A Primer for 2001 A Space Odyssey

Fri, 17 Jan 1997 10:24:27 -0500 (EST)

The birthday of HAL, the computer in Kubrick's 2001, is being celebrated with
a big symposium in Urbana Illinois.
Creative Arts Television Archive has a rare 1970 half-hour documentary about
2001. Since we've been asked a lot recently about its availability, the
details are posted here. Thanks.
Stephan Chodorov

Thank you for your inquiry. This title is one of several hundred
documentaries currently being made available for the first time.

The documentary on 2001 was produced in 1970, two years after the debut of
the film. It may be hard to comprehend now, after millions have agreed that
Clarke and Kubrick's work is one of the defining movies of our generation,
but there really was a time when many who saw it said they were sorry but
they just didn't understand it! Hard to blame them when many major critics
were dismissing the film as obscure or patronizing it as science fiction for
kids. This television documentary, a Primer, had its genesis in a desire to
explain in a succinct form -- 27 minutes --what the film was about, what
themes it focused on, what its sources were, and how the plot unfolded. Yes,
even what the monoliths were, how perfectly understandable the last five
minutes were, and why Kubrick had used the music Thus Spake Zarathustra!

The writer of the documentary had worked on the book The Making of Kubrick's
2001 A Space Odyssey, and he and the director had produced many profiles of
cinema pioneers. Keir Dullea agreed to be the narrator of this documentary,
and MGM generously agreed to provide excerpts -- with the proviso that it be
made clear that no television transmission of the images could do justice to
the real film as seen in a theater -- a disclaimer we gladly repeat here out
of profound respect for the beauty of the original.

Indeed, now that 2001 has been on television and is in home video release,
and now that a generation has read books about the film and seen it many
times this documentary may not provide any shocking novelties. But it was an
early step in the direction of awakening a whole culture to the fact that a
landmark for our future had been created. We are proud of it and believe that
it is the only one of its kind.

2001: A Space Odyssey -- A Primer is not available in stores or catalogues.
Dubs to VHS from the broadcast master are being made for persons interested
in Cyberfest. Cost -- $49.95 plus $5 for shipping by UPS. Please send a
check to Creative Arts Television, POB 739, Kent, CT 06757 and include a UPS
address. Allow three weeks for delivery

Creative Arts Television Archive is a licensing agency representing several
hundred completed television documentaries not for sale elsewhere. Some of
these titles concern cinema and are now available in video formats for
research or classroom use.

We offer VHS (home video) copies of documentary programs about cinema, film
directors, scoring for film, animation, experimenters, studies of techniques,
profiles and interviews, produced in the period 1950-1980.