Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Arthur C. Clarke interview with Roger Ebert

 In March of 1997, film critic Roger Ebert interviewed author and futurist Arthur C. Clarke. In the prose version of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, the computer HAL is said to have been 'born' in Urbana in 1997. This interview was conducted not only on HAL's birthyear, but also on the eve of 3001: THE FINAL ODYSSEY's publication.

Ebert questions Clarke on topics related to the film, the ideas contained in 3001, and some other related topics in science fiction and science. The interview was featured at CYBERFEST ‘97, a gala celebration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It was an event that not only marked HAL's fictitious birth, but also celebrated the University of Illinois' contributions to the revolution and evolution of computing.
This program was produced by Illinois Public Media and WILL-TV, public broadcasting at the University of Illinois.

Go here to Vimeo to view the video.  I never had seen this before and thought it was pretty interesting.

Here's another video with Arthur C. Clarke on predicting the future.  It's from 1964.  Although the video is grainy due to  time I still found it interesting.


At 4:37 PM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

Samuel Butler is generally credited as the first fiction author (in his 1872 novel “Erewhon”) to write of a conscious and intelligent machine, but Clarke’s HAL has to be the best known of the bunch.

The future, however, is never what it used to be. Old scifi is always as entertaining for what it has wrong as for what it has right – and the former will overwhelm the latter every time. Clarke often mentioned he should have patented geostationary communications satellites, though, which he wrote about in the ‘40s.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

I didn't know that about Samuel Butler--that's pretty far back. I think you're right about HAL's notoriety as well. I've been meaning to rewatch the film Ex Machina, but just haven't got around to it yet.

Yes, the flying cars, food replication devices, encounters with all sort of monstrous aliens are far fetched, but makes for fun reading or the watching of films. Watching those two 1964 bottom predictions of a futuristic city is a good example. All white and gleaming in its utopian splendor. The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades.

At 8:38 AM, Blogger Roman J. Martel said...

It was interesting how different the novel for "2001" is compared to the film... and yet they are clearly the same story, just told in very different ways. Kubrick's influence on the storytelling really helped make that film so memorable. Although I did engage in a discussion with someone in his mid 20s who hated the film with a fiery passion. But he really loved "Interstellar". I think the two films share a bit of the same DNA, so I was surprised by his visceral dislike of the classic.

At 8:47 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

I've not read the 2001 novel, Roman, but have the short story The Sentinel. Yeah, being a film buff quite honestly I can never understand anyone hating 2001: A Space Odyssey. I can see someone saying it moves too slow (although that doesn't bother me at all), but not overall hating the film or at least seeing the mastery and impact of it. Perhaps that 20 year old will change his mind over time, I think we all do that with age. There were two films that had a big impact on me it seems, one was 2001, the other was Apocalypse Now. Seeing them in the theater on a big screen was a pretty amazing experience.

Although I didn't hate the follow up film, 2010, I couldn't appreciate it until many years later when I saw it again on TCM. I eventually bought a copy on DVD. I feel the same way about the Kubrick-Spielberg collaboration on A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. I find that film endearing and a dark fairy tale as well as SF. I guess different strokes. I often wondered how the rest of the series went with 2061 and 3001.

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At 6:49 PM, Blogger El Vox said...

Thanks Connor. I gave it a look. I must confess I'm not a huge comic book person anymore. I still enjoy reading a comic here and there, but they mostly fall outside the range of superheros, Marvel & DC. Somewhere along the way I started reading independent press, and that where I generally look, when I look, but yeah, neat website.


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