Many of my friends know that I hold the film 2001: A Space Odyssey in special regard. I feel that it is one of the first films ever made that could not properly be done in any other medium. 2001 cannot be adapted for the stage … it cannot be properly done as a radio play … even Arthur C. Clarke’s contemporaneous novelization based on his own screenplay simply does not do the film justice. It is a film that is centered in creating visual drama while minimizing spoken language.
Kubrick was also trying to represent the future faithfully. While his timing was certainly off (very little of what he predicted has come to be by 2010, let alone 2001), there are a great many things that we still seem potentially on course for … if not partially there already. We do not have hotels in Earth orbit, but with private commercial flights to space just around the corner, that idea sounds less and less far fetched. We don’t have manned stations on the moon, but talk about that has never been more front and center in regards to the long term future of space travel. Research is ever on going to examine the effects on human beings regarding long term space travel, isolation, and the such. Sending humans to Jupiter before 2100 seems unrealistic today because of our collective commitment to space, but manned missions to Mars before 2100 seem rather more workable.
Nontheless, here is a look at some things that Clarke and Kubrick predicted about the future, circa 1968 … even if you are not scifi fans, numbers 3-5 on the list I found amusing.