Movie 2001: A Space Odyssey Stanley Kubrick (1968)
An absolute reference in science fiction that is subject to many reflections and interpretations, 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the founding films in the history of cinema. A terribly ambitious feature film, in which Stanley Kubrick questions both the origins of man but also its future within a universe as hostile as it is vast.
Spitzkoppe - Photo credit: Pixabay

“I’m not questioning your word, Dave, but it’s just not possible.”

HAL 900 (Douglas Rain)

Incredible but true, 2001 A Space Odyssey was shot almost exclusively indoors! When production began on December 29, 1965, Stanley Kubrick, always reluctant to travel too much, took up residence at Shepperton Studios in England.

He later moved to MGM Studios in Borehamwood. In the end, only one sequence justified shooting on location. And even for this one, the director resorted to a trick… The first sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey is called The Dawn of Humanity.

In Africa, australopithecines discover an imposing monolith in front of their cave. As soon as they touch it, knowledge comes over them and they are able to use bones as a weapon. The Dawn of Humanity was filmed outside Borehamwood, England, by John Alcott. He then took care not to film planes and cars in the background in order to overlay the images of the australopithecines on top of shots of the Spitzkoppe site in Namibia.

The clever effect is made possible by the projection of Namibian landscapes on a screen 30 meters long and 12 meters high. On screen, the illusion is perfect and allows the director to introduce his film emphatically to Richard Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra. All this before flying off into time and space for a fascinating dissertation on man and his thirst for the absolute.


Stanley Kubrick hired twenty professional mimes to interpret the apes at the beginning of the film.

Scène au Spitzkoppe de 2001, l'odyssée de l'espace
Scène au Spitzkoppe de 2001, l’odyssée de l’espace – Crédit photo : Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer et Polaris
Scène au Spitzkoppe de 2001, l’odyssée de l’espace – Crédit photo : Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer et Polaris
Scène au Spitzkoppe de 2001, l'odyssée de l'espace
Scène au Spitzkoppe de 2001, l’odyssée de l’espace – Crédit photo : Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer et Polaris


Spectacular rocky heap, Spitzkoppe is located in the heart of Damaraland, in the Namib desert. An almost surreal site, with a breathtaking beauty.

More than 700 million years ago, this exceptional site exists. A place today frequented by many mountaineers; man is one of the mammals that regularly pass through the area around Spitzkoppe. U... Learn more about Spitzkoppe

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By Gilles Rolland

Friday, December 3, 2021

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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Cult! movies: 100 mythical places of cinema [French Edition]

Since the dawn of cinema, films have invaded the world and highlighted sometimes unexpected places. Every film location has its secrets. The latter are sometimes as exciting as the feature films themselves.

Did you know that the cemetery where the final duel of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was built from scratch and that no body lies there? Or that the bus ofInto The Wild has been moved to discourage fans from spending the night there? From the story of the construction of The Bridge on the River Kwai to the incredible encounter during the shooting of the last scene ofIndiana Jones and the Last Crusadeembark on an exciting world tour with the greatest stars of the seventh art. Shiver in the real haunted house ofAmityville and discover the terrifying anecdotes of the making ofApocalypse Now in the Philippines. Visit the building of Blade Runner before stopping at Hogwarts and finally landing in Jurassic Parkin the middle of the Hawaiian archipelago. What if we also took you behind the scenes of the making of the Hobbits’ village of Lord of the Rings ?

Produced by a team of pop-culture specialists and enhanced by numerous anecdotes, Cult! movies tells the secrets of the places that made the history of cinema.

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