2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, and was inspired by Clarke's short story "The Sentinel". A novel also called 2001: A Space Odyssey, written concurrently with the screenplay, was published soon after the film was released. The film, which follows a voyage to Jupiter with the sentient computer HAL after the discovery of a mysterious black monolith affecting human evolution, deals with themes of existentialism, human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence, and the possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial life. The film is noted for its scientifically accurate depiction of spaceflight, pioneering special effects, and ambiguous imagery. Sound and dialogue are used sparingly and often in place of traditional cinematic and narrative techniques, and the film is famous for employing a number of pieces of classical music, among them Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss, The Blue Danube by Johann Strauss II, and works by Aram Khachaturian and György Ligeti.
2001: A Space Odyssey was financed and distributed by American studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, but was filmed and edited almost entirely in England, where Kubrick lived, using the facilities of MGM-British Studios and Shepperton Studios. Production was subcontracted to Kubrick's production company, and care was taken that the film would be sufficiently "British" to qualify for the Eady Levy, a tax on box-office receipts in the UK.:98 The film received mixed reactions from critics and audiences upon its release, but garnered a cult following and became the highest-grossing North American film of 1968. It was nominated for four Academy Awards; Kubrick received one for his direction of visual effects. A sequel, 2010: The Year We Make Contact, directed by Peter Hyams, was released in 1984.
Today, 2001: A Space Odyssey is widely regarded 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. Sight & Sound magazine ranked 2001: A Space Odyssey sixth in the top ten films of all time in its 2002 and 2012 critics' polls editions; it also tied for second place in the magazine's 2012 directors' poll. In 2010, it was named the greatest film of all time by The Moving Arts Film Journal.