2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay, written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, was partially inspired by Clarke's short story "The Sentinel". Clarke concurrently wrote the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, published soon after the film was released. The film follows a voyage to Jupiter with the sentient computer Hal after the discovery of a mysterious black monolith affecting human evolution. The film deals with the themes of existentialism, human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence, and extraterrestrial life. It is noted for its scientifically accurate depiction of space flight, pioneering special effects, and ambiguous imagery. It uses minimal dialogue, and sound in place of traditional narrative techniques; the score consists of classical music such as The Blue Danube and Also sprach Zarathustra.
Financed and distributed by American studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 2001: A Space Odyssey was filmed and edited almost entirely in England, using the studio facilities of MGM's subsidiary "MGM British" and those of Shepperton Studios, mostly because of the availability of much larger sound stages than in the United States. Production was subcontracted to Kubrick's production company and care was taken that the film would be sufficiently British to qualify for subsidy from the Eady Levy.:98 Having already shot his previous two films in England, Kubrick decided to settle there permanently during filming.
Despite initially receiving mixed reactions from critics and audiences, Space Odyssey garnered a cult following and slowly became the highest-grossing North American film of 1968. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, and received one for its visual effects. Today, critics and filmmakers regard it as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made. In 1991, it was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. The critics' polls in the 2002 and 2012 editions of Sight & Sound magazine ranked 2001: A Space Odyssey sixth in the top ten films of all time; it also tied for second place in the directors' poll of the same magazine. In 2010, it was ranked the greatest film of all time by The Moving Arts Film Journal. In 1984, a sequel directed by Peter Hyams was released, 2010: The Year We Make Contact.