... 100 Cheers
    100 Years…100 Cheers: America's Most Inspiring Movies is a list of the most inspiring films as determined by the American Film Institute. It is part of the AFI 100 Years… series, which has been compiling lists of the greatest films of all time in various categories since 1998...

     (2006) – #47
  • AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies
    AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies
    The first of the AFI 100 Years… series of cinematic milestones, AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies is a list of the 100 best American movies, as determined by the American Film Institute from a poll of more than 1,500 artists and leaders in the film industry who chose from a list of 400 nominated movies...

     (1997) – #22
  • AFI's 10 Top 10
    AFI's 10 Top 10
    AFI's 10 Top 10 honors the ten greatest American films in ten classic film genres. Presented by the American Film Institute , the lists were unveiled on a television special broadcast by CBS on June 17, 2008....

     (2007) – #1 Sci-Fi film


The film made number 8 on Clarke's own List of the best Science-Fiction films of all time, following The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 1951 American science fiction film directed by Robert Wise and written by Edmund H. North based on the short story "Farewell to the Master" by Harry Bates. The film stars Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Sam Jaffe, and Hugh Marlowe...

at #7.

Interpretation


Since its premiere, 2001: A Space Odyssey has been analyzed and interpreted by professional movie critics, amateur writers and science fiction fans, virtually all of whom have noted its deliberate ambiguity. Questions about 2001 range from uncertainty about its deeper philosophical implications about humanity's origins and final destiny in the universe, to interpreting elements of the film's more enigmatic scenes such as the meaning of the monolith, or the final fate of astronaut David Bowman. There are also simpler and more mundane questions about what drives the plot, in particular the causes of HAL's breakdown (explained in earlier drafts but kept mysterious in the film).

Stanley Kubrick encouraged people to explore their own interpretations of the film, and refused to offer an explanation of "what really happened" in the movie, preferring instead to let audiences embrace their own ideas and theories. In a 1968 interview with Playboy magazine
Playboy
Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with...

, Kubrick stated:
In a subsequent discussion of the film with Joseph Gelmis, Kubrick said his main aim was to avoid "intellectual verbalization" and reach "the viewer's subconscious". However, he said he did not deliberately strive for ambiguity- it was simply an inevitable outcome of making the film nonverbal, though he acknowledged this ambiguity was an invaluable asset to the film. He was willing then to give a fairly straightforward explanation of the plot on what he called the "simplest level", but unwilling to discuss the metaphysical interpretation of the film which he felt should be left up to the individual viewer.

For some readers, Arthur C. Clarke's more straightforward novelization of the script is key to interpreting the film. Clarke's novel explicitly identifies the monolith as a tool created by an alien race that has been through many stages of evolution, moving from organic form to biomechanical, and finally achieving a state of pure energy. These aliens travel the cosmos assisting lesser species to take evolutionary steps. Conversely, film critic Penelope Houston noted in 1971 that because the novel differs in many key respects from the film, it perhaps should not be regarded as the skeleton key to unlock it.

Multiple allegorical interpretations of 2001 have been proposed, including seeing it as a commentary on Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophical tract Thus Spoke Zarathustra, or as an allegory of human conception, birth and death. This latter can be seen through the final moments of the film, which are defined by the image of the "star child", an in utero
In utero
In utero is a Latin term literally meaning "in the womb". In biology, the phrase describes the state of an embryo or fetus. In legal contexts, the phrase is used to refer to unborn children. Under common law, unborn children are still considered to exist for property transfer purposes.-See also:*...

 fetus that draws on the work of Lennart Nilsson
Lennart Nilsson
Lennart Nilsson is a Swedish photographer and scientist. He is noted for his photographs of in vivo human embryos and other medical subjects once considered unphotographable, and more generally for his extreme macro photography...

. The star child signifies a "great new beginning", and is depicted naked and ungirded, but with its eyes wide open. Leonard F. Wheat sees Space Odyssey as a multi-layered allegory, commenting simultaneously on Nietzsche, Homer, and the relationship of man to machine.

The reason's for HAL's malfunction and subsequent malignant behavior have also elicited much discussion. He has been compared to Frankenstein's monster. In Clarke's novel, HAL malfunctions because of being ordered to lie to the crew of Discovery. Film critic Roger Ebert has noted that HAL as the supposedly perfect computer, actually behaves in the most human fashion of all of the characters.

Rolling Stone reviewer Bob McClay sees the film as like a four-movement symphony, its story told with "deliberate realism". Carolyn Geduld believes that what "structurally unites all four episodes of the film" is the monolith, the film's largest and most unresolvable enigma. Vincent LoBrutto's biography of Kubrick notes that for many, Clarke's novel is the key to understanding the monolith. Similarly, Geduld observes that "the monolith ...has a very simple explanation in Clarke's novel", though she later asserts that even the novel doesn't fully explain the ending.

McClay's Rolling Stone review notes a parallelism between the monolith's first appearance in which tool usage is imparted to the apes (thus 'beginning' mankind) and the completion of "another evolution" in the fourth and final encounter with the monolith. In a similar vein, Tim Dirks ends his synopsis saying "The cyclical evolution from ape to man to spaceman to angel-starchild-superman is complete".

The first and second encounters of humanity with the monolith have visual elements in common; both apes, and later astronauts, touch the monolith gingerly with their hands, and both sequences conclude with near-identical images of the sun appearing directly over the monolith (the first with a crescent Moon adjacent to it in the sky, the second with a near-identical crescent Earth in the same position), both echoing the Sun-Earth-Moon alignment
Syzygy (astronomy)
In astronomy, a syzygy is a straight line configuration of three celestial bodies in a gravitational system. The word is usually used in reference to the Sun, the Earth and either the Moon or a planet, where the latter is in conjunction or opposition. Solar and lunar eclipses occur at times of...

 seen at the very beginning of the film. The second encounter also suggests the triggering of the monolith's radio signal to Jupiter by the presence of humans, echoing the premise of Clarke's source story The Sentinel.

The monolith is the subject of the film's final line of dialogue (spoken at the end of the "Jupiter Mission" segment): "Its origin and purpose still a total mystery". Reviewers McClay and Roger Ebert have noted that the monolith is the main element of mystery in the film, Ebert writing of "The shock of the monolith's straight edges and square corners among the weathered rocks", and describing the apes warily circling it as prefiguring man reaching "for the stars". Patrick Webster suggests the final line relates to how the film should be approached as a whole, noting "The line appends not merely to the discovery of the monolith on the Moon, but to our understanding of the film in the light of the ultimate questions it raises about the mystery of the universe."

Scientific accuracy


2001 is "perhaps the most thoroughly and accurately researched film in screen history
History of film
The history of film is the historical development of the medium known variously as cinema, motion pictures, film, or the movies.The history of film spans over 100 years, from the latter part of the 19th century to the present day...

 with respect to aerospace engineering
Aerospace engineering
Aerospace engineering is the primary branch of engineering concerned with the design, construction and science of aircraft and spacecraft. It is divided into two major and overlapping branches: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering...

". There were several technical advisers hired for 2001, some of whom were recommended by co-screenwriter Arthur C. Clarke, who also had a background in aerospace. Advisors included Marshall Spaceflight Center engineer Frederick I. Ordway III
Frederick I. Ordway III
Frederick Ira Ordway III is a space scientist and well-known author of visionary books on spaceflight. He owns a large collection of original paintings depicting astronautical themes. Ordway was educated at Harvard and completed several years of graduate study at the University of Paris and other...

, who worked on the film for two years, and I. J. Good
I. J. Good
Irving John Good was a British mathematician who worked as a cryptologist at Bletchley Park with Alan Turing. After World War II, Good continued to work with Turing on the design of computers and Bayesian statistics at the University of Manchester...

, whom Kubrick consulted with on supercomputers due to Good's authorship of treatises such as "Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine" and "Logic of Man and Machine".
Dr Marvin Minsky
Marvin Minsky
Marvin Lee Minsky is an American cognitive scientist in the field of artificial intelligence , co-founder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AI laboratory, and author of several texts on AI and philosophy.-Biography:...

, of MIT, was the main artificial intelligence adviser for the film

2001 accurately presents outer space
Outer space
Outer space is the void that exists between celestial bodies, including the Earth. It is not completely empty, but consists of a hard vacuum containing a low density of particles: predominantly a plasma of hydrogen and helium, as well as electromagnetic radiation, magnetic fields, and neutrinos....

 as not allowing the propagation of sound, in sharp contrast to other films with space scenes in which explosions or sounds of passing spacecraft are heard. 2001 portrayal of weightlessness
Weightlessness
Weightlessness is the condition that exists for an object or person when they experience little or no acceleration except the acceleration that defines their inertial trajectory, or the trajectory of pure free-fall...

 in spaceships and outer space is also more realistic. Tracking shots inside the rotating wheel providing artificial gravity
Artificial gravity
Artificial gravity is the varying of apparent gravity via artificial means, particularly in space, but also on the Earth...

 contrast with the weightlessness outside the wheel during the repair and HAL disconnection scenes. (Scenes of the astronauts in the Discovery pod bay, along with earlier scenes involving shuttle flight attendants, depict walking in zero-gravity with the help of velcro
Velcro
Velcro is the brand name of the first commercially marketed fabric hook-and-loop fastener, invented in 1948 by the Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral...

-equipped shoes labeled "Grip Shoes".) Other aspects that contribute to the film's realism are the depiction of the time delay in conversations between the astronauts and Earth due to the extreme distance between the two (which the BBC announcer explains have been edited out of the broadcast), the attention to small details such as the sound of breathing inside the spacesuits, the conflicting spatial orientation of astronauts inside a zero-gravity spaceship, and the enormous size of Jupiter in relationship to the spaceship.
The general approach to how space travel is engineered is highly accurate; in particular, the design of the ships was based on actual engineering considerations rather than attempts to look aesthetically "futuristic". Many other science-fiction films give spacecraft an aerodynamic shape, which is superfluous in outer space (except for craft such as the Pan Am shuttle that are designed to function both in atmosphere and in space). Kubrick's science advisor, Frederick Ordway, notes that in designing the spacecraft "We insisted on knowing the purpose and functioning of each assembly and component, down to the logical labeling of individual buttons and the presentation on screens of plausible operating, diagnostic and other data." Onboard equipment and panels on various spacecraft have specific purposes such as alarm, communications, condition display, docking, diagnostic, and navigation, the designs of which relied heavily on NASA's input. Aerospace specialists were also consulted on the design of the spacesuits and space helmets. The space dock at Moon base Clavius shows multiple underground layers which could sustain high levels of air pressure typical of Earth. The lunar craft design takes into account the lower gravity and lighting conditions on the Moon. The Jupiter-bound Discovery is meant to be powered by a nuclear reactor at its rear, separated from the crew area at the front by hundreds of feet of fuel storage compartments. Although difficult to be recognized as such, actual nuclear reactor control panel displays appear in the astronaut's control area.

The suspended animation of three of the astronauts on board is accurately portrayed as worked out by consulting medical authorities. Such hibernation would likely be necessary to conserve resources on a flight of this kind as Clarke's novelization implies.

A great deal of effort was made to get the look of the lunar landscape right, based on detailed lunar photographs taken from observatory telescopes. The depiction of early hominids was based on the writings of anthropologists such as Louis Leakey.

The film is scientifically inaccurate in minor but revealing details; some due to the technical difficulty involved in producing a realistic effect, and others simply being examples of artistic license.

The appearance of outer space is problematic, both in terms of lighting and the alignment of astronomical bodies. In the vacuum of outer space, stars do not twinkle, and light does not become diffuse and scattered as it does in air. The side of the Discovery spacecraft unlit by the sun, for example, would appear virtually pitch-black in space. The stars would not appear to move in relation to Discovery as it traveled towards Jupiter
Jupiter
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet within the Solar System. It is a gas giant with mass one-thousandth that of the Sun but is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in our Solar System combined. Jupiter is classified as a gas giant along with Saturn,...

, unless it was changing direction. Proportionally, the Sun, Moon and Earth would not visually line up at the size ratios shown in the opening shot, nor would the Galilean moons of Jupiter ever align as in the shot just before Bowman enters the Star Gate. Kubrick himself was aware of this latter point. (Due to the perfect Laplace resonance of the orbits of the four large moons of Jupiter, the first three will never align, and the third moon, Ganymede, will always be exactly 90 degrees away from the other two whenever the two innermost moons are in perfect alignment.) Finally, the edge of Earth appears sharp in the movie, when in reality it is slightly diffuse due to the scattering of the sunlight by the atmosphere, as is seen in many photos of Earth taken from space since the film's release.

The sequence in which Dave Bowman re-enters Discovery shows him holding his breath just before ejecting himself from the pod into the emergency airlock. Doing this before exposure to a vacuum—instead of exhaling—would, in reality, rupture the lungs. In an interview on the 2007 DVD release of the film, Arthur C. Clarke states that had he been on the set the day they filmed this, he would have caught this error. Also, the blown pod hatch simply vanishes while concealed behind a puff of smoke.

While the film's portrayal of reduced or zero-gravity is realistic, problems remain. While Floyd sips a meal in zero gravity from liquipaks, liquid slips back down the straw when he stops sucking (this is problematic only if no method was employed in the future to make the liquid behave that way). When spacecraft land on the Moon, dust is shown billowing as it would in air, not moving in a sheet as it would in the vacuum of the Lunar surface, as can be seen in Apollo Moon landing footage. While on the Moon, all actors move as if in normal Earth gravity, not as they would in the 1/6 gravity of the Moon. Similarly, the behavior of Dave and Frank in the weightless pod bay is not fully consistent with a zero-G environment. Although the astronauts are wearing zero-G 'grip shoes' in order to walk normally, they are oddly leaning on the table while testing the AE-35 unit as if held down by gravity. Finally, in an environment with a radius as small as the main quarters, the simulated gravity would vary significantly from the center of the crew quarters to the 'floor', even varying between feet, waist, and head. The rotation speed of the crew quarters was meant to be only fast enough to generate an approximation of the Moon's gravity, not that of the Earth. However, Clarke felt this was enough to prevent the physical atrophy that would result from complete weightlessness.

The first two appearances of the monolith, one on Earth and one on the Moon, conclude with the sun at its zenith over the top of the monolith. While this could happen in an African veldt anywhere between the Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer
The Tropic of Cancer, also referred to as the Northern tropic, is the circle of latitude on the Earth that marks the most northerly position at which the Sun may appear directly overhead at its zenith...

 and the Tropic of Capricorn
Tropic of Capricorn
The Tropic of Capricorn, or Southern tropic, marks the most southerly latitude on the Earth at which the Sun can be directly overhead. This event occurs at the December solstice, when the southern hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun to its maximum extent.Tropic of Capricorn is one of the five...

, it could not happen anywhere near the crater Tycho (where the monolith is found) as it is 45 degrees south of the lunar equator. Also implausible is the sun reaching its zenith so soon after a lunar sunrise, and the appearance of a crescent Earth near the sun is in complete discontinuity with all previous appearances of Earth, whose position from any spot on the Moon varies only slightly due to libration
Libration
In astronomy, libration is an oscillating motion of orbiting bodies relative to each other, notably including the motion of the Moon relative to Earth, or of Trojan asteroids relative to planets.-Lunar libration:...

.

The movement of Dr. Floyd's floating pen while en route to the station is in a circular arc (the result of it actually being attached to a rotating clear-plastic disc), but it is unclear why it isn't rotating around its own center of gravity (rather than a point external to it) or moving in a straight line (unless the space shuttle is rotating).

Geophysicist Dr. David Stephenson in the Canadian TV documentary 2001 and Beyond notes that "Every engineer that saw it [the space station] had a fit. You do not spin on a wheel that is not fully built. You have to finish it before you spin it or else you have real problems".

Except for the first approach scenes, the space station is seen rotating counter-clockwise when viewed from the approaching Pan Am shuttle; when we see space station from the Pan Am shuttle after it has synchronized its motion with the station, we appropriately see the stars moving clockwise. However, when the camera peers outside the space station's docking port back at the shuttle, the stars should rotate counterclockwise, but they rotate clockwise. Furthermore, when the ship synchronizes its rotation with that of the space station so that the station appears stationary, the stars behind it rotate, but the shadows from sunlight no longer shift over the surface of the rotating station.

There are other problems that might be more appropriately described as continuity errors, such as the back-and-forth horizontal switching of Earth's lit side when viewed from Clavius, and the schematic of the space station on the Pan Am spaceplane's monitors continuing to rotate after the plane has synchronized its motion with the station. The latter is due to the position readout actually being a rear-projected film shown in a continuous loop, and being out of sync with other visual elements. The direction of the rotation of the Earth's image outside the space station window is clockwise when Floyd is greeted by a receptionist, but counterclockwise when he phones his daughter.

Imagining the future


Over fifty organizations contributed technical advice to the production, and a number of them submitted their ideas to Kubrick of what kind of products might be seen in a movie set in the year 2001. Much was made by MGM's publicity department of the film's realism, claiming in a 1968 brochure that "Everything in 2001: A Space Odyssey can happen within the next three decades, and...most of the picture will happen by the beginning of the next millennium." Although the predictions central to the plot —colonization of the Moon, manned interplanetary travel and artificial intelligence—did not materialize by that date (and still have not), some of the film's other futuristic elements have indeed been realized.

Technology



One futuristic device shown in the film already under development when the film was released in 1968 was voice-print identification; the first prototype was released in 1976. A credible prototype of a chess-playing computer already existed in 1968, even though it could be defeated by experts; computers did not defeat champions until the late 1980s. While 10-digit phone numbers for long-distance national dialing originated in 1951, longer phone numbers for international dialing became a reality in 1970. Installation of personal in-flight entertainment displays by major airlines began in the early-to-mid 1990s, offering video games, TV broadcasts and movies in a manner similar to that shown in the film. The film also shows flat-screen TV monitors, of which the first real-world prototype appeared in 1972 produced by Westinghouse, but was not used for broadcast television until 1998. Plane cockpit integrated system displays, known as "glass cockpits"
Glass cockpit
A glass cockpit is an aircraft cockpit that features electronic instrument displays, typically large LCD screens, as opposed to the traditional style of analog dials and gauges...

, were introduced in the 1970s (originally in NASA Langley's Boeing 737
Boeing 737
The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range, twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers...

 Flying Laboratory). Today such cockpits appear not only in high-tech aircraft like the Boeing 777, but have also been employed in space shuttles, the first being Atlantis in 1985. Rudimentary voice-controlled computing began in the early 1980s with the SoftVoice Computer System and exists in more sophisticated form in the early 2000s, although it is still not as sophisticated as depicted in the film. The first picture phone was demonstrated at the 1964 New York World's Fair; however, due to the bandwidth limitations of telephone lines, personal video communication has only been practical over broadband internet connections.

Some technologies portrayed as common in the film which have not materialized in the 2000s include commonplace civilian space travel, space stations with hotels, Moon colonization, suspended animation of humans, and strong artificial intelligence of the kind displayed by HAL.

Companies and countries


Many more BBC stations existed in 2001 than did in 1968 as shown in the film, although there is no BBC 12. The corporations IBM
IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...

, Aeroflot
Aeroflot
OJSC AeroflotRussian Airlines , commonly known as Aeroflot , is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation, based on passengers carried per year...

, Howard Johnson's
Howard Johnson's
Howard Johnson's is a chain of hotels and restaurants, located primarily throughout the United States and Canada. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Howard Johnson's was the largest restaurant chain in the United States, with over 1,000 restaurants...

, and Hilton Hotels
Hilton Hotels
Hilton Hotels & Resorts is an international chain of full-service hotels and resorts founded by Conrad Hilton and now owned by Hilton Worldwide. Hilton hotels are either owned by, managed by, or franchised to independent operators by Hilton Worldwide. Hilton Hotels became the first coast-to-coast...

, all of which appear in the film, have survived beyond 2001, although by 2001 Howard Johnson's had switched its business focus to hotels, rather than the restaurants shown in the film. On the other hand, the film depicts a still-existing Pan Am and still-autonomous Bell System
Bell System
The Bell System was the American Bell Telephone Company and then, subsequently, AT&T led system which provided telephone services to much of the United States and Canada from 1877 to 1984, at various times as a monopoly. In 1984, the company was broken up into separate companies, by a U.S...

 telephone company. The Bell System logo seen in the film was modified in 1969 and dropped entirely in 1983.

Many reviewers thought the Russian scientists met by Dr. Floyd in the space station were affiliated with the then-extant Soviet Union. Nonetheless, the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...

.

Set design and furnishings


Kubrick involved himself in every aspect of production, even choosing the fabric for his actors' costumes, and selecting notable pieces of contemporary furniture for use in the film. When Floyd exits the Space Station V elevator, he is greeted by an attendant seated behind a slightly modified George Nelson
George Nelson (designer)
George Nelson was a noted American industrial designer, and one of the founders of American Modernism. While Director of Design for the Herman Miller furniture company both Nelson, and his design studio, George Nelson Associates, Inc., designed much of the 20th century's most iconic modernist...

 Action Office desk from Herman Miller
Herman Miller (office equipment)
Herman Miller, Inc., based in Zeeland, Michigan, is a major American manufacturer of office furniture and equipment, as well as furniture for the home. It is notable as one of the first companies to produce modern furniture and, under the guidance of Design Director George Nelson, is likely the...

's 1964 "Action Office
Action Office
The Action Office is a series of furniture designed by Robert Propst, and sold by Herman Miller. First introduced in 1964 as the Action Office I product line, then superseded by the Action Office II series, it is an influential design in the history of “contract furniture”...

"
series. First introduced in 1968, the Action Office style "cubicle
Cubicle
Тhe cubicle, cubicle desk, office cubicle or cubicle workstation is a partially enclosed workspace, separated from neighboring workspaces by partitions that are usually tall...

"
would eventually occupy 70 percent of office space by the mid-2000s. Noted Danish designer Arne Jacobsen
Arne Jacobsen
Arne Emil Jacobsen, usually known as Arne Jacobsen, was a Danish architect and designer. He is remembered for contributing so much to architectural Functionalism as well as for the worldwide success he enjoyed with simple but effective chair designs.-Early life and education:Arne Jacobsen was born...

 designed the cutlery used by the Discovery astronauts in the film.

Perhaps the most noted pieces of furniture in the film are the bright red Djinn Chair
Djinn Chair
The Djinn chair is an important design of the "Modernist" style. It was created by French designer Olivier Mourgue. Originally called the "Low fireside chair", it is also commonly referred to as the "2001" chair, because of its prominent appearance in the film "2001: A Space Odyssey".-History:The...

s seen prominently throughout the Space Station. Designed by Olivier Mourgue
Olivier Mourgue
Olivier Mourgue is a French industrial designer best known as the designer of the futuristic Djinn chairs used in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.-Biography:...

 in 1965, the Djinn chair is one of the most recognizable chair designs of the 1960s, at least partly due to their visibility in the film. Today the chairs, particularly in red, are highly sought-after examples of modern furniture design. Near the Djinn chairs the actors in the film are seated in is one of Eero Saarinen
Eero Saarinen
Eero Saarinen was a Finnish American architect and industrial designer of the 20th century famous for varying his style according to the demands of the project: simple, sweeping, arching structural curves or machine-like rationalism.-Biography:Eero Saarinen shared the same birthday as his father,...

's 1956 pedestal tables, another famous piece of "modern" design. The pedestal table would later make an appearance in another science fiction film, "Men in Black
Men in Black
Men in Black , in American popular culture and in UFO conspiracy theories, are men dressed in black suits who claim to be government agents who harass or threaten UFO witnesses to keep them quiet about what they have seen. It is sometimes implied that they may be aliens themselves...

". Mourgue has been using the connection to 2001 in his advertising; a frame from the film's space station sequence and three production stills appear on the homepage of Mourgue's website. Shortly before Kubrick's death, film critic Alexander Walker informed Kubrick of Mourgue's use of the film, joking to him "You're keeping the price up". Commenting on their use in the film, Walker writes:

Music



Music plays a crucial part in 2001, and not only because of the relatively sparse dialogue. From very early on in production, Kubrick decided that he wanted the film to be a primarily non-verbal experience, one that did not rely on the traditional techniques of narrative
Narrative
A narrative is a constructive format that describes a sequence of non-fictional or fictional events. The word derives from the Latin verb narrare, "to recount", and is related to the adjective gnarus, "knowing" or "skilled"...

 cinema, and in which music would play a vital role in evoking particular moods. About half the music in the film appears either before the first line of dialogue or after the final line. Almost no music is heard during any scenes with dialogue.

The film is remarkable for its innovative use of classical music taken from existing commercial recordings. Most feature films then and now are typically accompanied by elaborate film scores or songs written especially for them by professional composers. In the early stages of production, Kubrick had actually commissioned a score for 2001
2001: A Space Odyssey (score)
The 2001: A Space Odyssey score is an unused film score composed by Alex North for Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.-Background:...

 from noted Hollywood composer Alex North
Alex North
Alex North was an American composer who wrote the first jazz-based film score and one of the first modernist scores written in Hollywood ....

, who had written the score for Spartacus and also worked on Dr. Strangelove. However, during post-production, Kubrick chose to abandon North's music in favor of the now-familiar classical music pieces he had earlier chosen as "guide pieces" for the soundtrack. North did not know of the abandonment of the score until after he saw the film's premiere screening. The world's first exposure to North's unused music was via Telarc's issue of the main theme on Hollywood's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2, a compilation album by Erich Kunzel
Erich Kunzel
Erich Kunzel, Jr. was an American orchestra conductor. Called the "Prince of Pops" by the Chicago Tribune, he performed with a number of leading pops and symphony orchestras, especially the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra , which he led for over 44 years.-Early life and career:Kunzel was born to...

 and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra is a pops orchestra based in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, founded in 1977 out of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Its members are also the members of the Cincinnati Symphony, and the Pops is managed by the same administration...

. All the music North originally wrote was recorded commercially by North's friend and colleague Jerry Goldsmith
Jerry Goldsmith
Jerrald King Goldsmith was an American composer and conductor most known for his work in film and television scoring....

 with the National Philharmonic Orchestra
National Philharmonic Orchestra
The National Philharmonic Orchestra was a British orchestra created exclusively for recording purposes. It was founded by RCA producer Charles Gerhardt and orchestra leader / contractor Sidney Sax due in part to the requirements of the Reader's Digest-History:...

 and was released on Varèse Sarabande
Varèse Sarabande
Varèse Sarabande is an American record label, distributed by Universal Music Group, which specializes in film scores and original cast recordings. It aims to reissue rare or unavailable albums as well as newer releases by artists no longer under a contract...

 CDs shortly after Telarc's first theme release but before North's death. Eventually, a mono mix-down of North's original recordings, which had survived in the interim, would be released as a limited edition CD by Intrada Records
Intrada Records
Intrada Records is an American record company based in Oakland, California. Intrada Records is an American record company based in Oakland, California. Intrada Records is an American record company based in Oakland, California...

. In The Art of Film Music George Burt writes that North's score is outstanding and Kubrick's decision to abandon it was "most unfortunate", even though Kubrick's choice of classical music does have merit.

In an interview with Michel Ciment
Michel Ciment
Michel Ciment is a French film critic and the editor of the cinema magazine Positif. Ciment is a Chevalier of the Order of Merit, Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters, and the president of FIPRESCI...

, Kubrick explained:
Roger Ebert notes that Alex North's rejected score contains emotional cues to the viewer while the final music selections exist outside the action, while uplifting it. With regard to the space docking sequence, Ebert notes the peculiar combination of slowness and majesty that it has as a result of the choice of Strauss's Blue Danube waltz, bringing "seriousness and transcendence" to the visuals. Speaking of the music generally, Ebert writes

2001 is particularly remembered for using pieces of Johann Strauss II's best-known waltz
Waltz
The waltz is a ballroom and folk dance in time, performed primarily in closed position.- History :There are several references to a sliding or gliding dance,- a waltz, from the 16th century including the representations of the printer H.S. Beheim...

, An der schönen blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube
The Blue Danube
The Blue Danube is the common English title of An der schönen blauen Donau, Op. 314 , a waltz by the Austrian composer Johann Strauss II, composed in 1866...

)
, during the extended space-station docking and lunar landing sequences, and the use of the opening from the Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems and orchestral works, such as Death and Transfiguration, Till...

 tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra
Also sprach Zarathustra (Richard Strauss)
Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 is a tone poem by Richard Strauss, composed in 1896 and inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophical treatise of the same name. The composer conducted its first performance on 27 November 1896 in Frankfurt...

(Usually translated as "Thus Spake Zarathustra" or occasionally "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" – the soundtrack album gives the former, the movie's credits give the latter). Composers Richard and Johann Strauss are not related.

In addition to the majestic yet fairly traditional compositions by the two Strauss's and Aram Khatchaturian, Kubrick used four highly modernistic compositions by György Ligeti which employ micropolyphony
Micropolyphony
Micropolyphony is a type of 20th century musical texture involving the use of sustained dissonant chords that shift slowly over time. According to David Cope, "a simultaneity of different lines, rhythms, and timbres"...

, the use of sustained dissonant chords that shift slowly over time. This technique was pioneered in Atmosphères
Atmosphères
Atmosphères is a piece for full orchestra, composed by György Ligeti in 1961. It is noted for eschewing conventional melody and metre in favor of dense sound textures...

, the only Ligeti piece heard in its entirety in the film. Ligeti admired Kubrick's film, but in addition to being irritated by Kubrick's failure to obtain permission directly from him, he was not entirely pleased that his music occurred in a film soundtrack shared by composers Johann
Johann Strauss II
Johann Strauss II , also known as Johann Baptist Strauss or Johann Strauss, Jr., the Younger, or the Son , was an Austrian composer of light music, particularly dance music and operettas. He composed over 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, and other types of dance music, as well as several operettas...

 and Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems and orchestral works, such as Death and Transfiguration, Till...

.

The Richard and Johann Strauss pieces and György Ligeti
György Ligeti
György Sándor Ligeti was a composer of contemporary classical music. Born in a Hungarian Jewish family in Transylvania, Romania, he briefly lived in Hungary before becoming an Austrian citizen.-Early life:...

’s Requiem (the Kyrie section) act as recurring leitmotifs in the film’s storyline. Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra is first heard in the opening title which juxtaposes the Sun, Earth, and Moon. It is subsequently heard when an ape first learns to use a tool, and when Bowman is transformed into the Star-Child at the end of the film. Zarathustra thus acts as a bookend for the beginning and end of the film, and as a motif signifying evolutionary transformations, first from ape to man, then from man to Star-Child. This piece was originally inspired by the philosopher Nietzsche’s book of the same name which alludes briefly to the relationship of ape to man and man to Superman. The Blue Danube appears in two intricate and extended space travel sequences as well as the closing credits. The first of these is the particularly famous sequence of the PanAm space plane docking at Space Station V. Ligeti’s Requiem is heard three times, all of them during appearances of the monolith. The first is its encounter with apes just before the Zarathustra-accompanied ape discovery of the tool. The second is the monolith's discovery on the Moon, and the third is Bowman's approach to it around Jupiter just before he enters the Star Gate. This last sequence with the Requiem has much more movement in it than the first two, and it transitions directly into the music from Ligeti’s Atmosphères
Atmosphères
Atmosphères is a piece for full orchestra, composed by György Ligeti in 1961. It is noted for eschewing conventional melody and metre in favor of dense sound textures...

which is heard when Bowman actually enters the Star Gate. No music is heard during the monolith's much briefer final appearance in Dave Bowman’s celestial bedroom which immediately precedes the Zarathustra-accompanied transformation of Bowman into the Star-Child. A shorter excerpt from Atmosphères is heard during the pre-credits prelude and film intermission, which are not in all copies of the film. Gayane's Adagio from Aram Khatchaturian's Gayane ballet suite is heard during the sections that introduce Bowman and Poole aboard the Discovery conveying a somewhat lonely and mournful quality. Other music used is Ligeti’s Lux Aeterna
Lux Aeterna (György Ligeti)
Lux Aeterna is a piece for 16 solo singers, written by György Ligeti in 1966. It is most famous for its use in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey....

and an electronically altered form of his Aventures, the last of which was so used without Ligeti's permission and is not listed in the film's credits.

HAL's version of the popular song "Daisy Bell
Daisy Bell
"Daisy Bell" is a popular song with the well-known chorus "Daisy, Daisy/Give me your answer do/I'm half crazy/all for the love of you" as well as the line "...a bicycle built for two".-History:"Daisy Bell" was composed by Harry Dacre in 1892...

" (referred to by HAL as "Daisy" in the film) was inspired by a computer-synthesized arrangement by Max Mathews
Max Mathews
Max Vernon Mathews was a pioneer in the world of computer music.-Biography:...

, which Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS was a British science fiction author, inventor, and futurist, famous for his short stories and novels, among them 2001: A Space Odyssey, and as a host and commentator in the British television series Mysterious World. For many years, Robert A. Heinlein,...

 had heard in 1962 at the Bell Laboratories Murray Hill facility when he was, coincidentally, visiting friend and colleague John Pierce. At that time, a speech synthesis
Speech synthesis
Speech synthesis is the artificial production of human speech. A computer system used for this purpose is called a speech synthesizer, and can be implemented in software or hardware...

 demonstration was being performed by physicist John Larry Kelly, Jr
John Larry Kelly, Jr
John Larry Kelly, Jr. , was a scientist who worked at Bell Labs. He is best known for formulating the Kelly criterion, an algorithm for maximally investing money....

, by using an IBM 704
IBM 704
The IBM 704, the first mass-produced computer with floating point arithmetic hardware, was introduced by IBM in 1954. The 704 was significantly improved over the IBM 701 in terms of architecture as well as implementations which were not compatible with its predecessor.Changes from the 701 included...

 computer to synthesize speech. Kelly's voice recorder synthesizer vocoder
Vocoder
A vocoder is an analysis/synthesis system, mostly used for speech. In the encoder, the input is passed through a multiband filter, each band is passed through an envelope follower, and the control signals from the envelope followers are communicated to the decoder...

recreated the song "Daisy Bell" ("Bicycle Built For Two"), with Max Mathews providing the musical accompaniment. Arthur C. Clarke was so impressed that he later used it in the screenplay and novel."

Many foreign language versions of the film do not use the song "Daisy." In the French soundtrack to 2001, HAL sings the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 folk
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 song "Au Clair de la Lune" while being disconnected. In the German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 version, HAL sings the children's song "Hänschen klein
Hänschen klein
"Hänschen klein" is a traditional German folk song and children's song originating in the Biedermeier period of the 19th century. The title translates to English as "Little Hans"....

" ("Johnny Little") and in the Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 version HAL sings "Giro giro tondo."

A recording of British light music composer Sidney Torch
Sidney Torch
Sidney Torch MBE was a British pianist, cinema organist, conductor, orchestral arranger and a composer of light music.Born Sidney Torchinsky of a Ukrainian Father and an Estonian Mother in London, Torch learned the rudiments of music very quickly from his father, an orchestral trombonist...

's "Off Beats Mood" was chosen by Kubrick as the theme for the fictitious BBC news programme "The World Tonight" seen aboard the spaceship Discovery.

Since the film, Also sprach Zarathustra has been used in many other contexts. It was used by the BBC and by CTV
CTV television network
CTV Television Network is a Canadian English language television network and is owned by Bell Media. It is Canada's largest privately-owned network, and has consistently placed as Canada's top-rated network in total viewers and in key demographics since 2002, after several years trailing the rival...

 in Canada as the introductory theme music for their television coverage of the Apollo space missions, as well as stage entrance music for multiple acts including Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

 late in his career. Jazz and rock variants of the theme have also been composed, the most well known being the 1972 arrangement by Eumir Deodato
Eumir Deodato
Eumir Deodato is a Brazilian pianist, composer, record producer and arranger, primarily based in the jazz realm but who historically has been known for eclectic melding of big band and combo jazz with varied elements of rock/pop, R&B/funk, Brazilian/Latin, and symphonic or orchestral music.Mainly,...

 (itself used in the 1979 film Being There
Being There
Being There is a 1979 American comedy-drama film directed by Hal Ashby. Adapted from the 1971 novella written by Jerzy Kosinski, the screenplay was coauthored by Kosinski and Robert C. Jones. The film stars Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden, Richard A...

). Both Zarathustra and The Blue Danube have been used in numerous parodies of both the film itself and science fiction/space travel stories in general. HAL's "Daisy Bell" also has been frequently used in the comedy industry to denote both humans and machines in an advanced stage of madness.

On 25 June 2010 a version of the film specially remastered by Warner Bros without the music soundtrack opened the 350th anniversary celebrations of the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 at Southbank Centre in co-operation with the British Film Institute
British Film Institute
The British Film Institute is a charitable organisation established by Royal Charter to:-Cinemas:The BFI runs the BFI Southbank and IMAX theatre, both located on the south bank of the River Thames in London...

, with the score played live by the Philharmonia Orchestra
Philharmonia Orchestra
The Philharmonia Orchestra is one of the leading orchestras in Great Britain, based in London. Since 1995, it has been based in the Royal Festival Hall. In Britain it is also the resident orchestra at De Montfort Hall, Leicester and the Corn Exchange, Bedford, as well as The Anvil, Basingstoke...

 and Choir.

Soundtrack album


The initial MGM soundtrack album release contained none of the material from the altered and uncredited rendition of "Aventures", used a different recording of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" than that heard in the film, and a longer excerpt of "Lux Aeterna" than that in the film.
In 1996, Turner Entertainment/Rhino Records released a new soundtrack on CD which included the material from "Aventures" and restored the version of "Zarathustra" used in the film, and used the shorter version of "Lux Aeterna" from the film. As additional "bonus tracks" at the end, this CD includes the versions of "Zarathustra" and "Lux Aeterna" on the old MGM soundtrack, an unaltered performance of "Aventures", and a nine-minute compilation of all of Hal's dialogue from the film.

Citing John Culshaw's autobiography Putting the Record Straight, the Internet Movie Database
Internet Movie Database
Internet Movie Database is an online database of information related to movies, television shows, actors, production crew personnel, video games and fictional characters featured in visual entertainment media. It is one of the most popular online entertainment destinations, with over 100 million...

 explains
As aforementioned, Alex North's unused original score for the film has twice been released on compact disc.

Dialogue


Alongside its use of music, the lack of dialogue and conventional narrative cues in 2001 has been noted by many reviewers. There is no dialogue at all for the entirety of both the first and last 20 minutes or so of the film; the total narrative of these sections is carried entirely by images, actions, sound effects, a great deal of music (See Music) and two title cards.

Only when the film moves into the postulated future of 2000 and 2001, does the viewer encounter characters who speak. By the time shooting began, Kubrick had deliberately jettisoned much of the intended dialogue and narration and what remains is notable for its apparent banality (making the computer HAL seem to have more human emotion than the actual humans), while it is juxtaposed with epic scenes of space. The first scenes of dialogue are Floyd's three encounters on the space station. They are preceded by the space docking sequence choreographed to Strauss' The Blue Danube
The Blue Danube
The Blue Danube is the common English title of An der schönen blauen Donau, Op. 314 , a waltz by the Austrian composer Johann Strauss II, composed in 1866...

waltz and followed by a second extended sequence of his travel to the Moon with more Strauss, the two sequences acting as bookends to his space-station stopover. In the stopover itself, we get idle chit-chat with the colleague who greets him followed by Floyd's slightly more affectionate phone call to his daughter, and the distantly friendly but awkwardly strained encounter with Soviet scientists. Later, en route to the monolith, Floyd engages in trite exchanges with his staff while we see a spectacular journey by Earthlight across the Moon's surface. Generally, the most memorable dialogue in the film belongs to the computer HAL in its exchanges with David Bowman. Hal is the only character in the film who openly expresses anxiety (primarily around his disconnection), as well as feelings of pride and bewilderment.

The first line of dialogue is the space-station stewardess addressing Heywood Floyd saying "Here you are, sir. Main level D." The final line is Floyd's conclusion of the pre-recorded Jupiter mission briefing about the monolith. "Except for a single, very powerful radio emission, aimed at Jupiter, the four-million-year-old black monolith has remained completely inert, its origin — and purpose — still a total mystery."

Sequels and adaptations


Kubrick did not envisage a sequel
Sequel
A sequel is a narrative, documental, or other work of literature, film, theatre, or music that continues the story of or expands upon issues presented in some previous work...

 to 2001. Fearing the later exploitation and recycling of his material in other productions (as was done with the props from MGM's Forbidden Planet
Forbidden Planet
Forbidden Planet is a 1956 science fiction film directed by Fred M. Wilcox, with a screenplay by Cyril Hume. It stars Leslie Nielsen, Walter Pidgeon, and Anne Francis. The characters and its setting have been compared to those in William Shakespeare's The Tempest, and its plot contains certain...

), he ordered all sets, props, miniatures, production blueprints, and prints of unused scenes destroyed. Most of these materials were lost, with two known exceptions: a 2001 spacesuit backpack appeared in the "Close Up" episode of the Gerry Anderson series UFO
UFO (TV series)
UFO is a 1970-1971 British television science fiction series about an alien invasion of Earth, created by Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson with Reg Hill, and produced by the Andersons and Lew Grade's Century 21 Productions for Grade's ITC Entertainment company.UFO first aired in the UK and Canada...

, and one of HAL's eyepieces is in the possession of the author of HAL's Legacy, David G. Stork.

Clarke went on to write three sequel novels: 2010: Odyssey Two
2010: Odyssey Two
2010: Odyssey Two is a 1982 best-selling science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It is the sequel to the 1968 novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, but continues the story of Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation with the same title and not Clarke's original novel. The book is a part of Clarke's...

(1982), 2061: Odyssey Three
2061: Odyssey Three
2061: Odyssey Three is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke that was published in 1987. It is the third book in Clarke's Space Odyssey series...

(1987), and 3001: The Final Odyssey
3001: The Final Odyssey
3001: The Final Odyssey is a science fiction novel by Sir Arthur C. Clarke. It is the fourth and final book in Clarke's Space Odyssey series.-Plot summary:...

(1997). The only filmed sequel, 2010, was based on Clarke's 1982 novel and was released in 1984. Kubrick was not involved in the production of this film, which was directed by Peter Hyams
Peter Hyams
Peter Hyams is an American screenwriter, director and cinematographer, probably best known for directing the 1984 science fiction adventure 2010 , Capricorn One, the comic book adaptation Timecop and the Arnold Schwarzenegger horror/action film End of Days.-Family:Hyams was born in New York...

 in a straightforward style with more dialogue. Clarke saw it as a fitting adaptation of his novel, and had a brief cameo appearance
Cameo appearance
A cameo role or cameo appearance is a brief appearance of a known person in a work of the performing arts, such as plays, films, video games and television...

 in the film. As Kubrick had ordered all models and blueprints from 2001 destroyed, Hyams was forced to recreate these models from scratch for 2010. Hyams also claimed that he would not make the film had he not received both Kubrick's and Clarke's blessings:
The other two novels have not been adapted for the screen, although actor Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
Thomas Jeffrey "Tom" Hanks is an American actor, producer, writer, and director. Hanks worked in television and family-friendly comedies, gaining wide notice in 1988's Big, before achieving success as a dramatic actor in several notable roles, including Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia, the title...

 has expressed interest in possible adaptations of 2061 and 3001.

Beginning in 1976, Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics
Marvel Worldwide, Inc., commonly referred to as Marvel Comics and formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, is an American company that publishes comic books and related media...

 published both a Jack Kirby
Jack Kirby
Jack Kirby , born Jacob Kurtzberg, was an American comic book artist, writer and editor regarded by historians and fans as one of the major innovators and most influential creators in the comic book medium....

-written and drawn comic adaptation
2001: A Space Odyssey (comics)
2001: A Space Odyssey was the name of an oversized comic book adaptation of the 1968 film of the same name as well as a monthly series, lasting ten issues, which expanded upon the concepts presented in the Stanley Kubrick film and the novel by Arthur C. Clarke...

 of the film and a Kirby-created 10-issue monthly series expanding on the ideas of the film and novel.

Mock hoaxes and Conspiracy Theory


In 2002, the French film maker William Karel
William Karel
William Karel is a French film director and author. He is known for his historical and political documentaries.- Biography :After studying in Paris, Karel emigrated to Israel where he lived for about 10 years in a kibbutz...

 (after initially planning a straight documentary on Stanley Kubrick) directed a hoax mockumentary
Mockumentary
A mockumentary , is a type of film or television show in which fictitious events are presented in documentary format. These productions are often used to analyze or comment on current events and issues by using a fictitious setting, or to parody the documentary form itself...

 about Kubrick and the NASA moonlanding entitled Dark Side of the Moon. He had the cooperation of Kubrick's surviving family and some NASA personnel (all of whom appear using scripted lines) and using recycled footage of members of the Nixon administration taken out of context. The film purported to demonstrate that the NASA moon landings had been faked and that the moonlanding footage had been directed by Stanley Kubrick during the production of 2001: A Space Odyssey. In discussing the film, director Karel said When the film was shown to a group of undergraduate sociology students taking a course on conspiracy theories, many of them mistakenly believed that this was an earnest and serious film. Furthermore, moon-landing hoax advocate Wayne Green cited the film as evidence for his views apparently believing the excerpts of interviews with Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, etc. (taken out of context in the film) were really talking about a moonlanding hoax. Nonetheless, the second half of the film contains several giveaways that the entire film is a hoax in jest, including a film producer named "Jack Torrance" (the name of Jack Nicholson's character in Kubrick's The Shining) an aging NASA astronaut named "David Bowman" (the astronaut in 2001) and increasing use of footage that does not match or support the narration. Australian broadcaster SBS television
Special Broadcasting Service
The Special Broadcasting Service is a hybrid-funded Australian public broadcasting radio and television network. The stated purpose of SBS is "to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect...

 aired the film on April 1 as an April fools' joke
April Fools' Day
April Fools' Day is celebrated in different countries around the world on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools' Day, April 1 is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when many people play all kinds of jokes and foolishness...

, and again on 17 November 2008 as part of Kubrick week.

A 1995 article promoting a similar mock hoax about Kubrick faking the Apollo landing also deceived many readers (in the sense of their believing the author was a bona fide conspiracy theorist). The article was posted originally on the Usenet humor news group 'alt.humor.best-of-usenet', but later reproduced in other venues not devoted to humor. The original article (with correct attribution) can be read at "www.clavius.org", a website devoted to debunking moon landing hoax theories. Websites which have reproduced it as an earnest advocacy effort include the website of the flat earth society. Conspiracy theorist Clyde Lewis
Clyde Lewis
Clyde Lewis is a talk radio personality and actor. He is the creator and host of Ground Zero, a talk radio show dealing with paranormal and parapolitical topics....

 lifted several passages from the mock article verbatim (without attribution) in support of his moonlanding hoax theories. Lewis and the flat earth society seem to ignore closing passages of the article stating the final Apollo scenes were actually filmed in the Sea of Tranquillity (an area on the moon's surface) to which Kubrick did not go personally due to his chronic fear of flying, passages meant to give away that the article is a tongue-in-cheek mock hoax.

An entirely sincere documentary film making the same claim that Morel's "mockumentary" did in jest was released in 2011 by occultist and conspiracy theorist Jay Weidner entitled Kubrick's Odyssey: Secrets Hidden in the Films of Stanley Kubrick; Part One: Kubrick and Apollo. The film was self-released on DVD by Weidner's company "Sacred Mysteries". Weidner claims that Kubrick used the same front-projection sequences used in the Dawn of Man sequence and the lunar landing sequence in Space Odyssey to simulate the Apollo landing and the NASA footage of the astronauts on the surface of the moon. Weidner also claims Kubrick's film The Shining contains coded messages about Kubrick's involvement in faking the moon-landing. The science magazine Discovery reviewed an earlier article by Weidner upon which the film was based as "bunk" but "oddly compelling" and "strangely fascinating".

In actual front screen projection it is impossible to to do wide camera pans and zooms of the kind that are frequently seen in Apollo moon footage, and are notably absent from the relatively static camera movement in the Dawn of Man sequence in Space Odyssey. The Dawn of Man sequence contains anomalies such as the glowing eyes of the cheetah which give away the existence of front-screen projection. Nothing comparable is seen in the visors of the astronauts in Apollo moon footage.

Parodies and homages


2001 has been the frequent subject of both parody
Parody
A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

 and homage
Homage
Homage is a show or demonstration of respect or dedication to someone or something, sometimes by simple declaration but often by some more oblique reference, artistic or poetic....

, sometimes extensively and other times briefly, employing both its distinctive music and iconic imagery.

In print and advertising
  • Thought to be the first time Kubrick gave permission for his work to be re-used, Apple Inc.'s 1999 website advertisement "It was a bug, Dave" was made using footage from the film. Launched during the era of concerns over Y2K bugs, the ad implied that HAL's weird behavior was caused by a Y2K bug, before driving home the point that "only Macintosh was designed to function perfectly".

  • Shortly after the release of the film, Mad magazine (#125 -March 1969) included a spoof called 201 Minutes of a Space Idiocy written by Dick DeBartolo
    Dick DeBartolo
    Dick DeBartolo is an American writer. He has most notably written for Mad. He is occasionally referred to as "Mads Maddest Writer," this being a twist on Don Martin's former status as "Mads Maddest Artist." DeBartolo served as the magazine's "Creative Consultant" from 1984 to 2009.Mad has long...

     and illustrated by Mort Drucker. In the final panels it is revealed that the monolith is a movie script titled "How to Make an Incomprehensible Science Fiction Movie" by Stanley Kubrick." It was reprinted in various special issues, in the MAD About the Sixties book, and partially in the book "The Making of Kubrick's 2001".


In film and television
  • Mel Brooks
    Mel Brooks
    Mel Brooks is an American film director, screenwriter, composer, lyricist, comedian, actor and producer. He is best known as a creator of broad film farces and comic parodies. He began his career as a stand-up comic and as a writer for the early TV variety show Your Show of Shows...

    ' satirical film History of the World, Part I
    History of the World, Part I
    History of the World, Part I is a 1981 comedy film written, produced, and directed by Mel Brooks. Brooks also stars in the film, playing five roles: Moses, Comicus the stand-up philosopher, Tomás de Torquemada, King Louis XVI, and Jacques, le garçon de pisse...

    opens with a parody of Kubrick's "Dawn of Man" sequence, narrated by Orson Welles
    Orson Welles
    George Orson Welles , best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio...

    . DVDVerdict describes this parody as "spot on". (Ironically, Brooks had earlier defeated 2001: A Space Odyssey in competition for the Best Screenplay Oscar.) A similar spoof of the "Dawn of Man" sequence also opened Ken Shapiro's 1974 comedy The Groove Tube
    The Groove Tube
    The Groove Tube , written and produced by Ken Shapiro, was a low-budget comedy film. It satirized television and the counterculture of the early 1970s. The film was originally produced to be shown at the Channel One Theater on East 60th St...

    in which the monolith was replaced by a television set. (The film is mostly a parody of television. Film and Filming held that after this wonderful opening, the film slid downhill.)
  • Woody Allen
    Woody Allen
    Woody Allen is an American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, jazz musician, author, and playwright. Allen's films draw heavily on literature, sexuality, philosophy, psychology, Jewish identity, and the history of cinema...

     cast actor Douglas Rain
    Douglas Rain
    Douglas Rain is a Canadian actor and narrator. He is primarily a stage actor, but his best known film role was as the voice of the HAL 9000 computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequel 2010 ....

     (HAL in Kubrick's film) in an uncredited part as the voice of the controlling computer in the closing sequences of his science-fiction comedy Sleeper
    Sleeper (film)
    Sleeper is a 1973 futuristic science fiction comedy film, written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman, and directed by Allen. The plot involves the adventures of the owner of a Greenwich Village, NY health food store played by Woody Allen who is cryogenically frozen in 1973 and defrosted 200...

    .
  • Kubrick was both a great fan of The Simpsons and in friendly contact with the show's producers, according to his stepdaughter Katharina. Analysts of the show argue that The Simpsons contains more references to many films of Stanley Kubrick than any other pop culture phenomenon. Gary Westfahl has noted that while references to "fantastic fiction" in The Simpsons are copious, "there are two masters of the genre whose impact on The Simpsons supersedes that of all others: Stanley Kubrick and Edgar Allan Poe." John Alberti has referred to "the show's almost obsessive references to the films of Stanley Kubrick." Simpson's creator Matt Groening is also the creator of Futurama which also has copious references to various Kubrick films.
    Of the many references to Kubrick in Groening's work, perhaps the most notable Space Odyssey reference in The Simpsons is the episode "Deep Space Homer" in which Bart throws a felt-tip marker into the air; in slow motion it rotates, before a match cut replaces it with a cylindrical satellite. In 2004 Empire magazine listed this as the third best film parody of the entire run of the show. In the Futurama episode "Love and Rocket" (Season 4, Episode 3) a sentient spaceship revolts in a manner similar to HAL. Total Film listed this as number 17 in its list of 20 Funniest Futurama parodies, while noting that Futurama has referenced Space Odyssey on several other occasions.
  • Peter Sellers
    Peter Sellers
    Richard Henry Sellers, CBE , known as Peter Sellers, was a British comedian and actor. Perhaps best known as Chief Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther film series, he is also notable for playing three different characters in Dr...

     starred in Hal Ashby
    Hal Ashby
    Hal Ashby was an American film director and film editor.-Birth and early years:Born William Hal Ashby in Ogden, Utah, Ashby grew up in a Mormon household and had a tumultuous childhood as part of a dysfunctional family which included the divorce of his parents, his father's suicide and his...

    's comedy-drama Being There
    Being There
    Being There is a 1979 American comedy-drama film directed by Hal Ashby. Adapted from the 1971 novella written by Jerzy Kosinski, the screenplay was coauthored by Kosinski and Robert C. Jones. The film stars Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden, Richard A...

    about a simple-minded middle-aged gardener who has lived his entire life in the townhouse of his wealthy employer. In the scene where he first leaves the house and ventures into the wide world for the first time, the soundtrack plays a jazzy version of Strauss' Thus Spake Zarathustra arranged by Eumir Deodato
    Eumir Deodato
    Eumir Deodato is a Brazilian pianist, composer, record producer and arranger, primarily based in the jazz realm but who historically has been known for eclectic melding of big band and combo jazz with varied elements of rock/pop, R&B/funk, Brazilian/Latin, and symphonic or orchestral music.Mainly,...

    . Film critic James A. Davidson writing for the film journal Images suggests "When Chance emerges from his home into the world, Ashby suggests his child-like nature by using Richard Strauss' Thus Spake Zarathustra as ironic background music, linking his hero with Kubrick's star baby in his masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey."
  • Tim Burton
    Tim Burton
    Timothy William "Tim" Burton is an American film director, film producer, writer and artist. He is famous for dark, quirky-themed movies such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet...

    's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has a scene (using actual footage from A Space Odyssey) in which the monolith morphs into a chocolate bar. Catholic News noted that the film "had subtle and obvious riffs on everything from the saccharine Disney "Small World" exhibit to Munchkinland to, most brilliantly, a hilarious takeoff on Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey."
  • Andrew Stanton
    Andrew Stanton
    Andrew Stanton is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and occasional voice actor based at Pixar Animation Studios. His film work includes writing and directing Finding Nemo and WALL-E; both films earned him the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.-Life and career:Stanton was...

    , the director of WALL-E
    WALL-E
    WALL-E, promoted with an interpunct as WALL•E, is a 2008 American computer-animated science fiction film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and directed by Andrew Stanton. The story follows a robot named WALL-E, who is designed to clean up a waste-covered Earth far in the future...

    , revealed in an interview with WIRED magazine that his film was in many ways an homage to Space Odyssey, Alien, Blade Runner, Close Encounters and several other science-fiction films. The reviewer for USA Today noted the resemblance of the spaceship's computer, Auto, to HAL. The same year saw the release of the much less successful film Eagle Eye
    Eagle Eye
    Eagle Eye is a 2008 thriller film directed by D. J. Caruso and starring Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan. The two portray a young man and a single mother who are brought together and coerced by an anonymous caller into carrying out a plan by a possible terrorist organization...

    , about which The Charlotte Observer noted that, like 2001, it featured a "red-eyed, calm-voiced supercomputer that took human life to protect what it felt were higher objectives"
  • Commenting on the broader use of Ligeti's music beyond that by Kubrick, London Magazine in 2006 noted Monty Python
    Monty Python
    Monty Python was a British surreal comedy group who created their influential Monty Python's Flying Circus, a British television comedy sketch show that first aired on the BBC on 5 October 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four series...

    's use of Ligeti in a 60-second spoof of Space Odyssey in the Flying Circus episode commonly labeled "A Book at Bedtime".
  • The poorly reviewed Canadian spoof 2001: A Space Travesty
    2001: A Space Travesty
    2001: A Space Travesty is a 2000 American spoof comedy film starring actor Leslie Nielsen. The film has a few sequences parodying elements of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but is not focused on parodying Odyssey.-Plot:...

    has been occasionally alluded to as a full parody of Kubrick's film, both because of its title and star Leslie Nielsen's many previous films which were full parodies of other films. However, Space Travesty only makes occasional references to Kubrick's material, its "celebrities are really aliens" jokes resembling those in Men in Black
    Men in Black
    Men in Black , in American popular culture and in UFO conspiracy theories, are men dressed in black suits who claim to be government agents who harass or threaten UFO witnesses to keep them quiet about what they have seen. It is sometimes implied that they may be aliens themselves...

    . Canadian reviewer Jim Slotek noted "It's not really a spoof of 2001, or anything in particular. There's a brief homage at the start, and one scene in a shuttle en route to the Moon that uses The Blue Danube...The rest is a patched together plot." Among many complaints about the film, reviewer Berge Garabedian derided the lack of much substantive connection to the Kubrick film (the latter of which he said was "funnier").
  • Among spoof references to several science-fiction films and shows, Airplane II features a computer called ROK 9000 in control of a Moon shuttle which malfunctions and kills crew members, which several reviewers found reminiscent of HAL.


In video games and software
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey has also been referenced in multiple video games, usually either with reference to either the monolith or HAL. In SimEarth
    SimEarth
    SimEarth: The Living Planet, the second life simulation computer game designed by Will Wright in which the player controls the development of a planet. The game was published in 1990 by Maxis...

    and Spore
    Spore (2008 video game)
    Spore is a multi-genre single-player god game developed by Maxis and designed by Will Wright. The game was released for the Microsoft Windows and Macintosh operating systems in September 2008 as Spore...

    , monoliths are used to encourage the evolution of species. In Metal Gear Solid
    Metal Gear Solid
    is a videogame by Hideo Kojima. The game was developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan and first published by Konami in 1998 for the PlayStation video game console. It is the sequel to Kojimas early MSX2 computer games Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake...

    the human character of Hal Emmerich was named in-world by his father for the computer HAL.

See also External links.

See also

  • List of films about outer space
  • List of spacecraft from the Space Odyssey series
  • NASA Advanced Space Transportation Program
    NASA Advanced Space Transportation Program
    The Advanced Space Transportation Program is a NASA program which is developing future space transportation systems. The ASTP's work, or purpose, is to intentionally advance current technologies, and innovate novel technologies, through intense research efforts that culminate in regularizing the...

  • Toynbee tiles
    Toynbee tiles
    The Toynbee tiles are messages of mysterious origin found embedded in asphalt of streets in about two dozen major cities in the United States and four South American capitals. Since the 1980s, several hundred tiles have been discovered. They are generally about the size of an American license...

    , mysterious notices in U.S. cities mentioning "Kubrick's 2001"
  • List of films considered the best

Further reading


External links




Related information