This epic about...well, who knows...is most well known for its
mentally ill computer HAL and the dramatic vistas of space shown throughout
the space voyages which make up most of the film.
Apparently, when 2001 was sold to British TV, Kubrick urged that
the film be shown in 'letterbox' format. The BBC complained that
while this was fine for dialogue sequences, viewers would become
confused when the scene shifted to outer space, so the Corporation
added fake stars to the black areas above and below the picture
An interesting piece of trivia is that transposing each letter
of 'HAL' with the next letter in the alphabet gives you 'IBM'. Author
Arthur C. Clarke said this was a coincidence, and that he intended
'HAL' to stand for Heuristic Algorithmic computer.
Of course he did.