2001 - 30 YEARS ON
What They Said 30 Years Ago | What They Are Saying
Today | Trivia | Credits | Also
WHAT THEY SAID 30 YEARS AGO:
"Will someone tell me what the hell this is about?"
- Actor Rock Hudson as overheard after the premiere of
"2001 is a non-verbal experience; out of two hours and 19 minutes of film,
there are only less than 40 minutes of dialogue. I tried to create a visual experience,
one that bypasses verbalised pigeonholing and directly penetrates the subconsciousness
with an emotional and philosophic content. To convolute McLuhan, in 2001 the
message is the medium. I intended the film to be an intensely subjective experience that
reaches the viewer at an inner level of consciousness, just as music does; to
explain a Beethoven symphony would be to emasculate it by erecting an
artificial barrier between conception and appreciation.
Youre free to speculate as
you wish about the philosophical and allegorical meaning of the film and such
speculation is one indication that it has succeeded in gripping the audience at a deep
level but I dont want to spell out a verbal road map for 2001 that
every viewer will feel obligated to pursue or else fear hes missed the point.
think that if 2001 succeeds at all, it is in reaching a wide spectrum of people who
would not often give a thought to mans destiny, his role in the cosmos and his
relationship to higher forms of life. But even in the case of someone who is highly
intelligent, certain ideas found in 2001 would, if presented as abstractions, fall
rather lifelessly and be automatically assigned to pat intellectual categories;
experienced in a moving visual and emotional context, however, they can resonate within
the deepest fibres of ones being."
- Director Stanley Kubrick in an interview with
"I will say that the God concept is at the heart of 2001, but not any traditional,
anthropomorphic image of God. I dont believe in any of Earths monotheistic
religions, but I do believe that one can construct an intriguing scientific definition of
God, once you accept the fact that there are approximately 100 billion stars in our galaxy
alone, that each star is a life-giving sun and that there are approximately 100 billion
galaxies in just the visible universe. Given a planet in a stable orbit, not too hot and
not too cold, and given a few billion years of chance chemical reactions created by the
interaction of a suns energy on the planets chemicals, its fairly
certain that life in one form or another will eventually emerge.
Its reasonable to
assume that there must be, in fact, countless billions of such planets where biological
life has arisen, and the odds of some proportion of such life developing intelligence are
high. Now, the sun is by no means an old star, and its planets are mere children in cosmic
age, so it seems likely that there are billions of planets in the universe not only where
intelligent life is on a lower scale than man but other billions where it is approximately
equal and others still where it is hundreds of thousands of millions of years in advance
of us. When you think of the giant technological strides that man has made in a few
millennia less than a microsecond in the chronology of the universe can you
imagine the evolutionary development that much older life forms have taken?
They may have
progressed from biological species, which are fragile shells for the mind at best, into
immortal machine entities and then, over innumerable aeons, they could emerge from
the chrysalis of matter transformed into beings of pure energy and spirit. Their
potentialities would be limitless and their intelligence ungraspable by humans."
- Director Stanley Kubrick in a the same interview with
"Id rather not discuss the film."
- Director Stanley Kubrick in an interview related in
Chronicle of the
"If you understand 2001 completely, we failed. We wanted to raise far more questions
than we answered."
- Arthur C. Clarke on whose short story 2001 was based
- Stanley Kauffman in The New Republic
a monumentally unimaginative movie."
- Pauline Kael
- Andrew Sarris in The Village Voice
"A bolt of brilliant , high-voltage cinema
- John Allen in The Christian Science Monitor
"Alone among science fiction movies, 2001 is not concerned with thrilling us,
but with inspiring our awe."
- Roger Ebert in Chicago Sun-Times
Back to top . . .
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING TODAY?
"A month ago the TV gave us a chance to see again a classic we remembered with
admiration, affection, and respect. I refer to Kubricks 2001. After this
revisitation, I talked with a number of friends, and their opinion was unanimous: They
That film, which had stunned us only a few years ago with its extraordinary technical and
figurative invention, its metaphysical breadth, now seemed to repeat wearily things we had
seen a thousand times before."
- Umberto Eco in Travels In Hyper-Reality
"One word of warning: do not watch it on TV. Television diminishes,
shrivels, it. It must be seen in the cinema and on a big screen. (In 1984 Peter Hyams
directed a sequel of sorts called 2010. Not good and known to Kubrick fans as
Ten Past Eight.)"
- Barry Norman, 100 Best Films Of The Century
"This movie is best viewed in the letterboxed version, which
preserves the wide-screen compositions."
- Roger Ebert
"Although a great deal of the original wonder generated by the
sheer visual effects of the Cinerama format is lost to todays audiences, the
questions and challenges that 2001 put to the cinematic genre remain. The
intellectual audacity of the work earned it a Hugo award in 1969."
- John Clute in Science Fiction The Illustrated Encyclopaedia
"Audiences either love it or are confused, but everyone agrees it
- The Blockbuster Guide to Videos
Back to top . . .
Clarke's short story was first made into a novel, then into the screenplay that MGM
financed for $6 million. The budget kept rising, and the studio execs feared a disaster.
They didn't reckon with Kubrick's vision. Made at a cost of only $10.5 million, the film
began to build slowly but eventually took in almost $15 million in North America, then
about half that upon re-release in the slightly shorter version (141 minutes) in 1972.
Made at Boreham Richard Wood's British Studios in England, it featured
many classical tunes as the background score: Aram Khatchaturian's "Gayane Ballet
Suite" (played by the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gennadi
Rozhdestvensky), Richard Strauss's "Thus Spake Zarathustra" (played by the
Berlin Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Karl Boehm), Johann Strauss's "Blue Danube
Waltz" (played by the Berlin Symphony, conducted by Herbert von Karajan), Gyorgy
Ligeti's "Atmospheres" (played by the Southwest German Radio Orchestra,
conducted by Ernst Baur), Ligeti's "Lux Aeterna" (played by the Stuttgart State
Orchestra, conducted by Clytus Gottwald), and Ligeti's "Requiem for Soprano,
Mezzo-Soprano, Two Mixed Choirs and Orchestra" (played by the Bavarian Radio
Orchestra, conducted by Francis Travis).
Back to top . . .
MAIN CAST: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter, Leonard
Rossiter, Margaret Tyzack, Elena Robert Beatty, Sean Sullivan, Frank Miller, Alan Gifford,
Penny Brahms, Edwina Carroll, Vivian Kubrick, John Ashley, Douglas Rain (voice of HAL
PRODUCER: Stanley Kubrick; DIRECTOR: Stanley Kubrick; SCREENWRITER:
Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke (based on the short story "The Sentinel" by
EDITOR: Ray Lovejoy; CINEMATOGRAPHER: Geoffrey Unsworth, John Alcott;
PRODUCTION DESIGNER: Tony Masters, Harry Lange, Ernest Archer; ART DESIGN: John Hoesli;
SPECIAL EFFECTS: Stanley Kubrick, Wally Veevers, Douglas Trumbull, Con Pederson, Tom
Howard, Colin J. Cantwell, Bryan Loftus, Frederick Martin, Bruce Logan, David Osborne,
John Jack Malick: MAKEUP: Stuart Freeborn; COSTUMES: Hardy Amies
OSCAR: Best special effects (Wally Veevers, Douglas Trumbull).
OSCAR NOMINATIONS: Best director; best screenplay; best art dir/set
décor (Tony Masters, Harry Lange, Ernie Archer).
(Winner best film 1968: Oliver!)
139 minutes. Colour
Back to top . . .
Discuss 2001 in the Sci-Fi
Movie Page's Boardroom
Review of 2001: A Space Odyssey
Review of 2010 - The Year We Make Contact
Extended discussion of 2001: A Space Odyssey (September 1997
Sci-Fi Movie Pick of the Month)
Review of Dr Strangelove (Or How I Stopped Worrying and Loved the
Review of A Clockwork Orange
ARTHUR C. CLARKE-RELATED:
Review of Trapped In Space
OTHER SCI-FI MOVIES RELEASED IN 1968:
Review of Planet of the Apes
Review of Barbarella
Review of Weekend
Review of Charly
Review of Solaris
Back to top . . .