We have a masterpiece on our hands

Photo: Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Despite a somewhat mixed response upon its release in 1968, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is now deemed a masterpiece of filmmaking by many, and can now be found near if not at the top of lists ranking the greatest science fiction films ever made. Written jointly by Kubrick and distinguished novelist Arthur C. Clarke, it was in April of 1964 that the pair first met, and from that moment Clarke began to keep a diary in which to document the momentous journey to come. This particular entry came two years later—a day on which Clarke finally realised how stunning the film could be.

The Diary Entry

February 4.

Saw a screening of a demonstration film in which Stan has spliced together a few scenes to give the studio heads some idea of what’s going on. He’d used Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream for the weightless scenes, and Vaughan Williams’ Antarctica Symphony for the lunar sequence and the Star Gate special effects, with stunning results. I reeled out convinced that we have a masterpiece on our hands—if Stan can keep it up.

Further Reading

Arthur C. Clarke’s diary entries were later reprinted in his 1972 book, The Lost Worlds Of 2001, along with behind-the-scenes notes, an early screenplay, and The Sentinel, a story of Clarke’s on which the film was loosely based.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *