Quote from dimir impersonatorIt's a shot of Dave and Frank walking down a corridor that is spinning and climbing into a ladder that is also spinning. It looks like both sets are spinning, but that isn't possible. It's a pretty impressive shot for any film making era.
Funny - that's exactly what they did. He had a Ferris wheel sort of set-up, and it was split in halves. The camera is anchored to the half they start on which is not spinning to begin with, and they make the nearly seamless rotation change as they cross the threshold.I don't think they could have spun one part of the set then stopped it and simultaneously spun another part of the set.
I absolutely adore 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I find it interesting that people feel the pacing is a flaw. For me, the slow, deliberate pace is a master stroke conveying the temporal realities of space travel, and scientific discovery and exploration. A lot of effort is taken to make sure that the weight of reality remains in the audience and the pacing plays a huge role in accomplishing that. This may make it inappropriate for "empty entertainment", whatever that is, but makes for excellent mood if you come into it without that expectation.
As for it being an adaptation, he worked directly with Clarke to expand his earlier short story "Sentinel", and then they split off to do the two works simultaneously without much communication. They are two different treatments of the same notion; neither is an adaptation of the other. The book explains a bit more than the film's willing to do - for example, Kubrick wanted the ending to be enigmatic, wanted for each person's personal interpretation to be just as valid - but for the most part they agree.