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2001 at 50: An Anniversary Odyssey

Evening Program with Film Screening and Book Signing

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 6:00 p.m.
Code: 1B0254
Illustration of the HAL 9000 computer

Regarded as a masterpiece today, 2001: A Space Odyssey received mixed reviews on its 1968 release. Despite the success of Dr. Strangelove, director Stanley Kubrick wasn’t yet recognized as a great filmmaker, and 2001 was radically innovative, with little dialogue and no strong central character.

Although some leading critics slammed the film as incomprehensible and self-indulgent, the public lined up to see it. The film’s resounding commercial success launched the genre of big-budget science fiction spectaculars, and such directors as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, and James Cameron have acknowledged its profound influence.

Re-experience this groundbreaking film in a special screening, then join author Michael Benson for some insights into its creation. Drawing on his book Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece (Simon & Schuster), Benson explains how 2001 was made, telling the story primarily through the two people most responsible for the film. He follows the project from Kubrick and Clarke’s first meeting in New York in 1964 through its production in England from 1965 to 1968, during which some of the most complex sets ever made were merged with visual effects so innovative that they scarcely seem dated today. He also examines 2001’s legacy as it grew into its now-classic status.

Space Odyssey is available for sale and signing.

National Museum of American History
Warner Bros. Theater
Constitution Ave NW b/w 12th & 14th Sts
Metro: Federal Triangle or Smithsonian