“Le futur de l’humanité, alors et maintenant” (The Future of Humanity, Then and Now)




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Volume Title


Les Éditions de l’École Polytechnique


Book chapter

Peer reviewed


This essay places the idea that humanity’s future is threatened (by the possibility of nuclear war and by on-going environmental destruction) and visions of how these threats might be overcome at the centre of its discussion of Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) and 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Drawing on a wide range of archival sources, the essay focuses on the long drawn-out production history of 2001, properly getting started immediately after the release of Dr. Strangelove, and its wider historical context, on 2001’s mysterious story and challenging themes as well as its extensive marketing campaign, enormous success, complex reception and long-lasting impact on Hollywood filmmaking, especially on key films by George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and James Cameron. With particular reference to sexual imagery in both 2001 and Dr. Strangelove, the essay argues that 2001 was both intended, and widely understood, as offering a message of hope to do with a fundamental (and yet, except for its association with the maternal, non-specific) transformation of humanity, and in particular of the male of the species, men having brought about global catastrophe in Dr. Strangelove.



2001: A Space Odyssey, Dr. Strangelove, sexuality, Science Fiction


Krämer, P. (2021) Le futur de l’humanité, alors et maintenant (The Future of Humanity, Then and Now), In: Azulys, S. and Robins, C. (eds.) 2001, l’odyssee de l’espace: au carrefour des arts et des sciences (2001: A Space Odyssey: At the Crossroads of the Arts and Sciences), Paris: Les Éditions de l’École Polytechnique, pp. 23-36


Research Institute

Cinema and Television History Institute (CATHI)