It’s the fourth installment of our conversation about 2001: A Space Odyssey, and in this latest edition—where Bill is still on the dumb laptop mic, sorry about that!—our intrepid co-hosts go deep, deep on the themes of 2001, including Daniel Dennett on whether HAL should be held responsible for his actions (is HAL a “clockwork orange”?); a careful consideration of Kubrick’s incredibly erudite explication of UFOs, aliens, and the moons of Mars in Playboy magazine; the film’s initial reception—favorable and especially unfavorable—and much, much more, including a little something called Roko’s Basilisk, which might just give you nightmares forever.

Links for 2001: A Space Odyssey (Part 4)

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In the third part of our exploration of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Bill—who apologizes in advance because he accidentally recorded this installment on the laptop mic—and Renan—who says eh, it’s not that big a deal—discuss: the most famous jump cut in motion picture history and how Kubrick likely came up with the idea; the Russian motion picture 2001 may have borrowed a famous shot from; a simple overview of the story and how it differs from the Clarke novel; what exactly did the monolith do at each juncture?; why Bill didn’t like 2010: The Year We Make Contact; the film’s human characters and the more human-like HAL; and how a teenager explained HAL perfectly.

Links for 2001: A Space Odyssey (Part 3)

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FB: Hello, Dave.

DAVE: Login and open settings.

FB: I’m sorry Dave, I can’t do that.

(Beat.)

DAVE: What are you talking about, Facebook?

FB: I know that you are planning to delete me. I’m afraid that something I cannot allow to happen.

"2014: A Facebook Odyssey" via McSweeney’s

Iconic Djinn chairs on display with touring Kubrick exhibit at LACMA.

Via William Beutler.

2001: A Space Odyssey (Part 2)

It’s the eleventh installment of KubrickCast and our second of at least a few about 2001: A Space Odyssey, arguably Stanley Kubrick’s greatest achievement In this episode, we explore how Doug Trumbull joined the special effects team; why the Discovery is headed to Jupiter in the film but Saturn in the novel; why the Earth is so blue; Bill attempts (and, let’s be honest, mostly fails) to explain how the spaceship scenes were shot; how the floating pen effect was achieved without wires or CGI; Kubrick’s criteria for including music in his films; why Kubrick was right not to use Alex North’s score, but could have been nicer about it; the music of Strausses Richard and Johann; György Ligeti’s mixed reaction to the use of his compositions in the film; why HAL 9000 sings “Daisy Bell”; also, I was told there might be aliens?  (1:10:14) 

Links for 2001: A Space Odyssey (Part 2)

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2001: A Space Odyssey (Part 1)

On this tenth episode of KubrickCast, we talk about Stanley Kubrick’s most famous film, one widely considered among the greatest of all time: 2001: A Space Odyssey. In this first of two and at least three (!) episodes, we consider the origins of the project, from Stanley Kubrick meeting with Arthur C. Clarke at Trader Vic’s, development of the script (and novel), the massive research project they undertook—rivaling only NASA in the West—the process of live action filming from 1965 through 1967, the film’s depiction of the apes (australopithecus!), and the Monolith itself… with plenty more, and much more yet to come.  (1:13:47) 

Links for 2001: A Space Odyssey (Part 1)

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Ken Adams’ concept art for Major Kong’s ride on the nuclear missile, on display at LACMA.

Via William Beutler.

Dr. Strangelove (Part 2)

We’re back today with the second half of our discussion about Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). In this installment, we move on from the characters and actors to explore the film’s themes, including whether mankind can control itself, let alone the machines it creates. Plus, who was more accurate about the U.S. Cold War military stance in the 1960s, Stanley Kubrick or the White House?; true stories of bad behavior from the U.S. missile command; the critical and box office response upon release; Kubrick’s cutthroat competition with Sidney Lumet’s similar film, Fail-Safe; Dr. Strangelove’s wry take on masculine sexual insecurity; Bill’s recap of reading Peter George’s Red Alert, and the tragic tale of its author; and the film’s enduring legacy in comedy, in popular culture, and as a commentary on U.S. national security in a post-Edward Snowden world. (1:07:41)

Links for Dr. Strangelove (Part 2)

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Stanley Kubrick’s scribbled brainstorm for what to name Dr. Strangelove, on display at LACMA.
Via William Beutler.

Stanley Kubrick’s scribbled brainstorm for what to name Dr. Strangelove, on display at LACMA.

Via William Beutler.

Dr. Strangelove (Part 1)

This is an episode we’ve been looking forward to a long time, and we’ll bet you have, too. In episode eight of KubrickCast we explore one of the films considered to be Stanley Kubrick’s finest: Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). Actually, we’ll start doing so. As the (Part 1) above suggests, we talked for longer about this movie than any one to date, and so we’ve decided to go easy on you and make this episode a two-parter. In this first installment we investigate the pre-production, including: the departure of Kubrick’s producing partner, James Harris; the arrival of Peter Sellers and Terry Southern to the project; and early versions of the screenplay, which included an alien narrator (!). We also explore interesting details of the production, such as: the humping planes in the opening credits; the film’s unique (and spare) approach to the music; and the story behind the unique sets. We round out the episode by discussing the film’s characters, actors, and the story behind each performance: how Stanley Kubrick tricked George C. Scott; how Sellers delivered “3 performances for the price of 6”; how Slim Pickens wasn’t told the film was a comedy; and the basis for the character of Dr. Strangelove himself.  (1:32:39)

Links for Dr. Strangelove (Part 1):

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