2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
c. 1965-68, Color Feature Film, UK/USA, approx. 150min including overture, entr'acte, and exit music
By far, 2001 is the best known Kubrick film around the world. 2001 is historically important on many levels and the film influenced many young filmmakers including powerhouses Spielberg and Lucas and just about anyone wanting to work in Science Fiction. With a significant budget and years of production, Kubrick set a bar for Sci-Fi films and special effects with 2001 that was not challenged until the release of Star Wars almost 10 years later, which benefited by SPFX talent who cut their teeth on 2001. Even well into the 21st Century, 2001 is a remarkable and stunning cinematic visual achievement, and perhaps the highest-grossing blatant Art Cinema example of all time, featuring a vanguard narrative form/structure that few have dared to emulate since 2001 was released in 1968.
FACTOIDS & TRIVIA:
THE VATICAN & POPE GIVE 2001 THEIR BLESSINGS: Despite the film's evolutionary-themed opening (Dawn of Man), super-computer-gone-crazy story, and stunning contemplation of the nature/origin of the solar system, galaxy and perhaps the entire universe, 2001 is one of the few English-language films promoted by the Vatican and screened for a Pope. That said, it could be assumed that 2001 is approved by a higher authority than simply fans and critics.
REGARDING LENGTHS, CREDITS and RATINGS: Perhaps more than any popular Kubrick feature, 2001 has been viewed by the public in slightly alternate lengths, content, and format due to Kubrick's post-premiere tinkering and the pragmatic conditions of airing on commercial TV and home video distribution. Here's an interesting story at in70mm.com from a person who remembers the early release version with some longer and repetative sequences. IMDB does a pretty good job summarizing the Kubrick-trimmed-2001-after-release story. There are some urban legends about the end credits for 2001 being longer (e.g. credits thanking NASA and other resources) in the 1968 prints exhibited in theaters which can be researched at Here at in70mm.com. Also, perhaps interestingly, 2001 is rated G for general audiences, which is still a going concern for kid-friendly and family films. I'm not sure if 2001 would be given a G rating so easily circa 2015, given some of the on-screen violence - apemen and humans are depicted as killed, either by another animal, ape-man, or a crazy computer with a nice voice! It's been said that 2001's successful box office (after a rough start) in the late 1960's was thanks to young men and boys returning to see the film. I don't know if the G rating made a difference in box office in the late 1960's, but certainly, young boys and girls could see 2001 without a guardian or parent based on today's G standards, so perhaps the G rating was a significant factor at the time, to be determined!
Fascinating: Kubrick was reportedly inspired by the 1960 Canadian documentary "Universe" which was narrated by Douglas Rain who would later be the creepy/cool voice of HAL9000. Here's a link to a YouTube of "Universe".
PERSONALLY COOL: While visiting the the Kubrick Exhibit at LACMA in Spring 2013, Kubrickian.org's founder was extremely lucky to meet a key 2001 SPFX supervisor who was also coincidentally taking in the sights & sounds as a casual visitor. That alone made my trip to LA well worth it!
2001: A Space Odyssey -- A Look Behind the Future - Fascinating 1966 sneak peek
Original Opening Score for 2001 (uploaded 2008 to YouTube) Re: Alex North temp score - seems legit
2010: The Year We Make Contact - Original Trailer (YouTube). Circa 1984 Sequel Directed by Peter Hyams