How Kubrick Made 2001: A Space Odyssey - A Fantastic Series of Films
The first showing of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey left the director irritated and in despair. The audience seemed bored. Some had walked out before the intermission. MGM's executives were dismissive. Many of the early reviews were disparaging.
Renata Adler's April 4th 1968 review wasn't all bad news. It marvelled at the beautiful cinematography and astonishing special-effects. It revelled in the incredible attention to detail and recognised that the film's lack of closure stepped (a long way) out of convention, even if Adler found it personally unsatisfying.
But, this was the decade bookended by Gagarin orbiting the Earth and Armstrong setting foot on the Moon. This wasn't a movie for aging studio executives and middle-aged traditionalists.
Just a few days after the opening night, round-the-block queues of youngsters began forming from movie theatre doors and the very same studio executives who had criticised the movie were now hailing Kubrick a genius. This was a movie for an audience brought up on TV, colour magazines, sci-fi and in tune with the pace of the day.
A little over a month from Adler's New York Times critique, reviews were starting to change too...
There are some fantastic books that explore film-making and 'How Kubrick Made 2001', including Taschen's beautiful coffee table book (Piers Brizony, 2015). We were delighted this week to stumble across some incredible films exploring the very topic by Tyler Knudsen.
Knudsen was born and raised in San Francisco and even appeared in an Oscar winning film, Vincent Ward's What Dreams May Come. The experience inspired him to study film-making. A University of California degree later, Tyler now lives in New York City and in his spare time, enjoys experimenting with film photography, sequencing music, and studying film.
His series of seven films, two years in the making, meticulously researched and professionally produced, provide some fantastic insights for any fan of the movie, Kubrick or film-making in general.
With our thanks to Tyler, you can watch them all here.
Part 1: The Dawn of Man
Part 2: The Floyd Section
Part 3: The Lunar Surface (TMA-1)
Part 4: Jupiter Mission [A]
Part 5: Jupiter Mission [B]
Part 6: Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite [A]
Part 7: Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite [B]
Our thanks again to Tyler for permission to link to these fantastic films.
Adam and the Art of the Movies team.