Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece

S. & S. Apr. 2018. 512p. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9781501163937. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781501163951. FILM
OrangeReviewStarStanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey is widely regarded as a significant, era-defining work of art and one of the most influential films ever made. Writer/photographer/filmmaker Benson provides a highly detailed, comprehensive account of the 1968 film, noting Kubrick's early directing experiences; describing the first meeting between Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, the author of 2001, the novel on which the movie is based; chronicling the years spent on film production, special effects, and set construction; and situating the final work within the context of film history. Benson interviewed Clarke, Kubrick's widow, Christiane, and many others connected to the film, all of which lends a richness to the narrative and helps shade in the details of the director's interactions during the film's conception phase and while on set. Benson starts out with a comparison to Homer's Odyssey and James Joyce's Ulysses, and methodically documents how Kubrick drew inspiration from a range of sources to adapt for the screen. By the end, the author makes a compelling case that 2001: A Space Odyssey is both uniquely Kubrick's film and utterly original.
VERDICT Essential for sf fans, Kubrick enthusiasts, and film history buffs.

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