This sounds pretty great


Definitely worth going to.

Author Michael Benson gives an illustrated presentation about the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey on Tuesday, April 10, at the Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library. He will be joined by visual effects artist Bruce Logan, special effects supervisor Con Pederson and actor Dan Richter, who all worked with director Stanley Kubrick on the film 50 years ago.

Amazing to have those last two there especially.

A question to ask. How close did Kubrick come to putting back the 17 minutes or so of the footage he cut almost a week after the MGM brass freaked about the three or four really awful audience premieres? That’s when he also inserted those two dumb intertitles that only manage to spoil the plot and a couple of great “Aha” moments towards the end when you finally realize what’s been going on.

Back in the early 90s Kubrick asked film restorer Bob Harris if he could locate this footage in the MGM vaults. Harris later told us that the entire footage did exist in separation positives, but the original soundtracks might be either iffy or missing. Those he wasn’t sure about.

Kubrick obviously strongly considered putting the footage back in when he was working on the Spartacus restoration with Harris, enough to have Harris track it down in LA, and which he should have. Even though MGM and its successors still own this old 2001 footage, his legal agreements prohibit any tampering with the final cut. That’s where it all stands now.

Douglas Trumbull has said upon occasion that the footage should be seen, if not restored into the complete film. There’s also a lot of great lost model work in there that was part of Pederson’s dept., specifically the voyage to the moon sequence and detailed repair work with the Discovery pod later on, and a whole lost additional day and night sequence of the ape saga with Richter and company at the beginning.

The excised footage was mostly of duplicative events whose insertion made great sense thematically and which it was Kubrick’s original intention to explore and ponder in a before-and-after way. Who cares if some people thought it was boring.





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2 responses to “This sounds pretty great

  1. chad

    Wow. I never knew any of this. I also missed it last night. Crap.

    • semichorus

      He appeared in Boston last week too with the same setup and guests, only with Douglas Trumbull instead of Con Pederson.

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