This, the 50th-anniversary summer of Arthur C. Clarke's and Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," is arguably the beginning of big-budget Hollywood science fiction as we now know it.
Without “2001,” the “Star Wars,” “Alien,” and the “Star Trek” film franchises might not be the force they are today. For this decidedly serious and sometimes ponderous 1968 film opus proved that science fiction could be both profitable and profound.
“Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke and the Making of a Masterpiece,” is author Michael Benson’s recently-published, fascinating and extraordinarily detailed take on the pair’s four-year collaboration. The film’s principal photography began on a U.K. sound stage at Shepperton Studios outside London on December 30, 1965.
Benson writes "2001: A Space Odyssey" encompassed four million years of human evolution, from pre-human Australopithecine man-apes struggling to survive in southern Africa, through to twenty-first-century space-faring Homo sapiens, then on to the death and rebirth of their Odysseus astronaut, Dave Bowman, as an eerily posthuman “star child.”
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Credit: Keith Hamshere/Getty ImagesKubrick framing a shot in “2001’s” post star gate hotel room.