DATELINE: A Space Odyssey
A documentary made in 2001 is about 2001: A Space Odyssey. According to narrator James Cameron, no slouch as director of Titanic, he thinks Kubrick’s film remained the greatest sci-fi ever made.
It is now over 50 years later. Kubrick died shortly before MMI. However, a few others were still able to give interviews: notably author Arthur C. Clarke and star Keir Dullea.
Others gave insights into their small parts in the film and how some special effects were accomplished before CGI. It also discussed the villainous computer, HAL, who was neurotic and became homicidal during the film. Today 20 years later, we know AI is bordering on powerful. His voice belonged to actor Douglas Rain who died in 2018.
HAL eschewed usual robotic cliches. He was only a giant red eye, staring at us with his epicene human voice. It was chilling.
When this film was made, Arthur C. Clarke noted 2001 was already in the mainstream of literary and scientific study. He had never seen such a set as the Moon where the Monolith was buried. That, he said, was meant to be the end of the film.
Instead, it turned out to be the start: Kubrick wanted to film for another year, but ran out of money. And, philosophically, he became intrigued with the idea of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.
Keir Dullea spoke about his relationship with HAL and how it was a film that gave him chills until the day he was interviewed. He also discussed his scenes as an old man—thinking 30 years later, how old he had become.
The film allegedly was a box office failure at first, but word-of-mouth made it spark to life. We recall seeing it originally in Cinerama in 1968 to a packed audience enthralled. We were not on LSD, but were dumb-founded by the sights.
Never before had there been anything quite like it.
The beauty, the music, the gentle pace, and the shocking future, made us think we could hardly wait for it to arrive. How wrong we were.