Hollywood Lost and Found - "2001"
Hollywood Lost and Found

"A Scientist's Evaluation of 2001," page 3

HAL kills Lockwood and refuses to let Dullea re-enter the spaceship conventionally through the airlock. (Incidentally, the airlocks shown throughout the film are many times larger than seems necessary, and would be extremely wasteful of air.)

Dullea is forced to make an emergency entry that briefly exposes him to vacuum. Experiments with animals have shown that such exposure is not necessarily fatal, but definitely to be avoided. In the case presented it could easily have been avoided with a much simpler emergency entry system. Such an entry would not have been nearly as dramatic, however, as the one presented.

The zero-gravity simulation as he floats around in the airlock looks like the films of actual zero-G tests. (NASA has created what is really a free-fall situation by flying an aircraft so that the centrifugal effect seems to cancel gravity. Arthur C. Clarke, however, denies that this technique was used to shoot the scene. Filming an actual fall with a high-speed camera and printing it for slow motion and both forward and reverse action is one way the effect might have been achieved.

Some anti-gravity effects were produced with rotating sets--the "centrifuge," for example, did actually rotate, though no actual centrifugal effects were attempted. Some of the key shots in the centrifuge set were hand-held by Kubrick himself--no easy task with a 70mm Panavision camera.

Other zero-gravity effects were achieved by unusual camera directions and piano wire. Supports are unnoticed because what seems to be the up-down orientation of a scene is not necessarily the way it was shot.

Once safely inside the ship and showing no ill effects for his exposure to hard vacuum, Dullea proceeds to disable HAL's higher functions.

Later Dullea somehow becomes aware of a slab in space near Jupiter. He leaves the ship in one of the small pods and moves toward it. The film then begins its fantastic and enigmatic conclusion.

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