With packaging reminiscent of the film’s mysterious black monoliths, Taschen’s new book detailing the making of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is truly a work of art. Full of new photos and behind the scenes details direct from the director’s own archives, this book offers an exhaustive insight and as such is an essential purchase for fans.
Trimmed down from its “big brother”, and considerably cheaper, it is 555 pages of interviews and images, detail and deliberation about Kubrick’s most famous film. Of course, so much has been written already about the seminal 2001: A Space Odyssey since its 1968 release but this book cleverly balances the “wordy” sections with the “pretty” pages, allowing you to skim through as well as offering more in depth analysis.
The issue is in the stylish and unwieldy format. Instead of a traditional landscape layout this book reads vertically and as such is difficult to hold comfortably. As the pages are narrow there is also a slight dilution in the effect of some of the photos, as appreciating them in their intended glory becomes a tricky manoeuver involving great hand and eye coordination, and oftentimes the book will close under its own weight. This then makes access to some of the many pull outs a careful balancing act, and while they are worth it this does become a little tiresome at times.
That criticism, aside this is a book that rewards the reader on each visit. Whatever your knowledge and appreciation of 2001: A Space Odyssey, this tome will astound and interest you. There is more information than you could have hoped for, and in the case of some of the latter detail regarding the formula for detecting alien life, perhaps more than you need. It is without doubt, though, a book to return to time and again. Just make sure you have a sturdy table on which to rest it.
THE MAKING OF STANLEY KUBRICK’S 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY / AUTHOR: PIERS BIZONY / PUBLISHER: TASCHEN GMBH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW