The definitive story of the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey, acclaimed today as one of the greatest films ever made, and of director Stanley Kubrick and writer Arthur C. Clarke—“a tremendous explication of a tremendous film….Breathtaking” (The Washington Post).
Fifty years ago a strikingly original film had its premiere. Still acclaimed as one of the most remarkable and important motion pictures ever made, 2001: A Space Odyssey depicted the first contacts between humanity and extraterrestrial intelligence. The movie was the product of a singular collaboration between Stanley Kubrick and science fiction visionary Arthur C. Clarke. Fresh off the success of his cold war satire Dr. Strangelove, Kubrick wanted to make the first truly first-rate science fiction film. Drawing from Clarke’s ideas and with one of the author’s short stories as the initial inspiration, their bold vision benefited from pioneering special effects that still look extraordinary today, even in an age of computer-generated images.
In Space Odyssey, author, artist, and award-winning filmmaker Michael Benson “delivers expert inside stuff” (San Francisco Chronicle) from his extensive research of Kubrick’s and Clarke’s archives. He has had the cooperation of Kubrick’s widow, Christiane, and interviewed most of the key people still alive who worked on the film. Drawing also from other previously unpublished interviews, Space Odyssey provides a 360-degree view of the film from its genesis to its legacy, including many previously untold stories. And it features dozens of photos from the making of the film, most never previously published.
“At last! The dense, intense, detailed, and authoritative saga of the making of the greatest motion picture I’ve ever seen…Michael Benson has done the Cosmos a great service” (Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks).
Customer ReviewsSee All
A 2001 Fan - Must Read! -
I was 19 years old 50 years ago when I first experienced 2001 A Space Odyssey at the theatre. The film has fascinated me and left an indelible impression in my mind ever since. The Pan Am clipper docking sequence in particular is the future I dreamt of living as I was just then entering the RCAF's pilot training program. The clipper's computerized glass cockpit displays looks so very much like the displays in todays modern jetliners.
I've read many books about the film and this new release by Michael Benson is an invaluable resource for anyone remotely interested in the film. By the way - has there ever been a film that spawned so many books? Doubtful. The sheer volume of material out there now must certainly warrant a college credit course on the subject.
To get some perspective on the research and scope of Benson's book, read the acknowledgments first. If you're from a certain demographic and a sci-fi fan or '2001 curious' in any way, you owe it to yourself to read this book and begin your READ - VIEW - REPEAT cycle of studies. Older fossils like myself will learn much of Kubrick's perfectionist artistic agony baked into the creation of this movie masterpiece. I give this book my highest recommendation. Thank you Michael Benson for your exhaustive research and thank you for giving all 2001 fans a totally engrossing perspective and appreciation of all those talented individuals and performers involved in the making this movie. It's brought totally new insights to my next and subsequent repeated viewings of my Bluray disc - (my 5th and final copy of the movie by the way)!
Chris G. - Winnipeg, Canada - August 2018.