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Kubrick's 2001

A Space Odyssey: How Patterns, Archetypes and Style Inform a Narrative

by Albert Halstead


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The second and special 50th anniversary edition of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey—How Patterns, Archetypes and Style Inform a Narrative by Albert Halstead provides a fascinating analysis and interpretation of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey—his most famous film and perhaps the most important science fiction film ever made. Intended for both the film scholar doing research and the lay reader who is simply interested in learning more about 2001 and Kubrick's work, the book includes thirteen full-color frame enlargements along with color photographs which not only help the reader recall important scenes from the film, but also illustrate a number of the stylistic techniques Kubrick employed.

The first part of the book surveys the entire film, which is quite helpful to those who have not seen 2001 recently. Most of the major scenes are covered from the stunning opening title to the enigmatic conclusion, and a preliminary explanation of Kubrick's use of coherent archetypal symbolism throughout the film is presented. The second part offers a more in-depth analysis of Kubrick's multi-formal approach used to convey both the film's themes and the meaning of its images, along with a deeper analysis of the story, 2001's style, Kubrick's use of music, and some suggestions for answers to most of the mysteries and questions the film leaves us with.

Appendix A provides both a crew list and a cast list. Appendix B provides production details and a list of the awards that 2001: A Space Odyssey received.

Appendix C contains an exclusive interview with Academy Award-winning special effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull who worked closely with Kubrick to produce many of the film's ground-breaking special visual effects. Trumbull relates many production details, biographical information, anecdotes, and invaluable insights into one of his most extraordinary experiences in his long career. The interview even includes its own End Notes to aid the reader in understanding the technical terms and concepts Trumbull uses as he describes the making of 2001 and his own film Silent Running.

Appendix D provides a brief history of Cinerama and a description of the Cinerama Super Panavision 70 cinematography process which was used in the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Finally, the book's End Notes section has been expanded considerably providing more historical and background information on 2001, more definitions of terms, and further explanations of important stylistic techniques and concepts relevant to 2001: A Space Odyssey. This new information and additional references should prove to be of great value to both film researchers and the lay reader alike.

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