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45 years ago, the future visited us...
April 3, 2013 8:57 AM   Subscribe

The stewardess who retrieved a sleeping passenger's floating pen. The man in the ape suit who howled at the monolith. Arthur C. Clarke, recalling how he thought Stanley Kubrick was wrong, back in the day, about HAL being able to read lips, but later, aware that computers were developing such ability, admitting that he had been wrong. This and much more in The Making of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Meanwhile, from Douglas Trumbull, here's Creating Special Effects for 2001: A Space Odyssey. And here, full to bursting with interesting info, is the IMDb trivia page for 2001: A Space Odyssey. Why all this? Well, it's in honor of the 45th anniversary of the film's world premiere. Thank you for the masterpiece, Mr. Kubrick.
posted by flapjax at midnite (30 comments total) 55 users marked this as a favorite

 
If this doesn't satisfy your Kubrick needs, the people over at Coudal Partners are quite obsessive about collecting links to good Kubrick related content on the web.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:03 AM on April 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


You know, I am intensely interested in these links but fear destroying the magic.

I have no idea what to do.
posted by mazola at 9:07 AM on April 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Its origin and purpose are still a total mystery."
posted by mediated self at 9:13 AM on April 3, 2013


You know, I am intensely interested in these links but fear destroying the magic

...you probably shouldn't worry; I have this book, and it only made the magic more awesome.
posted by foonly at 9:18 AM on April 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


Its the little things that appear that always get me.
posted by Slackermagee at 9:26 AM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


There is nothing more brilliant than the monkey humans dancing around the monolith.

To me the monolith represents the concept of the numeral 1.

Now that the monkey humans have this they are able to have empirical science and technology.

We have built everything around us based on the unit. We believe in the whole number. It is our most basic building block and it is also our constraint because we use it to disprove all magic.

If there is a sequel to 2001 perhaps it is the next "gift" we receive that will allow us to travel in between the 0s and 1s. Quantum Mechanics shows us we can be in two places at the same time. We need to go beyond the whole number.
posted by Colonel Panic at 10:19 AM on April 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Its the little things that appear that always get me.

I long for someone to reproduce* that film-within-a-film interview so that it's viewable on an iPad.

*though some experts still prefer to use the word "mimic"
posted by gubo at 10:25 AM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I remember watching 2001 with my Dad on TV when I was about 7 or 8, and it was completely weird. It was one of the first movies I watched on our new VCR, and I must have read the novel when I was 11 or 12 (I do recall reading 2010 when published as a softcover). Lost Worlds of 2001 is a cool book.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:07 AM on April 3, 2013


Which reminds me: my grandparents had a house crammed full of weird and interesting stuff in the basement, and the room where my uncle lived during university had lots of cool stuff.

In his room, there was a book published shortly after the movie came out. It was written by a high school student, a girl, and was really really good, and talked a lot about the themes of the movie, trying to decipher it.

Can't find it now online. Ring a bell at all?
posted by KokuRyu at 11:09 AM on April 3, 2013


Haven't watched the movie for years. I know it's brilliant. I just watched this sequence. I forgot how really brilliant it is. I saw it in the late 1970's early '80's at a midnight show, I can't imagine what is was like to see it in 1968.
posted by marxchivist at 11:41 AM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


TOYNBEE IDEA
IN MOViE `2001
RESURRECT DEAD
ON PLANET JUPITER.

posted by Hamusutaa at 11:43 AM on April 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Rather distressed to discover that the documentary Douglas Trumbull planned to make on the making of 2001, based on a crazy amount of material uncovered during research on a book, has been cancelled - or rather, turned down last year after initial enthusiasm and six months' preparation - by Warner.

The link goes to a talk Trumbull gave, which includes a showing of the trailer he made for Warner, and includes some detail of what we're not now going to get.
posted by Devonian at 11:47 AM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Colonel Panic: "

If there is a sequel to 2001 perhaps it is the next "gift" we receive that will allow us to travel in between the 0s and 1s. Quantum Mechanics shows us we can be in two places at the same time. We need to go beyond the whole number.
"

2010.
posted by Splunge at 12:41 PM on April 3, 2013


[T]here was a book published shortly after the movie came out. It was written by a high school student, a girl, and was really really good, and talked a lot about the themes of the movie, trying to decipher it.

Can't find it now online. Ring a bell at all?


You might be thinking of Margaret Stackhouse's reflections of 2001, which were reprinted in Jerome Agel's "The Making of Kubrick's 2001". It's a fantastic book - well worth tracking down.
posted by New Frontier at 1:16 PM on April 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Splunge: ": 2010."

I watched both 2001 and 2010 within a few days of each other a few years ago and wow, 2010 is such a bad film in comparison. Cliched characters, sloppy direction, bad special effects and worst of all, SOUND IN SPACE!
posted by octothorpe at 1:29 PM on April 3, 2013


Well, 2001 is a masterpiece, and 2010 is just a middlebrow, talky action film set in space. I don't think it's crappy -- it's quite watchable (and what a great cast) -- but it has its annoyances. The biggest failure, however, is its inability to translate any of the real ideas of the book into the story.

Sound in space, though, that's just a storytelling function. I don't think it's really a hill to die on.
posted by dhartung at 2:43 PM on April 3, 2013


The books are good until 3001, which is just bad. I wish I'd seen the Sydney Symphony's presentation of 2001 with a live score; it would have probably blown my mind.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:18 PM on April 3, 2013


I've been revisiting Kubrick's movies lately, and it's taken me all these years to actually realize that he is one of my favorite filmmakers. His films have been a continuous part of my life since I was a kid, but it's taken watching all of them again over a few months to cement how significant they are in my, I dunno, visual vocabulary or something. It's odd, because the chilliness and... astringency of his work wouldn't seem to match up with my personality all that well, but there it is. Strangelove, 2001, Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket (Eyes Wide Shut is hard for me because Tom Cruise just grates on me), and you know, the others, to varying extents: milestones for me.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:15 PM on April 3, 2013


You may not have liked 2010 (I did), but lemme tell you...there's a very good reason there hasn't been a 2061 movie.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:47 PM on April 3, 2013


Mute the awful music, but i was just linked to this recently which feels quite topical...
posted by emptythought at 4:54 PM on April 3, 2013


I've never seen this movie all the way through. I must have been to see it at least six times, five of those times I was asleep buy the second half. One time I walked out because some fucking moron woman bought her 5 year old and kept having to explain things as if it were the smurfs.
posted by mattoxic at 6:34 PM on April 3, 2013


Imagine taking the filmscore out of 2001 and watching the whole thing without it.

I can't think of a feature film more reliant on music for its effect on viewers. Is the music there to sell the action ... or is it the other way around?
posted by Twang at 8:31 PM on April 3, 2013


I must have been to see it at least six times, five of those times I was asleep buy the second half.

That's astonishing. Maybe time to give up!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:49 PM on April 3, 2013


Are you anywhere near Los Angeles? LACMA's currently running a fairly extensive exhibit of stuff from the making of all the films. The exhibit doesn't disappoint and is worth the cost alone just to read SK's script marginalia (There are many and they run deep)
posted by Fupped Duck at 8:57 PM on April 3, 2013


The IMDB page mentions that Kubrick went with monkey-men instead of more authentic proto-hominids because otherwise the film would have had an X rating from all the genitalia on display. But I remember a magazine article back in the day--I want to say it was Cinefantastique, back in the late seventies--that had a more complicated story. The idea was that Kubrick wanted to get around the nudity prohibition by giving the child actors who were playing the hominids (the proto-hominids being much shorter than average humans) merkins, and to make them fit as closely as possible so that they wouldn't appear to be wearing fur loincloths, which mean that they all had to have their genitals cast for the making of the appliances. Between the expense of hiring extra makeup artists and the obvious discomfort of the first few kids going through the process, Kubrick simply decided to go with the monkey suits.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:52 PM on April 3, 2013


the child actors who were playing the hominids (the proto-hominids being much shorter than average humans)

This is, of course, nonsense. The only reference points for the actors' heights were the rocks and the monolith, which were built to spec. Dan Richter is of normal height, and was nearly 30 years old when the movie was shot.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:58 AM on April 4, 2013


LACMA's currently running a fairly extensive exhibit of stuff from the making of all the films.

Just the other night I talked to a friend here in Tokyo who'd just gotten back from LA: she saw the show at LACMA, said it was great.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:19 AM on April 4, 2013


otherwise the film would have had an X rating

The X rating did not come into effect until Nov. 1, 1968, so it's not clear that it was even an issue for a film that would have had an April release. (The first film with the rating was De Palma's Greetings, released Dec. 15, 1968.) Also, it's worth noting that the intent of the MPAA creating the new classification was to have been expanding the venues where controversial films could be shown, and several films such as Midnight Cowboy were released under the rating. By contrast the NC-17 rating was considered to be a box office killer almost from its introduction.
posted by dhartung at 2:57 AM on April 4, 2013



Imagine taking the filmscore out of 2001 and watching the whole thing without it.

I can't think of a feature film more reliant on music for its effect on viewers.



It has very little dialog. Without the music, it would have been a largely silent movie.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:39 PM on April 4, 2013


Used to have that Making Of book.......I wonder if it's still in the parents' basement? Well, if I ever move in there, maybe I'll find it
posted by thelonius at 3:41 PM on April 4, 2013


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