I knew that Stanley Kubrick spent a lot of time thinking about the music for his 1968 feature 2001: A Space Odyssey, but I didn’t for a long time realise that US composer Alex North had been commissioned to write an entire sound track that Kubrick later opted not to use.
North’s composition, in its entirety, can be found here. What do you think? While, for instance, I like “Space Station Docking” by North, that would have featured during the flight to the space station, there’s no going passed Kubrick’s ultimate choice, “The Blue Danube”.
[The] title card is set in Gill Sans, one of the all-time classic sans-serif fonts. Perhaps surprisingly, the zeroes in “2001” appear to be set with the Gill Sans capital letter O, rather than its zero character.
By the looks of it, this is the first in series of articles that Addey will be writing on the use of typography in science fiction movies.
What is important right now is the fact that the revelation of the physical appearance of the aliens in the book is one of the most shocking in sci-fi history: they turn on to look like the traditional human folk images of demons – large bipeds with leathery wings, horns and tails. Maybe Kubrick was amused by this shocking revelation and the effect that it may have had on the audience?
I think “2001” might have been a completely different film, likely far inferior, had they have not gone the way they eventually did, in this regard.
It’s a very interesting coincidence that our mutual friend Caras mentioned you in a conversation we were having about a Questar telescope. I had been a great admirer of your books for quite a time and had always wanted to discuss with you the possibility of doing the proverbial “really good” science-fiction movie.
2001: A Space Odyssey is a film that somehow shouldn’t work at all, yet succeeds at every level. Well, I think so at least. In this longer write-up, James Maynard Gelinas takes a closer look at the many aspects of Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 work that bring the story, such that it may be, together.
For unlike typical character and plot driven narrative, its structure is that of an odyssey portraying the span of millennia. There is no central protagonist in conflict with an antagonist to root for. The few depicted characters seem disconnected from one another, and their dialog is often irrelevant to expository action. Its pacing is slug slow, with excessive montage shots that while visually beautiful don’t move plot points forward. If classical music seems an odd score choice itself, several pieces selected are often disturbingly postmodern, evoking not a soothing softness of the musical genre but chaotic and disquieting emotions. Finally, the final sequence, rather than a climax and resolution to some character driven conflict, seemingly comes from nowhere leaving more questions than answers. In almost every way this film should have failed. But it didn’t. Instead, it’s considered a great masterpiece. Why?
HENRi is a short sci-fi film about a derelict spacecraft drifting through space that is controlled by a human brain, named, you guessed it, Henri. Yearning to be able to moved independently though, Henri builds a mechanical body from parts lying around the ship.
Henri is voiced by Keir Dullea, who portrayed astronaut David Bowman in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and, if you ask me, gives the brain a sound not dissimilar to that of “2001” super-computer HAL.
Another mystery quickly developed when the studio received a call from the manager of the Loews Capitol Theatre, MGM’s 5,500-seat showcase theater on Broadway (second largest in New York after Radio City Music Hall’s 5,700 seats). The projectionist was threatening to go on strike and close the theater, which meant no more showings of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Someone saying they were from MGM had gone into the projection booth and was using a chisel to file the aperture frame to remove the built up dust from the carbon arc projectors so that there would be sharp, not fuzzy, edges on the theater screen.