John Landis on

2001: A Space Odyssey

Released 1968
Distributor MGM

Many a baby boomer’s most treasured recollections of the 1960s include one or more altered-state viewings of Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke’s game-changing science fiction film, which combined extraordinary, state-of-the-art special effects with a metaphysical meditation on life, death and rebirth played out in Super Panavision 70. Douglas Trumbull’s groundbreaking visual effects remain as convincing as any found 45 years later in Alfonso Cuaron’s equally awe-inspiring Gravity. Many sci fi fans approached 2001 with skepticism since it was touted as the pinnacle of the genre, only to become lifelong devotees. It would be interesting to contrast Martin Balsam’s rejected performance as the voice of the computer HAL with that of Douglas Rain, who was hired to be less “emotional” than Balsam.

About John Landis

John Landis is the director of Animal HouseThe Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In LondonTrading PlacesComing To America, Kentucky Fried MovieSpies Like UsThree Amigos!Into The Night and Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and the recent Burke and Hare for Ealing Studios,  among many other films and television shows. His documentary Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project premiered on HBO and won an Emmy for Best Music, Comedy or Variety Special.  He is also the subject of noted film critic Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan’s recent book “John Landis” and his own book “Monsters in the Movies’ was published to critical and popular acclaim in 2012.