Even if we're well past the year it made famous, this being the fiftieth anniversary of 2001: A Space Odyssey
has led to more looks back at the movie. News of a new book about its making did get my attention; I am aware that a good bit of what I think the film's imagery has been cadged from various print sources, starting with Arthur C. Clarke's novel but going on from there. At book sales over the years I've turned up vintage copies of Jerome Agel's The Making of Kubrick's 2001
, a sort of scrapbook but as much about period takes on the movie (some of them even thoughtful and different from what had wound up seeming set reactions) as its actual production, and Arthur C. Clarke's The Lost Worlds of 2001
, selected chapters of various takes on the constantly developing story, interesting in the same way I've found "the early drafts of Star Wars
" that drift around online
, and knit together with personal reflections (although Clarke wound up distant from the film production). I also remember finding a copy of Piers Bizony's mid-1990s 2001: Filming the Future
in a used book store. The only problem is that when I think about the book, its "plus side" brings to mind a drawing of how the interiors of Discovery
shown on screen could fit inside that spaceship's forward sphere (with plenty of room left; following up on a whim, I turned up competing cross-sections
online), but its "minus side" includes a closing chapter with a rather sour judgement of both real life and all other science fiction movies since for not living up to the on-screen example. That does make for a rather unbalanced impression.
Those thoughts did add to my interest in reading Michael Benson's Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece.
I did, though, flip through its last chapter in a bookstore before committing to asking for it for a birthday present; Benson dismissed the sequel 2010: The Year We Make Contact
with very faint praise but otherwise didn't seem too negative about the half-century following the original film. Once I'd started reading my own copy of the book, I did notice a brief early note pondering HAL's efforts to remove men from the mission to Jupiter, but from there found myself devouring its story at a rapid clip.( Complex characters, a complicated production )