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.

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About John Landis

John Landis is the director of Animal House, The Blues BrothersAn American Werewolf In LondonTrading Places, Schlock, Kentucky Fried MovieSpies Like UsThree Amigos!Into The Night, The Stupids, Innocent Blood, Coming To America, Burke & Hare, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Black Or White among many other films, commercials and extensive work in television. He was the Executive Producer and often director of HBO's celebrated series Dream On, and contributed two movies to the Masters of Horror series, Deer Woman and Family. His feature length documentaries Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project premiered on HBO, and Slasher on IFC.