Despite receiving mixed reviews upon release, 2001: A Space Odyssey is today recognized by many critics and audiences as one of the greatest films ever made; the 2002 Sight & Sound poll of critics ranked it among the top ten films of all time. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, and received one for visual effects. In 1991, it was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in their National Film Registry.
The title sequence begins with an image of the Earth rising over the Moon, while the Sun rises over the Earth, all in alignment. (This is the first use of the iconic "Thus Spake Zarathustra" theme. See Music for further discussion of the use of music in the film.)
Over images of what appears to be an African desert, a caption reads "The Dawn of Man". We see a tribe of herbivore apes foraging for food. One of them is attacked and killed by a tiger. They are driven from their watering hole by another tribe. Defeated, they sleep overnight in a small exposed rock crater. Waking at sunrise, they find that a mysterious black, rectangular monolith has appeared in front of their shelter. Quite agitated, they approach the monolith shrieking and jumping. Subsequently, one of the apes (Daniel Richter) realizes how to use a bone as both tool and a weapon while having mental flashbacks to the monolith. They are now able to kill animals and eat meat. They then wrest control of the water-hole away from the other tribe, killing their leader in the process. Exultant in victory, the ape leader throws his bone into the air which switches via match cut to a shot of an orbital satellite millions of years in the future, circa 2000. This satellite and three more immediately following it are generally identified as orbiting nuclear weapons. A Pan American space plane takes Dr. Heywood R. Floyd (William Sylvester) to Space Station 5 in an elaborate extended space flight and docking sequence. (See Music) Upon disembarking, Floyd is greeted by an old colleague with whom he chats catching up on mundane matters. Floyd then makes a videophone call to his daughter (played by Vivian Kubrick) to wish her a happy birthday expressing regrets he cannot come to her party. Strolling down the main corridor, he comes upon a group of Soviet scientists and sits down to chat. He mentions that he is on his way to Clavius Base, a U.S. base on the moon. The Russians to query him anxiously about the “great big mystery” of what has been going on there, questions that Floyd initially shrugs off. Floyd refuses to discuss the subject further when they press him about the rumor that a serious epidemic has broken out in the base.
Floyd then leaves the space station for Clavius in a moon shuttle in another extended sequence. Upon arriving, Floyd heads a debriefing session, beginning by apologizing for the epidemic cover story, mentioning that he had been personally embarrassed by it. The actual purpose of Floyd’s mission is to investigate an artificial artifact dug up on the moon, initially detected by its magnetic signal. Geological evidence shows it was deliberately buried four million years ago. Floyd rides in a Moonbus to the archeological site. During the ride, Floyd and his men chat idly. In a large rectangular pit dug around it, the artifact is revealed to be another monolith similar to the one encountered by the apes millions of years ago. Floyd’s staff examine the monolith and pose for a photo with it. As they do, the sun rises over the top of the monolith, which then emits an ear-piercing high-pitched radio signal.
A title caption reads "Jupiter Mission: Eighteen Months Later". On board the spaceship Discovery One, bound for Jupiter, are two mission pilots, astronauts Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood), and three scientists "sleeping" in cryogenic hibernation. Bowman and Poole watch a BBC television story about the mission, in which the TV audience is introduced to the ship’s on-board computer HAL 9000 (voiced by Douglas Rain), who has human-like intelligence and runs most of the ship’s operations. The BBC announcer notes that HAL seems supremely self-confident, as if he has emotions. This is followed by another broadcast of a birthday message from Frank’s parents during which Frank Poole seems indifferent.
Later, while Dave is showing HAL some sketches of the hibernating astronauts, HAL asks Dave some pointed questions about suspicions he has about the air of mystery and secrecy surrounding the mission. HAL then interrupts himself to state that the AE-35 unit, which controls the antenna that provides communications with Earth, is going to fail in 72 hours. Dave goes outside of the ship in an EVA pod to replace the unit with a spare. After returning to the ship, Frank and Dave examine the unit HAL claimed was defective, but they are unable to find anything wrong with it. They contact earth-based ground control, who tell them that their own HAL computer states that their on-board HAL computer is in error in predicting the fault. This is striking, since the HAL 9000 series has an impeccable operating record.
The astronauts query HAL as to what he thinks has happened, and HAL insists it must be somehow due to "human error". He suggests placing the unit back in the antenna and waiting for it to fail to see what the problem is. After coming up with a pretext, Dave and Frank go into one of the EVA pods to talk without being overheard by HAL. Frank says he has “a bad feeling about him”. They decide to follow HAL's suggestion and replace the unit, feeling that this does suggest HAL is sure of his prediction. They also agree that if HAL is proven to be malfunctioning, they will have to disconnect him. Unbeknownst to them, HAL is reading their lips through the window of the spacepod.
As Frank attempts to replace the AE-35, his spacepod turns and accelerates towards him, severing his oxygen hose and setting him adrift. A camera closeup of HAL's camera-eye on the pod indicates to the audience that HAL is responsible. Dave then goes on a rescue mission in another EVA pod to recover Frank. While Dave is out of the spaceship, the life functions of all the crew in suspended animation are terminated while a screen flashes "Computer Malfunction". When Dave returns to the exterior of the ship, he asks HAL to open the pod bay doors to let him inside, but HAL refuses to do so, stating that Dave’s plan to disconnect him puts the mission in jeopardy. Dave enters through the emergency air lock, and makes his way to the computer control room in order to disconnect HAL. HAL tries to protest and reassure Dave that everything will be all right although he has “made some bad decisions lately”, but Dave ignores him.
As Dave slowly removes one module after another from HAL’s circuitry, HAL continues to protest, eventually just repeating the lines “My mind is going, I can feel it.” and “I'm afraid.” HAL then goes into a monologue about his first day of operation, regressing to his earliest days. During this he sings the song ("Daisy Bell") he was taught on his first operational day. As he sings, his voice continuously slows down. When HAL is entirely disconnected, a television monitor is activated that shows a prerecorded briefing that was supposed to be played only when they reached Jupiter space, informing Dave that the purpose of the mission is to investigate why the moon monolith sent a powerful radio signal to Jupiter.
A caption reads "Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite”. Dave now leaves the Jupiter ship in an EVA pod, and encounters another monolith in orbit around Jupiter. While approaching it, he finds himself suddenly traveling through a tunnel of colored light (generally known as the “Star Gate”) racing at great speed across vast distances of space viewing many strange astronomical phenomena. He eventually finds himself in a bedroom containing Louis XVI-style decor. He repeatedly sees future versions of himself. Each time this occurs the film’s point-of-view switches to the later Dave. Finally an elderly and dying Dave Bowman is seen, lying on the bed. At the foot of the bed, another monolith appears. It transforms him into a fetus-like being enclosed in a transparent orb of light, the “Star-Child”. The film returns to a view of the Moon and Earth, where the The Star-Child floats in space gazing at Earth.
In early conversations, Kubrick and Clarke jokingly called their project How the Solar System Was Won, an allusion to the 1962 Cinerama epic How the West Was Won. Like that film, Kubrick's production would be divided into distinct episodes. Clarke considered adapting a number of his earlier stories before selecting "The Sentinel", published in 1950, as the starting point for the film. The collaborators originally planned to develop a novel first, free of the constraints of a normal script, and then to write the screenplay; they envisaged that the final writing credits would be "Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, based on a novel by Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick", to reflect their pre-eminence in their respective fields. However, in practice the cinematic ideas required for the screenplay developed parallel to the novel, with cross-fertilisation between the two. In the end, the screenplay credits were shared while the novel, released shortly after the film, was attributed to Clarke alone, but Clarke wrote later that "the nearest approximation to the complicated truth" is that the screenplay should be credited to "Kubrick and Clarke" and the novel to "Clarke and Kubrick". Astronomer Carl Sagan wrote in his book The Cosmic Connection that Clarke and Kubrick asked his opinion on how to best depict extraterrestrial intelligence. Sagan, wryly acknowledging Kubrick's desire to use actors to portray humanoid alien for convenience's sake, argued that alien life forms were unlikely to bear any resemblance to terrestrial life, and that to do so would introduce "at least an element of falseness" to the film. Sagan proposed that the film suggest, rather than depict, extraterrestrial superintelligence. Sagan attended the premiere and was "pleased to see that I had been of some help." Sagan related that many Soviet scientists regarded the film to be the best American movie they had seen.
On February 22, 1965, MGM announced it was backing Kubrick's new science fiction film under the title Journey Beyond the Stars. Interviewed by The New Yorker shortly afterwards, Kubrick compared the proposed film to "a space Odyssey", and in April he officially changed the title to 2001: A Space Odyssey. The date of 2001 was said to allude to Fritz Lang's Metropolis, which was set in 2026. Arthur C. Clarke kept a diary throughout his involvement with 2001, excerpts of which were published in 1972 as The Lost Worlds of 2001. Clarke's diary reveals that by the time backing was secured for Journey Beyond the Stars in early 1965, the writers still had no firm idea of what would happen to Bowman after the Star Gate sequence, though as early as October 17, 1964 Kubrick had come up with what Clarke called a "wild idea of slightly fag robots who create a Victorian environment to put our heroes at their ease". Initially all of Discovery's astronauts were to survive the journey; a decision to leave Bowman as the sole survivor and have him regress to infancy was agreed by October 3, 1965. The computer HAL was originally to have been named "Athena", after the Greek goddess of wisdom, with a feminine voice and persona. Clarke noted that, contrary to popular rumor, it was a complete coincidence that each of the letters of HAL's name immediately preceded those of IBM. HAL is intended to stand for Heuristic ALgorithmic computer. In formal math, an algorithm gives an exact answer, whereas a heuristic gives a well-educated guess.
The film was planned to be photographed in 3-film-strip Cinerama (like How the West Was Won), but was changed to Super Panavision 70 (which uses a single-strip 65 mm negative) on the advice of special photographic effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull, due to distortion problems with the 3-strip system; color processing and 35 mm release prints was done using Technicolor's dye transfer process. The 70 mm prints were made by MGM Laboratories, Inc. or Metrocolor. In March 1968, Kubrick began editing the film, making his final cuts just before the film's general release in April 1968. The budget was $4.5 million over the initial $6.0 million budget, and sixteen months behind schedule.
This film pioneered retroreflective matting (front projection) in mainstream movie production. The technique was selected to produce the backdrops for the African scenes where apes learn to use tools, as traditional techniques using backdrops or back-projection did not produce a realistic looking result. Existing techniques using painted backdrops for stills or back-projection for moving scenes simply didn't produce the realistic effects Kubrick demanded. The technique was also used for a number of shots during the spacecraft scenes, notably to produce the images seen through windows. The technique has been used widely in the film industry since 2001 pioneered its use, although starting in the 1990s it has been increasingly replaced by green screen systems.
Front projection uses a separate scenery projector arranged at right angles to the camera. A half-silvered mirror splits the light coming out of the projector, with about half of it reflected forward where it falls onto a retroflective backdrop. The image is then reflected back to the camera, along with the normal lighting from the scene. The projected landscape is invisible on the actors because it is much dimmer than the scene illumination, and is only visible in the camera because of the high reflectivity of the background retroflective screen.
Front projection had been used in smaller settings before 2001, but mostly for still-action photography or television production, using small still images and projectors. The expansive backdrops in the African scenes required a backdrop 40 feet tall, far larger than had ever been used before. Using the largest existing projectors based on 4 by 5 inch transparencies resulted in grainy images when projected that large, so the 2001 team worked with MGM's Special Effects Supervisor, Tom Howard, to build a custom projector using 8 by 10 slides and the largest water-cooled arc lamp available. When the reflective material was applied to the backdrop, they discovered roll-to-roll variations that led to obvious visual artifacts, a problem that was solved by tearing the material into small chucks and applying it in a "camouflage" pattern.
Space travel shots were also handled in-camera. The model of the Discovery One spacecraft was moved along a track, mechanically linked to the camera. On the first pass, the model was unlit, masking the star-field. The model and film were returned to the start position, and on the second pass, the model was lit. For the third pass, motion pictures were projected onto front-projection screens in the model's windows, showing the interior of the ship. The result was a film negative that was as sharp as live footage.
For interior shots in the spacecraft, Kubrick had a 30-ton rotating "ferris wheel" built by Vickers-Armstrong Engineering Group at a cost of $750,000. The set was 38 feet in diameter and 10 feet wide. Various spacecraft interior shots, mostly in the Discovery, were shot by placing the set within the wheel, then rotating it while the actor walked in sync with its motion, leaving them at the bottom of the wheel. The camera could be fixed to show the actor walking "up" the set, or mounted to rotate with the actor, as in the famous jogging scene. The number of shots where the actors appear separated in the wheel are limited, because they required one of the actors to be strapped into place while the wheel moved to allow the other to walk at the bottom. The most notable case is just before Dave and Frank eat while watching the BBC special, which required Lockwood to be strapped into a seat while Dullea walked toward him from the opposite side of the wheel.
Veteran technicians of previous science fiction films were puzzled by how realistic the effects of floating in space were when Dave or Frank are outside the Discovery, and the weightless scenes inside the spacecraft (such as the scene with the deactivation of HAL). These were accomplished by having actors suspended from a ceiling (as was common in simulating spacewalking) with the camera underneath them pointing straight up, thus eliminating the common effect of a notable up-down pull on an astronaut. The actors' bodies blocked the camera's view of the suspension wires, creating a very believable appearance of floating.
The colored lights in the Star Gate sequence were accomplished by slit-scan photography of moving images of painting. The shots of various nebula-like phenomena were colored paints in water in a dark room.
Kubrick filmed several scenes that were deleted from the final film. These include a schoolroom on the moon base; Floyd buying a bush baby from a department store, via videophone, for his daughter; additional space walks; and astronaut Bowman retrieving a spare part from an octagonal corridor. The most notable cut was a 10-minute black-and-white opening sequence featuring interviews with actual scientists, including Freeman Dyson , discussing extraterrestrial life, which Kubrick removed after an early screening for MGM executives. If the music intro and outro are included, 29 minutes of film have been axed from the theatrical version.
The original 70 mm release was advertised as Cinerama in cinemas equipped with special projection optics and a deeply curved screen. In standard cinemas, the film was identified as a 70 mm production. The original release of 2001: A Space Odyssey in 70 mm Cinerama with six-track sound (via Klipschorn- and Odyssey-model cinema speakers) played continually for two years in The Glendale Theater, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, a feat cited by Arthur C. Clarke in the non-fiction book The Lost Worlds of 2001.
MGM also published letterbox laserdisc editions (including an updated edition with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound). There also was a special edition laserdisc from The Criterion Collection in the CAV format. In 1999, it was re-released in VHS, and in 2001 as part of the "Stanley Kubrick Collection" in both VHS and DVD formats with remastered sound and picture.
It has been released on Region 1 DVD four times: once by MGM Home Entertainment in 1998 and thrice by Warner Home Video in 1999, 2001, and 2007. The MGM release had a booklet, the film, trailer, and an interview with Arthur C. Clarke, and the soundtrack was remastered in 5.1 surround sound. The 1999 Warner Bros. release omitted the booklet, yet had a re-release trailer. The 2001 release contained the re-release trailer, the film in the original 2.21:1 aspect ratio, digitally re-mastered from the original 70 mm print, and the soundtrack remixed in 5.1 surround sound. A limited edition DVD included a booklet, 70 mm^ frame, and a new soundtrack CD of the film's actual (unreleased) music tracks, and a sampling of HAL's dialogue.
Warner Home Video released a 2-DVD Special Edition on October 23, 2007 as part of their latest set of Kubrick reissues. The DVD was released on its own and as part of a revised Stanley Kubrick box set which contains new Special Edition versions of A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Eyes Wide Shut, Full Metal Jacket, and the documentary A Life in Pictures. Additionally, the film was released in high definition on both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc. The Imdb.com listing of this DVD and the official Warner Brothers webpage have a complete listing of all the special features but both omit a documentary entitled "What is Out There?" featuring interviews with Keir Dullea and Arthur C. Clarke.
However Pauline Kael said it was "a monumentally unimaginative movie", and Stanley Kauffmann of The New Republic called it "a film that is so dull, it even dulls our interest in the technical ingenuity for the sake of which Kubrick has allowed it to become dull. Renata Adler of The New York Times wrote that it was "somewhere between hypnotic and immensely boring." Variety's 'Robe' believed the film was a "Big, beautiful, but plodding sci-fi epic…A major achievement in cinematography and special effects, 2001 lacks dramatic appeal to a large degree and only conveys suspense after the halfway mark. Andrew Sarris called it "one of the grimmest films I have ever seen in my life…2001 is a disaster because it is much too abstract to make its abstract points." (Sarris reversed his opinion upon a second viewing of the film, and declared "2001 is indeed a major work by a major artist.) John Simon felt it was "a regrettable failure, although not a total one. This film is fascinating when it concentrates on apes or machines…and dreadful when it deals with the in-betweens: humans…2001, for all its lively visual and mechanical spectacle, is a kind of space-Spartacus and, more pretentious still, a shaggy God story."
|Best Visual Effects||Stanley Kubrick|
|Best Original Screenplay|| Stanley Kubrick|
Arthur C. Clarke
|Best Art Direction|| Anthony Masters|
|Best Director||Stanley Kubrick|
The primary technical adviser for 2001: A Space Odyssey was Marshall Spaceflight Center engineer Frederick I. Ordway III. (Detailed design information is given by Ordway in the American Astronautical Society History Series.) 2001 is highly realistic when compared with other science fiction films, particularly its predecessors. It accurately presents outer space as transmitting no sound. Its portrayal of weightlessness in spaceships and outer space is notable. Tracking shots inside the rotating wheel providing artificial gravity contrast with the weightlessness outside the wheel during the repair and HAL disconnection scenes. (The pod bay walking scenes of the astronauts may be explained by the earlier scenes where stewardesses walk in zero gravity using velcro-equipped shoes labelled Grip Shoes.)
Much was made by MGM's publicity department of the film's realism, claiming in a 1968 brochure that "Everything in 2001: A Space Odyssey can happen within the next three decades, and…most of the picture will happen by the beginning of the next millennium." This has proved to be wrong, although some of the film's predictions (see below) have been realized.
The film is scientifically inaccurate in minor details, many explained by the technical difficulty inherent to producing a realistic effect.
The appearance of outer space is problematical both in terms of lighting and the alignment of astronomical bodies. With no atmosphere in outer space, stars do not twinkle, and light does not spread out to become ambient. The side of the Discovery spacecraft unlit by the sun would be virtually pitch-black. Nor would the stars appear to move in relationship to Discovery as it traveled towards Jupiter. Proportionally, the sun, moon, and earth would not visually line up at the size ratios as shown in the opening shot. Nor would the moons of Jupiter in the shot just before Bowman enters the Star Gate. The first two appearances of the monolith, one on the Earth and one on the moon, conclude with the sun rising over the top of the monolith at the zenith of the sky. While this could happen in an African veldt, it is questionable if this could happen anywhere near the crater Tycho (where the monolith is found) as it is 45 degrees south of the lunar equator. Also, seen from the space, the edge of the Earth seems so sharp in the movie, but actually it should be slightly blurry due to the scattering of the sunlight by the atmosphere, as we can see in many photos taken from space today.
The entire sequence in which Dave Bowman re-enters Discovery through the emergency airlock has problems. Bowman holds his breath just before ejecting from the pod into the airlock. Before exposure to a vacuum, NASA states, one must exhale, because holding in the breath would rupture the lungs. On the DVD edition of the film released in 2007, Arthur C. Clarke states in an interview that had he been on the set the day they filmed this, he would have caught this error. After Bowman ejects from the pod, the pod is shown to remain stationary. However, the air escaping the pod's rear door that propels Bowman into the hatch would have also propelled the pod away from the spaceship. Finally, the blown pod hatch simply vanishes while concealed behind a puff of smoke.
While the film's portrayal of reduced or zero gravity is unusually realistic, problems remain. When spacecraft land on the Moon, dust is incorrectly shown billowing as it would in an atmosphere, not the vacuum of the Lunar surface. .While on the moon, all actors move as if in normal gravity, not the 1/6 G of the moon. Similarly, the behavior of Dave and Frank in the pod bay is not fully consistent with zero-Gs, as it should be since the pod bay is not in a centrifuge. The astronauts could be wearing magnetic boots but their leaning on the table when they try to diagnose the AE-35 unit is especially peculiar. Earlier in the film, while en route to the space station, Dr. Floyd's pen floats out of his pocket, to be retrieved by the stewardess. The pen moves in a circular arc (actually stuck to the edge of a rotating plastic disc), but it would more likely move in a straight line through the cabin. The circular arc would be consistent with the plane rotating, but that might generate some degree of artificial gravity in the environment. It is also generally held that when drinking through a straw in zero gravity, liquid would not sink down after one stopped sucking.
Finally, the unrealistically sharp reflections of the pod monitors on David Bowman's face are due to the simulation of flat-screen monitors by miniature rear-projection screens.
There are other problems that might be more appropriately described as continuity errors, such as which side of the earth is lighted when viewed from Clavius, and the timelag of the position readout on the PanAm plane's monitors
The film shows an imagined version of the year 2001.
One futuristic device already in use when the film was released in 1968 was voice-print identification, used in some police departments. A credible prototype of a chess-playing computer already existed though it could be defeated by experts. Computers did not defeat champions unitl the late 1980s. While 10-digit phone numbers for long-distance national dialing originated in 1951, longer phone numbers for international dialing became a reality in 1970. Personal in-flight entertainment displays were first introduced in the 1980s strictly for the purpose of playing video games, but then broadened out for the purpose of TV broadcast and movies as shown in the film. The film also shows flat-screen TV monitors of which the first real-world prototype appeared in 1975. (However, we do not have TV broadcasts with more height than width.) Plane cockpit integrated system displays (known as glass cockpits) were introduced in 1979. Even rudimentary voice-controlled computing now exists although it is not at all as sophisticated as shown in the film.
In terms of corporate realities, we now have many more BBC stations than in ’68 as shown in the film, and the corporations IBM, Aeroflot, Howard Johnsons, and Hilton Hotels , all of which appear in the film still exist. On the other hand, the film depicts a still existing Bell Labs and PanAm, both of which had become defunct. Political realities are also quite different. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is alive and well in the film, but in fact dissolved in 1991.
Technologies which are portrayed as common in the film, but are not include commonplace space travel, common videophones, space stations with hotels, moon colonization, suspended animation of humans, and strong artificial intelligence of the kind displayed by HAL.
Possibly influenced by the PanAm plane in 2001 is the X-34, a prototype craft that underwent towed flight tests from 1999 to 2001
The film is remarkable for its innovative use of classical music taken from existing commercial recordings. Most feature films then and now are typically accompanied by elaborate film scores or songs written especially for them by professional composers. In the early stages of production, Kubrick had actually commissioned a score for 2001 from noted Hollywood composer Alex North, who had written the score for Spartacus and also worked on Dr. Strangelove. However, on 2001 Kubrick did much of the filming and editing using, as his guides, the classical recordings which eventually became the music track. In March 1966, MGM became concerned about 2001's progress and Kubrick put together a show reel of footage to the ad hoc soundtrack of classical recordings. The studio bosses were delighted with the results and Kubrick decided to use these 'guide pieces' as the final musical soundtrack, and he abandoned North's score. Kubrick failed to inform North that his music had not been used and, to his dismay, North did not discover this until he saw the movie just prior to its release. What survives of North's soundtrack recordings has been released as a "limited edition" CD from Intrada Records. All the music North originally wrote was recorded commercially by North's friend and colleague Jerry Goldsmith with the National Philharmonic Orchestra and was released on Varese Sarabande CDs shortly after Telarc's first theme release but before North's death.
In an interview with Michel Ciment, Kubrick explained:
2001 is particularly remembered for using Johann Strauss II's best-known waltz, An der schönen blauen Donau (On The Beautiful Blue Danube), during the extended space-station docking and lunar landing sequences, and the use of the opening from Richard Strauss's Also sprach Zarathustra ("Thus Spake Zarathustra"), which has now become firmly associated with the film and its themes. The film also introduced the modernistic composer György Ligeti to a wide public.
The Richard and Johann Strauss pieces and Ligeti’s Requiem (the Kyrie section) act as recurring leitmotifs in the film’s storyline. Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra is first heard in the opening title which juxtaposes the sun, earth, and moon. It is subsequently heard when an ape first learns to use a tool, and when Bowman is transformed into the Star-child at the end of the film. Zarathustra thus acts as a bookend for the beginning and end of the film, and as a motif signifying evolutionary transformations, first from ape to man, then from man to Star-Child. This piece was originally inspired by the philosopher Nietzsche’s book of the same name which talks of the transition from ape to man and from man to Superman. The Blue Danube appears in two intricate and extended space travel sequences as well as the closing credits. The first of these is the particularly famous sequence of the PanAm space plane docking at Space Station V. Ligeti’s Requiem is heard three times, all of them during appearances of the monolith. The first is its encounter with apes just prior to the Zarathustra-accompanied ape discovery of the tool. The second is the monolith's discovery on the Moon, and the third is Bowman's approach to it around Jupiter just before he enters the Star Gate. This last sequence with the Requiem has much more movement in it then the first two, and it transitions directly into the music from Ligeti’s Atmosphères which is heard when Bowman actually enters the Star Gate. No music is heard during the monolith's much briefer final appearance in Dave Bowman’s celestial bedroom which immediately precedes the Zarathustra-accompanied transformation of Bowman into the Star-Child. A shorter excerpt from Atmospheres is heard during the pre-credits prelude and film intermission which are not in all copies of the film. (Gayane's Adagio) from Aram Khachaturian's Gayaneh ballet suite is heard during the sections that introduce Bowman and Poole aboard the Discovery conveying a somewhat lonely and mournful quality. Other music used is Ligeti’s Lux Aeterna and an electronically altered form of his Aventures, used without his permission.
By the time the first word of dialogue is spoken in the film, we have already heard Zarathustra twice, Ligeti's Requiem and the more well-known of the two space travel sequences choreographed to The Blue Danube. The first dialogue in the film is when Dr. Floyd disembarks at Space Station V. The last line of dialogue in the film is Bowman's pre-recorded debriefing explaining the real purpose of the Discovery mission. The film's final line is "It's origin and purpose still a total mystery". This is followed by the approach to the monolith and Bowman's entrance into the Star Gate. Three Ligeti pieces, a recap of Zarathustra when Bowman transforms, and the last of three appearances of The Blue Danube during the closing credits all follow the closing line of dialogue.
Also sprach Zarathustra has been widely used in many other contexts since 2001 made it well known. This includes a disco version by Eumir Deodato which was used in the film Being There, and its use as the ring entrance music for now-retired pro wrestler Ric Flair. It was also used as Elvis Presley's stage entrance music in the late years of his career.
HAL's haunting version of the popular song "Daisy Bell" (referred to by HAL as "Daisy" in the film) was inspired by a computer synthesized arrangement by Max Mathews, which Arthur C. Clarke had heard in 1962 at the Bell Laboratories Murray Hill facility when he was, coincidentally, visiting friend and colleague John Pierce. At that time, a speech synthesis demonstration was being performed by physicist John Larry Kelly, Jr, by using an IBM 704 computer to synthesize speech. Kelly's voice recorder synthesizer vocoder recreated the song "Daisy Bell" ("Bicycle Built For Two"), with Max Mathews providing the musical accompaniment. Arthur C. Clarke was so impressed that he later used it in the screenplay and novel.
"Daisy" did not survive in many foreign language versions of the film. In the French soundtrack to 2001, HAL sings the French folk song "Au Clair de la Lune" while being disconnected. In the German version , HAL sings the children's song "Hänschen Klein" ("Johnny Little") and in the Italian version HAL sings "Giro Giro Tondo."
According to the Internet Movie Database
The end music credits do not list a conductor and orchestra for "Also Sprach Zarathustra". Stanley Kubrick wanted the Herbert von Karajan / Vienna Philharmonic version on English Decca for the film's soundtrack, but Decca executives did not want their recording "cheapened" by association with the movie, and so gave permission on the condition that the conductor and orchestra were not named. After the movie's successful release, Decca tried to rectify its blunder by re-releasing the recording with an "As Heard in 2001" flag printed on the album cover. John Culshaw recounts the incident in "Putting the Record Straight" (1981)....n the meantime, MGM released the "official soundtrack" L.P. with Karl Böhm's Berlin Philharmonic "Also Sprach Zarathustra" discretely substituting for von Karajan's version.
In 1993, Varese Sarabande issued a CD recording of Alex North's unused music for 2001.
Only when the film moves into the postulated future of 2000 and 2001, do we encounter characters who speak. By the time shooting began, Kubrick had deliberately jettisoned much of the intended dialogue and narration, and what remains is notable for its apparently banal nature—an announcement about a sweater being found, the awkwardly polite chit-chat between Floyd and the Russian scientists, or his comments about the sandwiches en route to the monolith site. Generally, the most memorable dialogue in the film belongs to the computer HAL and HAL's exchanges with David Bowman. HAL is the only character in the film who openly expresses anxiety (primarily around his disconnection), as well as feelings of pride and bewilderment.
The first line of dialogue is a stewardess saying "Here you are, sir, main level please". The final line is a conclusion of the pre-recorded briefing about the monolith. "Its origin an purpose still a total mystery".
Clarke went on to write three sequel novels: 2010: Odyssey Two (1982), 2061: Odyssey Three (1987), and 3001: The Final Odyssey (1997). 3001: The Final Odyssey reconnects with Frank Poole, who has been found drifting by a ship that was looking for frozen water near the edge of the solar system. Sufficiently preserved by the vacuum of space, he is revived by the advanced medical technology of the time and becomes the novel's protagonist.
The only filmed sequel, 2010, was based on Clarke's 1982 novel and was released in 1984. Kubrick was not involved in the production of this film, which was directed by Peter Hyams in a straightforward style with more dialogue. Clarke saw it as a fitting adaptation of his novel. As Kubrick had ordered all models and blueprints destroyed from 2001, Hyams had to recreate the models from scratch for 2010. Hyams also claimed that he would not make the film had he not received both Kubrick and Clarke's blessings. There has been no discussion of filmmakers adapting the other two for the screen, although actor Tom Hanks has expressed interest in possible adaptations of 2061 and 3001.