Our own Erik Davis uncovered the fascinating documentary A Look Behind the Future on the website Open Culture that highlights “the marriage of today and the insights of tomorrow.” Of course, that was in 1966 — two years before Stanley Kubrick’s space odyssey 2001 would hit theaters, and three years before the United States’ Apollo 11 would be the first manned mission to land on the Moon.
Look magazine publisher and president Vernon Myers introduces the 20-minute documentary that takes us behind the science of the film and onto the set of the “unusual motion picture.” (Let’s not forget that Kubrick was a photographer for Look during his younger years.) The featurette delves into the real-life technological developments surrounding space travel at that time, and then heads to London where we see Kubrick at work behind the camera and hear from star Keir Dullea about playing astronaut Bowman — a figure he relates to Ulysses.
There are so many wonderful materials in film archives around the world that remind us just how important Kubrick’s film was during that time (and remains so), but this short really captures the anticipation and excitement people felt about space travel and the movie itself.
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