POP ART: Episode 77, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY/SOLARIS

Howard Casner • May 23, 2022

SPACED: I know what you are going to say. Episode 77, shouldn’t this be episode 81? Good eye. Benish and I tried to record this episode twice and Skype let us down. But three’s the charm and Skype came through, but I decided to keep the original episode number because…let’s just say HAL made me do it.

Also, we have already covered a Tarkovsky film and a Kubrick film. So while waiting for this one, use the time to listen to Episode 76, The Shining/The Innkeepers with podcaster and film enthusiast Nicholas Rehak, as well as Episode 37, Annihilation/Stalker with filmmaker Gustavo A. Garzon.

“Open the pod bay doors, Hal” What is space? The final frontier? A place where no one can hear you scream?  Or, as the introduction to one guide to the galaxy says, it’s big, really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind bogglingly big it is…Sounds like it’s time for Episode 77 of Pop Art, where we find the art in pop culture and the pop culture in art. For Pop Art, my guest chooses a movie from popular culture, and I’ll select a film from the more art/classic/indie side of cinema with a connection to it. For this episode, I am happy to welcome as my guest, Hollywood hyphenate, producer, director, actor, writer Adam Benish, who has chosen as his film Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, while I have chosen as my film Andrei Tarkovsky’s masterpiece, Solaris, both films about odd occurrences in outer space.

And in this episode we answer such questions as: Why did they change the tagline on the 2001 poster to “The Ultimate Trip”? What did Tarkovsky and Kubrick think of each other’s films? What does HAL stand for? The jump cut at the end of the Dawn of Man sequence goes from a bone to a what? Was Tarkovsky murdered? What are tokusatsu films? What did Rock Hudson think of 2001? In Solaris, where was the long drive filmed and why was it not cut from the movie? What is the theory of punctuated equilibrium? How did Kubrick end up getting all the credit for the special effects? What was the chief irony in the making of both films when it comes the country the directors came from? What did the Vatican think of 2001? What was the title of Mad Magazine’s parody of 2001?