`Epub ☋ Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece (English Edition) ↽ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free
A superb book that give new insight to one of the greatest motion pictures ever made For younger readers interested in the process of making motion pictures, Odyssey explains the intensity of an artist, Stanley Kubrick, who is determined to bring his vision to the screen For those of us that grew up with the film as an iconic experience, it reminds us of the collective genius of the director and his team in bringing it to the screen in those pre digital days.I particularly appreciate Michael Benson s frankness in his telling of the relationships that Kubrick had with his actors, with Arthur C Clarke, Douglas Trumbull, and others It provides not just an insight to a remarkably complex man or even a group of individuals, but also the tensions, both positive and negative, that are inevitably party of such a massive creative endeavor.I highly recommend this book for cinephiles, science fiction fans, or those interested in the literature and history of the 1960 s. Remarkable book, very impressive research Didn t realize there could be so many behind the scenes stories about 2001 that I d never heard Very timely and recommended EDIT 4 4 18 Quality control note The photos in the color section of the book are lower contrast and look unnecessarily faded presumably due to the printer chintzing on ink Ironic, considering the legendary perfectionism of the book s major subject.I m tempted to deduct a star as Kubrick himself wouldn t have been pleased , but this is otherwise a five star work Hopefully the author publisher will rectify this shortcoming in future printings. I ve spent my life reading everything I can about this landmark movie Yet, there was much in this well written book that was new and fascinating Above all, it is well composed and is an excellent perspective on the creative achievement of making 2001 Indispensable for anyone interested in this topic.
If, like me, you are an unabashed fan of 2001 A Space Odyssey then this book is required reading Drawing upon exhaustive research, author Michael Benson takes the reader behind the scenes of arguably the greatest science fiction movie of all time It s all here, from first concepts to finished film and its aftermath So many facets of the production are covered, including the lengthy writing and re writing process, prep, design, special effects, costume wardrobe, stunts, sound, music, and so much There is a lot of meat to this book, and precious little fat The shooting of 2001 was a protracted and sometimes brutal affair, and all due credit to Benson for not flinching from some of the less salubrious aspects Although far from the first and almost certainly not the last book to be written on Kubrick s magnum opus, this is so far by my reckoning, at least the most essential Film students, film lovers, and fans of 2001 from the casual to the hardcore will all want to pick this one up It s truly engrossing. `Epub ☃ Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece (English Edition) ⇻ Space Odyssey CHAPTER ONE PROLOGUE THE ODYSSEY The Very Meaninglessness Of Life Forces Man To Create His Own Meanings STANLEY KUBRICK The Twentieth Century Produced Two Great Latter Day Iterations Of Homers Odyssey The First Was James Joyces Ulysses, Which Collapsed Odysseuss Decade Of Wandering Down To A Single City, Dublin, And A Seemingly Arbitrary Day, June , In Ulysses, The Role Of Ithacas Wily King Was Played By A Commoner, Leopold Blooma Peaceable Jewish Cuckold With An Uncommonly Fascinating Inner Life, One The Author Effectively Allowed Us To Hear Serialized From To , It Was Published In Full In The Other Was Stanley Kubrick And Arthur C Clarkes A Space Odyssey, In Which The Islands Of The Southeastern Mediterranean Became The Solar Systems Planets And Moons, And The Wine Dark Sea The Airless Void Of Interplanetary, Interstellar, And Even Intergalactic Space Shot In Large Format Panoramic Millimeter Negative And Initially Projected On Giant, Curving Cinerama Screens In Specially Modified Theaters, Premiered In Washington, DC, On April And In New York City The Following Day Produced And Directed By Kubrick And Conceived In Collaboration With Clarke, One Of The Leading Authors Of Science Fictions Golden Age, The Film Was Initially Minutes Long Following A Disastrous Series Of Preview And Premiere Screenings, The Director Cut It Down To A Leaner Minutes Where Joyces Strategy Had Been To Transform Odysseus Into A Benevolently Meditative Cosmopolitan Flaneur, And To Reduce Ten Years Of Close Calls And Escape Artistry To Twenty Four Hours In Proximity Of The River Liffey, Kubrick And Clarke Took The Opposite Approach Deploying Science As A Kind Of Prism, Which During The Nineteenth And Twentieth Centuries Entirely Transformed Our Sense Of The Size And Duration Of The Universe, They Vastly Expanded Homers Spatiotemporal Parameters A Space Odyssey Encompassed Four Million Years Of Human Evolution, From Prehuman 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 In The Final Scene, The Weightless Fetus Returns To Earth As Richard Strausss Composition Thus Spoke Zarathustra Pounds Cathartically On The Soundtrack In A Space Odyssey, The Meddlesome Gods Of The Ancients Have Become An Inscrutable, Prying Alien Super Race Never Seen Directly, They Swoop Down Periodically From Their Galactic Olympus To Intervene In Human Affairs The Instrument Of Their Power, A Rectangular Black Monolith, Appears At Key Turning Points In Human Destiny First Seen Among Starving Man Apes In A Parched African Landscape At The Dawn Of Man, S Totemic Extraterrestrial Artifact Engenders The Idea Among Our Distant Ancestors Of Using Weaponized Bones To Harvest The Animal Protein Grazing Plentifully All Around Them This Prompting Toward Tool Use Implicitly Channels The Species Toward Survival, Successand, Eventually, Technologically Mediated Global Domination After Vaulting Into That Happy Future In A Match Cut That Has Deservedly Acquired The Reputation Of Being The Single Most Astonishing Transition In Cinematic History, Leads Us To Understand That A Lunar Survey Team Has Discovered Another Monolith, This One Seemingly Deliberately Buried Under The Surface Of The Moon Eons Before When Excavated And Hit By Sunlight For The First Time In Millions Of Years, It Fires A Powerful Radio Pulse In The Direction Of Jupiterevidently A Signal, Warning Its Makers That A Species Capable Of Space Travel Has Arisen On Earth A Giant Spacecraft, Discovery, Is Sent To Investigate While Parallels With The Odyssey Arent As Thoroughly Woven Into The Structure Of As They Are In Ulysses, They Certainly Exist Seemingly Prodded Into Action By Flawed Programming, A Cyclopean Supercomputer Named HAL Represented By An Ultracalm Disembodied Voice And A Network Of Individual Glowing Eyes Positioned Throughout Discoverygoes Bad And Kills Off Most Of The Crew The Sole Surviving Astronaut, Mission Commander Dave Bowman, Then Has To Fight The Computer To The Death Apart From Dueling A Cybernetic Cyclops, Bowmans Name References Odysseus, Who Returns To Ithaca, Strings The Bow Of Apollo, Shoots An Arrow Through Twelve Axe Shafts, And Proceeds To Slaughter His Wifes Suitors A Nostos, Or Homecoming, Was As Necessary To Kubricks And Clarkes Odyssey As It Was To Homers Much Like Joyce And In Keeping With Their Expansive Vision, S Authors Took Parallels With Homer As A Starting Point, Not Final Word When They Began Work In , One Initial Motivation Was To Study The Universal Structures Of All Human Myths They Were Aided By Joseph Campbells Magisterial Study The Hero With A Thousand Faces, Which Provided Them With A Template For The Conscious Creation Of A New Work Of Mythology Early In Their Collaboration, Kubrick Quoted A Passage To Clarke Concerning The Universal Rite Of Passage Of Any Mythological Hero, Which Campbell Suggested Invariably Encompasses Separationinitiationreturn This Tripartite Structure Might Be Named The Nuclear Unit Of The Monomyth, Campbell Wrotea Term He Borrowed From Joyce, Whod Coined It In His Last Major Work, Finnegans Wake Campbells Research Helped Kubrick And Clarke Delve Into The Archetypal Workings Of Human Mythological Yearnings, Expanding That Template To Encompass Not Just One Story And Hero, And Not Even Just One Species, But Rather The Entire Trajectory Of Humanityfrom Ape To Angel, As Kubrick Put It In In This, They Also Overtly Referenced Friedrich Nietzsches Philosophical Novel Also Sprach Zarathustra, With Its Concept Of Mankind As Merely A Transitional Speciessentient Enough To Understand Its Animal Origins But Not Yet Truly Civilized It Was An Idea Both Could Get Behind, Clarke With His Innate Optimism About Human Possibilities, And Kubrick With His Deeply Ingrained Skepticism It Was This Seemingly Contradictory Mesh Of Worldviews That Gave A Space Odyssey Its Exhilarating Fusion Of Agnosticism And Belief, Cynicism And Idealism, Death And Rebirth In Clarke, Kubrick Had Found The Most Balanced And Productive Creative Partnership Of His Career While The Director Made All The Critical Decisions During The Films Production, The Project Started Outand In Important Ways Remaineda Largely Equal Collaboration Between Two Very Different, Singularly Creative Characters Like Joyce, Both Were Expatriates, With The Kubrick Family Finally Settling For Good In England During The Making Of , And Clarke Being A Resident Of Ceylonlater Sri Lankafrom Until His Death In At S Release In , Kubrick Was Thirty Nine, The Same Age As Joyce When Ulysses Was Being Serialized He Was At The Pinnacle Of His Abilities, Having Already Made Two Of The Twentieth Centurys Great Films Each Was A Devastating Indictment Of Human Behavior As Expressed Through The Military Mind Set Released In , Paths Of Glory Served As A Comprehensive Indictment Of The Hypocrisy Of The French General Staff During World War Ithough Its Meanings Were By No Means Limited To Any One Army Or Conflict And His Satire Dr Strangelove, Written In Collaboration With Peter George And Terry Southern, Cut To The Core Of The Cold War Nuclear Arms Race, Equal Parts Savage Critique And Caustic Black Comedy A Resounding Critical And Commercial Success, It Set The Stage For The Large Scale Studio Support Necessary To Realize Kubricks Method Was To Find An Existing Novel Or Source Concept And Adapt It For The Screen, Always Stamping It With His Own Bleakbut Not Necessarily Despairingassessment Of The Human Condition A Self Educated Polymath, He Was In Some Ways The Ultimate Genre Director, Switching Virtuosically Between Established Cinematic Categories And Forms With A Restless Analytical Intelligence, Always Transcending And Expanding Their Boundaries During His Career, He Reinvented And Redefined The Film Noir Heist Film, The War Movie, The Period Costume Feature, The Horror Flick, And The Science Fiction Epic, Each Time Transforming And Reinvigorating The Genre Through Extensive, Time Consuming Research Followed By An Uncompromising Winnowing Away Of Clichs And Extraneous Elements Kubrick Treated Every Film As A Grand Investigation, Drilling Down Into His Subject With A Relentless Perfectionists Tenacity As He Forced It To Yield Every Secret And Possibility Once Hed Decided On A Theme, He Subjected It To Years Of Interrogation, Reading Everything And Exploring All Aspects Before Finally Jump Starting The Cumbersome Filmmaking Machinery Having Concluded His Preproduction Research, He Directed His Pictures With All The Authority Of An Enlightened Despot Following A Stint As Hired Gun Director On Spartacus In , He Conceived Of A Personal Kind Of Slave Revolt, Never Again Working On A Project He Didnt Produce Himself While In Practice, Studios Such As MGM Footed The Bills And Exerted Some Influence, This Gave Him Near Complete Artistic Independence Still Spartacus, Which Kirk Douglas Both Produced And Starred In, Marked Kubricks Definitive Induction Into Big Budget Hollywood Filmmaking The Picture, Which Dramatized The Bloody Trajectory Of A Thracian Gladiator As He Led A Successful Uprising Against Rome, Won Four Oscars And A Golden Globe Award For Best Motion Picture Drama As The Ne Plus Ultra Example Of Kubricks Methods, A Space Odyssey Wasnt Just Rooted In Extensive Preproduction Fieldwork, It Continued Throughoutan Uninterrupted, Well Funded Research Project Spanning Its Live Action Filming And Extending Across Its Postproduction As Well Which, Given The Importance Of Its Visual Effects, Was Actually Production By Another Name All The While, The Director And His Team Pioneered A Variety Of Innovative New Cinematic Techniques Highly Unorthodox In Big Budget Filmmaking, This Improvisatory, Research Based Approach Was Practically Unheard Of In A Project Of This Scale Never Had A Definitive Script Major Plot Points Remained In Flux Well Into Filming Significant Scenes Were Modified Beyond Recognition Or Tossed Altogether As Their Moment On The Schedule Arrived A Documentary Prelude Featuring Leading Scientists Discussing Extraterrestrial Intelligence Was Shot But Discarded Giant Sets Were Built, Found Wanting, And Rejected A Transparent Two Ton Plexiglas Monolith Was Produced At Huge Expense And Then Shelved As Inadequate And So Forth Throughout, Kubrick And Clarke Remained Locked In Dialogue One Strategy Theyd Agreed On In Advance Was That Their Storys Metaphysical And Even Mystical Elements Had To Be Earned Through Absolute Scientific Technical Realism S Space Shuttles, Orbiting Stations, Lunar Bases, And Jupiter Missions Were Thoroughly Grounded In Actual Research And Rigorously Informed Extrapolation, Much Of It Provided By Leading American Companies Then Also Busy Providing Technologies And Expertise To The US National Aeronautics And Space Administration, Or NASA In Late , George Mueller, The Czar Of The Apollo Lunar Program, Visited S Studio Facilities North Of London Apollo Was Then Still Flight Testing Unmanned Launch Vehicles, While NASA Launched The Precursor Gemini Programs Two Man Capsules In An Ambitious Series Of Earth Orbiting Missions After Touring The Films Emerging Sets And Viewing Detailed Scale Models Of Its Centrifuges And Spacecraft, The Man In Charge Of Landing Men On The Moon And Returning Them Safely To Earththe Ultimate Odyssean Voyage Yet Accomplished By The Specieswas Impressed Enough To Dub The Production NASA East Clarke Was Fifty When Came Out When Kubrick First Contacted Him Early In , He Had Already Enjoyed An Exceptionally Prolific Career Best Known As A Formidably Imaginative Science Fiction Novelist And Short Story Writer, He Was Also A Trenchant Essayist And One Of The Twentieth Centurys Leading Advocates Of Human Expansion Into The Solar System Apart From His Fictional And Nonfictional Output, He Had Played A Noteworthy Role In The History Of Technology Clarkes Paper On Extraterrestrial Relays, Published In The British Magazine Wireless World, Proposed A Global System Of Geostationary Satellites, Which, He Argued, Would Revolutionize Global Telecommunications While Some Of The Ideas He Presented Had Already Been In Circulation, He Synthesized Them Impeccably, And The Paper Is Regarded As An Important Document Of The Space Age And The Information Revolution Clarkes Fictions Were Greatly Influenced By The Work Of British Science Fiction Novelist Olaf Stapledon , Whose Seminal Last And First Men And Star Maker Encompassed Multiple Phases Of Human Evolution Across Vast Timescales Clarkes Early Novels Childhoods End And The City And The Stars Likewise Encompassed Sweeps Of Time So Expansive That Monumental Civilizational Changes Could Be Examined In Great Detail Still Considered His Best Work, Childhoods End Closed With The Human Race Being Shepherded Through An Accelerated Evolutionary Transformation By A Seemingly Benevolent Alien Race, The Overlords In It, Humanity Is Depicted As Obsoletedestined For Replacement By A Telepathically Linked Successor Species Composed, Oddly, Of Children Clarkes Strange Vision Of Mankind Outgrowing Its Childhood Was Also Influenced Directly By The Great Russian Rocket Scientist And Futurist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Who, In An Essay Published In , Stated, Earth Is The Cradle Of The Mind, But Humanity Cant Remain In Its Cradle Forever As The Central Utopian Credo Of The Space Age, Tsiolkovskys Pronouncement Would Find Direct Expression In S Final Scenes As With Ulysses, Was Initially Greeted With Varying Degrees Of Incomprehension, Dismissal, And Scornbut Also Awed Admiration, Particularly Among The Younger Generation Its First Screenings Were A Harrowing Ordeal, With Audience Reactions At The New York Premiere Including Boos, Catcalls, And Large Scale Walkouts Most Of The Citys Leading Critics Dismissed The Film, Some In Personal And Humiliating Terms And As With Joyce, Some Of Kubricks And Clarkes Peers Went Out Of Their Way To Disparage The Film Russian Director Andrei Tarkovsky, Possibly The Greatest Filmmaker Of The Twentieth Century, Found Repellant Calling It Phony On Many Points, He Argued That Its Fixation On The Details Of The Material Structure Of The Future Resulted In A Transformation Of The Emotional Foundation Of A Film, As A Work Of Art, Into A Lifeless Schema With Only Pretensions To The Truth Soon After Its Release, Clarkes Friend And Fellow Science Fiction Writer Ray Bradbury Wrote A Negative Review Decrying S Slow Pace And Banal Dialogue He Had A Solution, Though It Should Be Run Through The Chopper, Heartlessly In Retrospect, These Initial Waves Of Hostility And Incomprehension Can Be Understood As A Result Of The Films Radical Innovations In Technique And Structureanother Similarity To Ulysses They Were Followed By Grudging Reappraisals, At Least On The Part Of Some, And A Dawning Understanding That A Truly Significant Work Of Art Had Materialized A Space Odyssey Is Now Recognized As One Of The Exceedingly Rare Works That Will Forever Define Its Historical Period Put Simply, It Changed How We Think About Ourselves In This Way, Too, It Easily Withstands Comparison To James Joyces Masterpiece In Both Of These Modernist Odysseys, Audiences Were Asked To Accept New Ways Of Receiving Narrative While Joyce Didnt Invent Stream Of Consciousness And Interior Monologue As Literary Devices, He Brought Them To Unprecedented Levels Of Proficiency And Complexity Likewise, Kubrick Didnt Create Oblique Auteurist Indirection And Dialogue Free Imagistic Storytellingbut By Transposing It Into The Science Fiction Genre And Setting It Within Such A Vast Expanse Of Space And Time, He Effectively Kicked It Upstairs Is Essentially A Nonverbal Experience, One Comparable To A Musical Composition Than To The Usual Dialogue Based Commercial Cinema An Art Film Made With A Hollywood Blockbuster Budget, It Put Audiences In The Unaccustomed Position Of Paying Attention With Their Eyes, As Kubrick Put It Joyces Tidally Impressionistic Portrait Of Provincial Dublin Allowed Us To Sample Previously Inaccessible Internal Currents Of Human Thought And Feeling Kubricks And Clarkes A Space Odyssey Presented A Disturbing Vision Of Human Transformation Due To Technology, Positioning All Our Strivings Within A Colossal Cosmic Framework And Evoking The Existence Of Extraterrestrial Entities So Powerful As To Be Godlike Each Was Highly Influential, With Innumerable Successor Works Striving To Equal Their Philosophical Breadth And Technical Virtuosity Neither Has Yet Been Surpassed My Own Lifelong Engagement With Started In The Spring Of At The Age Of Six My Mom, A Confirmed Clarke Fan, Took Me To An Afternoon Matinee Within Weeks Of The Films Premiere Whether It Was In Washington Where We Then Lived Or New York As I Remember It Is Unclear While I Was Already Excited By The Jump Into Space As Then Best Represented By The Apollo Programwhich Had Already Launched Two Of Its Towering Saturn V Moon Rockets On Unmanned Test Flightsit Was No Preparation For My First Exposure To Such A Powerfully Ambiguous, Visually Stunning Work At Six, Of Course, Your Receptors Are About As Open As Theyll Ever Be, And I Consider Myself Fortunate To Have Seen The Film At That Age The Dawn Of Man Prelude Was Both Riveting And Disturbing, And The Mysterious Appearance Of The Monolith, Accompanied By The Unholy Keening Of Gyrgy Ligetis Requiem, Reverberated In My Childish Imagination With Almost Overpowering Overtones Of Mystery, Wonderment, And Horror The Ecstatic Discovery By The Lead Man Ape That A Heavy Bone Could Be Used As A Weapon, Which Kubrick Conveyed With A Wordless Cinematic Assurance, Needed No Explanation And Didnt Even Require Conscious Understanding It Spoke In Its Own Language As With Much Of The Rest Of The Film, The Authority And Power Of The Images Themselves Didnt Necessitate Literal Comprehension The Lunar, Spaceflight, And Space Walk Scenes Were Mesmerizing The Effects Of Zero Gravity On The Human Body Were Conveyed With Utterly Convincing Realism Bowmans Methodical Lobotomization Of HAL Couldnt Have Been Disturbing And Frighteningly Strange And The Films Abstract Star Gate Sequence, Which Led To Bowmans Multistage Transformation Into An Elderly Man, Seen On His Deathbed In A Phantasmagorical Hotel Roomand Then Finally His Transformation Into That Ethereal Floating Fetuswas Spellbinding Much Of It Was Also Incomprehensible, However, And Afterward, I Trailed My Mom Across The Pavement Of Whichever City It May Have Been, Exhausted By A Surfeit Of Wonderment And Squinting In The Dazzling Late Afternoon Sunlight But What Did It Mean I Wailed I Dont Know She Replied, To Her Great Credit Mom Was Always Honest With Meand Is To This Day Much Later, I Grew To Understand That S Power Over Me Then And Thereafter Came About At Least Partially Due To Personal Circumstances As The Child Of Foreign Service Parents, I Had Already Lived In Belgrade, Yugoslavia, As Well As Hamburg, West Germanytwo Countries That No Longer Exist Although An American By Birth, My World Was The World, And My Nascent Identity Was Global By Default What Im Getting At Is That I Believe That Even At The Age Of Six, I Grasped, In A Preconscious, Precocious Kind Of Way, That We Live In A Complex World Surrounded By Multiple Contradictory Cultures, Perspectives, And Ways Of Being Unfortunately, An Unwanted Side Effect Of Changing Countries So Regularly Can Be A Sense Of Not Belonging To Any One Placethe So Called Third Culture Syndrome Of The Expat Kid It Would Risk Both Clich And Oversimplification To Suggest That A Space Odyssey Helped Me Be At Home In The World But Theres No Doubt That As With Any Major Work Of Art That Has A Decisive Impact On A Person, It Did So For A Very Good Reason As The Years Passed, I Saw The Film Again Many Times, And It Always Struck Me As An Extraordinarily Prescient Account Of The Human Situation In A Mystifyingly Grand, Seemingly Indifferent Cosmos The Visual Magnificence And Uncompromising Artistic Integrity Of Kubricks And Clarkes Achievement Made The Accuracy Of Its Individual Details Beside The Point In The Decades Since The Films Release, Paleoanthropologists Have Largely Discredited Its Depiction Of The Transition From Vegetarian Man Apes To Carnivorous Killers, Which Was Based On The Work Of Paleontologist Raymond Dart And, At Least To Date, We Dont Have Credible Evidence Of Even Microbial Life Beyond Earth, Let Alone Superpowered Extraterrestrial Interlopers With An Uncanny Interest In Our Evolutionary Progress Of Course, The Surest Sign That Intelligent Life Exists Out There May Well Be That It Hasnt Come Hereas Clarke Used To Joke And, Unfortunately, S Vision Of The Moon And Planets Being Colonized By Human Beings Simply Hasnt Come Trueor, At Least, Not Nearly In The Way Its Authors Had Envisioned The Film Was Made When NASAs Budget Was At Its Peak, So Their Extrapolation Is Understandable Clarke Even Predicted To Kubrick, This Is The Last Big Space Film That Wont Be Made On Location In Fact, No Human Being Has Ventured Beyond Low Earth Orbit Since The Return Of The Last Apollo Crew From The Taurus Littrow Valley On The Moon In , Just Four Years After The Films Release Since Then, True Space Exploration Has Been Conducted Exclusively By Automated Spacecraft But Even If We Consider HALs Attempts To Kill Off Discoverys Crew And Continue On To Jupiter Without Pesky Human Interference As Predictive Of These Circumstances And Its A Valid Interpretation , The Films Deviations From Literal Accuracy Are Beside The Point Like Joycelike Homer Himselfs Authors Were Crafting A Story As A Fiction, It Created Its Own Reality And Demands To Be Viewed Within That Frame In Any Case, Kubricks And Clarkes Portrayal Of Twenty First Century Humanity Suspended Within An Evolutionary Trajectory Spanning Millions Of Years, And Their Placement Of That Story Within A Universe Potentially Filled With Ancient Civilizationsnot To Mention Their Depiction Of Human Beings As Desensitized Parts Of The Machinery Theyve Created, And Their Evocation Of An Artificial Intelligence Brought Into Being Through Human Genius, Yet Driven Through Human Error Into Conflict With Its Makersit All Had, And Still Has, A Perspicacious, Even Ominous Ring Of Truth To It Ask Not For Whom The Monolith Tolls I Never Met Stanley Kubrick, Though Ive Had The Privilege Of Spending Many Entertaining Hours In Discussion With His Widow, Christiane, At Their Impressive Estate And Manor In Childwickbury, A Hamlet North Of London I Did Get To Know Arthur Clarke During The Last Decade Of His Life, And Visited Him Three Times In Sri Lanka, The Last With My Family In Tow When I First Met Him, In The Year , No Less, He Was Already Confined To A Wheelchair Due To A Progressive Neurological Ailment Called Post Polio Syndrome, But I Found Him To Be An Alert, Cheerful, Wickedly Humorous Presence, Always Up For An In Depth Discussion And Gratifyingly Willing To Mobilize A Small Motorcade And Show Me Around The Southern Part Of The Island We Discussed A Space Odyssey At Some Length, And Though Most Of What He Had To Say Hed Already Published In One Form Or Another, He Would Occasionally Come Up With An Unexpected Glint Of Insight That Has Proven Valuable In The Writing Of This Book It Was Clarke, For Example, Who Told Me About Kubricks Instant Antipathy To His Friend Carl Sagansomething I Might Not Have Known Otherwise At One Of Our First Meetings, I Had The Temerity To Ask Who Had Written Perhaps S Most Powerful Scene The One Where Dave Bowman, Having Forcibly Gained Reentry To His Ship, Proceeds To HALs Brain Room And Deprograms The Computer Who Do You Think Wrote It I Did He Boomed In Mock Indignation While I Accepted His Statement, The Reason I Askedand I Told Him Thiswas That The Sequence Has A Chilly Intensity That I Recognized As Kubrickian Than Clarkean In Fact, As With Any Good Collaboration, The Truth Lies Somewhere In Between While Clarke Appears To Have Conceived Of The Scene Up To A Pointor At Least Put Forward The Cartesian Proposition That An Artificial Intelligence Is Alive And Therefore Can Be HurtKubrick Did, In Fact, Write It, As He Did Most Of S Dialogue Of Which There Isnt Much The Film Has Less Than Minutes Of Spoken Words In Its Minutes Of Running Time You Could Say That In This Case, Kubrick Handled The Lyrics And Clarke The Tunesomething The Latter Wasnt Particularly Prepared To Adjudicate Than Three Decades Later To A Whippersnapper Such As Myself, Understandably Enough Of Course, This Presents A Paradox Clarke Was The Writer And Kubrick The Filmmaker, So One Might Be Excused For Assuming That What Words There Are In Must Have Chattered From His Portable Typewriter At Some Point Between And Not So Almost Every Scene Was Rewritten Multiple Times By The Director During Live Action Production, Whichif We Exempt The Wordless Dawn Of Man Sequenceextended For Just Over Six Months, From Late December To Mid July The Prehistoric Prelude Was Shot In The Summer Of And Throughout The Films Production, But In Particular During Editing, Kubricks Instinct Was To Remove As Much Verbal Explication As Possible In Favor Of Purely Visual And Sonic Cues Much To The Consternation Of His Collaborator, This Included Clarkes Voice Over Narrations, Which Were Originally Intended To Frame The Story Kubrick Thereby Lifted Away What Would Have Been A Superstructure Of Overtly Stated Truths He Did So Without Necessarily Losing Them Altogether They Were Now Implicit Rather Than Explicit The Result Was A Masterwork Of Oblique, Visceral, And Intuited Meanings S Conscious Deployment Of A Mythological Structure, Its Insistence On First Person Experiential Cinema, And The Inherent Opacity Of Its True Messages Permitted Every Viewer To Project His Or Her Own Understandings On It Its An Important Reason For The Films Enduring Power And Relevance Finally, A Space Odyssey Is About Our Situation As Creatures Conscious Of Our Own Mortality, Aware Of Inherent Limitations To Our Imaginations And Intellectual Capacities, And Yet Perpetually Striving For Exalted States And Higher Planes Of Being And Thats Where It Best Reveals Itself As A Profoundly Collaborative Work While Obviously Kubricks Film, Its Clarkes As Well, And Represents A Grand Synthesis Of Themes The Writer Had Been Working On For Decades These Include The Rebirth Of The Species Into A Transcendent New Form While It Took Kubricks Brilliance To Recognize It And Make It So, Its No Accident That The Single Most Optimistic Vision In His Entire Body Of Works Star Childwas Clarkes Idea The Alliance Between These Two Gifted, Idiosyncratic Men During The Four Years It Took To Bring A Space Odyssey To The Screen Required Great Patience And Sensitivity On Both Sides It Was The Most Consequential Collaboration In Either Of Their LivesAt Last The Dense, Intense, Detailed, And Authoritative Saga Of The Making Of The Greatest Motion Picture Ive Ever Seen, A Space Odyssey I Now Have Reason To See Kubricks Proverbial Really Good Science Fiction Movie Another Times Michael Benson Has Done The Cosmos A Great Service Tom Hanks Over The Years, So Much Has Been Written About And Its Creation That I Thought We Knew All That There Was To Know And Then, I Received A Copy Of Michael Bensons Lively, Exciting And Exhaustively Researched Book, Which Further Expands Our Understanding Of What Is Truly One Of The Greatest Films Ever Made Martin Scorsese Michael Bensons Space Odyssey Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C Clarke And The Making Of A Masterpiece Is A Masterpiece About A Masterpiecea Passionately Written, Impeccably Researched Book About A Great Directors Pushing Himself, His Cast And Crew Beyond Safety Or Sanity In A Relentless Quest For A Non Verbal Vision Of The Transcendent Future Of Both Space And Film Itself Scott Eyman, Author Of John Wayne The Life And Legend And Hank And Jim The Fifty Year Friendship Of Henry Fonda And James Stewart Despite The Attention Benson Lavishes On The HumansKubrick And ClarkeHAL Would Have Been Proud Of This Smart, Fluent, And Meticulously Researched Account Of The Making Of A Sci Fi Classic Peter Biskind, Author Of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls How The Sex, Drugs, And Rock N Roll Generation Saved Hollywood A Fascinating, Detail Rich Account Of The Long Slog To Make The Science Fiction Masterpiece A Space OdysseyAn Endlessly Interesting Narrative Essential For Students Of Film History, To Say Nothing Of Kubricks Most Successful Movie Kirkus Reviews Starred ReviewIf Kubricks Masterpiece Was A Remarkable Voyage Into The Future, Michael Bensons Book Is A Delightful Voyage Back In Time For Those Of Us Inspired By The Film, This Book Provides A Delicious Peek Into Landmark Collaboration Of Two Creative Geniuses And The Lasting Gift They Provided For All Of Us Lawrence M Krauss, Foundation Professor In The School Of Earth And Space Exploration, Director Of The Origins Project At Arizona State University, And Author Of The Physics Of Star Trek, A Universe From Nothing, And The Greatest Story Ever Told So Far A New And Remarkably Comprehensive Look At The Complex Relationship Between The Two Men Whose Collaboration Led To One Of The Greatest Films Of All Time This Story About The Making Of Is As Compelling And Eye Opening As The Film Itself Booklist Starred ReviewAn Engrossing, Immersive Examination Of The Long Path To Stanley Kubrick And Arthur C Clarkes Masterpiece The Pairs Fraught But Hugely Successful Relationship Forms The Backdrop Of This Astonishing Tale Of Obsessive Genius At Work Ben Dickinson The New York Times Book Review