James Cameron Revisits the Making of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey, so its fans will tell you, is awe­some, amaz­ing, aston­ish­ing, astound­ing — and that does­n’t even exhaust their list of “A” adjec­tives. But how­ev­er emphat­i­cal­ly they’re spo­ken, those words don’t tell you much. I fear they some­times even put off poten­tial 2001-lovers — or at least those who would enjoy a screen­ing or three — who fear them­selves unequal to the impos­ing labor of appre­ci­a­tion ahead. You’ll learn more mean­ing­ful things about Kubrick­’s film in 2001: The Mak­ing of a Myth (made in 2001), a 45-minute doc­u­men­tary on its con­cep­tion, its pro­duc­tion, and its undi­min­ished res­o­nance in our cul­tur­al imag­i­na­tion.

Intro­duced by film­mak­er James Cameron — he of The Ter­mi­na­torAvatar, and Aliens, sci­ence-fic­tion spec­ta­cles of an entire­ly dif­fer­ent nature the pro­gram brings in a host of the orig­i­nal con­trib­u­tors to 2001’s look, feel, and psy­cho­log­i­cal and tech­no­log­i­cal verisimil­i­tude. We hear from those involved in the pho­tog­ra­phy, design, edit­ing, and even tech­ni­cal con­sul­tan­cy. Actor Keir Dul­lea, still best known for his role as astro­naut Dave Bow­man, has much to say about work­ing with his co-star HAL, and even the fel­lows in the ape suits offer insights into their non-ver­bal craft. Crit­i­cal minds such as Elvis Mitchell and Camille Paglia weigh in on the pic­ture’s simul­ta­ne­ous vis­cer­al and intel­lec­tu­al impact, but Arthur C. Clarke, who wrote 2001 the book while Kubrick shot 2001 the film, puts it most sharply when describ­ing the intent of his direc­tor coun­ter­part: “He want­ed to make the prover­bial good sci­ence-fic­tion movie.” Mis­sion accom­plished.

H/T Maria Popo­va (aka Brain­Pick­er)

Relat­ed con­tent:

Rare 1960s Audio: Stan­ley Kubrick’s Inter­view with The New York­er

Dark Side of the Moon: A Mock­u­men­tary on Stan­ley Kubrick and the Moon Land­ing Hoax

Arthur C. Clarke Pre­dicts the Inter­net & PC in 1974

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.

by | Permalink | Comments (6) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (6)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.