Stanley Kubrick is one of my favorite movie directors.
Kubrick spent five years developing his next film, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), having been highly impressed with science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke's novel Childhood's End, about a superior race of alien beings who assist mankind in eliminating their old selves. After meeting Clarke in New York City in April 1964, Kubrick made the suggestion to work on his 1948 short story The Sentinel, about a tetrahedron which is found on the Moon which alerts aliens of mankind. That year, Clarke began writing the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the screenplay was written by Kubrick and Clarke in collaboration. The film's theme, the birthing of one intelligence by another, is developed in two parallel intersecting stories on two very different times scales. One depicts transitions between various stages of man, from ape to "star child", as man is reborn into a new existence, each step shepherded by an enigmatic alien intelligence seen only in its artifacts: a series of seemingly indestructible eons-old black monoliths. In space, the enemy is a supercomputer known as HAL who runs the spaceship, a character which novelist Clancy Sigal described as being "far, far more human, more humorous and conceivably decent than anything else that may emerge from this far-seeing enterprise".
Kubrick spent a great deal of time researching the film, paying particular attention to accuracy and detail in what the future might look like. He was granted permission by NASA to observe the spacecraft being used in the Ranger 9 mission for accuracy. Filming commenced on December 29, 1965, with the excavation of the monolith on the moon, and footage was shot in Namib Desert in early 1967, with the ape scenes completed in the summer of that year. The special effects team continued working diligently until the end of the year to complete the film, taking the cost to $10.5 million. 2001: A Space Odyssey was conceived as a Cinerama spectacle and was photographed in Super Panavision 70, giving the viewer a "dazzling mix of imagination and science" through ground-breaking effects, which earned Kubrick his only personal Oscar, an Academy Award for Visual Effects. Louise Sweeney of the Christian Science Monitor called the film the "ultimate trip" while praising one of the scenes where the viewer moves through space while witnessing a vibrant mix of lighting, color, and patterns. Kubrick said of the concept of the film in an interview with Rolling Stone: "On the deepest psychological level, the film's plot symbolized the search for God, and finally postulates what is little less than a scientific definition of God. The film revolves around this metaphysical conception, and the realistic hardware and the documentary feelings about everything were necessary in order to undermine your built-in resistance to the poetical concept".
Upon release in 1968, 2001: A Space Odyssey was not an immediate hit among many critics, who faulted its lack of dialogue, slow pacing, and seemingly impenetrable storyline. The film appeared to defy genre convention, much unlike any science-fiction movie before it, and clearly different from any of Kubrick's earlier films or stories. Kubrick was particularly outraged by a scathing review from Pauline Kael, who called it "the biggest amateur movie of them all", with Kubrick doing "really every dumb thing he ever wanted to do". Despite mixed reviews from critics at that time, 2001: A Space Odyssey gradually gained popularity and earned $31 million worldwide by the end of 1972. Today, it is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential films ever made, and is a staple on All Time Top 10 lists. Baxter describes the film as "one of the most admired and discussed creations in the history of cinema", and Steven Spielberg has referred to it as "the big bang of his film making generation". For LoBrutto it "positioned Stanley Kubrick as a pure artist ranked among the masters of cinema".
I well remember 2001 a Space Odyssey, it did though, take two viewings to figure out the story. The primary reason I was to figure it out, was a lady friend I was with, explained in detail the plot, the story of and why it was as it was.
It was both entertaining and thought provoking, even with the confusion, I did enjoy the movie, the second time..