lunedì 8 giugno 2015

Towards a oral history of '2001': The Justin Bozung interviews

How is it possible to learn new stuff about a movie produced fifty years ago? It's easy: stop worrying and go ask directly the people who actually made it!

Enter Justin Bozung, an Atlanta, Georgia based researcher/writer/part-time archivist that has written for a plethora of movie-related publications and web sites such as Fangoria, Whoa, Paracinema, Bijou, HorrorHound, Phantom Of The Movies' Videoscope and Shock Cinema.

Most relevant for our interest here, Bozung has contributed to two books on Stanley Kubrick: 2001: The Lost Science for Canadian publisher Apogee Prime, that I reviewed here, and Studies In The Horror Film: Stanley Kubrick's The Shining for Colorado publishers Centipede Press, for which he conducted almost 30 new, in-depth interviews with the cast and crew from the film. 

Justin is at his best when it comes to interviews. He really is a master in the art - first of all, he knows the topic he's talking about with his hosts inside out, and he seems to be able to extract from them even the most obscure - and interesting, details even when dealing with people who has been interviewed dozens of times already.

Justin started interviewing individuals connected to 2001 few years ago, and considering that he makes his living writing about movies and interviewing folks, it was very generous of him to release interviews for free over the internet - first on his website justinbozung.com, and then in the lengthy series The 2001: a space odyssey interviews series on blog.tvstoreonline.com. He also has been very generous with me in the years of our acquaintance, granting me details and contacts for people and informations related to 2001

It's therefore with a unjustifiable delay that I'm presenting, in this article, all the interviews Justin ever conducted related to 2001 extracting a few bits and pieces here and there just as an appetizer for the main course. Justin is currently editing a volume on the films of Norman Mailer as well as writing the biography of filmmaker Frank Perry. If you're interested in his work, get in contact with him at justinbozung.com and consider seriously buying one of his books or the magazines he currently writes on - you won't regret it.

In alphabetical order:

Andrew Birkin



Screenwriter Andrew Birkin (The Name Of The Rose, Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer) talks with TV STORE ONLINE about getting his start working with Stanley Kubrick on 2001, Napoleon as well as with The Beatles. Barkin was involved, among the other things, with the creation of the "Dawn Of Man" sequence which opens the film and shooting the footage for the Star Gate sequence.

"It was around this time, I think around November 1965, that I got a call from an old friend-- Robert Watts--who has since gone on to work as a Line Producer. He called me and said, "How'd you like to work on the new film that Stanley Kubrick is doing?" I had seen Dr. Strangelove (1964). I said, "Well, what's the new one about?" He said, "Well I can't really tell you that much, but it's something to do with space. Do you want the job or not? It doesn't pay very much, only like six pounds a week..." 

Read the full interview here:part 1: http://blog.tvstoreonline.com/2014/09/2001-space-odyssey-interview-series_23.html
part 2: http://blog.tvstoreonline.com/2015/04/2001-space-odyssey-interview-series.html
part 3: http://blog.tvstoreonline.com/2015/04/2001-space-odyssey-interview-series_2.html

Jill Caras



Jill Caras: Widow of Kubrick publicity man Roger Caras talks with TV STORE ONLINE about Stanley Kubrick and the making of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968). There are those that suggest that 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY may not have come to fruition had it not been for a conversation Kubrick and Caras shared over a lunch one afternoon in New York City about telescopes.

"When Stanley and Christiane came back to The United States when 2001 was set to be released they rented a house on Sands Point, Long Island. I remember one day Christiane called me and said, "Here I am. I feel like Scarlett O'Hara, I have no help here. The girls are driving me just crazy. I'm trying to get everything settled here." Roger said to me, "Well, why don't we take the girls for the weekend?" [...] Stanley was quite neurotic when it came to his daughters. He had been gone and when he got home and found out that his daughters were gone for the weekend he got quite upset. (Laughing) So, he kept calling us in East Hampton. He'd call our house every-hour-on-the-hour. Finally at 1 O'clock in the morning Roger picked up the phone and said, "Don't call again. They're all dead!" (Laughing)"

Read the full interview here:
http://blog.tvstoreonline.com/2014/06/2001-space-odyssey-interview-series.html

Brian Johnson



Academy Award Winning Special Effects Supervisor Brian Johnson (Alien, The Empire Strikes Back, The Never Ending Story) talks with TV STORE ONLINE about his work on 2001, working with Stanley Kubrick and why Kubrick refused to fly. 

What was your first impression of Stanley when you met him?"I knew I had to be out at his office at MGM at a certain time, and when I got there his secretary told me, "Stanley is out on such-and-such stage today..." So I went walking around and ended up on the big stage at MGM. There was a painter in the corner, fiddling around doing a few bits. I went up to him and said, "I was told that Stanley Kubrick would be on this stage." The man turned around and he said, "Yes, that's me." That was how I met him. He smiled at me and we started to talk. He was wearing that old blue jacket that he liked so much. And an old pair of blue trousers. He had like four or five of those same jackets in his collection and they made him look like he was a painter."

Read the full interview here:
http://blog.tvstoreonline.com/2014/08/2001-space-odyssey-interview-series.html

Herb Lightman



Former Filmmaker and Editor of American Cinematographer Magazine Herb Lightman talks with TV STORE ONLINE about his experiences covering the making of 2001 with Stanley Kubrick. Lightman's writings on 2001 are the most quoted and referenced text works on the film since its 1968 theatrical release.

"There was something that had seemed off-kilter with the ending of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY to me when I had seen it the first time. I said, "The ending of 2001..." I was careful how I worded my question as to not insult Stanley. I said, "There's something [Starchild] that took off at the end of the film...What was that?" Stanley said, "You're absolutely right. But I'm not going to answer that question simply because everyone is going to read this..." I then asked him what his objective was with the ending of the film and his response was, "We went off the rails there because we wanted to provide a ending that would allow everyone in the audience their own interpretation of the story."

Read the full interview here: http://blog.tvstoreonline.com/2014/05/herb-lightman-final-interview.html

Gary Lockwood



"Gary Lockwood has no problems telling you exactly what kind of guy he is. He'll tell you when you meet him for the first time that he's an asshole that was born with incredible talents, and that life and its rewards came very easy for him over the years."

Read the full interview here:
http://justinbozung.net/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Justin-Bozung-Gary-Lockwood-Interview-SC-Magazine-2012.pdf

Bryan Loftus



Cinematographer Bryan Loftus (The Company Of Wolves, Siesta) talks with TV STORE ONLINE about getting his start with Stanley Kubrick on Dr. Strangelove (1964) and 2001.

"[Kubrick] had a fantastic sense of humor and memory. He remembered everything, and keep in mind we were on the film working for two years. He would come up to you and remind you of something that you had told him six months prior. You would give him an answer, and he would say, "No, No. You told me this six months ago...." He didn't like to be lied to. He would say, "If you don't know the answer, tell me that you don't know the answer." He was a great chess player and he always had a twinkle in his eye. Organizing 2001 was a wonderful chess-like construction."

Read the full interview here:
http://blog.tvstoreonline.com/2014/09/2001-space-odyssey-interview-series.html

Fred Ordway



NASA consultant and 2001 technical advisor Frederick Ordway III talks with TV STORE ONLINE  on the inspiration behind Stanley Kubrick's landmark science fiction masterpiece.

"When 2001 came out....One of the most audacious things I think that anyone could do if they were associated with the film or Kubrick... You wrote a letter, that's since been published, to Stanley suggesting to him where you thought the film went wrong...I felt that there had been too many people that had seen the film that didn't understand it. Plus, it got mixed reviews. I just thought that he should amend it to include little captions or transitions here or there that would help explain it.
How did Stanley respond to your letter?He never did. I thought it was a friendly letter."

Read the full interview here: part 1: http://blog.tvstoreonline.com/2015/03/2001-space-odyssey-interview-series.html …
part 2: http://blog.tvstoreonline.com/2015/03/2001-space-odyssey-interview-series_20.html

Ivor Powell



Producer Ivor Powell (Alien, Blade Runner) talks with TV STORE ONLINE about his first job in the film industry... Working for Stanley Kubrick on 2001... 

"Stanley put me in this big room with Con Pederson and Brian Loftus. It was called the "chart room" and the room was covered in these flip charts. I couldn't draw, so I had to find people that could draw these little pictorial representations of each special effects shot. They would draw them and then we would name them and put them up on the wall. On any given day Stanley would come in and ask about any of them. He would come in and ask me, "What's going on with Dawn Of Man 4-A?" If I didn't know or if I wasn't for certain exactly where the shot was at work wise, then I would sort of waffle in my response and he would nail me with those sort of cold black eyes of his and say, "Ivor... Answer me yes or no..." I kind of learned not to waffle in life from my time working with Stanley... (laughing)"

Read the full interview here:
part 1: http://blog.tvstoreonline.com/2014/07/2001-space-odyssey-interview-series.html
part 2: http://blog.tvstoreonline.com/2014/07/2001-space-odyssey-interview-series_8.html

Dan Richter



Actor and mime Dan Richter was hired by Stanley Kubrick in 1966 to play the role of “Moon-Watcher”, the now iconic ape is his landmark science fiction film masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey.

"Stanley was an incredible collaborator. Stanley expected everyone he worked with to bring something to the table all the time. People complain that Stanley drove those he worked with too hard, and he shot too many takes or whatever. But I never saw it like that. Working with Stanley on the ‘Dawn Of Man’ for example…We would do a take, and we would discover things in that take that we hadn’t thought about. I would say to Stanley, “I think I’m going to play it this way” and Stanley might give a suggestion or what not, and then we would do a take and he would say to me, “Wow…that was great… What happened there? Why don’t we try doing it a different way now.” So it wasn’t ever the same thing over and over. It was the same take, the same scene, but it evolved and grew as we went along together."

Read the full interview here: http://justinbozung.net/dan-richter-interview/

Douglas Trumbull



Visual Effects legend Doug Trumbull talks with TV STORE ONLINE about his 1972 science fiction landmark SILENT RUNNING and its relationship with 2001.

So is there any truth to what I've read in regards to the rumor that you originally conceived of the idea for Silent Running while you were working you were working with Stanley Kubrick on 2001: A Space Odyssey?
Yeah, I did. I just came up with the initial idea though. I think I may have seen the Tod Browning film, Freaks (1932) while I was working on 2001. I really can't remember what the exact time frame of it was now but the idea of making a robot character using a human person inside that was an amputee was an idea I really liked. It was an idea I kept in my head for quite sometime.

Read the full interview here: http://blog.tvstoreonline.com/2014/12/douglas-trumbull-on-silent-running-1971.html

Lydia Wilen


Author Lydia Wilen talks with TV STORE ONLINE about working for Stanley Kubrick as a teenager as his secretary in New York City during the pre-production of 2001...

venerdì 5 giugno 2015

Più che un'estate, un'Odissea!

Ottime notizie per quest'estate 2015! Saranno tante le occasioni per vedere il nostro film preferito nei cinema e nelle piazze italiane.

Cominciamo con il Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino che organizza – dal 3 al 30 giugno 2015 al Cinema Massimo – una retrospettiva quasi integrale dedicata a Kubrick.

"2001: Odissea nello spazio" verrà proiettato Sabato 13 giugno alle 18.30; Domenica 21 giugno alle 18.15 e Venerdì 26 giugno alle 21.00. (Maggiori info: www.cinemamassimotorino.it/?p=14423 e www.museocinema.it/closeup.php?id=830)


Venerdì 26 giugno alle ore 21,45, a Milano, proiezione di '2001' in 70 mm. presso il Cinema Arianteo all'aperto (presso il Mercato Metropolitano in zona Porta Genova in via Valenza n.2)- info: www.spaziocinema.info/news/arianteo-milano-2015


E chiudiamo in bellezza con la mia città, Bologna: Sabato 4 luglio, alle ore 21 in Piazza Maggiore,  proiezione di '2001' in 70 mm. in occasione della rassegna Il cinema Ritrovato.


 Dopo, possiamo anche andare al mare.

venerdì 13 marzo 2015

"...one of the most incredible pieces of iconic motion picture memorabilia ever offered"

The original model for the Aries 1B lunar shuttle from '2001' has been put on sale on icollector.com - and the starting price is a 'mere' $10,000. It comes from an English collector who originally obtained this remarkable treasure in 1975. It was long believed that the most of the models had been destroyed...


The model is approx 32" high, 27" wide, 28" deep (81 cm. x 68 cm. x 71 cm.) and a diameter of 94" (238 cm.) It includes the original special effects side bars that fitted into two of the secondary thruster slots, and lowered the craft to the platform for landing, and was matted out in post production.


The hydraulics and tubes that created the billowing moon dust from the engines and the mechanics to operate the landing gear have been removed.




You can can browse a large collection of making-of stills, including pictures of the Aries 1B, on Douglas Trumbull's website