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Here's What '2001: A Space Odyssey' Got Right About the Future

Find out how accurate Kubrick's sci-fi epic was—and wasn't—in Gary Leva's 'VISION OF A FUTURE PASSED: The Prophesy of 2001.'

by TCP Staff
07 October 2015, 2:45pm

Screencap via

"I don't really know if I would make any changes I knew or discovered in the last decade... I'm quite satisfied to leave it as it is," Arthur C. Clarke, the writer of the original 2001: A Space Odyssey novel. So begins filmmaker Gary Leva's VISION OF A FUTURE PASSED: The Prophesy of 2001, a 21-minute documentary that explores Stanley Kubrick's seminal sci-fi opus and its revelatory effects on today. 

From Clarke to Douglas Trumbull, 2001's special photographic effects supervisor—the guy responsible for the film's unforgettable Star Gate sequence—the short doc runs the gamut from the people who made 2001 happen to the people who keep Kubrick's legend alive. But how accurate was the film, really? "To me, the shots of Earth, although beautiful in the film, and when you see them on the big screen, they're amazing, but they pale in comparison to what we've now seen," Rob Coleman, animation director of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, admits. "But they didn't have the benefit of being out in space and looking back at Earth, you know? We're spoiled—we get to go see the blue planet in IMAX, and it's amazing. If Kubrick would have had that, he would have put it in the movie. But he didn't."

But as for the film's prescience and legacy, Paul Duncan, author of Stanley Kubrick: The Complete Films, explains: "It was quite interesting the way Kubrick had to visualise and make real things that had never occurred. [...] Looking back at the film, now, it still looks great. It still looks real. It still looks authentic—and I think that's part of the genius of the film." 

For Kubrick fans and sci-fi-heads alike, VISION OF A FUTURE PASSED: The Prophesy of 2001 is a fascinating rabbit hole down which the experts are waiting. Check it out below: 

VISION OF A FUTURE PASSED: The Prophesy of 2001 (21 min) Directed by Gary Leva from Gary Leva on Vimeo.

After watching the documentary, what do you think of 2001? Tweet at us @CreatorsProject, or Let us know in the comments below. 

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