Something to read: Fascinating article about the aliens of Kubrick’s “2001”

As an ardent fanatic of Stanley Kubrick’s seminal sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey, I knew that Kubrick had toyed with the idea of including aliens, but I had little knowledge of the actual designs that Kubrick was toying with for the film, and which were ultimately abandoned when writer Arthur C. Clark (or was it Sagan? Or Kubrick? Nobody is quite certain anymore) came up with the rather bold suggestion not to show the aliens. In the process, they created one of the most alluring and allusive screen presences (or lack thereof) in science-fiction history, and would give critics fuel for decades to come regarding why it’s better not to show aliens (Spielberg, they were talking to you, unfortunately… twice).

The article below is meticulously researched and without being overwhelming nonetheless expertly documents those years of design and research, in the process capturing an intriguing bit of behind the scenes wonder about a film that still continues to provide intellectual riches 45 years on. Looking at some of the designs makes me restlessly hopeful that Warner Brothers will finally approve Douglas Trumbull’s long gestating documentary about the film, Beyond the Infinite: The Making of a Masterpiece (see the embedded video below).

Anyway, after you check out the video, check out this link:


One thought on “Something to read: Fascinating article about the aliens of Kubrick’s “2001”

  1. Great clip and article. I’d love to see that documentary! I really liked the point Clarke makes at the end of the article about how all these “failures” were productive and necessary to the end result, even though they must have felt so futile at the time. It reminded me of how, when you see expansive works of art there is a certain amount of architecture that must be created to support the process, then ultimately erased to let the art itself do the necessary work. It’s kind of like that (awesome) Frank O’Hara poem, “Why I Am Not A Painter.”

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