ByBrian Finamore, writer at
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Brian Finamore

A new trailer unveiled ahead of film's special re-release as part of British Film Institute's sci-fi season

Damn, I wish I lived in England. I would absolutely kill to see one of my favorite films, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey on the big screen, and this new trailer by the British Film Institute only makes me want to see it more.

Ahead of the digitally restored film's special limited U.K. release on Nov. 28th as part of the British Film Institute’s "Sci-Fi: Days of Fears and Wonder" season, a new trailer commission by the BFI and Warner Bros. has now been unveiled. Created by Ignition Creative London, the trailer is the first for the title in four decades and uses HAL as the central figure to create an intensely eerie experience.

In a statement released Tuesday, Jan Harlan, Kubrick’s executive producer, described the clip as “the best trailer for this film I have ever seen! To use Hal’s voice is brilliant."

The influence of 2001 on subsequent film-makers is considerable. Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and others, including many special effects technicians, discuss the impact the film has had on them in a featurette entitled Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001, included in the 2007 DVD release of the film. Spielberg calls it his film generation's "big bang," while Lucas says it was "hugely inspirational," labeling Kubrick as "the filmmaker's filmmaker." Sydney Pollack refers to it as "groundbreaking," and William Friedkin states 2001 is "the grandfather of all such films." At the 2007 Venice film festival, director Ridley Scott stated he believed 2001 was the unbeatable film that in a sense killed the science fiction genre. Similarly, film critic Michel Ciment, in his essay "Odyssey of Stanley Kubrick," stated, "Kubrick has conceived a film which in one stroke has made the whole science fiction cinema obsolete." Others, however, credit 2001 with opening up a market for films such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Alien, Blade Runner, and Contact, proving that big-budget "serious" science-fiction films can be commercially successful, and establishing the "sci-fi blockbuster" as a Hollywood staple. Science magazine, Discover's blogger, Stephen Cass, discussing the considerable impact of the film on subsequent science-fiction, writes that "the balletic spacecraft scenes set to sweeping classical music, the tarantula-soft tones of HAL 9000, and the ultimate alien artifact, the Monolith, have all become enduring cultural icons in their own right." Video game director Hideo Kojima has also cited 2001: A Space Odyssey as one of the chief influences for his Metal Gear series, with Solid Snake and Otacon inspired by Dave and Hal.

During the Summer, I wrote an article detailing the long shadow 2001 has, not just on the Science Fiction genre, but on the entire history of film, including Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated upcoming film Interstellar, which comes out early on November 5th, and nationwide on November 7th.

New EW Cover Story on Interstellar
New EW Cover Story on Interstellar

In the EW cover story, Nolan compared Interstellar to Stanley Kubrick's classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey. He emphasized the differences between the new project and his Dark Knight films, saying that Interstellar can be experienced independently of its characters.

"This is the first film I have made where the actual experience of the film is paramount to the audience," Nolan said. "You would think that's the case with Batman movies, but it's not. They're more dependent on the reaction of characters on screen. 'Interstellar' is different. It hearkens back to the direct experience films of '2001,' where you're not just experiencing it through the characters, you are lost in it."


Do you agree that 2001: A Space Odyssey is science fiction's defining film?


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