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2001: A Space Odyssey

The iconic Monolith from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey was originally not a mysterious black slab. The director wanted it to be transparent. To that end, Kubrick commissioned a local plastics firm, Stanley Plastics to cast the monolith out of a solid block of transparent acrylic. However, when the sparkling clear polymer block was delivered, the notoriously picky director was disappointed by the way it appeared during screen test. Kubrick eventually rejected the prop in favor of a dense, black structure made out of wood coated with a special graphite mix black paint in order to get an extremely smooth sheen on the outside surface.


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