Library Journal Review


Richter, Dan.

Moonwatcher's Memoir: A Diary of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

      Carroll & Graf.  Sept. 2002. c.176p. photogs.  index.  ISBN 0-7867-1073-X.  $17.95.


Richter was a poor, vagabond mime when Stanley Kubrick plucked him from obscurity to choreograph and star in the remarkable "Dawn of Man" sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Determined not to rehash the hackneyed tradition of "men in monkey suits," Kubrick was seeking vivid characterizations by believable prehistoric man-apes whose discovery of weapons and violence presages the future of humanity in space.  Since the sequence had no dialog, Kubrick felt that mimes could best express the man-apes' motivations and emotions, and Richter's brief audition quickly confirmed the notion.  In this disarming and engrossing day-by-day chronicle of the blossoming of rudimentary ideas into a finished masterpiece, Richter effectively captures the novice's constant sense of awe regarding the complexity of filmmaking.  In the process, he spends hours observing primates in zoos and struggles with heroin addiction.  Currently a film industry executive, Richter is planning a similar memoir on his subsequent work with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.  Highly recommended for cinema and academic libraries.  --Richard W. Grefrath, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno



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