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The Making of 2001: A Space Odyssey (Modern Library Movies) Paperback – March 7, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"If 2001 has stirred your emotions, your subconscious, your mythological yearnings, then it has succeeded."--Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick's extraordinary movie 2001: A Space Odyssey was released in 1969. The critics initially disliked it, but the public loved it. And eventually, the film took its rightful place as one of the most innovative, brilliant, and pivotal works of modern cinema. The Making of 2001: A Space Odyssey consists of testimony from Kubrick's collaborators and commentary from critics and historians. This is the most complete book on the film to date--from Stanley Kubrick's first meeting with screenwriter Arthur C. Clarke to Kubrick's exhaustive research to the actual shooting and release of the movie.

About the Author

Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) was born in the Bronx but lived and worked for most of his life in England. He made fifteen films including Lolita, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon and Full Metal Jacket.

Editor Stephanie Schwam has produced many documentary films and most recently worked with Peter Jennings on The Century Project.
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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library Movies
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; 1 edition (March 7, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375755284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375755286
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #673,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Edward B. Driscoll, Jr. on March 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
This isn't a bad book about the making of "2001: A Space Odyssey", one of the great films of the 20th century. But there are a couple of better books to look for on this subject.
The first is Jerome Agel's original, "The Making of Kubrick's 2001", released in the late 60s, soon after from the film. The other is Piers Bizony's "2001: Filming The Future", released in 1995. Brozney's book is more conventional, Agel's is a very "McLuhan-esque" collage of reviews, interviews, and dozens of photographs.
Stephanie Schwam has edited together articles and excerpts from both books for her "Making of" book. Dedicated Kubrick-ologists may find an interview or two with The Master that they haven't read before, but the Agel and Bizony's books both do a much more thorough job of telling the story of how this great film was made, and unlike Schwam's book include stills and production photos.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By P. B. Fey on April 25, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a diary detailing the day-to-day, year-to-year production of Stanley Kubrick's magnificent film, this is not quite it. Which is not to say that this book is not a fascinating read. It is a compilation of articles, reviews, and commentaries that touch on the genesis of the project and its groundbreaking special effects, while devoting a few too many pages to the initial reviews. After four or five of these, it's clear that most film reviewers don't have a clue. The sections done by those directly involved with the film (Lightman, Trumbull, et al) are the most compelling; they often provide a better insight into Mr. Kubrick's approach than the lengthy and rambling Playboy interview that concludes the book. Excellent intro by Jay Cocks--would've liked more about his time spent with Kubrick. If this book seems occasionally disappointing, it's only because there are so many interesting anecdotes and observations.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Aguilar on July 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
This small 300 page book offers an intriguing glimpse into the past in which 2001 was made. The title is a bit misleading as the focus here isn't on the actual production of the film and the nature of it's construct, but an examination of the period which developed it. It's quite facinating and offers intriguing new tidbits of information. The book presents the original Arthur C. Clarke short stroy on which the film is based, The Sentinal, in it's entirety giving insight as to how much had to be extrapolated from it to make a feature. Other highlights are; a production calander wich details not only script writings and screenings, but significant scientific developments as well (such as the first space walk, the launching of probes), essays on the building of the various ships, a discussion of the special effects, testimonies from various scientists, consultants, art directors and more on their experiences with the film, the full original press release, multiple reviews from 1968-69, and interviews with Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick himself. What more could you ask for? It's breathtaking! I'm confounded by some the the harsher reviews. So much is presented, all in one book, that this is easily the most complete collection of information on 2001 : A Space Odyssey I've ever come across.
The book succeeds in giving the reader a sense of time and placement in history for 2001 as well as revealing some of the production secrets and offering some film analyzation. The film reviews alone were incredible in their revelation of reactions to the film. If you want to more about the actual process of the 2001 production, Filming The Future by Piers Bizony is a better choice. Get this book for a clear understanding of where 2001 came from, how it came to be and what effect it had. If you come to it with this in mind, I'm sure any film fan, and certainly any 2001 fan, will be blown away by the amount of information and insight presented. Don't pass this up!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By tierny on April 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
2001 staked out territory in the world of ideas like no prior film had. It follows that writing is part and parcel of it's legacy. Like any great film it was an impulse that produced it's share of not just thoughtful reviews, but essays, and still does.

This is the confounding 2nd title related to 2001 associated with James Agel. As such I am confused. Is this an attempt to put the earlier title back in circulation? Because if it is, this one lacks much of the earlier works content, and more distressingly, the images. If it is not a reprint, they should really have titled it differently. It's too similar to the earlier, better title (The Making of Kubricks' 2001) which cost less and provided more. This book covers much of the same territory, but is so much less.

There is nothing wrong with reviews of 2001, which can be illuminating when they're raves just as often as when they're sneering and resentful. But that other book, far from being a catlaog of reviews and fanboy minutia, as "Making of" books frequently are, was one of my earliest exposures as a kid to the idea that a movie featuring very few words could cause so many to be written about it. It's an extremely rich vein of thought. Yes the Kubrick artefact is remarkable and filmic, but the life this movie has in one's mind after the fact is at least as important. That book captured the cultural debate at the time following it's release.

On top of all that, there is no content in this book that would naturally cause you to gather it all under a "making of" title. That's less of a problem if the writing is good, but choosing to give it this title seems like a cynical cash-in on the crowd that still clamors for the other book.
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