2001: A space Odyssey. Huh?

No, it’s not. 2010 was a terrible sequel.

Interesting Fact: Stanley Kubrick destroyed all of the models developed for 2001 to prevent production of a sequel. As a result, he has no affiliation with the POS that is 2010.

The monoliths are a very advanced tool, one that can fulfill pretty much any task needed, sort of the alien equlievent of a swiss army knight.

The one in africa helps humanity evovle from proto-men to men, the one on the moon acts as a transmitter (it was deliberatly buried and reacted to sunlight. The only way it was gonna go off is if the apes on the nearby blue planet learned how to leave orbit, go to the moon, find it and dig it up) and the one above jupiter does a couple things.

Do you feel it is symbolic?

I’ve read that the HAL subplot is partly to make sure Dave is the only one to reach jupitor alive, as well as to show the contrast between humans and machine.

Ever notice that HAL seemed far more interesting and emotional then his human counterparts? That HAL is the only one even remotely curious about the secrecy regarding the lauching of the ship?

That Dave seems pretty cold even while his friend has just been killed and he has to pull the plug on a sentient being, while HAL is begging for his life?

2010 proposes that HAL couldn’t handle the fact he was told to lie to his shipmates and it caused him to blow a fuze.

Other theories I’ve heard is that HAL, after testing dave and frank and finding them not particulary curious or responsive to things that should have bothered them, made a somewhat darwinan decision to get rid of them and continue the mission by himself.

Those blocks are part of HAL’s brain. Dave is lobotomizing him, so he’s regressing to his “childhood”.

Secrecy. I’m assuming the scientists in the freezers knew, but they wouldn’t be woken until they reached jupitor space. Frank and Dave had no reason to know.

And remember that they wouldn’t tell the russians on the space station anything about the monolith, so I’m assuming the entire thing was very secrective.

  1. They were scientist who were supposed to study whatever was near jupitor(Saturn in the book). Dave and Frank were basically the maintence crew. They were just to make sure that nothing broke during the trip. There’s also the possibility there were there to keep HAL company.
    a. See 6.
    b. Perhaps as a backup in case the scientists were killed? Likely so the audience would know the plot.

In the book, the monolith is a star gate that takes him to somewhere completely different in space-time(another universe?). I’m assuming the acid trip was the best way of showing alien landscapes without making it too expensive(and not just to get hippies to see it).

9.The room at the end was, in essence, a cage made up for dave, probably to put him in somewhat familar surrounding (and ironically, being more alien then an “Alien” landscape would likely be). Notice the wierd music/voices? Perhaps aliens talking, like animals at a Zoo probably think of the massed human speech they hear all the time?The book doesn’t really say much, but the idea is that he’s either living out the rest of his life in that little room or that space-time is really fucked up.
a. I’ve heard it’s like Nieztche’s Thus Spake Zarathrustra. Evolution from sub-human to human to Super-Human. From Ape(beginning) to Human (middle) to Star child (Ending). He’s becoming like the aliens and trancending his physical body, becoming pure energy.
b. Death must come before rebirth. he must cease to exist as a human before he can become something greater. (Like in chrisitan theology where man cannot become enternal spirit without the death of the physical body).
c. See above.

The book basically talks about how the ET’s were once like us, phsysical beings, but lator were able to transfer their minds into machines and eventually become spirit/energy/non-copoeral. They realized how rare intelligent life was in the universe, so planted monoliths to try to help it grow and prosper, to eventually have other beings like themselves to consort with.

The people were either strapped in or wearing velco shoes.

See 1.

QUOTE]*Originally posted by Talking Meat Puppet *
3. Why is there no character building? Looks like it was
attempted (daughter scene and Bday Scene), but not fullfilled.

I think for 2 reasons.

  1. To drive home the fact that this was not just a story set in space, but a story about space. To draw your attention to the surroundings and the environment by diminishing the characters.
    Think about it? How many “Sci-fi” stories couldn’t just as easily take place on a regular boat, or in the jungle somewhere? How many are just stories that have already been done but now have sci-fi wrappings to them?

2.To point out the aforementioned fact that the people invovled are less human then the Machine AI, HAL, and that despite the fact these people are flying to the moon in less then a day or flying to jupitor, where no man has gone before, they seem just plain bored by it.

Actually, ti really isn’t that big, if you are only talking about the discovery. Only that ball at the front is inhabitable. The rest is fuel tanks, the transmitter and the engines at the very rear.

When they went in there, they had the radio switchs on, but turn them off so they won’t be overheard. They didn’t count on the fact HAL can read lips.

Perhaps he can’t do it when Dave is in control? Remember, Frank was outside when HAL took over his pod.

And the fact that it doesn’t really matter, becasue HAL didn’t believe Dave could get in if HAL chose not to open the doors.

Actually, no. That only happens in movies like total recall and outland. In real life, the one can survive up the 30 seconds or so in a vacuum provided one takes the proper precautions.

HE was basically unplugging his logical functions while leaving his base systems (life support, engine control, intact).

He doesn’t. As I said before, HAL is regressing.

His memory is still there, but he can’t make decisiosn anymore. Hal is pretty much a vegatable at the end.

Just wanted to say that 2001 is one of my all-time favourite movies. I own it, and I’ve seen it about 30 times otherwise.

Personally, I always thought of the monoliths in a symbolic/supernatural way. I was actually quite upset when I read that they were built by an alien civilization. Sort of ruined the mystery for me.

A few thoughts about one of the greatest of all films.

The movie is not from the novel. Arthur C. Clarke wrote the novel simultaneously with the screenplay he was writing with Stanley Kubrick. Both derive from Clarke’s short story, “The Sentinel”, published in 1953, which was about finding a signal device buried on the moon (no prehistoric apes, no flight to Jupiter).

Why the monoliths? For one thing, they suggest the towering stones at such mysterious ancient sites as Stonehenge, which may have had astronomical purposes. Another is that, wherever they are seen in the movie – on an African veldt, in a moon excavation, floating over Jupiter, or in a Louis XIV-style bedroom – the monoliths always look totally and implacably not-of-the-place, which is the point.

Tests on animals have shown that they can survive brief periods in vacuums. So Bowman’s reentry through the airlock could be possible.

Where Bowman ends up after passing through the monolith’s portal over Jupiter is impossible to say. But he is apparently an animal in a very elegant cage, where he spends the remainder of his life being observed by the unseen ETs. You can hear their vague whisperings on the soundtrack as Bowman silently goes about his life, a very neat and understated touch by Kubrick.

Why is there no character building? For better or worse, this was an intentional touch by a director with a rather chilly attitude toward human beings, and a disdain for emotional displays. See Barry Lyndon or Full Metal Jacket for more evidence. The intended irony is that the two human astronauts are businesslike and detached; Poole shows not a flicker of emotion as he sunbathes while watching a birthday message from his parents. Even when Bowman is enraged at Poole’s murder, he holds it tightly in, althought the tension is written in his voice and eyes. On the other hand, HAL is programmed to sound friendly, solicitous, obsequious, like the ultimate manservant. The computer, not the humans, is the one that has a psychotic episode that sabotages the mission. HAL’s reversion to his “childhood” as he is being shut down is a forerunner of Bowman’s own symbolic rebirth at the end.

I agree that 2010 is a disappointing sequel. Clarke without Kubrick is more literal and less mythic. Even the novel 2001 gets too literal: the “starchild” at the end is literally a giant baby floating in space over earth!

Ooooh, Swiss knights, cool! :smiley:

Bowman’s entry through the airlock is absolutely possible. Vacuum neither sucks your eyes out of your head nor makes your brains shoot out your nose. (Seeing lieu on stage with a toilet might be enough to make brains shoot out your nose, however.) As long as he limited his time in hard vacuum, he’d be fine.

I’ve always seen the film as being about the dependence of man upon his tools to the point where his tools, in the form of the amoral HAL 9000, can decide to excise him as a malfunctioning subunit. HAL wasn’t evil: HAL was programmed to fulfill a task in a way that set up an internal inconsistency it tried to resolve. How it resolved that inconsistency was, as far as HAL and the mission were concerned, unimportant as long as it didn’t impede the success of the mission. As Bowman and Poole were no longer needed after the voyage there (HAL is perfectly capable of handling a trip from Jupiter to Earth), they could be jettisoned like spent fuel tanks.

Of course, humans are goddamned vicious. Bowman fought tooth and nail, once HAL’s intentions were clear, and eventually prevailed over the machine, just as his hominid forebears prevailed over the Tribe 'Cross the River. (Note how the bone tossed into the air changed into a spacecraft in orbit? That spacecraft is carrying nuclear missiles, aka megaton bones.) Humans are not going to allow themselves to be discarded like machine parts, even if they act like perfect cogs when they aren’t being threatened by a talking tape drive. (That’s why the characterization was so dry: Bowman and Poole had been trained very well to be nearly as mechanical as HAL. HAL’s final song was a juxtaposition: The computer acting frightened, showing more emotion than the human.)

Of course, the theme of evolution bookended the film. In the beginning, hominids took the first steps to humanity when a hairy ape man decided to pick up a bone and use it as a weapon. At the end, David Bowman dies and his essence is mutated into the Star Child, the next step in human evolution. The monoliths are there for both events, the aliens’ tools for instigating and guiding change among pre-sentient specii throughout the Universe. One may imagine the Star Child being closer to the monolith makers, but probably only in the sense that a dog is closer to being human than an amoeba is.

Aside from whether one likes and/or understands the plot, it’s worth remembering that the special effects in 2001 were revolutionary for their time. Just compare that movie to most of the cheesy sci-fi flicks that preceded it. It was the first “space” movie in which things like the surface of the moon actually looked like the real thing, rather than like a bunch of painted flats.

Well, I think he actually does. Remember, HAL asks Dave if he’d like to hear it, and Dave says yes, he would. So HAL sings.

I think he says this because he considers HAL a person, and he knows that the HAL who’s talking is a sort of child-like HAL. As you’ve said, HAL is really the best-drawn character in the movie, and I think this shows Dave’s responding to it as though it’s a person worthy of some compassion, not just a machine.

I agree with this, somewhat. I think that Dave is absolutely treating him like a small child in this scene, but I don’t think it’s out of compassion - rather, I think he wants whatever is left over of HAL’s mind to be occupied with something innocuous like that, rather than with trying to deal with its sudden retardation, or trying to lash out in some way at Dave. It happens that being solicitous of him is he best way to do this. It might also be argued that he has anthropomorphised HAL to the point where he wants his “death” to be comfortable, but I don’t think that’s true compassion, just Dave’s own way of dealing with what he had to do.

Anybody else ever notice that when Some Guy posts to a thread you subscribed to, you get an e-mail saying “Some Guy has just posted to a thread you are subscribed to.” ?


It didn’t make much sense to me. But I understood it a little better reading a magazine. Mad magazine did a spoof on it called, " 2001 Minutes of Space Idiotcy". (Or something like that, not that ‘idiotcy’ is a word).

I’d argue that 2001’s special effects are still better than most movies’ today. As an example, Star Wars episode 2 features some amazing CGI, but it was blatantly obvious what was real and what wasn’t, in 2001, the results are seamless.

My Question: why was HAL able to kill the frozen astronauts? I remember seeing the life function traces as going flat (“Life Functions Terminated”). What kind of crazy programmer would have give HAL the power to kill the human cargo?
That pert of the flick never made sense to me…

Really? Then why do they lean on the test bench in the pod bay? Kubrick wasted all that money building a spaceship so he could shoot his movie with total accuracy, but they mess up anyway.

What? He didn’t actually build a spaceship?

It was never anticipated. HAL’s job was to monitor and sustain the life’s of those astronaughts; however, his top priority was the mission’s success. Since the mission’s success was at stake (In HAL’s mind), he killed the other’s to maintain the mission’s integrity.

Your nitpicking is incorrect, Grumpy. In fact, there are two completely different reasons why the space-farers in 2001 did not just float about the ships.

The answer provided above–velcro shoes–is correct for the Pan Am flight to the orbiting space station. (Floyd, of course, is strapped into his seat as he sleeps.)

For the scenes on the space station and during the Jupiter mission, the concept you’re looking for is angular momentum. To wit, the ship is rotating on its axis, so the occupants feel the force of being thrown to the outer edge of the ship as a kind of artificial gravity.

For further info on how they shot those scenes, see Cecil’s column.

HAL 9000 had control of everything in the ship, including the frozen astronauts. It was his duty to monitor their hibernation until the arrival at Jupiter. Nobody thought Hal would want to kill an astronaut so nobody tried to make it impossible for him to do so.

The song harkens back to a time when a bike was a technological novelty, illustrating how far mankind has come in a relatively short time. Yet, it speaks to affection and playfulness that seem to have been lost. It’s “built for two,” and at this point there are two living entities on the spacecraft (a fancy carriage). The song is in the form of a man trying to overcome a womans reluctance to marry him; in the movie, Hal has been trying to overcome a man’s desire to incapacitate him. (In some versions of the song, the woman rejects the man’s proposals.) In a sense, there has already been a marriage between Hal and Dave, as they are for a time the most important “people” in each other’s lives.

I have no idea if Kubrick or Clarke intended any of this.

Quite true, minty green, and good catch on the details.

I guess I didn’t think of mentioning the Jupiter mission pseudo gravity because the question seemed to specify objects floating when people didn’t, and I didn’t recall anywhere in that part of the film when that happened. Outside the ship and away from the rotation, everything including the people seemed to be properly in zero G, at least as far as I remember.

John Kelly of Bell Laboratories in 1961 programmed an early voice simulator to perform “Daisy Bell” (a.k.a. “A Bicycle Built for Two”). It was the first song ever sung by a computer. Arthur C. Clarke visited Bell Labs and heard it, and that is how it ended up being used in 2001. Clarke writes in the forward to the book HAL’s Legacy: