Author Topic: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)  (Read 102564 times)

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2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« on: January 29, 2010, 10:50:12 am »

a space odyssey

1968 /141 min | 160 min (premiere cut)

This is one of the most important films ever made. Stanley Kubrick, in this film, broke all of the limits that Hollywood sets for a film. The dialogue in this film is minimal, for the story is told, mainly, through the images that are presented. That is something that no one has ever dared to do on such a grand scale. The music in this film is absolutely wonderful, and is almost a character unto itself. The pacing of the film is signaturely Kubrick, and the cinematography and Oscar-winning special effects are breathtaking.

The story begins with "The Dawn of Man". We see a family of apes and their daily lives. One morning, they wake up to find a mysterious monolith outside of their cave. Then, things start changing.

Millions of years later, in the year 2000, another monolith is found below the surface of the moon. It is believed to have been deliberately buried.

Eighteen months later, the spaceship Discovery 1 is sent on a mission to Jupiter. It's mission is, simply, to explore Jupiter space for any sign of life or activity. On board are two men, three hibernating crew members, and the newest generation of the HAL-9000 computer.
Number 13 on KRSJR Productions' 25 Greatest Motion Pictures of All Time.
Rated G.

    * Original theatrical aspect ratio: 2.20:1 (Super Panavision 70)
    * Premiered in Washington, D.C. on April 02, 1968
    * The film originally premiered at 160 minutes

Keir Dullea + Gary Lockwood + William Sylvester + Douglas Rain (voice)

Written by
Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke

Directed by
Stanley Kubrick

Offline Dok

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2010, 11:09:16 am »
The Dawn of Man [From Bill Cooper's Mystery Babylon series]

Intro Music, Also sprach Zarathustra1

When I first saw the movie 2001,2 I was amazed, awed to say the least. The entire scope of the movie was overpowering and for most of the people of the world was completely baffling. Most people who saw that movie did not understand from beginning to end what it was that they had experienced but they knew everyone who saw it knew that they had experienced something profound. That something had been communicated to the dark deep recesses of their mind which they did not understand and indeed which they were incapable of understanding. For you see the movie was not meant for the profane as most of us are called by the adepts or the initiates or the priests of the mystery schools. For that movie was a message to those initiates who were well versed in the symbology and the mystery religion of an ancient religion that is practiced to this day in secret. Now I’m going to tell you the meaning of the symbology that you saw in the movie 2001 and then each and every listener should go to your local video rental store and watch the movie again from beginning to end. For it is the story of the entire human race according to the history of the mystery religion of ancient Babylon.

Now I can assure you that you will not understand any of what you are going to hear without ample preparation and without a basic understanding in the symbology of the ancient religion. You are going to get that. And this is going to be a series of programs. That will in fact take probably many hours to complete.

But let me just go over the symbology of the movie 2001 quickly with you and then we will go back to the very beginning, to the first primitive human, probably sitting on his hunches munching upon some vegetable watching the sun rise in the east.

In the beginning of the movie 2001 most people who sat in the theater were struck by the imagery which was presented to them, as they first saw a dark and grey and ugly world. And as that world began to move down from the center of the screen they saw behind it a moon. And as moon begin to come down with the world that was sinking to the lower part of the screen behind it you saw the emergence of the sun. What you are witnessing was an eclipse of the sun partial eclipse and as the light of the sun spilled across the edge of the moon it took the shape of the boat of Isis and the sun of course for anyone who has studied the Osirian cycle became Osiris. the symbology was Osiris riding across the heavens upon the boat of Isis.3 This will all have much deeper meaning to you as we progress toward your education in the ancient mystery schools which are today known by many different names and we will get to some of those names as we go along. This signified of course the creation of the universe and the world.

And what we saw next was a barren plane, nothing growing, barren rocks, barren desert and then we saw the sun begin to rise in the east over the horizon signifying the birth of the world. As the sun traveled across the heavens we saw the wind begin to move across the face of the earth signifying that something was happening. Then as the sun began to reach zenith on a prime longitude we began to see shrubs. Small green plants began to emerge. Now the sun traveling across the heavens did not signify a day, it signified an age; an age dear listeners.
And the sun sank deeper into the afternoon we saw the emergence of animal life, birds. We can hear the birds singing. We can see the animals. And then we can see primitive, primitive man in the form of an ape lingering amongst the animals, neither harming the other living in a state of innocence. We saw man only eating plants and roots. You saw that even when the animals and man were in competition for food no one was injured or hurt but there was a display of waving of arms, yelling and grunting until one or the other moved away. The significance of this was the age of innocence, when the man lived in the Garden of Eden4, innocent. With the animals it5 was a6 vegetarian and as the sun progressed farther toward the west we saw man begin to retreat into the womb. For you see the passage of the sun across the sky from the time it rose in the east signifying the birth of the world we saw that as it reached its zenith its most powerful aspect in the heavens, life began to emerge first in the form of plants and then animal life and that the animals and early man lived in harmony together in a state of innocence. This was the symbology of the movie.

During this process you saw a rock formation in the shape of the male organ. The penis. This was the symbol of the mystery schools of the generative force of creation.7 When you watch the movie again pay attention to the symbology of the movie.

Now the sun begins to sink even farther the west. Man and his little tribe goes to the water hole and confronts another group of primitive man all in form of the ape and there is a confrontation. But you notice that no one was injured or killed. There was a lot of waving of arms jumping up and down, grunting, screaming, screeching until the group that was at the watering hole and had already quenched their thirst moved away and the new group moved in. And then they scurried into the womb signified by the cave. there was more symbology there they all sat in the darkness with their eyes open in fear and one of the female apes a child to her breast. And you were seeing man in the transformation from ape to human. Primitive man evolving to the point where he think. And then what happened in the movie toward the dawn you heard the humming of bees; millions of bees. The beehive and bees 8 prominent symbol in the mystery schools. It signifies societal cohesion; industry. Now not industry as you may know it in the manufacture of cars but industry in working together in a societal form. In this case the very basic rudiments of society. And as the sun again began to rise up in the east signifying the dawn of the new man the audience beheld an obelisk, a monolith, in the front of the cave or the womb from which the apes emerged and it appeared that the humming of the bees was emanating from this block of stone.

Notice I said three words: monolith, obelisk and stone. All of these are significant symbols in the mystery religions and you saw that this was not god because creation had already taken place. The world had been created, plants and animals had been created and primitive man existed on the earth before this monolith, this obelisk, this stone ever made his appearance. It is also known as the stone that you saw earlier the generative force or the penis. Now don’t get all confused by this terminology. It will begin to make sense to you as we go along. It took me many years of study to understand what I am now imparting to you. You watched as the apes moved about in great excitement and one encouraged by another signifying Adam and Eve, the one encouraging was the symbol of Eve, the one being encouraged was Adam. Until he actually reached out and touched the face of the stone and he was imparted intellect.

You can tell that something significant had happened because the tone the ―volume; of music changed at that point. And then the other apes began to touch and rub the statue. Now most people that I knew attributed what happened to some extraterrestrial force. And they were receiving the exoteric interpretation or that which is made for the profane. Those who were not illumined and can’t understand what it is that they were seeing. But for the initiated what they witnessed was the creation of the world by God and the impartation of knowledge to man, the forbidden knowledge by Lucifer through his agent Satan. For in the religion of the schools they believe man was held prisoner in the Garden of den by an unjust and vindictive God and that man was not told by this unjust and vindictive god that he could have the same powers. And man was set free from the bonds of ignorance by Lucifer through his agent and many believe that the two are the same and that’s okay because maybe they are. And that through the gift of intellect man himself will become God. Now for those of you who understand what I am imparting to you now, you may not even have to listen any farther for it explains everything that has ever happened in the history of man and everything that is happening now and all that is to happen in the future.

As it progressed you saw the first primitive man form the first original thought with the use of the gift of intellect when he squatted in the dust and picked up a bone and flopped the bone over and saw it hit a rib and the rib flew up into the air and he looked at it. He flopped it to the other side and hit another piece of rib bone and flew up into the air and you could see the wheels turning in the mind of this primitive individual as he lifted the side bone and then struck down in front of him and watched bones fly. And then he struck again and again and then he crushed the skull of the dead animal that was lying in front of him. And you notice that the portrayal of this was absolutely accurate because the next thing that happened was that this new gift this intellect and this original thought led to the murder of another primitive human being. In this case of the tribe that had not been given the gift of intellect did not had the ability to use a bone as a weapon because they had not made the connection. And you watched in the symbology of that movie the murder of Abel by his brother Cain. And you watched as he threw the bone up into the air and the progression of the use of the gift of intellect led you to a space station spinning around the earth. And then the story began of man's journey toward illumination.

And every thing in that movie was a symbol for something else. Now the audience sitting who are what the adepts or the initiates call the profane did not understand what they saw. They thought that it was really about a journey into space by an astronaut or a group of astronauts and that bad things happened to some of them and one survived. And none of them understood the significance of the obelisks the monoliths one on the moon one in orbit around Jupiter and the ultimate transformation of the astronaut into a giant fetus floating in space.

And to tell you the truth when I first saw the movie I didn’t really understand it , but I knew that there was something of such import there that I needed to know. And I never stopped studying until I found out. And of course one discovery leads to another. And every time I answered a question a hundred more popped up. Until I reached a point, listeners, where I realized that if I studied for the entire rest of my life there was not enough time in my life to learn what it is what I need to know. But I have learned enough along the way to impart some of my knowledge to you and maybe you can help me find the ultimate truth that all of us, all of us learn to look for. Although not all of us ever realized that we are looking and most of us never even understand what it is that we are looking for, but some of us do understand that we are looking. The adepts, the initiates,9 the priesthood of the mystery schools believe that they have found it and that they know all of these things. And I'm not really sure that they do. Because in my search in my ultimate illumination, ha ha ha, and yes I have become to a degree illumined, illuminated, I have discovered that I am more illuminated then most of those who have gone through the process of initiation in the mystery schools and believe that they know more then I do. And its not true. I have surpassed them by so far. And they believe that they are so far ahead. That it has become difficult for me to place my self in any kind of logical progression along a path that I am following and I know not where it will ultimately lead. But I know that many have been misled along this path and are worshiping the fallen angel that we know as Lucifer. Many believe that Lucifer and Satan are the same, many people believe that they are totally different entities and that Satan is evil and Lucifer is not. But Lucifer rebelled against God according to the Bible and was expelled from heaven and flung to the earth to be the master of the material world, the master of the earth.

Now if Lucifer is indeed Satan how this transformation took place I’m not wise enough to know. If they are different then I have not yet discovered where Satan came from if Lucifer is not Satan. Now there are people who have professed to know the answers to these questions and we have sat down and we have talked for hours and I still am not sure that they are right or that they are wrong. I’m still looking for the answer to that question. But I do know this, ancient man witnessed something that he described in his oral history and in his writings.

And it could probably be called the first UFO sighting in the history of the world. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning star. 10Now notice Lucifer was called the son of the morning star. It11 was also called the morning star and there is a great mystery here because Christ also called himself the morning star. Now how all that fits together I do not know, but I have been told by those who have been initiated in the mystery schools that Christ and Lucifer are one and the same being. However, I can not bring myself to believe that. What you believe, of course, is your own business. It is not my intention to make you believe anything, but rather to impart to you what I have learned over many many years of study into the secrets of those who worship the ancient mystery religions, in secret, for thousands of years.

For you see that monkey who sat there squatting on his hunches in the desert striking the earth and the pile of bones with this great thigh bone was the first priest of the mystery schools. And was this first priest who then began to initiate others into the secrets. And they are the ones who have been responsible, according to my research, for most of the scientific developments and the12 forward movement as far as material progress goes of the human race. For they were the learners. They were the ones who developed science. They were the ones who hid their developments and used their science and their knowledge and their secrets to govern others. Usually not as kings but as advisors and as priests and in all actuality the powers behind the thrones in ancient times and even today. They have ruled from the shadows you see. And they have called themselves the guardians of the secrets of the ages. And their first, their first, religion was called astro-theology or the worship of the heavens and their first object of worship was the sun. The second object of worship was the moon. And every where you see this mystery schools or the mystery religion you will see the symbols of the sun and the moon also known as Osiris and Isis and the child Horus which I will explain the meaning of, later.

Music interlude, Also sprach Zarathustra (middle part)13

Man's new found intellect set upon a quest that according to those that say that they know has never ended even unto this day and the modern day equivalent of this ancient mystery religion calls itself the of the. And you will see it reflected in many of their outward exoteric branches where disseminate information to the public or manipulate the public or deceive the public as the profane to them are nothing more than cattle to be herded and occasionally to be lead to the slaughter. In the movie 2001 the quest led them ultimately to space and to the moon. Where they were further imparted knowledge, by Lucifer again, in the form of the obelisk, the monolith, the stone, the penis and you will understand what that means later when we get in to the Osirian cycle or the legend of Isis, Osiris and the child Horus.

When they were imparted knowledge again on the moon it set them off on a further quest to the planet Jupiter where they found a huge tremendous, again another obelisk, monolith, stone, the generative force, the penis floating in space, orbiting the planet Jupiter. Now the journey from the moon to Jupiter is significant. For the astronauts onboard this -ship represented the human race and it represented that some will evolve and those who can not, will not be allowed into the future. You see this was a message from those who rule to all of the initiates of the world. It was a message that new age now dawning.

And you see that at one point during this journey from the moon to Jupiter man represented on a microcosm by the astronauts making this voyage came in conflict with their own technology. The technology of the human race was represented by the computer called HAL and for those who were intelligent enough to experiment with the name HAL and progressed the letters one forward in the alphabet from what they were in the movie H became I, A became B, L became M and they were able to see that 14 symbol was of the largest at that time when the movie was made and the corporation that was on the cutting edge of computer technology IBM. It was significant that man had built this technology, this computer which had an artificial intelligence and was capable of communicating with the astronauts and yet they had forgotten to put a switch in the machine which could be turned off at will.

Now you have to understand that this is all symbology. HAL represented many things. He represented the atomic bomb, the hydrogen bomb, chemical warfare, bacteriological warfare. Represented the state of the art of technology where it became so complicated that no one man could be an expert in it and thus might unknowingly participate in the building of a technology which could destroy him yet he only worked on a part or portion of it.

The knowledge of which did not indicate to him that the end product could be a danger and we see that happen now don’t we? Where everybody has to specialize in one small portion of technology because the overall picture is so complicated and so far beyond our understanding that we see the prediction made in the movie 2001 becoming true before our very eyes. Just in my lifetime I’ve seen automobile’s that I can take apart and put together blindfolded myself as a teenager to driving automobiles that I can lift the hood and not even recognize most of what I’m looking at except that I know its an engine in there and I know that its got a fuel delivery system and some kind of system that ignites the fuel, but the technology has surpassed my ability to take it apart and put it back together again without many months or years of specialized training. And this has occurred across the board in our technology and as I told you before I will tell you again tonight dear listeners in secret, whatever you perceive as the state of technology in the public eye the very cutting edge, in secret they are a minimum a 50 to 100 years ahead to the point where science fiction is no longer fiction and hasn’t been for quite sometime but is in all actuality science fact.

You saw this battle play itself out onboard this space ship where ultimately there was only one astronaut left fighting the battle against HAL. And he was able to make this jump in his evolutionary consciousness and he was able to fool HAL and turn off the computer. But when he did so he knew that he had relegated himself to permanent separation from his fellow human beings back on earth. And folks the message was not that he went into space to affect this separation. Space was just the vehicle through which it was conveyed in the movie.

The message was that the new man will go into the future and the rest of us would perish we will not be allowed into the future. If we are it be as slave labor until we were no longer useful and then we will simply be exterminated. The message to the vast army of initiates the mystery school was we are on the threshold of the new age, and into this new age will march only one, , man. It is the new man, it is the illumined man, it is the man that is able to make the evolutionary jump to no more war, to no more rape, no more pillage, to the level in the mystery school known as 666. t is the number of a man. It is the illumined man to the mystery schools. To those of us who are Christians it is the symbol the ark of the east the indication that the A-Christ has arrived and the beginning of the time predicted in he Book of Revelation known as the Tribulation.

Now all of this that I thought I knew so well and understood has become even more mysterious to me now. As I know that I’m battling against something that is almost incomprehensible and I had to do it alone, by my self, not trusting anyone else, not letting them in, for fear that they would corrupt my mind and I would be led down the wrong path. And I still do not know the answers but I have an awful lot of clues and lot facts and I have learned an awful lot, and maybe I am more confused then I ever was in my entire life. But after you hear the results of what I have learned and after I’m for the first time since I’ve learned all of this communicated to other human beings to let you know how really confused I am maybe all of us being confused together can put the pieces in the places and patch this mystery together and come up what we need as answers to formulate a future that we can all, all enjoy, without fear, without wars, without lies and deception and manipulation, without elitists and terrorists and crooks and liars. For I am going to impart to you during all of this that the priests of the ancient mystery religion are the ones who have caused most of the misery in the history of man. And if they have not learned this knowledge secrets of the ages that they keep from the rest of us and use to manipulate us maybe, , we would have reached peace in this world hundreds of years ago. I don’t really know the answer to that. I don’t think much of what has happened in the history of the world that was miserable, terrible, wouldn’t have happened without these people. But I maybe wrong and as always when you listen to this show don’t believe a word you hear unless you can substantiate it in your own research.

At the end of the movie what you saw as the astronaut became older and aged and this was the symbol of gaining knowledge and wisdom and he looked at himself and he saw himself younger and he looked back and saw himself older and he looked back and he was older still and he looked back and he was young again and then old and then he saw this unbelievably overpowering stunning vision of a fetus a human fetus floating in great vastness of the universe signifying the birth of the new age and the new man that will go into the future.

And on the sequel to 2001 you saw that this astronaut who had made the jump came back and talked to some select few signifying that he had been become a teacher to the rest of us and when he was asked what happened to him he said and I quote, “something wonderful”.15 Now that was supposed to tell the rest of the initiates of the world who really understood the symbology of the movie that if they were able to make this transition the future would be a utopia. Now I don’t know whether it will be or not, but I can tell you this the priests of the ancient mystery religions are in charge right now and we had better damn well find out and we had better do it very quickly, for the new age is the age of Aquarius and the exact date of the dawning of the Age of Aquarius16 can be determined astrologically and I’m not going to tell you what that date is although I have it right here on a piece of paper in front of me. I want you all to help in this search. God knows I need help. I can’t save us all alone. And there is always the possibility because I am human that I can make the wrong decisions or make the wrong interpretation and that’s why I formed CAJI17 because many of us working together and digging searching for information are much more likely not to make the mistakes then one man working alone.

Lets go back now to the beginning, when man was in his infancy on the evolutionary scale of development. Man was alone. Alone in the sense that he did not have all of the help and knowledge that we have today that enables us to survive. You see man was then subject to the cold, to the wild beasts of prey. He didn’t have a home, didn’t have air conditioning in the summer, didn’t have heating in the winter, didn’t have medical doctors if he became ill or injured he was most likely to die. So it did not take ancient man very long to decide that in this world the single greatest enemy to be feared was the darkness of night and all the unknown dangers that came with it. And simply stated mans first enemy was darkness.

Now understanding first this one fact alone one can readily see why the greatest and most trust worthy friend the human race could ever have at that time was by far heavens greatest gift to the world that glorious rising orb of day that we call the sun. And that was the beginning of the battle between light and darkness and it was mans' first understanding the birth, the death and the rebirth of a deity. For the sun rose was born in the morning, traveled across the heavens were it reached its most powerful point the zenith, and that will explain why so many things occur at noon or near noon and then signifying old age and the end of its life and sank into the west and then died. And man was subjected to the rigors, the dangers, the cold of night until his God again was reborn the next morning.

Now folks I’m not making any of this up and it took me many, many, years of study to figure this out.

Man noticed that the moon also rose lived a different life then the sun and then set and died and was reborn again. The sun because of its brilliance became the master or the greatest deity and the moon took on the feminine aspect because the moon reflected the light of her aster.

And all of this will begin to make sense to you, eventually, as we go through this because from now on every program that I’ll do is going to be devoted to this to the explanation of the esoteric religion the ancient mystery religion and it is that we all understand it because these are the people in charge and don’t ask me to tell you the truth of religion for I really believe in the constitution and that we all have a right to worship our own God in our own way and no one has the right to tell anyone unless asked what they should believe. You all know by know that I am a Christian, but I am not a Christian in the sense that I follow the dogma of any church or the preachings of any preacher or necessarily word for word the Bible. I stick strictly and only to the words that are directly attributed to Jesus Christ and I attempt to follow those words in my daily life. And it doesn’t matter to me anyone proves that he never lived or he lived or not. I have found that those are the most profound teachings amongst all of the books and teachings that I have ever heard or read in my entire life. And until someone can prove to me that there is something better that is what I will always adhere to. I do not advise you what you should believe not believe.

But I do advise you that we all need to learn as much as we can about everything that we can because one thing I have learned in my life is that most of what he have ever been taught has been a lie. And whoever these people are and I know who they are. I will impart that knowledge to you, who are the priests, the adepts, the initiates the mystery schools they are in control and they are shaping the future and that future will affect all of us, so we had better learn as much about them as much as we can. You can not identify an enemy unless you know the enemy and you can’t fight a battle if you know nothing about the battle tactics of your opponent. And when you understand that Lucifer is the son of the morning star, or the morning star itself then the creations of the members of the mystery school begin to make much more sense. Good night and God bless you all.

Outro music, When You Wish upon a Star18

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2010, 03:41:33 pm »
2001 - A Space Odyssey (1968) - Best Cut in the History of Cinema

"The world famous cut in the movie "2001 - A Space Odyssey" directed by Stanley Kubrick. We see an ape throwing up a bone and in the next scene we've moved millions of years forward in time. Simply genius.

The special effects in "2001" has never been surpassed. This is a puzzled, deeply pessimisic masterpiece. It is the most perfect Science Fiction film ever by one of cinemas true geniuses, Stanley Kubrick."

"An den Schönen Blauen Donau" composed by Johann Strauss.

Offline N.E.P.

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2010, 03:42:43 pm »
2001: a space odyssey (1968)

Watch movie here:

Offline centexan

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2010, 07:11:12 pm »

That's a link to the script for 2001.  I found screenplays for all the movies on the Kubrick forum and will post them, but I'm not sure if they're shooting scripts or post-production scripts.  Shooting scripts can be very different from the finished movie, after edits are made.

If you're not interrupted, it takes about the same length of time to read a screenplay as it does to watch the movie onscreen.

Offline GoingEtheric

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2010, 11:09:49 pm »
just saw it...
like a modern day silent film.. it drove me nuts.

Offline TheCaliKid

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2010, 12:25:16 pm »
One of my top favorite films of all time is Kubrick's 2001.

Interesting to note that both the film and the book were released in 1968 - exactly 33 years before 2001. Suffice it to say that Clarke and Kubrick knew a lot more than we commonly give them credit for.

And, if we are following the script, then 2010 is the next big thing.....
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Offline 37

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2010, 09:56:20 am »
Kubrick and Clarke wrote 2001:a space odyssey together. 

It is largely based on a short story Clarke wrote and titled The Sentinel.

You mention 2010...directed by Peter Hyams(Exorcist, End of Days).  Think about that story for a second.  The world is on the brink of war between the super powers.  Then an alien race(whoever built and controls the monolith) ignites Jupiter and a new star appears in the sky.  Suddenly, humanity unites, realizing that they are not alone in the Universe.

Sound familiar?  It's Watchmen by Alan Moore.  Only in Moore's book the alien is fake...but the result is the same. 

A new star heralding a New Age of Enlightenment...Theosophist Ben Creme is out pushing this idea right now.

Right around the time Moore's book came out and Clarke's second book was being made into a film, we had a President mention this scenario twice.  Once at the UN General Assembly.  Ronald Reagan...a Hollywood actor.

If you really start looking into Arthur C Clarke, Stanley Kubrick, Alan Moore and most of the people pushing Nostradamus or 2012, you will see that they share common ideas.  Ideas about evolution.  Higher intelligence.  Science and spirituality.  Astrology.  They have obviously discussed these ideas with each other, but not publicly.  They also share the vision of a "global village" similar to the ideas discussed by religious globalists in Bahai Faith and Theosophy.

These people are Luciferians...disciples of Bailey, Blavatsky and Crowley.  I'm damn sure Clarke was..and Kubrick.  2001/2010/2012 are all about the Luciferian Agenda.  Go read Childhood's End by Clarke.  It really isn't a big secret...if you look.
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Offline Valerius

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2010, 10:11:46 am »
I'm old enough to have seen the original release in theatres in my younger days. I agree with the conventional wisdom that it was a remarkable film.

One thing left out of the historical accounts these days of going to see this movie back in the late 60s movie was all the stoned hippies showing up again and again to experience the light show hyperspace scenes. Today, I can't watch the movie without remembering all the refrains of "Far out, man" and "here comes the freak-out scene" in the back of my impressionable head. (People didn't generally say dude yet contrary to the tv version of the era.)

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2010, 10:30:31 am »
One thing left out of the historical accounts these days of going to see this movie back in the late 60s movie was all the stoned hippies showing up again and again to experience the light show hyperspace scenes. Today, I can't watch the movie without remembering all the refrains of "Far out, man" and "here comes the freak-out scene" in the back of my impressionable head. (People didn't generally say dude yet contrary to the tv version of the era.)

Some people think that the shape of the monolith was chosen because it is a black movie screen turned on it's side.  The dimensions fit.  In fact, some people believe Kubrick was insinuating the power of image over the audience.  That it might be a tool for evolving the species.  Anyway, the idea of mindless stoners watching Kubrick's testament to evolution seems an appropriate analogy for the image above.

"Whatever it is, I am against it."  -Groucho Marx

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2010, 12:26:47 pm »
One of my top favorite films of all time is Kubrick's 2001.

Interesting to note that both the film and the book were released in 1968 - exactly 33 years before 2001. Suffice it to say that Clarke and Kubrick knew a lot more than we commonly give them credit for.

And, if we are following the script, then 2010 is the next big thing.....

Good point on the 2010 connection. I forgot about the sequel.

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2010, 12:41:45 pm »
2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984)

"My God, It's full of stars"


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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2010, 07:59:01 am »
“Kubrick: and beyond the cinema frame”


2001 is a definite contender for the strangest film phenomena of all time. At times it is a painfully slow film that frustrates its audience with a seemingly non-existent narrative. It is also artistically and technically stunning, even by today’s computer assisted standards. It’s scientifically well researched and goes to great efforts to offer a truly convincing portrayal of space travel – one of the few film’s ever to accurately portray the empty atmosphere of space as being utterly silent and it was the first to feature a spinning artificial gravity station, which was originally conceived by a former Nazi named Wernher Von Braun.

Despite a seemingly cold and emotionless narrative that even NASA has described as “baffling” ...

    "Writer Arthur C. Clarke and moviemaker Stanley Kubrick would borrow the torus design for their exhilarating (and baffling) 1968 movie epic 2001: A Space Odyssey." - SP-4308 SPACEFLIGHT REVOLUTION (NASA archives)

... it is consistently held in such high regard as to appear on almost every serious film buff’s top 100 movies list. Its cryptic symbolism has been analyzed and discussed endlessly, even in the world of the internet decades after release.

An even more strange aspect of 2001 is its budget. How did a movie that is so cryptically impenetrable, so non-commercial and so slowly paced acquire what was, at the time of its production, one the highest film production budgets of all time? It is only logical to assume that 2001 acquired its budget as part of an overall mass media push to culturally promote the cold war space race, and in particular to add a sense of God-like mysticism to the moon landings that would come less than a year after 2001’s release.

Stanley Kubrick openly stated that 2001’s true meanings had been visually encoded to bypass the conscious rationalizations of the audience and sink straight into the unconscious. And as we shall discover in this review he wasn’t kidding.

    I don’t like to talk about 2001 too much because it’s essentially a non-verbal experience. It attempts to communicate more to the subconscious and to the feelings than it does to the intellect. I think clearly there’s a problem with people who are not paying attention with their eyes. They’re listening. And they don’t get much from listening to this film. Those who won’t believe their eyes won’t be able to appreciate this film.  - Kubrick talking to Jerome Agel, page 277 Stanley Kubrick by Vincent Lobrutto

There are very few films in history that have received such varied reviews and interpretations. Depending on which review you read 2001 is either an adaptation of the classic Greek play The Odyssey, an adaptation of Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, a pretentious and self-indulgent art house film, a bold statement about mankind’s evolution to the stars, a promotion of Masonic philosophies or a propaganda film to increase public support for the cold war space race … and the list I have just offered is by no means exhaustive.

While there is evidence to support some of these interpretations, none of them offer anything near a full understanding because no matter which analysis you apply there always seems to be other symbols and concepts that remain elusive. This is especially true of the film's surface narrative. The following quote is pretty much a confession from Kubrick that there is a great deal more going on in 2001 than the film's dialogue tells us.

    Interviewer The final scenes of the film seemed more metaphorical than realistic. Will you discuss them -- or would that be part of the "road map" you're trying to avoid?
    Kubrick No, I don't mind discussing it, on the lowest level, that is, straightforward explanation of the plot. You begin with an artifact left on earth four million years ago by extraterrestrial explorers who observed the behavior of the man-apes of the time and decided to influence their evolutionary progression. Then you have a second artifact buried deep on the lunar surface and programmed to signal word of man's first baby steps into the universe -- a kind of cosmic burglar alarm. And finally there's a third artifact placed in orbit around Jupiter and waiting for the time when man has reached the outer rim of his own solar system.
    When the surviving astronaut, Bowman, ultimately reaches Jupiter, this artifact sweeps him into a force field or star gate that hurls him on a journey through inner and outer space and finally transports him to another part of the galaxy, where he's placed in a human zoo approximating a hospital terrestrial environment drawn out of his own dreams and imagination. In a timeless state, his life passes from middle age to senescence to death. He is reborn, an enhanced being, a star child, an angel, a superman, if you like, and returns to earth prepared for the next leap forward of man's evolutionary destiny.
    That is what happens on the film's simplest level. Since an encounter with an advanced interstellar intelligence would be incomprehensible within our present earthbound frames of reference, reactions to it will have elements of philosophy and metaphysics that have nothing to do with the bare plot outline itself.
    What are those areas of meaning?
    They are the areas I prefer not to discuss because they are highly subjective and will differ from viewer to viewer. In this sense, the film becomes anything the viewer sees in it. If the film stirs the emotions and penetrates the subconscious of the viewer, if it stimulates, however inchoately, his mythological and religious yearnings and impulses, then it has succeeded.
    – Kubrick interviewed by Joseph Gelmis 1969

Here are some more quotes along similar lines.

    If you accept the idea that one views a film in a state of ‘daydream,’ then this symbolic dreamlike content becomes a powerful factor in influencing your feelings about the film. Since your dreams can take you into areas which can never be a part of your conscious mind, I think a work of art can ‘operate’ on you in much the same way as a dream does. – Kubrick talking about A Clockwork Orange to Andrew Bailey, p340 Stanley Kubrick by Vincent Lobrutto

    2001, on the other hand, is basically a visual, nonverbal experience. It avoids intellectual verbalization and reaches the viewer's subconscious in a way that is essentially poetic and philosophic. The film thus becomes a subjective experience which hits the viewer at an inner level of consciousness, just as music does, or painting. – Kubrick interviewed by Joseph Gelmis 1969

Kubrick’s bizarre statements of a visually encoded meaning seem to suggest that the film’s formal narrative is only a part of the story. It seems that 2001 was deliberately designed to incorporate a multitude of concepts so that it is near impossible to interpret consciously. It’s like a cinematic rubick’s cube … or should I say Kubrick’s cube?

I must also add a few words here about the creative process of writing 2001's script. The widely held belief is that Arthur C Clarke wrote the book and Kubrick then adapted the book into a film. However, the following quotes indicate a different story.

    Kubrick was revising the novel (2001) with Clarke and simultaneously preparing his shooting script … At the end of August Clarke decided that the novel should end with Bowman standing beside an alien ship. Kubrick was not satisfied with this conclusion and the search went on. - p283 Stanley Kubrick by Vincent Lobrutto

    Clarke attempted to convince Kubrick that the novel’s manuscript was ready for publication. Kubrick was still unwilling to declare the novel finalized … Clarke firmly stated that he was the writer and should have the clout to pronounce the novel complete. Clarke was frustrated that he had lost $15,000 in commissions while working on the lengthy revisions of the novel. - p298 Stanley Kubrick by Vincent Lobrutto

    Clarke was in debt and tried to get a publishing contract signed with Delacorte Press, but Kubrick refused to sign, even after Delacorte had spent $10,000 on the project. Kubrick would immediately praise the new version, then within a few days point out flaws, errors and imperfections until the new prose crumbled into worthless fragments. - p299 Stanley Kubrick by Vincent Lobrutto

    Kubrick / Clarke had a 60/40 deal on the book  - p310 Stanley Kubrick by Vincent Lobrutto

    It's a totally different kind of experience, of course, and there are a number of differences between the book and the movie. The novel, for example, attempts to explain things much more explicitly than the film does, which is inevitable in a verbal medium. The novel came about after we did a 130-page prose treatment of the film at the very outset. This initial treatment was subsequently changed in the screenplay, and the screenplay in turn was altered during the making of the film. But Arthur took all the existing material, plus an impression of some of the rushes, and wrote the novel. As a result, there's a difference between the novel and the film. – Kubrick interviewed by Joseph Gelmis 1969

    I think that the divergences between the two works (2001 film and novel) are interesting. Actually, it was an unprecedented situation for someone to do an essentially original literary work based on glimpses and segments of a film he (Arthur C Clarke) had not yet seen in its entirety. – Kubrick interviewed by Joseph Gelmis 1969

    Arthur C. Clarke, back in Ceylon, continued to wrangle with Kubrick about the novel, the final text of which the director still refused to approve. Each time Clarke felt sure the script and book were set, Kubrick would cable him for some more dialogue or a new scene, none of which, Clarke claimed, ever found their way into the film. … Kubrick almost certainly did delay the book in order to protect the film. The film took on its own life as it was being made, and Clarke became increasingly irrelevant. Kubrick could probably have shot 2001 from a treatment, since most of what Clarke wrote, in particular some windy voice-overs which explained the level of intelligence reached by the ape men, the geological state of the world at the dawn of man, the problems of life on the Discovery and much more, was discarded during the last days of editing, along with the explanation of HALs breakdown. - p227 / 228 Stanley Kubrick: A Biography by John Baxter

Kubrick wanted to make a sci-fi film before he even hooked up with Clarke. He based his original ideas for 2001 upon a handful of short stories written by clarke, in particular The Sentinel. Kubrick then hired Clarke to work on the film's story with him, but the book was written as the film was being made. Clarke was allowed to view rushes of what had been filmed and based many of the book's details upon what he believed Kubrick's footage was conveying. Kubrick had creative control over the book and so was at liberty to instruct Clarke on how the book should be written. Quite simply, Kubrick was the primary creative force and Clarke was a writer for hire.

The story was always the same with Kubrick's collaborations with writers. He would "adapt" an already written novel for the screen in conjunction with the original writer, or in some cases he would simply buy the rights to the story then exclude the original writer, while he brought in a third writer to help him revise the story until it was virtually unreconisable from the original text. This was especially true of The Shining (read the second chapter of my analysis for details of how Kubrick massacred King's story so that he could infuse it with a variety of additional, visually encoded themes that were personal to Kubrick).

    (movies) haven’t scratched the surface of how to tell stories in their own terms. – Kubrick speaking to Richard Schickel, quoted from p407 Stanley Kubrick by Vincent Lobrutto

So in the case of 2001, the book isn't a reliable source for determining the film's visually encoded themes. It was this realization that lead me to explore the film on a variety of new levels. In writing the original version of this review I spent months laboriously researching other interpretations of 2001 in an attempt to find some clues about what Kubrick was really communicating. And after continuous cross-referencing of the films symbols and themes, during which I almost gave up, I eventually stumbled across a key element of the films structure and symbolism that I had never encountered before and which I am still convinced cuts straight to the heart of the films meaning. So we shall start with an updated recap of my original review.


Variations on the same haunting piece of music, taken from Gyorgi Ligetti's Requiem, seem to occur every time an evolutionary step is being taken in 2001. We hear this music when the apes first encounter the monolith in the dawn of man, when the astronauts encounter a second monolith in the Tycho moon crater and when Dave Bowman encounters the third monolith near Jupiter. We are given repeated confirmation that this music is the singing voice of the monolith and that it sings when it is helping its primitive hosts to evolve.

During the stargate, which is preceded by shots Jupiter, Ligetti's requiem blends seemlessly into another Ligetti piece called Atmospheres. Atmospheres is heard at the very beginning of the film over a black screen and later repeats during the intermission just before the astronauts do battle with the HAL 9000 computer, again over a black screen. So, why the black screens? The answer can be found by noting one of the key differences between the film and Arthur C Clarke’s original short story, The Sentinel. Clarke described the monolith as a pyramid shaped piece of polished mineral surrounded by a spherical force field. Kubrick, in adapting the story for cinema, changed this to a black rectangular box …. Why? Because the monolith is a representation of the actual wideframe cinema screen, rotated 90 degrees.

So in the films opening and during the intermission, we are not looking at an empty black screen at all. We are looking directly at the surface of the monolith! The monolith is the film screen and it is singing directly at its audience in the same way that the apes and astronauts are entranced by its heavenly voice, not realising that they are being communicated with directly!!! For almost forty years audiences and reviewers across the globe have sat staring at this black singing screen, not realising that they are staring at the monolith. The joke is on us and Kubrick, if he is watching over us, will be laughing and cheering from beyond the infinite. This widescreen two and a half hour presentation of sight and sound is in itself the stargate and we are its subjects. Kubrick is taking us on a psychedelic ride of intellectual evolution and he is demanding that we literally think outside the box! So the term “Space Odyssey” now has a new literal meaning. It refers to the spatial relationship between the screen, the audience and the audience’s surroundings. The following quotes strongly support the "monolith as screen" interpretation.

    At one point a private contractor was asked to mold a large block of Lucite. Kubrick was interested in experimenting with projecting images onto its surface (the monolith). The block was cast and received a lot of newspaper coverage about it being the largest casting of plastic ever attempted. The optics weren’t up to Kubrick’s standards, though, and he scrapped the idea. – production of 2001, p280 Stanley Kubrick by Vincent Lobrutto

    In the sequence where he (Bowman) is being locked outside, and doesn’t have his helmet on, some films are being projected onto his face. It makes no sense, but looks great. - Douglas Trumball discussing special effects for 2001, quoted from p304 Stanley Kubrick by Vincent Lobrutto

    Interviewer To take one specific, in the novel the black monolith found by curious man- apes three million years ago does explicit things which it doesn't do in the film. In the movie, it has an apparent catalytic effect which enables the ape to discover how to use a bone as a weapon-tool. In the novel, the slab becomes milky and luminous and we're told it's a testing and teaching device used by higher intelligences to determine if the apes are worth helping. Was that in the original screenplay? When was it cut out of the film?
    Kubrick Yes, it was in the original treatment but I eventually decided that to depict the monolith in such an explicit manner would be to run the risk of making it appear no more than an advanced television teaching machine. You can get away with something so literal in print, but I felt that we could create a far more powerful and magical effect by representing it as we did in the film. – Kubrick interviewed by Joseph Gelmis 1969

The last quote in particular is interesting. If the monolith is in fact a symbolic cinema screen then Kubrick's description of it as "an advanced television teaching machine" would be accurate. The so-called "powerful and magical effect" that Kubrick refers to is simply a deep sense of mysteriousness for the audience based upon only communicating the cinema screen connection at a very subtle level. The interviewer even identified another clue about the meaning of the monolith - that in the book it is described as becoming "milky and luminous". the film itself shows a variety of milky and luminous images of the universe immediately after the stargate tunnel.

The most deceiving aspect of the screen association is that for most of the film the monolith is seen standing upright. If it had been depicted horizontally then it wouldn’t have taken long for reviewers to crack this piece of the puzzle. The connection is also more difficult to make because the upright monoliths are slightly too long to fit the widely used 35mm cinema screen exactly. However, looking at 2001's production history we find that the film was originally shot in 70mm Cinerama format and after it's first release using expensive 70mm triple projectors, 2001 was re-released in 35mm format for a wider distribution.

The following poster of the film very blatantly communicates the monolith / cinema screen association, by showing three screen shots of the film, one of which is rotated 90 degrees.

There are literally hundreds of visual clues of the monolith / cinema screen relationship scattered throughout the films visual structure, but I shall concentrate here on the most obvious and undeniable examples.

We find several direct hints both before and during the stargate sequence, which has long been one of the most confusing aspects of the film. For the first time in the story we are seeing the monolith freed of its previously vertical stance as it floats around the screen, accompanied by scattered moons and a tormenting piece of music. Notice that at no point does any object on screen pass directly in front or behind this monolith. So we have no indication of its actual size - for all we know it could be a few inches in length or thousands of miles thick.

The concept of visual alignment, as seen with Jupiter and its moons, is nothing to do with astronomy or astrology. As the monolith floats about it repeatedly comes close to matching up with the frame of the screen and in some shots the white light reflecting across its surface completely mismatches the light sources of the surrounding sun and moons. As the sun moves on and off screen it causes flares of white light to stretch on and off screen in a similar way to the reflections on the monolith.

After several minutes of this tormenting imagery we see a shot of Jupiter and its moons suddenly aligned, but the shot is rotated 90 degrees so that Jupiter’s North and South poles are to our left and right. The monolith is in its vertical position, as seen earlier in the film, but due to the 90 degree rotated viewpoint it now appears to be horizontal. Rather than having this horizontal monolith move directly toward us, which would make it perfectly align with the cinema frame and thus make the cinema screen connection absolutely obvious, Kubrick has this monolith tilt backwards until it fades into the blackness of space.

The shot then scrolls up toward where we should see the sun, but we are instead faced with a black screen, just like in the intermission and the film’s opening. The monolith has literally just become the cinema screen and now our stargate voyage can begin.

We next see a high speed journey along a vertical horizon of patterned light, leaving both Dave Bowman and the audience tormented and confused as to its meaning. The music intensifies to the point of insanity, adding to our confusion, but then something odd happens. The stargate horizon switches from vertical to horizontal.

This is a hint that if you are going to understand this film consciously then you should be viewing the monolith horizontally. Only then can you make a direct connection between the monolith and the letterbox shape of the cinema screen, hence the films repeated visual themes of rotation and alignment. If you do manage to make this visual connection during the stargate you are then rewarded by the dazzling big bang explosion of consciousness that follows.

Now if you’re still not convinced that the monolith is a representation of the cinema screen then go back earlier in the film and watch the lunar excavation site landing sequence. During the moon bus descent we see the landing base come into view in the cockpit window. It is in a vertical position and begins slowly rotating into a horizontal position. It is also moving directly toward the computer display screen on the lower left where it will align.

The computer display alternately shows a circular target grid of yellow lines pulsing toward us like the big bang explosion at the end of the stargate. In the middle of this target grid is a rectangular half monolith just below the center of the cross hair.

And here is the unbelievably blatant hint that has bypassed our conscious attention for decades … As the landing pad reaches its horizontal position, the missing top half of the monolith rectangle suddenly floats in from the right of the display and matches up with the centre of the cross hair.

The vertically positioned monolith is completed and the entire cross hair display begins flashing in white, again like the big bang sequence of the stargate. Immediately after this we see the computer display repeated, but this time seen by a man watching the moon bus landing through a large rectangular window. The upper section of the crosshair rectangle floats in again, but just as it’s about to align with the centre the shot cuts away so that the conceptual connection between the rectangle in the computer display and the rectangle of the window is merely suggested.

Floyd and his colleagues are also sat in the back of the moon bus puzzling over photos and diagrams. One of the papers shows a spiral target grid with a white monolith rectangle in the lower right corner.

Another computer display along the same lines is featured when Bowman chases Poole’s missing body. Again we have a pulsing circular target display, this time with a monolith type rectangle flashing in the upper right.

During this pod sequence the yellow target display from the moon bus sequence is several times projected onto Bowman’s face along with a white rectangle floating inwards toward the centre.

If even that doesn’t convince you then look at the coloured light patterns in the horizontal section of the stargate tunnel. Just before the big bang, the stargate pattern fills up with a series of yellow lines and spirals that are very similar to the computer crosshair display in the moon bus.

Even the first lunar landing sequence carries hints of what the monolith is. The spherical craft, carrying Floyd to the moon base, approaches a dome like structure. The dome opens in a star-like pattern, foreshadowing the explosion of consciousness at the end of the stargate, and inside the dome can be seen the outline of a horizontally positioned rectangle.

Another clue is that the door on the back of each spacepod features a prominent sign stating “Caution: Explosive Bolts”.

The door is roughly a vertical monolith shape and on the inside of the door, behind Bowman’s head (visible just as he is about to blast into the vacuum without his helmet), is a horizontal red monolith featuring the same “Explosive Bolts” warning - yet another connection between the letterbox design, the upright monolith and the explosion of the stargate.

Dave holds his breath and faces the correctly positioned red monolith before being blasted into the airlock. This is paralleled in the stargate. His head shakes violently and his complexion turns blue as if he is holding his breath.

These clues are absolutely no accident. They are exactly the kind of thing Kubrick was referring to when he described the film’s messages as being visually encoded, but the sophistication with which he created these visual associations is so unusual and such a unique directing talent that hardly anybody has ever managed to unravel the monolith’s meaning in nearly forty years. There are so many hints of what the monolith is, but unless you think outside of the films surface narrative you simply cannot crack the puzzle. You are stuck in the box. And by showing us close ups of an eye during the stargate, Kubrick is shouting at us to LOOK at the visual clues, which he has offered in so much abundance.

 In addition to the all these examples of visual encoding there are some interesting facts on the IMDB Trivia page for 2001 that support this interpretation of the monolith.

    "When the film was sold to British TV, Stanley Kubrick urged that it be shown in "letterbox" format, with a black area at the top and bottom of the screen. The BBC complained that while this was fine for dialogue sequences, viewers would become confused when the scene shifted to outer space. The BBC's solution, used during the first TV presentation, was to add fake stars to the black areas above and below the picture area. Bitterly opposed by Kubrick, this disastrous experiment was never repeated."

    "When Stanley Kubrick learned that his film would have an intermission in most cinemas (as this happened in most films that length) he not only ordered where the intermission took place, but had his film's composer record specific music for the intermission, and requested that the theatre be plunged into darkness for a minute before the film restarted."

The monolith / screen connection is a mind-blowingly original cinematic concept, but as we shall see 2001’s symbolism doesn’t stop there. What we have done so far is to merely unlock a door through which we can explore the film’s hidden narratives, of which there are many, but before we continue, let’s first identify some of the basic building blocks of Kubrick’s unique style of visually encoded meaning.


When trying to understand subliminal narratives in film it is very easy to impose meanings that you are expecting to find as opposed to perceiving messages that actually are there. Even in academic fields researchers frequently seek out co-incidental evidence to support theories that they expect or hope to prove.

For this reason, when you believe you have found a subliminal theme in a film, you must test your theory by looking for both evidence and counter-evidence.

It is easy to miss subliminal messages in a film because most films are not conceptually deep and so we are accustomed to taking storylines at face value. But having produced and directed several short films myself I can assure you that very little of what you see and hear in any professionally produced film is there by accident. Virtually everything from choice of locations and set designs to sound effects, actors expressions and camera angles has been implemented by somebody involved in the production. So human expression is present on many levels and not just from the director either.

Rather than simply saying “a cigar is just a cigar”, which is an easy cop out clause for those who prefer face value meanings, it is worth acknowledging that there are universal patterns in how messages are encoded into art. Surprisingly, these patterns, and the techniques for identifying them, have a great deal in common with basic encryption, decryption and code-breaking as used in computing and intelligence operations.

 Most artists engage in some sort of subjective encoding, whether they are aware of it or not. They consistently express or “encode” their own emotions and beliefs into what they create. Much of the time these encoded expressions are easy to decipher, but sometimes they’re extremely difficult.

In the case of Kubrick, his films are very difficult to decrypt for several reasons.

   1. We are dealing with an artist who has an especially strong understanding of many subjects and disciplines including psychology, symbolism and semiotics (the art of subjectively encrypting messages).
   2. His messages tend to be cerebral rather than emotional – frequently relating to his opinions of broad historical and social issues, of which the average person has a comparatively weak understanding.
   3. His symbolic encoding operated on a deliberate level of complexity that is almost unheard of, even in the history of the arts, and is comparative to the skills of an advanced mathematician.
   4. Most people who watch Kubrick films are not actually aware that there are encrypted messages waiting to be cracked.

Now the concept of a “key” or “pass” word in text and number based encryption is also applicable when we’re trying to decode hidden messages in art and film. The difference is that in art the encryption keys usually exist as concepts instead of words and numbers. For example in H. R. Giger’s art the idea of humans being physically fused with their own technology is a “key” concept that enables us to begin unravelling other meanings in his work. Another “key” in Giger’s work is that of human sexuality being an emotionless mechanism of reproduction.

Most artists, though they may not be aware of it, have a personal preference for using certain types of encryption. Some painters place great emphasis on colour combinations to establish moods. Some writers create complex personal histories for their characters. And some musicians create notation that mimics the phonetic sequences of lyrics. The types of conceptual encryption in the arts are incredibly varied.

So before we continue with cracking the code of 2001, let’s identify some of the key encryption concepts that Kubrick used throughout his filmography.

1. Role switching & character synthesis

This involves the audience mentally placing one character’s identity into the body of another so that a different narrative begins to surface. It was used extensively in Eyes Wide Shut so that characters from Victor Zeigler’s high society party were revealed as being participants in the Somerton mansion orgy. This in turn revealed that the two parties were in fact one and the same, the first being wrapped in lies and illusion and the next stripped of such illusions to reveal an underlying moral decadence. The naked woman who sacrificed herself to protect Bill was also a psychological synthesis of Alice, Mandy and Domino – which revealed a hidden message of all women being viewed by Bill as stereotypical sex objects.

The character switching concept was also used in Full Metal Jacket, where Private Pile and Animal Mother represented psychological opposites of the same mind. This in turn was a clue to the films theme of split identity and disassociation induced by military brainwashing.

2. Paintings as metaphoric mirrors

Again Eyes Wide Shut made extensive use of this device. The masked orgy participants and guests at Ziegler’s party were revealed, through the paintings adorning the mansion walls, as members of European nobility – the clue to this concept was made most obvious in Ziegler’s bathroom, where Mandy lay overdosing on a red sofa, while up on the wall could be seen a large painting of an identically posed woman on a red sofa.

Another excellent example of this was in A Clockwork Orange, in which the woman who Alex kills has a painting on her wall depicting a woman with the breasts cut out of her clothing. This reveals that the warped sexual fantasies we see in Alex’s behaviour, who had cut the breasts out of his rape victim’s clothing, are a larger social trend which Alex is simply conforming and reacting to.

3. Mirror-framed characters as symbolic reflections

The most frequent use of this concept in a Kubrick film was The Shining. Whenever Jack sees a ghost it virtually always stands with a mirror behind it – the bar tender, Delbert Grady, the corpse woman. This was a key to the film’s hidden narrative that the hotel was not actually haunted, but that the family were haunted by their repressed memories of Jack’s brutality and America’s bloody history.

4. Subliminal repetition between scenes

This was a very frequent Kubrick device. As already mentioned, the two party scenes of Eyes Wide Shut contained a multitude of aesthetic similarities such as paintings of nobility, dancing couples and masks that roughly imitate the facial features and hairstyles of actual characters.

5. Double speak

Also a favourite Hitchcock approach, this involves dialogue that has no reference to a specific context and can therefore carry meaning both in the obvious surface narrative and in the hidden narrative. For example, in Full Metal Jacket an indication of Private Pile’s double identity as Animal Mother is when the drill instructor says “Private Pile, you are definitely born again hard”. Another good example can be found in Eyes Wide Shut. While dancing with Alice, Sandor Szavost says “One of the charms of marriage is that it makes deception a necessity for both parties”, the two parties being a sly reference to both Ziegler’s Party and the Sommerton mansion orgy.

6. Multiple meaning in one symbol

This is one of the most confusing devices of Kubrick and he used it with a skill that is unmatched. In Eyes Wide Shut the huge star shaped Christmas decorations have several meanings – they represent giant snow flakes, but also the hypnotic illusions of high society, and some reviewers have interpreted them as secret society symbols or as astrological symbols.

The monolith in 2001 represents in the surface narrative - God, a doorway to another dimension and a piece of alien intelligence, while in the hidden narratives it represents the cinema screen (as well as a few more meanings which we shall explore shortly).

7. Lingering shots

This is a Kubrick method that has lead many people to label his films as painfully slow. When he holds a shot on screen for an unusually long period of time, it is often to emphasize the symbolic elements and allow us time to ponder over the meanings of what we’re seeing and hearing. Sometimes Kubrick also leaves scenes in complete silence to encourage visual exploration of the shots.

8. Wide angles

This is the main factor that has led some critics to label Kubrick’s work as cold and emotionless. Rather than being an aesthetic preference it is frequently used when set design and compositional elements are carrying meaning, as opposed to acting and dialogue alone.

9. Fractional messaging

These can be especially hard to decode. It involves a concept being divided up into several sub-concepts and then embedded in different shots and scenes. The viewer must cross reference information throughout the film and piece the concept back together. The clues I have already described as to the meaning of the monolith are a good example of fractional messaging.

10. External symbols

This involves messages being delivered to the audience outside of the actual movie content. They can come in many forms such as being embedded in a marketing campaign or deliberately falsified rumours about the shoot.

In Eyes Wide Shut Kubrick worked with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, who were married both in real life and in the film’s story. The couple were featured in the marketing poster as being reflected in a silver-framed mirror, revealing that the content of the film was a metaphoric reflection of the audience’s reality. Another example of this would Kubrick’s rumours of endless takes in filming a single shot. These rumours were probably true in some cases, but also could have been made up to bring greater audience attention to particular shots. In the case of 2001, the many bizarre posters and production stills are embedded with very obvious clues about the films hidden meanings.

11. Colour association

This comes in several forms. It can be based upon bio-semiotics, which is the audience’s genetically inbuilt associations. For example red equals hot and blue equals cold or black plus yellow equals danger. It can be based upon popular cultural association such as red, white and blue representing an English or US flag. Kubrick on the other hand, often would set up unique colour associations that are not natural to the audience. In Eyes Wide Shut the red pool table of Zeiglers parlour combined with blue lighting from the windows links the scene conceptually to the bright red carpet and blue lighting of the orgy ritual. 2001 has many colour association themes that have made their way into this review.

12) Dream logic

This method combines narrative logic with the symbolism of dreams. For example, in Eyes Wide Shut the story changes from conventional logic to dream logic after Bill has a pot smoking session with his wife.

A unique trick of Kubricks was to film a dream sequence, but let the audience assume it is part of the actual narrative. The room 237 sequence of The Shining is a great example. In the surface narrative the room is haunted by the ghost of a dead woman, but in the hidden narrative it is Danny having a flashback or nightmare to having been strangled by his father for waking him up in an earlier scene. It is typical for victims of abuse to identify with their abuser and so Danny re-experiences the event as his own father, while externalising the abuser as a mysterious rotting corpse.


These are just some of the frequent conceptual keys that we must be aware of before we can unravel the hidden narratives of Kubrick’s work. Before we continue though, I must warn you that this is a very long review because 2001 is possibly the most conceptually complex film of all time. Kubricks sci-fi ground-breaker has layers upon layers of symbolism, which will both amaze you and challenge your powers of perception.

I am in no way claiming that all of the ideas in this review are accurate. Some of my observations you will find undeniably precise and others you will think are stretching interpretation to the extreme. My intention is not to map out a series of absolute perceptual certainties or to imitate the rigid self-consciousness of an academic paper. What I do hope to do is introduce you to a broad range of thoughts and ideas that will allow you to reach your own personal conclusions.


Having identified the monolith as a cinema screen, one of the most drastic transformational effects upon the story is that of the expanding universe sequence. Kubrick was a demon for technical realism and considering the lengths he went to in depicting space age technology and the lunar surface, the so called “expanding universe” and “alien landscape” sequences are particularly unconvincing by comparison. The big bang sequence has some major scientific flaws. For starters, the bright explosion after the stargate is emitting stars, but scientists have known for a long time that the early universe was gaseous and consisted almost exclusively of hydrogen and helium.

Stars did not develop until at least millions of years later. We also see no galaxies at all in the later stages of this expanding universe sequence, even though our own milky way is seen behind the BBC news presenter when watched by Bowman and Poole. There are also shots that appear to be depicting nebulae’s forming into stars, but if they were shown in an entirely different story context we would probably not even think of them as footage of an expanding universe. One particular shot of a white ball leaving a trail is totally unrealistic.

If this is intended to be an image of a star then it’s a very poor special effect.

So why would Kubrick include such a strange selection of unconvincing shots for this sequence? One could argue a lack of efficient special effects technology at the time of production, but even with the methods he did use Kubrick could have done much better than this.

The monolith / screen relationship is the perceptual key to understanding these anomalies. Once you crack the screen connection, the dazzling explosion that follows the stargate ceases to be a representation of the big bang and expanding universe. It is now a psychedelic metaphor for intellectual rebirth and enlightenment, which applies both to Dave Bowman and the film’s audience. This bizarre sequence of liquidous shots are a visual metaphor of expanding consciousness.

The most obvious clue of a rebirth theme is the shot of a red gaseous formation that looks very much like a growing foetus in a womb. This also bears similarity to the films final shot of an illuminated baby.

A slightly less obvious example of organic rebirth and growth is the small red and yellow explosion that creates two bubble formations. If you look closely on the dvd you will notice that a faint white light is flashing over the shot at roughly one second intervals. This does not occur in any of the other expanding universe shots and there is no reason why an exploding universe would feature a pulsing white light. Most likely this shot represents a beating human heart.

 The whole big bang sequence is an organic opposite to the cold and clinical images of technology. Many reviewers have also interpreted the films space ship designs as being mechanical representations of organic reproduction, such as the sperm-like discovery ship and various egg shaped crafts. This could explain the aforementioned shot of a white ball leaving a trail – perhaps a hint of the discovery ship being a metaphoric sperm on its journey through the womb.

This organic interpretation also ties in nicely with the unexplained scale of the monolith floating near Jupiter. Are we seeing the vast scale of Jupiter and its moons or is this a representation of organic impregnation on a scale too small for the naked eye? [Cont...]


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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2010, 08:04:53 am »
Rest of Chapter Four

Hints of a rebirth theme are also frequent elsewhere in the story. Heywood Floyd wishes his daughter happy birthday and Frank is wished happy birthday by his parents. HAL regresses back to the moment of his own birth as he is being shut down and Bowman is obviously reborn as an enlightened or illuminated baby after spending some time in a strange room of renaissance décor. And the word renaissance literally translates as “rebirth”. Another possible reference to rebirth is the hostesses during Floyd’s space flights. Their white uniforms feature round hats similar to baby’s heads and their zero-gravity walking even has a crawling baby-like quality.

 The counterpart of spiritual rebirth is of course symbolic death, which is also prominent in the story. The ape discovering how to use a bone as a weapon occurs as it stands over a skeleton. We also have the deaths of Frank Poole and HAL as well as Bowman’s rapid aging before his rebirth as the starchild. Even the black and white robes worn by Bowman as he ages could be representing death and rebirth.

As an additional aspect of enlightenment or self-awareness, Bowman repeatedly see himself in the third person before he is reborn. Some psychologists have theorized that this is a key trait that separates humans from other living species on Earth.

So it would seem that one of the core themes of this film is rebirth and enlightenment. Notice that the illuminated baby in the final shot slowly turns to look directly at us. If the reborn Bowman understands the meaning of the monolith, just as we do, then perhaps he is now watching us from the other side of the screen.

This effectively makes the cinema screen a mirror image of mutual enlightenment. And, like the apes teaching their young how to use bones as weapons, the enlightened Bowman can now spread his newfound enlightenment to the population of Earth.

 These concepts of symbolic death, rebirth and enlightenment are not sci-fi concepts, but have been depicted across cultures and religions throughout history. Yet from the content of Kubrick’s movies and from his rare interviews he does not present as a man who believes in God or the afterlife. He presents as either agnostic or atheist. So the rebirth themes of 2001 seem to be related purely to intellect and its application for survival. After the apes have their intellectual rebirth experience, they are seen outside the cave entrance at night - unafraid of the dark. Before they encountered the monolith they were shown hiding in the cave and fearing the night.

Kubrick often used musical repetition to link scenes in his films and in 2001 the first and final shot feature the classical piece Thus Spake Zarathustra. In the first shot we see what is presumably the moon, the Earth and then finally a full view of the sun. In the final shot we see the moon then the Earth then the starchild. Being that the sun has been historically linked to enlightenment the “star” child obviously represents the sun, bringing enlightenment to his home planet.

Offline Triadtropz

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2010, 08:05:55 am »
Viper you are doing a nice job with this...keep up the good work!!!
one man with courage makes a majority..TJ

Offline Djævlen

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2010, 08:11:44 am »
Kubrick and Clarke wrote 2001:a space odyssey together. 

It is largely based on a short story Clarke wrote and titled The Sentinel.

You mention 2010...directed by Peter Hyams(Exorcist, End of Days).  Think about that story for a second.  The world is on the brink of war between the super powers.  Then an alien race(whoever built and controls the monolith) ignites Jupiter and a new star appears in the sky.  Suddenly, humanity unites, realizing that they are not alone in the Universe.

Sound familiar?  It's Watchmen by Alan Moore.  Only in Moore's book the alien is fake...but the result is the same. 

A new star heralding a New Age of Enlightenment...Theosophist Ben Creme is out pushing this idea right now.

Right around the time Moore's book came out and Clarke's second book was being made into a film, we had a President mention this scenario twice.  Once at the UN General Assembly.  Ronald Reagan...a Hollywood actor.

If you really start looking into Arthur C Clarke, Stanley Kubrick, Alan Moore and most of the people pushing Nostradamus or 2012, you will see that they share common ideas.  Ideas about evolution.  Higher intelligence.  Science and spirituality.  Astrology.  They have obviously discussed these ideas with each other, but not publicly.  They also share the vision of a "global village" similar to the ideas discussed by religious globalists in Bahai Faith and Theosophy.

These people are Luciferians...disciples of Bailey, Blavatsky and Crowley.  I'm damn sure Clarke was..and Kubrick.  2001/2010/2012 are all about the Luciferian Agenda.  Go read Childhood's End by Clarke.  It really isn't a big secret...if you look.

AND there it is......i was wondering how long it would take for somebody here to insinuate that Kubrick was a "Lucifarian" or "Theosophist". Jesus H Christ, some of you people really know how to alienate those of us who dont subscribe to your "if you aint a christian, your a theosophist" agenda. its posts like this that make me question why i post here. its like i'm living in the 16th century with people being under suspicion of practicing witchcraft.

if anything, Kubrick was trying to enlighten people about occultic (ie hidden) knowledge and the Illuminati, such as he did in A Clockwork Orange and Eyes Wide Shut.
“The devil is only a convenient myth invented by the real malefactors of our world”

-R.A. Wilson


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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2010, 08:35:01 am »

Now we’re moving into territory that is virtually unique in cinematic history – the notion of on screen characters realizing that their own universe is nothing more than a two dimensional cinema screen.

An email respondent to my first review of 2001 pointed out that when Heywood Floyd holds a council meeting with his colleagues the horizontal monolith is depicted on all four walls of the room, but in pure white. As it turns out this observation of white monoliths is another conceptual key that unlocks even more of the film’s hidden narratives.

For example, if we look closer at the meeting room set we find that these strange illuminated walls are flanked by curtains, just like plain white cinema screens are.

Now if we go back to the stargate shots we find yet another clue that the monolith is a cinema screen. At the end of the tunnel the screen begins to fill up with bright white light then the shot cuts and we see a human eyeball which has been superimposed with colour. If the shot had not cut away then the stargate would have filled up the entire screen with pure white, leaving Bowman and the audience staring at an empty screen. This would have made the visual connection to the cinema screens of the council meeting much easier to notice.

It has widely been perceived that Bowman’s stargate journey takes him to another dimension and indeed it does, but now we can explicitly recognise what that alternative dimension is. By gaining awareness of the monoliths true meaning Bowman is leaving the two dimensional confines of the screen and becoming part of his own audience … hence he begins seeing himself in the third person in the renaissance room.

A very clever visual trick communicating this theme is that when Bowman looks at himself in the bathroom mirror, the close up of his reflection reveals that the glass in his helmet is reflecting not the bathroom, but the bedroom. He now has the ultimate in self awareness. He knows he is a character in a movie.

A very nice production photo shows Bowman in a doorway, precisely half hidden by a door. Again he is half in and half out of the film.

And another two photos show him viewed first from inside the pod, but the position of the pod is in the corner of the room, where it would not be able to physically fit. The second shot is almost identical, minus the pod window framing, and reveals that Bowman is looking at his own film crew.

Perhaps it was the crew that he was staring at in the film with a confused look on his face.

The psychedelic patterns of the stargate represent the colours and pigments being drained from the cinema screen to reveal the empty white surface that audiences are faced with when they first sit down. One of my email correspondents has also noted that Bowman may be looking out of the cinema screen and directly into the projector lens. This shift to the universe outside the film is such a terrifying paradigm shift for Bowman that by the time he reaches the renaissance room he is trembling with shock.

When the apes feel the edges of the monolith they too are gaining a similar awareness of a third dimension – the dimension of depth.

This also explains the caption “Jupiter and beyond the infinite”. The on screen universe appears infinite, but to step beyond it we need only look beyond the edges of the screen.

The film within a film concept is cleverly embedded in the two AE-35 replacement scenes near the Discovery ship antenna. The camera angles used to show Bowman’s short voyage in the pod and his space walk toward the antenna are repeated when Poole attempts the second trip.

The difference is that these same camera angles are now presented on the cockpit computer screens. It’s as if they have become the viewpoints of HALs surveillance cameras. So if we ignore the colour differences between the two astronauts suits then Bowman is basically seeing himself. He is in and out of the film. The heavy breathing that we hear over the two spacewalk scenes, which also repeats when Bowman arrives in the renaissance room, again suggests that the astronauts are both in front and behind the camera.

A stronger visual clue that we are watching a film within a film, and that sometimes we are shifting in and out of different narratives, can be found when Poole and Bowman first enter the pod bay. The camera pans with them as they walk through a doorway and reappear behind a glass window. The frame of the window matches up with the screen and the shot is repeated as Bowman rushes to the pod bay after Poole is murdered. Remember that the idea of a monolith floating in from the right to match the cinema frame was shown on the digital screens of the moon bus cockpit.

One email recipient wrote to me with a thesis that the monolith could also represent the golden rectangle - a geometric shape that can be rotated 90 degrees and shrunk to fit within itself infinitely.

I haven't found many images in 2001 that fit with this concept apart from the green pattern on the left of the stargate shown below.

The pattern appears to be a series of curved arrows that infinitely rotate into each other at 90 degree incriments. I noticed it when viewing flattened out images that had been extracted from the stargate patterns by another researcher. Here is the section that caught my attention.

Paralleling this films within films or fractal movie theme, is the concept of video feedback. This occurs when a video camera is connected to a monitor and then put in record mode while filming that same monitor.

Another example of this paradigm in 2001 can be seen in the screen shot below. Look at the three small screens in the lower left. The one in the centre displays a view of the landing craft that is identical to what we are already seeing in the larger view. The presence of multiple monolith shaped windows showing different rooms only serves to enhance this multiple reality encoding.

There is also a phenomena called audio feedback that occurs when a live microphone is placed near its own speaker, resulting in a high pitched sound. We hear this kind of high pitched whine emanating from the monolith after the apes recognise its meaning and again with the astronauts in the excavation pit. And after the slitscan patterns of the stargate white out the screen and cut to a colourized eye, the music turns to a high pitched whine before the explosion of consciousness.

This all fits perfectly with the monolith being a cinema screen. By recognising the black box's meaning our awareness of the film shifts into a fractal feedback loop.

 It’s worth noting that black and white monoliths filmed at various angles, and sometimes rotating, are built into many of the sets. For example the eye of HAL is boxed in a black vertical monolith and Poole’s chess game is projected on a black horizontal monolith.

The true meaning of the monolith has been staring us and the fictional characters directly in the face throughout the whole film, just begging to be noticed. A hilarious example is that when eating on the discovery Poole and Bowman are watching themselves on tv screens that have been rotated 90 degrees. There is no reason to assume that television screens of the future will be longer than they are wide, but in 2001 they are shown in both orientations.

It’s also possible that Kubrick designed certain set elements as a metaphor of the actual film reel. The spinning Torus station is featured on the most famous promotional poster for 2001 and is thus central to the film’s meaning.

It has two rings and the side which is under construction features a wire frame. For some reason the poster is a painting rather than a production photo and an important detail is that in different versions of this same poster the docking bay is either yellow or red, but in the film it is white. The planet in the background also changes colour on different posters, but we'll explore these colour variations in more detail in later chapters.

So could it be that the Torus station represents a film reel within a film and that the docking bay is the projector?

Notice also that as the Pan Am ship enters the Torus station it first has to align with the monolith shaped docking bay, which is featured on the Pan Am ships computer display as a rotating wire frame monolith. The aligning of spaceships also parallels the aligning of Jupiter and its moons.

Tying in with these themes we find that virtually all of the satellites and spacecraft that we see before the Torus docking sequence appear very flat, as if they are being projected onto the film. Their angles and lighting do not change and their shadows often completely mismatch the light sources suggested by how the Earth and moon are lit. It’s as if they are merely still photos being projected onto the film. This is also true of the lunar landing shots. The lunar lander seen descending toward the moon surface is shown with the Earth in the background. These two spherical bodies should be equally lit if the sun is the light source, but the Earth is almost fully lit from the front, while the lander appears lit from further in the distance.

One could argue that special effects were limited in 1968, but the magnificent spinning Torus station and Discovery ship prove otherwise. The spinning of the monolith near Jupiter with its changing surface reflections only serves to exaggerate the two dimensional look of the satellites in Earth orbit.

The final shot of the Torus docking sequence features the two wheels of the station rolling toward the camera until they disappear off screen leaving a black emptiness. It’s as if we are entering or exiting a film reel.



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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2010, 09:13:20 am »
Viper you are doing a nice job with this...keep up the good work!!!

Thanks, here's the rest of CHAPTER 5...

We now cut to a shot of Floyd emerging from a strange rotating seating area. Though we don’t get to see it very well in the film, the following production photo shows the outside of the rotating seating area. Does it not look like a strip of film frames?

The following selection of posters show assorted scenes from 2001 occupying the central strip of the image with the main promotional painting of the Torus station as a background filler. This is an interesting combination, which could again be implying a film with a film.

The living quarters of the Discovery also rotate like the Torus station and from many angles we can see that a band of light shines down on the computer consoles from each wall.

The light forms a continuous circle around both sides of the set and is divided up into sections whose dimensions match the the individual frames of a widescreen cinema reel. Now I’m not claiming that this film reel interpretation is conclusive, but it certainly fits with the other themes in this review.

There are also other set design features that gain new meaning when compared with the technicalities of the film process. 2001 was shot in 70mm Cinerama format. This was an extra wide screen format developed by the studios in competition with the television industry. The finished film is divided into three strips and projected onto a curved screen by three synchronised projectors.

The format never really caught on and so most of us have never watched 2001 in its original format. Nevertheless, Kubrick seems to have incorporated aspects of the Cinerama projection equipment into his sets. Many shots, including HALs vision, are shot with panoramic lenses and the lenses and cameras were provided by a company called Panavision. The concept of three cinema screens displayed side by side in a slightly curved arrangement can be seen in the council meeting room, the square floodlights of the lunar excavation site and the shot of Floyd watching the approaching moon surface in the lunar landing craft.

The excavation site also doubles up as a symbolic movie theatre. The astronauts walk down a ramp with the intention of viewing the monolith, just as audiences walk down movie theatre isles in order to view a cinema screen. The photographer taking pictures of the monolith tilts his camera 90degrees between taking photos, encouraging us to rotate our view as well. Floyd reaches his hand out and simultaneously touches both the monolith and the rectangular lens flare from one of the floodlights.

As the astronauts gather for their group photo we see the monolith positioned in between two floodlights at the back of the excavation site, which together comprises the triple projection of the Cinerama film format.

As the photographer steps backward, the camera movement causes the rectangular lens flare behind him to match up with the floodlight. At this exact moment of alignment the monolith gives off its ear piercing signal – the screen connection has been made.

Another curious set design element, that seems to have several implications, is the space pods inside the discovery. It seems unnecessary to have three of these pods, each with its own separate door, but looking at the ceiling above them we find arrangements of three monolith shaped white lights, as well as a black widescreen shaped computer console, which the three pods are facing. The sides of these pods also feature designs similar to film reels so this could again be a depiction of the Cinerama triple projectors.

Now another important aesthetic theme of 2001 is the disorientation caused by zero gravity. This not only adds realism to the space scenes, but it also ties in with the idea of characters being confined within the technicalities of a film reel. As with virtually all forms of photography, images passing through a camera lens are turned upside down and left to right before they are burned into the celluloid.

The Discovery ship may have been designed with this in mind.

So we find the characters of 2001 frequently battling with a lost sense of orientation. I know this sounds obscure, but if you indulge me for a few moments you may find the concept much more plausible.

Watch the shots of Frank Poole as he runs around the rotating living quarters of the discovery. From the positions of the three crew members in hibernation we can tell that in some of the shots Frank is running in reverse directions.

Now of course even a perfectionist like Kubrick is capable of continuity errors, but this visual error is only possible in three ways. Either ...

   1. The rotating set was spun in reverse directions between takes
   2. The hibernation beds were deliberately switched from one wall to the other between takes
   3. The shots were deliberately flipped horizontally in the editing process

None of these three possibilities could plausibly have occurred by accident. In fact close examination of the shots shows that Frank is filmed with the wheel spinning the opposite way and the shot was also flipped horizontally in the edit. And here’s another clue that the mistake was deliberate. Bowman is shown sketching his views of the hibernation beds and comparing his drawing to what he actually sees in front of him.

Another example of seemingly deliberate disorientation can be found as the egg shaped craft flies Floyd to the lunar surface. One shot shows the craft moving down screen toward the lower end of the moon, but the next shot flips the scene upside down and left to right so that the craft is now headed upward.

How could this continuity error possibly have gone unnoticed during the edit? There are actually many visual errors along these lines. The bone thrown into the air by the ape is spinning anti clockwise as it goes up, but comes back down spinning the other way. The shot of the aligned Torus station, as seen through the Pan Am craft cockpit, shows the station with a fixed light source, but due to the spin of the station this light source should actually be rotating around the station. The light shining upon the two pilots is also coming from a different direction.

The cockpit shot from inside the discovery with Bowman’s space pod seen directly outside, also has two conflicting light sources. The pod is lit from one side but the shadows inside the window are coming from the opposite direction.

 These examples could be genuine errors, but the following examples of confused orientation are much more reliable.

HAL tells Poole and Bowman that a device called the AE-35 unit is about to fail and that they must replace it. The exact function of this so-called AE-35 unit is not explained to us, though we do see its partially dismantled contents being tested by Bowman. During my research I found a webpage called The creator of this site had found out what the AE-35 was. It is a mechanical device for measuring orientation, called a gyroscope. Here is the real life gyroscope that the webpage author had stumbled across …

... and here is the one featured in 2001.

So unless this is an incredible co-incidence it would seem that the failure of the AE-35 unit would effectively mean a failure in the discovery ships sense of orientation. The computer display of the AE-35 unit also features a super-imposed rotating rectangle. The word "align" appears in the lower portion of the image data.

Continuing with the disorientation theme, several production stills and posters for 2001 feature images from the film that have been flipped vertically or horizontally.


Another reliable example of confused orientation can be found in the Torus station’s illuminated ceiling tiles. As Floyd converses with his associates he asks “where are you all off, up or down?” and when Bowman arrives in the renaissance room these ceiling tiles now appear as a floor design.

 While on the subject of these two scenes I’d like to point out that Floyd refuses to have a drink and says he’s off to have breakfast. Bowman on the other hand does have breakfast and a drink. He considers the glass and its contents carefully, drinks up and then eats some of his food. The next moment, when he accidentally smashes the glass, has received many interpretations, but one thing we can be sure of is that it represents some sort of change that enables Bowman to take the next step in his evolution. After looking at the glass he sees himself dying on the bed and ready to be reborn, but what is it about the breaking of a glass that is so significant?

Several months ago I received a fascinating email on the subject, which I think makes the shot easier to understand. The email was from a man named Matt Pulver and it read as follows:

    "Sometime in the 1990's they had released the original 70mm film in Hollywood for a short period of time and I and my girlfriend went to go see it. One thing happened in it that I wanted to share with you. At the moment the wine glass shatters near the end of the film, the film itself noticeably skipped, like the physical film reel was damaged. In the theatre I immediately laughed, because knowing Kubrick this was not a mistake. It goes beautifully with the interpretation that there are moments in the film where we are staring at nothing other than the actual monolith itself (the screen.) By having an error occur in the film on 2 levels at once, it's the film trying to step out of itself, a theme which is intimately tied in with the nature and mystery of consciousness, which I speculate that Kubrick was trying to express."

If Matt’s observation about the 70mm print is true then this deliberately placed technical error must have been removed from the edit when the film was transferred to the industry standard 35mm format. So taking into mind the other themes described in this review, my interpretation of the shattered glass is that Bowman, after observing and drinking the wine, has been “chewing” over the films meaning, just as we have. His accidental breaking of the glass and the simultaneous “skipping” of the film reel is a symbol that Bowman has finally broken the film’s visual code. Now he is ready to be reborn and return to the cinema screen universe from which he came. The POV shot moving forward into the monolith pushes the image of the set away on either side like a set of cinema screen curtains.

The glass smashing shot may also be paralleled in the shot of the ape staring inquisitively at the skull before smashing it with a bone. Perhaps this is the ape cracking the film code too.

It’s worth noting that the primates would also have a flat earth mentality. So the enlightenment themes may include awareness of gravity just as it gives Bowman a sense of orientation.


  • Guest
Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2010, 09:32:26 am »

A simple progression of the monolith / cinema screen relationship is that, for the films characters, Kubrick effectively represents God. Because as film maker it is he who created the fictional universe as it is depicted in 2001.

There are a variety of other production aspects implying this. A famous continuity error is that a crew member can be seen reflected in Heywood Floyd’s helmet as he walks around the monolith on the moon. It’s difficult to recognise who this person is, but it has been rumoured to be Stanley.

The close up has been contrast adjusted to emphasize the crew member reflection.

One of the production stills shows Poole sat in the Discovery cockpit with his helmet on, even though in the movie he isn't wearing one while sitting in the cockpit. Again a mysterious crew member is reflected in the side of the helmet. Is this a fluke or a confirmation that the helmet relfection of a crew member in the excavation site was deliberate?

An interesting production still from the excavation scene shows the astronauts stood in a semi-circle. Standing in the middle of them is Kubrick himself, dressed in black with the monolith seen left screen in front of a floodlight. A possible implication here is that the monolith is a representation of Kubrick and that he is appearing to the astronauts as the intellectual creative force of their universe.

A nice little pun on this idea is to think of the brick shaped monolith as a Stanley Ku”brick”. Notice also that the astronauts are wearing white lab coats, which will be explored in a later chapter.

It was also an interesting choice of Kubrick to feature plenty of still shots of the excavation scene considering that the characters are actually conducting a photo shoot within the film.

Another production still offering similar God symbology hints is this one of Stanley in the artificial gravity section of the discovery.

Poole is sat staring at Stanley, who is leaning sideways as if saying “rotate me 90 degrees like you would the monolith” and again he’s dressed in black. The dimensions of the photo are also monolith shaped.

As a further clue of the characters becoming their own Gods let's take a second look at the following production photos.

In the first shot Bowman is looking at the camera as if acknowledging us. Next he is turning as if about to sit down. Then in the third photo he is sat down, but Kubrick is now standing in the position he just walked from. It's as if he has just stepped out of himself and met his own director. The position Bowman was stood in during the first of the three photos is virtually the same position that he walked to in the film before a sudden jump cut to him entering the bathroom.

Something else interesting is that if Bowman does indeed become his own film director then this would also give him control of the film's musical score. Two production photos in particular seem to support this.

The actor Keir Dullea, who plays Bowman, is seen in character at a computer console in one shot and out of character playing a keyboard in the other shot. In both shots he is looking back over his right shoulder and both shots feature the same camera angle. Possibly related to this may be the mixed up and out of tune piano chords of the renaissance room, which are followed by an ensuing silence before Bowman's re-entry into the monolith and sudden repeat of the films opening theme. All this may well be communicating that having travelled outside the cinema frame and then back in, Bowman can now control the film content, including its musical score. He has become the director of the film he is in and therefore is his own God.

The concept of Kubrick, Bowman or the viewer as a higher intellectual force is not necessarily an egotistic one. Stanley was a creative genius and no doubt he knew his own strengths, but with 2001 he seems hell bent on using his vast intellect to inspire us with intelligent design and paradigm shifting concepts. Just as the apes are fascinated by the monoliths geometrical perfection, which is completely alien to them, Stanley has presented us with a movie that is so intricate, original and multi-layered that we can only gasp in awe at the incredible power of his creative ability. He is mocking us. He is calling us intellectual primates. But he is also telling us that, like the apes, all we need to do is tilt our heads 90 degrees to notice the cinema screen connection. He is telling us that the human mind is capable of far more sophisticated output than most of us have ever suspected and he wants us to tap into that potential. The sophistication of 2001: A Space Odyssey proves his point.


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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2010, 09:45:49 am »

The notion of the monolith as a doorway is a concept that has already been written of in many reviews, though I’ll very briefly expand on it here.

The most obvious occurrence of this metaphor is in the council meeting room where Floyd gives his speech. The photographer exits the room through a black smooth surfaced door.

Kubrick was a photographer in his youth and the photographer in this scene looks very much like a youthful Kubrick. Once again there may be an implication of Stanley as the monolith.

For Bowman, the realization of the cinema screen paradigm creates a doorway through which he can symbolically leave his own universe. Reborn in the enclosed renaissance room, which has no doorway, the camera assumes his point of view and moves directly into the upright monolith. In this shot the monolith acts as a doorway straight back to Bowman’s own cinematic universe. Note: his hand stretching from the bed is only a couple of inches away from touching the monolith due to the cinema screen being a two dimensional universe.

A very powerful indicator of the monolith being a cinematic doorway between the film and our own universe is demonstrated in the lunar excavation scene. Remember that this set doubles up as a metaphoric movie theatre. Pay very close attention to the content of the excavation. At one end are three sets of floodlights and what look like a few cameras on tripods. There is also a yellow machine or storage container against the wall, which is emphasized in the following screen shot.

At the other end of the excavation site we have the same set design, but the middle floodlight is missing and there is a red container instead of a yellow one.

Notice also that a single bright spot light appears at the rim of the excavation in the close up shot, but is missing in the wide shot.

Watch carefully as floyd walks in a semi-circle around the monolith. He walks from right to left in the foreground and moves off screen (as shown in the screen shot above). The shot cuts and we see what appears to be a reverse angle of Floyd continuing to circle the monolith, accompanied by a sudden increase of intensity in the musical score, but look at the background.

From the red object behind Floyd, which only exists at one end of the excavation site, we can see that we are still viewing the monolith from the same side. Floyd is the one who has flipped positions, not the camera. His mirror image has emerged from the reverse side of the monolith.

The excavation site is metaphorically divided into a parallel reality so that no matter where you stand it is mirrored along the axis of the monolith. This is why there are two identical ramps and almost every detail is the same on both sides, except the missing floodlight and red / yellow machines or containers. The monolith is a doorway between two parallel universes.


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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2010, 09:56:54 am »

Now we come to an aspect of 2001 that has been written of extensively in relation to the HAL 9000 computer, but has largely been ignored regarding other aspects of the movie – the concept of humans being trapped or enslaved by their own technology.

The sequence of satellites orbiting the Earth gives itself away as a representation of space warfare. The very first one, which we cut to from the flying bone shot, has a bone shaped feature at the top, signifying it as a weapon just like the bone.

The other satellites include a German flag alongside what appears to be a black Maltese cross ...

... a Chinese air force insignia on the satellite in which the shot scrolls up to show the Moon ...

... and another air force type insignia appears on the satellite that is travelling toward a rising sun (possibly French or Bulgarian).

The musical composition of this scene is called The Blue Danube, which was also the name of Britain’s first nuclear weapon. So right away we have technology depicted as a threat to human existence.

It was apparently intended in an early version of the script that the starchild would simultaneously detonate all of these nuclear devices upon returning to Earth thus bringing an end to the space warfare threat. Though this does not happen in the movie its significant that when the starchild returns to Earth there are no satellites or spacecraft to be seen. In fact we can’t even tell what point in human history Bowman has returned to.

Let’s now assess the complex interactions that lead to open warfare between HAL and the astronauts. Our first glimpse of the Discovery spaceship features a sombre piece of music that is totally at odds with the uplifting music featured in the space scenes before this part of the story. Frank Poole runs in circles like a mouse trapped in a technological wheel, trying to box his way out of a life that is completely dependent on technology. His punching gestures are as useless as the masculine posing of the apes who don’t realize they’re about to be clubbed over the head.

Many have interpreted HAL’s behaviour in the story as malfunctional, but there are a number of clues that his so-called “error” in predicting a fault with the AE-35 unit was actually a calculated lie. The first clue has been noted by many chess enthusiasts. The game that Poole has with HAL is a re-enactment of a game from Chernev’s “1000 best short chess games” book. The original match was played in 1910 between Roesch and Schlage in Hamburg. In this re-enactment HAL falsely announces a move of Queen to Bishop 3, which he should have read as Queen to bishop 6. HAL then lies about the impending checkmate and Poole resigns from the game without noticing that he has been deceived.

An important detail of the chess game shot is that Frank is seen mouthing his thoughts about what move to make. So HAL wins not just by lying about the game but also by lip reading in the same way that he does when anticipating Frank and Dave’s intention to seize back control of the ship.

The next significant lie that HAL tells is when talking to Dave Bowman. For starters HAL lures him into a false conversation by asking to see his drawings – as if a computer could genuinely appreciate human artwork. HAL then says he has been troubled by the rumours of something being dug up on the moon and asks for Dave’s opinion on the matter. This is also a false line of conversation because when HAL is later being shut down by Bowman a video recording reveals that HAL knew all along what the truth of the rumours was.

Bowman’s reply to the false question hits the nail on the head. He tells HAL “You’re working up your crew psychology report”. HAL replies “Of course I am. I know it’s a bit silly.” and then comes the crucial turning point. HAL twice repeats the line “Just a moment” and then announces the expected failure of the AE-35 unit. His dialogue repetition is of great importance. Considering the speed and power of HAL’s thought process, for him to become stuck in a loop for just a few seconds suggests that he has just gone through a mammoth series of calculations. So why would Bowman’s comment about the crew psychology report trigger HAL in this way? Quite simply, HAL’s mission orders include an emphasis on controlling the psychology of the crew members. By successfully lying to Poole in the chess game HAL was reaffirming that it had psychological control over him. When Bowman called HAL’s bluff about the mission rumours he accidentally changed the parameters of the mission. HAL suddenly realised that Bowman’s thought process could not be easily predicted or manipulated. And so HAL responded by testing Bowman again by lying about the faulty AE-35 unit. If Bowman had replaced the unit without question and without checking the data then HAL would have been satisfied with his gullibility and would not have turned hostile. However, Bowman calls HALs bluff a second time. Unlike Poole, who neglected to double check HAL’s comments about the chess game, Bowman decides to consult with his colleague and to report the AE-35 fault to mission control. After the faulty unit is replaced he double checks HAL’s claims again by manually giving the recovered unit a complete functionality test. HALs bluff is blown wide open for all to see – the unit is in perfect working order.

The debate between HAL, the astronauts and mission control over the unfounded fault predication further reveals the strategic differences between Poole and Bowman. When mission control claim that HAL is in error Poole gives away his hostility by crossing his arms, where as Bowman plays it cool and quickly devises a plausible excuse to arrange a private chat with his colleague in the pod.

After lip reading their backup plans of shutting him down, HALs next response is to lure the crew members into a trap by asking them to put the “faulty” AE-35 unit back in place so that its apparent impending failure can be analyzed afterward. Obviously this was an excuse to lure one of the astronauts out and kill him. A very subtle hint of HALs premeditated murderous intent is that we see two meteorites spinning through space with the Discovery ship in the backdrop. This foreshadows the shot of Poole and the murderous space pod spinning off into the void.

 It’s possible that HAL was hoping Bowman would conduct the second replacement, which would have made it easy to eliminate the most threatening crew member first. However, Poole carries out the second replacement and is killed.

Now comes an interesting question. What backup plan did HAL have to get rid of Bowman after killing Poole? Perhaps it wasn’t expecting him to fly out in one of the other pods and recover Franks body. By recovering the body Bowman would soon discover the severed pipes in Frank’s breathing apparatus, revealing that he was murdered by HAL. If he hadn’t tried to recover the body then HAL could have offered any concoction of lies needed to keep Bowman quiet and then murdered him in his sleep along with the rest of the crew.

For the most part audiences have assumed that HAL had genuinely made a mistake in predicting the AE-35 fault and that the conflict afterwards was due to HALs desire not to be shut down. However, there is plenty of evidence to support a much more sinister hypothesis … that HAL was actually ordered by mission control to kill the crew.

For starters there are a multitude of references to IBM. The three letters comprising HALs name come just before the letters I, B and M in the alphabet. This was claimed by Arthur C Clarke to be a coincidence, but the other references you’re about to see demonstrate that Kubrick simply did not want to publicly acknowledge the encoded references.

Here are the additional IBM references that I’ve found so far.

The letters IBM are seen just above the computer display in the cockpit of the Pan am ship while it is docking in the torus station.

They are also seen written on the buttons of Bowman’s forearm console on his spacesuit - as he presses one of the buttons his finger is pointing directly at the black button featuring the letters IBM.

 Frank Poole’s comment about HAL “I can’t quite put my finger on it” was possibly a hint of the finger pointing to the IBM button.

HAL also sings the song Daisy Bell as he is being shut down and announces that he was originally instructed by a Mr Langley at a computer plant in Urbana Illinois. In actual computing history the first demonstration of synthesized computer speech was produced in 1962 by an IBM704 computer at the Langley research facility in Urbana Illinois, in which it sung Daisy Bell. I mentioned earlier that ex-nazi Werner Von Braun developed the Torus anti-gravity space station concept for the US. Well this research was also fleshed out at Langley.

These computing corporation references are undeniable. Of course, 2001 was one of the first movies to feature product placement such as Pan Am and IBM logos, but I seriously doubt IBM would have been happy with being compared to the murderous HAL 9000. It’s just not good publicity.

For the most “in your face” evidence that HAL represents IBM, pay close attention as Bowman tries to talk HAL into letting him back on the Discovery. The computer console is displaying the letters across Dave’s face, which appear to read either IBM or MGM (the film's original distributors). Computer and tv screens do not display light in this way. They are designed to disperse light in all directions so as to be viewable from any angle. The fact that the letters are also displayed the right way around instead of backwards proves that the IBM / MGM reference is deliberate. And for tongue in cheek amusement Dave repeatedly asks “Do you read me HAL?”

Later, when Bowman is switching off HALs higher brain functions, the white cells shine upon his face in an identical fashion.

So we have very strong evidence that the HAL 9000 computer is at least partially representing IBM and it would seem that Kubrick had a certain disapproval of this giant corporation. Stanley’s motive may have been related to accusations regarding IBM’s early history. During World War 2 IBM apparently designed and sold basic computing machines to the Nazi regime that were used to process information about prisoners in concentration camps. These machines supposedly calculated who would be used for what kinds of cheap labour and who would be executed. In 2001 HALs systematic extermination of the sleeping crew may have been Kubrick’s statement about this historical tragedy, which IBM was never held accountable for.

The IBM references are Kubrick’s warning that computing corporations could eventually gain control over every aspect of our lives and turn us into disposable cogs in a giant technological wheel. For a powerful metaphor of this compare the shots of the yellow spinning bone thrown by the ape and the shots of Frank Poole spinning through space in his yellow suit. Like the bone, Frank has been used and tossed into the void - a disposable resource.

The name Frank Poole may also be a link to the Pool of water that is fought over by the apes, again symbolizing him as a resource.

The human beings of 2001 are utterly dependent on technology. Even the most basic living functions such as breathing, movement, eating, sleeping or simply going to the toilet have become unnatural and downright awkward. In stark contrast to the apes huddled together in the cave, family relationships are now conducted via satellite links. Frank Poole’s emotionless viewing of his parent’s birthday message demonstrates how this technology emotionally disconnects people. Notice also that Floyd’s daughter asks for a telephone for her birthday even though the family have lots of telephones already. She is expressing her desire for more satisfying communication. Even the woman who Floyd chats to in the Torus station explains that she and her husband hardly see each other and that he is doing some underwater research in the Baltic. This is an interesting piece of dialogue in that the slow movement of a deep sea diver wouldn’t look much different to that of an astronaut in zero gravity. Is Kubrick implying that people on Earth are as dependent on technology as those in space?

The astronauts are also hampered by HALs constant technological surveillance. When they have a private discussion in the space pod where HAL can’t hear them they suddenly adopt a more natural composure. Before this they were acting like robots.

The view from HALs eye is panoramic and as such there are many shots aboard the Discovery that use wide angle lenses – a reminder of HALs ever watchful eye. A distinctly eyeball shaped prop can be seen above the door of the podbay room and on the other side of the window is one of HALs many eyes with a view of the podbay room.

The three primary coloured space suits in the pod bay are an odd contrast to the silver space suits worn by Floyd and his colleagues and the helmets are resting several inches above the torsos. I’m not sure what this is symbolizing, but a possible clue is that when Bowman and Poole step into the centre pod we see two of the space helmets on either side of the screen, superimposed over the first and third of the three pods.

Is this suggesting that by evading HALs surveillance the astronauts are recovering their own head space? The division of the three suits into primary colours may also represent further fragmentation of the human mind. The helmets also have circular blue and white logos on them that are strangely positioned to look like eyes. And the importance of colour in the suits is emphasized after Bowman overcomes the vacuum of space in the airlock. He is wearing a green helmet when he shuts HAL down.

 It is debatable whether a human could withstand the vacuum of space, as Bowman does, even for a few seconds. So taking into account the themes of technological inhibition, Bowman overcoming the vacuum of space could be symbolizing a recovery of forgotten physical abilities. After he overcomes the vacuum we find a drastic change in cinematography. The stiff and rigid camera movements comprising almost the entire film are replaced by loose handheld shots, hinting that Bowman has freed himself from HALs psychological prison. HAL desperately spouts lies and false sincerity to save himself, but Dave is now impervious to such deceptive tactics and he wastes no time in disconnecting HALs higher brain.

Now returning to the concept of HAL as a computing corporation, there are clues that the super-computer also represents the social hierarchy of the human race. Kubrick makes use of colour to communicate this message. HALs interior is an organic red and features clustered rows of cells, with each cluster obviously handling different functional responsibilities. The bright white cluster handles complex decision making and communication. This visual arrangement repeats elsewhere in the film.

For example, the cockpit of the lunar landing craft is also bathed in red light and has white cell clusters above the windows.

More important though is the shot of the lunar hangar. The spherical landing craft is lowered underground into a large docking area that is bathed in red. If you look centre screen you’ll notice rows of white cells embedded in the walls, which are like HALs higher brain cells, and to emphasize their significance the shot ends right when the landing craft aligns with these cells.

The other important aspect of this shot is that assorted rooms are embedded in the walls and in them are people carrying out their various functions as part of an organised hierarchy. The shot from inside the Torus station docking bay presents a similar depiction of social order and, though this shot isn’t bathed in red, we see in an external shot of the Torus that the opposite end of the docking bay is indeed bathed in red.



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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2010, 10:07:10 am »
I came across a very interesting interview with Christopher Knowles  of the Secret Sun
although it is mainly about comic book heros he does talk quite a bit about Sanley Kurbrick and how and why the story of space odyseey came into being.  you can download the podcast here

Offline PEOA

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2010, 10:08:10 am »
Nice work Viper.......

When the garden flowers baby are dead yes
and your mind is full of BREAD
your eyes, I say your eyes may look like his
but in your head baby I'm afraid you don't know where it is

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2010, 10:39:06 am »
The monolith is a doorway between two parallel universes.


The Dome of the Monolith...
"Whatever it is, I am against it."  -Groucho Marx

Channel 37


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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2010, 10:50:25 am »
Here's the rest of Chapter 8 :)

The idea of HALs brain cells being much larger may have been an aesthetic choice in the low angle hand held shot of Bowman opening the hatch to access HALs brain. The ceiling is made of long white lights and Bowman unscrews bolts to gain access.

So the idea of HALs innards representing a large corporate social order or even the social order of the human race is not far fetched. If HAL had received orders to eliminate the crew then perhaps the scene of HALs disconnection is a metaphor for Dave Bowman rooting out and exposing a corrupt leadership. This concept of exposing corruption for all to see might explain why the white cells remain lit and pop out of the wall rather than simply switching off. To emphasize these ideas an important production still shows Kubrick standing over and smiling at the exposed white cells.

The two astronaut’s discussion in the pod about how to defeat HAL could even be Kubrick instructing his audience in how to defeat corrupt corporations who have fostered technological dependency, “Well we’d have to cut his higher brain functions without disturbing the purely automatic and regulatory systems”.

I seriously doubt that it was technology itself that Kubrick disapproved of because the man was a technical pioneer himself. My guess is he was warning us that corrupt organisations could use technology to render entire populations utterly dependent on them for their every physical needed, while keeping them psychologically in the dark and hence controlled. Isn’t this exactly the strangle hold that HAL has over the crew?

 I’m now going to offer a new interpretation of 2001’s ending based upon this theme of man overcoming technological enslavement. We already know the monolith is a cinema screen and I’ve offered further interpretations that Bowman’s stargate journey takes him to the dimension outside his celluloid universe.

My next hypothesis is that the entire “Jupiter and beyond the infinite” section of the film is basically a dream sequence and that Bowman is actually asleep aboard the Discovery ship, which HAL is no longer in control of.

The ethereal shots of Jupiter and its moons have a hazy glow and lack of detail that is very dream-like and which sets them apart from the other space scenes.

The high speed light patterns of the stargate, while partially symbolizing a drain of colours and pigment to reveal an empty cinema screen, also represent Bowman’s newfound ability to process streams of complex information that he previously thought only advanced computers could do. A good indicator to this effect is that the stargate light patterns are not reflected on Bowman’s space helmet, but the computer panels of the pod are reflected.

Color also plays a role in the stargate. At one point the light patterns mimic the clusters of red lines that make up the walls inside HAL's interior.

The pattern is then overwhelmed by bright white lines mimicking the brain cells that Dave unscrewed.

After a brief cut to Bowman's terror stricken face. We cut back to the stargate and an almost totally green section. Remember that Bowman put a green helmet on his red suit after surviving the airlock.

It's also possible that the green headboard pattern, upon which Bowman's aged body dies, was foreshadowed in the stargate.

The wire frame computer displays on the Discovery also seem to reappear in organic forms during the rebirth sequence. Again this implies that Bowman's brain is outperforming the supposedly superior HALs thought process.

Other clues of a dream sequence are that the first monolith came to the apes when they were asleep and the illogical movements of the floating pen aboard the Pan Am ship suggest that Floyd may have been dreaming about a floating monolith as well.

 It’s also worth noting that one of the functions of dreams is for the unconscious mind to assimilate information that the waking mind has gathered, but can’t easily process. In a way this sums up the puzzle aspect of the film. The dazzling stargate bombards us with complex, but mostly irrelevant, patterns that distract us from making the simple observation of a vertical to horizontal shift.

After the initial shots of exploding consciousness we are presented with the small yellow and red explosion, which I’ve already interpreted as a heart beat. This shot could also be a representation of HALs red and yellow eye exploding in a way that is dwarfed by Bowman’s intellectual growth.

When Bowman arrives in the Renaissance room the display screens in the pod flash the words “non function” indicating that Bowman has arrived in a dimension that can’t be comprehended by formal logic. He has entered the symbolic realm of dream logic.

As the scene progresses all traces of technology gradually disappear from Bowman’s existence. The scene starts with wide angle lens shots, similar to HALs vision, but these give way to more standard lens shots indicating that HAL is no longer watching. The pod disappears and is replaced by a dining table. Bowman's space suit and muffled breathing disappear and are replaced by real clothes and real breathing. For this first time in the film we are seeing furniture made from natural materials. In the mirror of the bathroom we can see a real toilet instead of an anti gravity one. The mirror itself is a drastic contrast to the digital television displays featured earlier in the story, in which Poole and Bowman were watching pre-recorded transmissions of themselves.

In an aesthetically similar scene Floyd’s voice patterns were read by a computer, but in the bathroom mirror scene Bowman has self-recognition and the echoed voices we hear are indecipherable.

 This is also the first scene in the film that a character eats real food instead of processed mush. He also drinks real wine as opposed to synthetic juices. We also have real gravity instead of Torus wheels or grip shoes (notice how Dave treads carefully across the bright tiled floor as if expecting to float upward) and there are candles on the walls instead of electrical lights, though it’s strange that Kubrick chose not to have the candles lit. The candles could also be symbolic of a happy re-birthday celebration for Bowman. He also ages rapidly, which is the opposite of both hyper sleep and the slow-motion pace of life aboard the Discovery.

On the discovery ship astronauts were unable to dream while in hypersleep, but here Bowman can sleep and dream naturally in a real bed. As an additional supporting point, dream logic was also a prominent feature in Kubrick’s last film Eyes Wide Shut.

The strange mixed up logic of the entire ending of 2001 fits perfectly with the idea that Bowman is mentally evolving in his sleep aboard the Discovery, which he has seized back from HAL’s clutches.

The renaissance paintings and ornaments probably carry several meanings such as a recovered appreciation of natural beauty or artistic expression. They may be scenes of courtship, indicating a recovered sense of love or intimate contact with other humans.

Another possible parallel with Eyes Wide Shut’s symbolism may be that the paintings represent symbolic mirrors or windows – notice that they are etched into alcoves in the walls rather than simply being framed.

Combined with the presence of real gravity, the paintings seem to indicate that Bowman is back on Earth. Notice that as he walks toward us in his robe he is framed by the content of one of these paintings. At this point he also looks quite at home in his surroundings and has distanced himself so far from technology that he can barely remember his former self.

The bathroom is also bathed in the same hue of blue light as the skies in the paintings. Bowman’s former self may also be depicted in the painting behind him. It’s difficult to see closely but a red caped character seems to be hanging from a tree.

This could symbolize the discarding of the space suit, though I suspect it is part of an overall reference in the paintings to some historical events that are relevant to the story. If anybody out there with a good knowledge of renaissance art can decipher these pictures then I’d much appreciate your comments.

The concept of Bowman’s figure being embedded in the paintings is pronounced in the ornaments that mimick the characters in the paintings and in the statues opposite the bed. The two statues are holding wine glasses above their heads and are standing in alcoves against an Earthy brown background, possibly toasting Bowman’s rebirth. This could also be signifying that bowman’s smashing of a glass is a toast to his recovered natural state of being.

The natural greens and browns of the paintings are also featured in the furniture of the room as if exaggerating the presence of natural materials. Bowman is reborn as an illuminated baby on a brown bed with a green headboard. This is a baby born free of technological constraints. And what did Floyd’s daughter request for her birthday … a bush baby! This so-called “star child” is not born of the heavens. It is born in its natural habitat with the benefits of true enlightenment.

 This theme of man escaping technological enslavement and returning to his natural state is the only interpretation I’ve found that satisfactorily explains the assorted details of 2001’s ending. Such anti-technological control themes have become popular in more recent sci-fi classics like Bladerunner and The Matrix. Although The Matrix is a very original take on the idea of technological enslavement, 2001 came a full 30 years earlier and shows us just how far ahead of his time Kubrick was. And even in the age of computer graphics 2001 is visually sublime.

Along similar lines, another interpretation of the Discovery ship is that if viewed at a 90 degree angle it makes a convincing symbol of technology as a ball and chain - forever pulling man down. Remember also that there is no sense of orientation in space.


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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2010, 11:00:09 am »

If you’ve managed to read this far into this review then you will probably be wondering why Kubrick made such an intense effort to encode hidden narratives in 2001. Even if you disagree with many of my observations, at the very least you will recognise that some of the things I’ve brought to your attention, such as the monolith being a cinema screen or the IBM references, are definite examples of hidden narratives.

So setting aside disagreements over smaller details, an over all question emerges as to why Kubrick would make such painstaking efforts to encode hidden narratives. You may also be wondering why he didn’t make these messages easier to decode or why he even bothered with the deceptive “alien intelligence” narrative in the first place.

A good starting point in answering these questions is to look at the films production background. According to Wikipedia's page on 2001, an early cut of the film was shown to MGM studio executives and featured a ten minute black and white opening. This sequence featured interviews with scientists about the possibility of extra-terrestrial life, but after the screening Kubrick had the interview sequence removed from the film. Being that Kubrick already knew he’d designed the monolith as a symbolic cinema screen, it’s likely that he included the misleading interview sequence to trick MGM executives into securing a large distribution deal.

Aside from the distribution, 2001 had a budget of ten and a half million dollars, which was a massive sum in 1968 and made it one of the most expensive film productions ever. For such a slow-paced and experimental film to acquire this kind of budget is very unusual so 2001 may have acquired its funding as a projected propaganda film to support the multi-billion dollar space race. The US was already planning on putting men on the moon the following year and, as with any project that requires massive injections of tax payer’s money, intelligent and convincing propaganda would be needed to win public support. You may think I’m jumping to conclusions here, but the following tagline, included in 2001’s marketing campaign by MGM, is a strong indication that the film was marketed according to its space race propaganda strengths:

    "Everything in 2001: A Space Odyssey can happen within the next three decades, and....most of the picture will happen by the beginning of the next millennium."

The odd thing about this is that there are no direct references to alien life forms at all in 2001. At no point do we hear the words “alien” or “extra-terrestrial”. However there is plenty of character dialogue relating to “strange rumours”, a “cover story” and an “epidemic”. The popular interpretation that the monolith represents an extra-terrestrial intelligence helping humans evolve to the stars is itself a “cover story” that has long delayed our discovery of the films hidden meanings. If Kubrick had made these hidden narratives more obvious then the film may not have received its required funding or distribution deals. At the same time, if Kubrick had announced the hidden meanings after 2001’s release then he may have upset his funding sources, which could have harmed his future film projects.

So it seems that Kubrick confided in almost nobody about the hidden narratives of 2001 and he remained publicly silent on the issue for the rest of his career. The book of 2001, written by Arthur C. Clarke in collaboration with Kubrick, features many significant differences to the film version and lacks the visual encoding described in this review. So even Clark seems to be unaware of the hidden narratives and, on that basis, the book is an unreliable source for unravelling the hidden narratives of the movie.


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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2010, 11:06:31 am »

 In relation to what HAL actually is I’ve already offered a few indicators such as the blatant IBM references and other visual clues suggesting that HALs internal structure represents a human social hierarchy. But there are yet more clues that HAL is no mere machine.

As already suggested in this review there is the exploding red and yellow shot in the stargate, which featured a faint pulsing light. This was very likely a metaphor for a living human heart and may have also represented HAL’s red and yellow eye as an organic explosion. The final shot of the rebirth sequence shows a single star appearing within a dark spherical area, surrounded by a faint smog. This could be HAL’s eye replaced by Bowman’s enlightened eye.

In their tv interview the two crew members talk of HAL as being like a sixth crew member and the surface narrative features several suggestions that HAL may actually have real emotions such as pride or frustration. His fear of being shut down is another clue, as is his illogical decision to answer Dave’s radio contact after locking him out of the Discovery. When Dave asks him “what’s the problem” about not opening the pod bay doors HAL replies “I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do”. This refusal to verbally acknowledge the obvious is definitely a trait of organic thinking. These artificial emotion concepts may be indicators that HALs decisions are those of a real human being instead of an artificial life form. Some shots even show HALs eye superimposed over crew members.

When HAL is being shut down he repeats a line of dialogue that no computer should ever logically speak … “I can feel it". This not only supports the idea that HAL represents a real person, but it may even be a link to the physical act of touching the monolith.

Heywood Floyd touches the monolith in the excavation site, but just before he does this we find a curious reference to HAL. After descending from the ramp Floyd begins to circle the monolith and as he does so a single bright light shines down from the rim of the excavation wall in the back ground. As the shot strafes left this single light, with a circular lens flare, moves directly behind the monolith.

Now if you look at the other shots in this scene you will find that this single light is missing from the set. This is a visual association to HALs rectangular framed eye, which in the main computer display of the Discovery is surrounded by a grey haze as if lit from behind.

HALs interior is also shaped like the interior of a monolith and a sign on the entrance to his brain features the words “logic memory center” positioned inside a horizontal white monolith.

 If HAL does represent a person then that person is most likely Heywood Floyd. Did you ever notice that HALs calm and polite mannerisms are eerily similar to the way Floyd conducts himself? Well, there are more parallels.

HAL and Frank Poole are seen playing chess aboard the Discovery. HAL lies to him about the game and later debates with Bowman about the rumours of something being dug up on the moon. On the Torus station the simian-looking man who quizzes Floyd is named Smyslov, which was (and still is) the name of a famous Russian world chess champion. Floyd lies to him about the rumours of something being found on the moon. This conversation appears to mimic the interractions between HAL and the crew aboard the Discovery, with Floyd standing in as the personification of HAL.

Aboard the Pan Am ship Floyd sits in front of a tv screen that shows a futuristic vehicle then two people talking to each other side on. This could be a reference to HALs surveillance and lip reading of Poole and Bowman’s conversation inside the space pod.

In the council meeting room Floyd’s colleague is named Dr (Hal)vorsen and Dr Floyd delivers a greeting from a curiously named Dr Howell (HAL?). Floyd, sitting down, also has his head framed by the white monolith shaped presentation stand and In another scene he wishes his daughter happy birthday just as HAL wishes Frank happy birthday. When HALs higher brain functions are shut down the computer responds by displaying a video of Floyd … and last but not least the cutting of HALs higher brain functions is paralleled by the headaches experienced by Floyd and his colleagues in the excavation crater, brought on by the rectangular alignment of the flood light and lens flare … which as we know is not a radio emission.

So if HAL is personified by Floyd and his two closest colleagues in the first half of the story then what exactly is Kubrick trying to communicate? Once again we are presented with a concept that implies a drastically different story to the surface narrative.


  • Guest
Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2010, 06:05:38 am »

The topic in this chapter is the presence of elitist philosophy references in 2001, but before continuing, I first need to clarify a few things both for believers and non-believers of what are widely referred to as “conspiracy theories”.

The most important thing to be aware of regarding this subject is what I call the “polarization effect”. Many issues in modern society are difficult to discuss rationally in the public domain because they have been divided into camps of extreme agreement and extreme disagreement with no room for middle ground opinions. Each side will have elements of truth in their argument, but will stubbornly deny that a single shred of truth exists at the opposite end of the debate. Instead they will resort to convenient name calling in attempt to discredit their opposition.

Some examples of issues that often become polarized are:

    * left and right politics
    * sex crime
    * race relations
    * animal rights
    * environmentalism
    * and of course … conspiracy theories

Now I’m well aware that conspiracy ideas are sometimes poorly researched and sometimes promoted by people who have emotional problems or alternative agendas. At the same time anybody who thinks large scale conspiracies simply don’t happen at all is in a state of either plain ignorance or denial and hence are equally dysfunctional. History has been full of widely acknowledged conspiracies and the word "conspiracy" is basically a much more exotic word for plain old "corruption".

Extensive hammering of the catch phrase "conspiracy theory" in the media has misled many people into believing that conspiracies always lack evidence. However, criminal law itself ackowledges that this is not the case. In a court of law you can be charged with "conspiracy to commit murder" or "conspiracy to defraud" amongst other things, and when people are found guilty and sentenced for such crimes it is because a judge or jury has found there to be "proof" that "conspiracy" has occurred.

So in the same way that detectives, scientists, judges and juries allow themselves to explore a variety of abstract lines of investigation, it’s ok for you to explore conspiracy theories … because sometimes real corruption can be uncovered in the middle ground.

In the context of this review such areas of study will give you greater insight into one of the most talented film makers of all time.

"The great nations have always acted like gangsters and the small ones like prostitutes." - Stanley Kubrick

As already demonstrated in my reviews of A Clockwork Orange, Eyes Wide Shut and The Shining, Stanley Kubrick undoubtedly had a conspiratorial view of society and he carefully expressed these views in his films. And we’ve already explored similar territory in this review with regards to the technological enslavement of man by corrupt computing corporations and in the idea that HAL may be representing or taking orders from human sources.

There are many conspiracy orientated reviews of 2001 that claim the film is embedded with secretive religious symbols. Personally I haven’t found any of these reviews convincing, but as I said earlier sometimes the truth is in the middle ground.

My main disagreement with the idea of 2001 being a promotion of ancient elitist and secret philosophies is that it is not consistent with Kubrick’s other work. His hidden narratives are often viciously critical of corrupt establishments and elitist ideologies.

The most commonly perceived of these symbols in 2001 are the egyptian pyramid and sun worship symbols. For those of you not familiar with these symbols, the eye in a triangular capstone at the top of a pyramid represents the all seeing and light bringing eye of God. It is also said to represent the illuminated ones who have been initiated at the highest levels. The large base section of the pyramid represents the hierarchical structure of society or the masses who have not reached enlightenment.

This may sound like an airy fairy mystical religion, but it’s basically the same philosophical ideology that most elitist organisations have fostered for themselves across history – the belief that they as a group are intellectually or spiritually superior to the common man and therefore have both the divine right and the responsibility to be our rulers.

Ok, so where does this stuff make its appearance in 2001? Well, the most blatant example that I’ve found is the space pods, which are basically large eyeballs. The slight elongation of the corneal window and additional design features make this metaphor difficult to notice unless it's pointed out.

There are many clues that not only the pod is an eyeball, but that it has the blazing illumination of the eye of God. Its bright head lights shine directly at the camera in several shots.

One of the production stills shows the pod with its lights giving off lens refractions in all directions, similar to the stargate explosion.

When it attacks Poole the pods arms stretch out toward us like the sunrays seen in esoteric religious art.

The pod is shown twice racing toward the camera in a way that mimics the explosion of enlightenment in the star gate. It also has “explosive bolt” warnings both on its interior and exterior, and the pod bay doors open and close like eyelids.

An in-genius piece of visual encoding is the four equally positioned circular indentations on the top of the pods. From certain angles the shadows play tricks so that they look exactly like moving eyeballs. The pod rotating before it kills Poole is the most clear shot of this. To bring these indentations to our attention Kubrick has turned one of the rear indentations inside out so that it protrudes – letting us know that the eyeball light trick is not an accident.

The colour filtered eye in the stargate also represents the pod and to emphasize this one of the more bizarre marketing posters shows the star child inside the cornea of a giant multicoloured eye. This is the enlightened and reborn Dave Bowman inside the space pod.

Some other eye or sun references include the circular blue and white logos on either side of the astronauts helmets (based upon the NASA insignia) ...

... and this production photo of a yellow suited astronaut stood inside the airlock staring at us. The bright bar patterns on the walls are emanating from him like sunrays. He is an enlightened being.

The following poster features colour alterations communicating the same theme with the octagonal door representing an elongated cornea.

An obscure observation that could just be accidental – it’s difficult to tell with Kubrick – is that in the first shot of Jupiter a small blue moon is seen on the left. It has a dark pattern that looks very remotely like an eye. Whether this is part of 2001’s symbolism I’m unsure, but according to the brief research I’ve done, none of Jupiter’s moons match up with this image.

Many cultures have traditionally symbolized the sun as a dot within the centre of a circle. This is very similar not just to the eye of HAL, but also to the famous Tycho moon crater. It is only spoken of in the film, but a quick online image search shows Tycho as a circular crater with a small mountain in its exact centre, which may or may not have been deliberate on Kubrick's part.

A frequently sited pyramid image in 2001 is the shot of the erect monolith pointed at the moon, which is shown as the apes huddle at the monolith base.

It’s easy to make the assumption that this pyramid structure is a low angle view of the monolith, but what is often not acknowledged is that if the film is a promotion of elitist symbolism then the sun should be blazing at the apex position? Instead we see a crescent moon at the apex with the sun emerging from the base. If anything, this is an anti-elitist message, showing the apex as a sleeping eye with enlightenment occurring below the ranks. Notice also that when the apes are admiring the monolith the sun hasn’t even risen yet.

So how does the sun suddenly appear high enough in the sky to be almost directly above the monolith? My interpretation is that it didn’t. The black pyramid base that we see is not actually the monolith. It is a pyramid on the horizon of the landscape, hence the sun is rising after the apes are seen touching the monolith. The aptly named “Dawn of Man” is the enlightenment of the apes and their eventual emergence out of the controlled pyramid hierarchy.

As a hint of this, the rising sun is seen in the opening shots emerging from mountains on the horizon. Four shots takes us from dawn to mid day. Notice that the same lanscsape view is featured in the first and second shot and then a second landscape is shown for shots three and four.

Given Kubricks career-long belief that corrupt and secretive alliances control world affairs (a view shared in many conspiracy theories) these anti-elitist symbols seem to be expressing his desire for the masses to free themselves from corrupt rule.

So the “Dawn of Man” represents rebellion from lower down the hierarchy. The apes territory and resources have been taken from them by an intruding clan and when it dawns upon them what the monolith actually is they suddenly gain enlightenment. This leap of intelligence enables them to take back their territory. Notice that before the fight they are seen outside their cave with the sun peaking over a hill on the horizon again. They are planning and preparing their attack. They are the enlightened base of the pyramid and like the morning sun are about to rise and enlighten the landscape.

With their new found weapons they only need to kill one ape to secure victory. The smashing of the enemy leader’s skull with a bone is a direct parallel to Dave Bowman knocking out HALs higher brain functions with a screw driver. A symbol of these mutual weapons is shown on the exterior of the airlock door on the discovery (shown through the pod window). It features an engraved outline of what looks like a synthesis between a bone and a screwdriver.

The arms of the pod are then seen unscrewing the handles of the airlock like the unscrewing of HALs memory cells. A caption written beneath the handles says “manual operation only”, which also hints at the act of physically picking up a bone or screwdriver.

 So essentially, the whole dawn of man sequence is a short and simplified version of the films later events. The rest of the film replays the ape story as a battle between technologically enslaved people and their corrupt controllers who are personified in the dual characters of HAL, Floyd and the Council.

The “epidemic at the base” is essentially a mass recognition of the monoliths meaning by those lower down the social power structure. The pilots in the moon bus gain their understanding of the monolith from their computer screens and this occurs while Floyd and his colleagues are in the back of the vehicle puzzling over diagrams and photos.

The same thing happens as Floyd sleeps during his space voyages. When he is asleep on the Pan Am ship with a widescreen tv in front of him, a black pen floats into shot in the upper right at a horizontal angle. It floats over the tv screen, gradually rotating into a vertical position.

White reflections pass over its surface, like with the monolith near Jupiter. And a deliberate continuity error is that the pen is moving in an arc instead of maintaining a straight path. As it’s about to match up horizontally with the black door in the background of the shot we cut to a wide reverse angle. Now the pen has stopped moving all together and has even stopped spinning. We next cut to a close up of the pen and suddenly it’s spinning again. It seems to have a life of its own.

The hostess approaches and grabs the pen just as it spins back into a horizontal position then places it vertically in Floyds pocket and turns off the tv. Perhaps she recognises the monolith / screen connection.

The content of the tv screen that Floyd was watching before he fell asleep is interesting. It shows a futuristic vehicle of some sort then a profile view of two characters talking. This is probably a re-inforcement of Floyd and HAL symbolically representing each other. HAL also watches a profile view of people talking (the lip reading of Poole and Bowman in the pod). So the hostess switching off the tv could be a representation of cutting HALs surveillance capabilities.

During Floyds trip to clavius another hostess is seen collecting dinner trays, which are shaped like horizontally positioned monoliths. Her awareness of the monolith meaning is communicated in two production stills. She is seen staring at the white monolith on the wall and she is seen staring at the camera acknowledging the other side of the cinema screen.

She walks in a rotating circle on her way to the cockpit and the music suddenly intensifies as she faces a set of illuminated white strips in the floor, which again represent the cells of HALs brain.

Another production photo emphasizes these cells by showing a set of them in the foreground. Like the cells of HALs brain they are in rows of two.

When she enters the cockpit she hands out the rectangular dinner trays to the pilots.

In the passenger area we find that Floyd is asleep once again. The hostess passes a tray to her colleague and the two of them smile and whisper to each other as they look over at Floyd.

The handing out of rectangular trays here obviously represents the enlightened hostess informing her co-workers of the monoliths true meaning. This is the “epidemic” in action. Notice also that the hostess, who is about to eat, is sat before a widescreen window watching three men practice Karate. Is this a preparation for conflict?

One of the pilots then comes up to the passenger area with a grin on his face and chats to Floyd. The dinner tray begins floating away like a wandering monolith and the pilot points it out for Floyd to grab hold of again. Strangely, the pilot appears to be played by the same actor who plays the photographer in the council meeting. Only the pilot has an official credit in the production even though the photographer is the one speaking a line of dialogue.

Just like the apes, who had their epidemic at the base of a monolith, the humans are now spreading their enlightenment. They are preparing to take back the Earth from those who have monopolised it. This is serious revolutionary messaging by Kubrick.



  • Guest
Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2010, 07:23:06 am »
The rest of Chapter 11

This hidden narrative of humans achieving enlightenment and then freeing themselves from corrupt leaderships explains many other features of 2001 that would otherwise seem obscure.

For example, let’s examine the lunar excavation scene again. Remember the handheld shot of a single circular flood light passing behind the monolith? This shot cuts and we see what appears to be a reverse angle of Floyd continuing to circle the monolith. But, as we identified earlier in this review, Floyd is the one who has flipped positions, not the camera. His mirror image has emerged from the reverse side of the monolith, indicating that the excavation site is divided into a parallel reality.

A very curious aspect of this scene is that there are six astronauts who descend down the ramp, but including the pilots there were only five in the moon bus. So where does the extra astronaut come in? The parallel or reflected reality of the excavation offers an explanation. It is Floyd, Halvorsen and “Bill” who descend down the ramp. The three unidentified additional astronauts are their reflections in the dual reality of the excavation. Floyd and his two side-kicks are not aware of their own reflections because they have not yet realised that the monolith is a cinema screen upon which they are being projected for all to see. This may be why the handheld shot descending the ramp only shows three of the astronauts.

Kubrick is mocking the members of the council. Even the apes managed to figure out what the monolith is, but Floyd and his colleagues remain baffled until the moment of the group photo when the floodlight aligns with its own lens flare.

The mockery goes even further. Floyd struggles to make sense of anti-gravity toilet instructions that are written in a monolith rectangle, but when Bowman looks into the bathroom mirror, not only is he acknowledging his own reflection; he can also see a simple and easy to use toilet. The awkward toilet instructions are probably also emphasizing how irrelevant the surface narrative of the film is.

So in the excavation pit why do the astronauts panic at the realization that the monolith is a cinema screen? After all, the apes seemed to be comforted by it? The answer is very straight forward. Floyd and his colleagues represent the so-called “illuminated ones” at the top of the corruption hierarchy – the people who Kubrick and many “conspiracy theorists” believe are the mortal enemies of humanity.

This could also explain why the astronauts are cryptically dressed in white coats in one of the production stills of the excavation site.

In the council room Floyd even announced a need for secrecy through “formal oaths” - another aspect of secretive organisation membership. There are 12 members of the council and in the excavation the floodlights appear in groups of 12.

The astronauts on the Discovery also watch their own propaganda broadcasts on a tv channel called BBC 12.

Though I'm not a big believer in numerical themes in films (anyone with reasonable math skill can find multiple instances of any two digit number in any movie if they wish to), I have to admit that the number 12 seems to be a deliberately recurrent theme in Kubrick films, though I'm unsure excatly why.

By symbolically capturing the council leaders on screen in the excavation, Kubrick was metaphorically trying to expose what he believed to be corrupt behind-the-scenes leaders in the real world. I believe this was his attempt to enlighten us. And so again, in the excavation scene we see the sun rising from a pyramid base with a crescent representing a sleeping eye at the apex - a blind leadership who, like Floyd, are sleeping as the masses attain enlightenment.

And, like the Dawn of Man sequence, the excavation scene starts with the sun just below the horizon.

So once again the pyramid is not a low angled shot of the monolith. It is a social hierarchy pyramid on the actual landscape. Another clue is that the crescent at the apex can’t be the Earth because Earth is shown near the lunar horizon in the first shot of the scene. Not only is it near the horizon instead of up above the monolith, but it is almost fully lit by the sun – a total mismatch of lighting between the two shots. Incidentally, the astronaut’s headaches, which are brought on by the cinema screen revelation, also parallel the cutting of HALs higher brain functions and the bone smashing of the ape leaders head.

The star child of the story is often depicted as a sun rise and vice versa. For example, the sun emerging from a pyramid base to illuminate an entire sky essentially represents newly enlightened beings rising out of the social control structure to bring genuine enlightenment to the human race. This is the real cause of headache and panic for Floyd and his friends. They know that their control of the masses has come to an end. A really sneaky hint of this is shown in a production photo of Floyds American Express card that was not shown in close up in the film. Its expiry date is January 2002.

The capstones of pyramid hierarchies also make a few obvious appearances. The easiest ones to spot are the orange pyramid and capstone logos found on the antenna of the Discovery. They are small and hence only visible as Bowman replaces the AE-35 unit.

Bowman actually places the spare unit, which co-incidentally is a black rectangular box, directly on top of one of these logos – a hint that HAL represents capstone leadership.

The same pyramid and capstone is also shown on the front of the German satellite orbiting Earth.

A very cryptic and downright sneaky presentation of pyramid symbolism is found in the shot of seven octahedrons, which are seen floating in space with some sort of red landscape floating past in the lower section of the screen. These floating shapes have been almost universally passed off by reviewers as representing advanced alien life forms, but this simplistic interpretation does not explain why we see a red landscape in the bottom of the image or why the octahedrons are positioned the way they are.

Once again we must look at the details of the shot for clues. One interesting detail is that the triangular surfaces of these geometric shapes are sucking light inwards. Unlike the stargate this light is not multi-coloured. Another, almost universally overlooked detail, is that at the very beginning of the shot a bright white object floats past in the lower right of the screen. It appears to be a lower case letter “i”.

Confused? Well for more clues note that the shot cuts to a close up of a human eye and then cuts to a flat and unconvincing Earth-type landscape. The blue sky section of the landscape features uninteresting patterns of grey and white clouds, but look carefully at the end of the shot. The white lower case letter “i” rolls by again. This time it is in the top half of the screen – a direct mirror image – and in its upside down position it appears as an exclamation mark !!!

During my research for this review I stumbled across a website where someone had created a piece of software that could unravel the slitscan light patterns of the stargate. Here are the flattened out portions of stargate patterns as shown on the original site.

Luckily the researcher had applied the same process to the lower sections of the octahedron shot and the blue sky section of the landscape. Here are the results.

Notice that the illuminated letter “i” is a very prominent and deliberate feature. It is also apparent from the overlapping letter “i” sections, that the two shots are basically colour altered versions of the same slitscan pattern. This reinforces the notion of horizontal mirroring. The stargate also features at least one repetition point in its coloured light patterns.

Another possible re-inforcement of the illuminated letter “i” can be seen in the docking bay of the Torus station.

 So putting these clues together, how else can we interpret the octahedron shot? Well first of all the bright white letter “i” is probably another illuminated “eye” symbol. It’s presence in the sky section of the landscape may also represent the rising sun or emerging starchild.

As for the octahedrons, a brief bit of reading on geometry reveals that this shape is actually created by two mirror image pyramids joined at the base. So the concept of horizontal mirroring reveals that these shapes are actually the capstones of esoteric pyramid symbolism. The fact that they are sucking light in is most likely Kubrick’s statement that secretive religious orders do not bring enlightenment as they claim to. They actually suck enlightenment away and leave the Earth in spiritual darkness. Their absence in the second shot allows the sky to be truly illuminated by the sun. So what we are probably seeing here is two depictions of the same landscape – one in darkness and one enlightened.

Likewise the two shots of the sun emerging from a pyramid base with a crescent eye at the apex are most likely depicting night and day in the same landscape shot.

As for the visual arrangement of the seven octahedrons we need look no further than the lunar excavation scene. The six astronauts stand in a very similar arrangement before they walk down the ramp.

They then repeat this arrangement for the photo shoot with five of them in shot and one holding the camera. At this point they are seen flanked by huge flood lights on either side, which accounts for the two closer (or larger) octahedrons that float in off screen.

As it turns out the revelation of a mirrored reality is a curse for Floyd and his buddies, but for Bowman it is a new lease of life.

One last observation supporting these ideas is the visual comparisons between the Leopard from the Dawn of Man sequence and the photographer in the coucil meeting. The photographer's suit and shirt and tie feature a leopard hide like pattern. As he takes photos of Floyd we see that cuff links on both his arms give off bright reflections that parallel the leopard's shining eyes.

Being that this photographer is likely about to expose Floyd and his colleagues in their mischievious dealings, his stance as he leans toward the three men can be interpreted as that of a leopard about to pounce upon it's prey. Like a predator preparing for the kill, he has been eyeing up his enemy from several angles around the room.

Regarding the ape that is attacked by a leopard, this ape is a member of the clan that invade and steal territory and drinking water from a rival clan. this is not the group of apes who discover the monolith's meaning. For evidence to this effect, the clan that are driven away from the pool of water are seen wandering this same location before taking back their territory. The ape who discovers how to use a bone as a killing weapon is referred to in the book as Moonwatcher (another moon landing reference perhaps) and in the book he also kills the leopard. Though we don't see this happen in the film, it is hinted at because the ape begins smashing up a skeleton with a bone in the same location where the previous ape was attacked by the leopard.

Just like with Dr Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut, the hidden narratives of 2001 reveal Kubrick’s distain and distrust for secrecy associated with authority. Whether you believe in conspiracy theories or not, they were a central pillar of Stanley’s artistic output and were undoubtedly the main reason for his public silence on the meaning of his films.

Additional note:

It took a while to uncover this one, but thanks to the keen observations of an email correspondent, here it is. At many points in 2001 Kubrick gives us hints that we should be viewing his cinematic creation as a flat universe. The best example I can offer is this view of Bowman reaching out to touch the monolith. Being that the monolith is the cinema screen, it is neither far nor distant. Bowman's hand can touch it because it is just inches from him.

Another example of this flattened out screen paradigm is the monolith's low angle appearance as a pyramid.

And continuing with the flattened universe concept, let's look at the council meeting again. When Floyd says: "This is the view of the council", the camera angle changes so that we see the rooms tables in a pyramid formation with Floyd at the apex.

Remember that the end of the stargate began to whiten out and reveal a blank cinema screen, thus making a visual connection to the blank screen behind floyd. Being that the stargate then cut away to a shot of an eye and then the explosion of consciousness, what happens if we project those images on the screen behind Floyd?

What we now see is Kubrick's uncompromising message that Dr Floyd does indeed represent the illuminated eye, as seen in freemasonic art, with the council table the pyramid base.


  • Guest
Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2010, 07:45:30 am »


  • Guest
Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2010, 10:33:28 am »

I’d now like to bring your attention to several details that reveal the “alien intelligence” theme of 2001 to be a deliberately fabricated “cover story”.

Let’s start with the council meeting scene and pay some attention to the three figures sat with their backs to us. Floyd is in the middle chatting to his colleague Bill, who is on the right. Floyd uses his finger to roughly draw an invisible monolith in mid-air. Bill responds by swiftly arcing his extended hand 90 degrees, perhaps encouraging us to mentally rotate the monolith.

Notice also that at the far end of the room we see not only a large white cinema screen, but a roughly three foot tall white monolith, which the speaker stands behind. And from where Floyd is sat his head is framed by this small white monolith.

During his extremely vague speech Floyd makes a very important comment “… congratulations on your discovery”. His two colleagues, who still have their backs to us, immediately respond by glancing at each other.

This all seems to suggest that Floyd and his colleagues already know what the monolith is, though it could just be Kubrick offering more visually encoded clues for our benefit.

The “congratulations” could also be addressing we the audience for having cracked the monolith / screen connection and thus having arrived outside the false narrative. Remember also that the Jupiter mission took place aboard a ship called the Discovery. So the term “congratulations on your discovery” may be another indicator that during the surreal ending of the film Bowman was actually asleep and dreaming aboard the ship that he had seized back from HAL.

In the council meeting we don’t actually get to see the briefing that Floyd was about to give - only his introduction, but a clue can be found in the footage that HAL plays as he is being shut down. Floyd is seen sitting at a desk with an image of an unidentified planet or moon projected onto a screen behind him – the words National Council of Astronautics are written across the bottom of the screen. This desk looks very similar to the one he was sitting at in the council meeting and so the recording of his message was probably part of the briefing session.

If this is true then we have found a timeline error in the “alien intelligence” narrative. If the monolith sent it’s “radio emission” to Jupiter during the excavation scene … then how could the Jupiter mission instruction video have been recorded in the council briefing, which took place in advance?

Also, what exactly is the purpose of the Jupiter mission? Even if we ignore all the interpretation in this review and just follow the standard “alien intelligence” version of the story, the Jupiter mission intent is still very vague. Why the secrecy and compartmentalization? Just what exactly are the crew supposed to do when they reach Jupiter and its many moons? If there is a monolith there then how will they know where to find it? As HAL puts it “there are some extremely odd things about this mission”. HAL also talks about the “strange stories floating around before we left”, which could double up as an aesthetic hint about the floating monolith and its alignment with the cinema screen.

The scene where Bowman and Poole watch themselves broadcast in a television interview has a scripted feel to it. The true purpose of the mission is not told and so the whole broadcast smacks of propaganda. As they watch this footage the astronauts are eating processed fake food. Like Alex at the end of A Clockwork Orange, they are literally being fed a pack of lies, but here they are eating their own lies.

The metaphor of fake food as an indicator of lying is also featured on the moon bus. Floyd eats a fake chicken sandwich while discussing the monolith, and Halvorsen, who is eating a fake ham sandwich, tells Floyd that his speech “beefed up morale”. A strange detail of this scene is the lighting, which has an ethereal glow. The music played during the exterior shots of this moon bus is called Lux Aeterna, which translates as “Eternal Light”. This all ties in with the concept of Floyd and his friends as the self-proclaimed “enlightened ones” as described in the previous chapter of this review. Watch the light carefully in the moon busscene. When Floyd bites into his synthetic chicken sandwich, the luminous light source suddenly dims.

Is this an unintended detail? Possibly not. It links in perfectly with the concept of Floyd and his colleagues as the falsely illuminated ones.

Notice also the blasé humour with which the three men discuss the excavated “finding”.

    Floyd, “I’d just like to say I think you guys have done a wonderful job. I appreciate the way you’ve handled this thing.”

    Halvorsen, “Well, the way we see it, i t’s out job to do this thing the way you want it done and we’re only too happy to oblige.”

    ... Floyd, “I don’t suppose you know what the damn thing is?”

    Halvorsen, “Well, all we know is it was buried four million years ago.”

    Floyd, “Well, you guys have really come up with something.”

This is all said within ear shot of the pilots, which totally contradicts Floyd’s lecture to the council about the “need for absolute secrecy”. He also flatly refused to talk about the monolith when questioned by Smyslov when he could have eased Smyslov’s concerns by offering an alternate explanation of some kind.

Remember also that Floyd spoke in the council room about “the grave potential for social shock and cultural disorientation contained in this present situation … if the facts were made public without proper preparation and conditioning.” I believe this to be one of the most important lines of dialogue in the whole movie. The term “adequate preparation and conditioning” is a user-friendly term for propaganda. Obviously they are trying to either hide or falsify some major event that will widely affect the human race.

An explanation for all this may be that the council are about to stage a discovery of extra-terrestrial life. The rumours of “something being dug up on the moon” and the “reliable intelligence reports” of something having been found of an “unknown origin” can be understood as standard propaganda practice. In propaganda public opinion is often tested or conditioned by deliberate information “leaks” or falsified rumours. The party responsible for putting out the information encourages it to spread behind the scenes, yet publicly denies its authenticity - just as Floyd does when questioned by Smyslov. So the conversation on the moon bus could be Floyd and his council colleagues deliberately jesting with each other in ear shot of the pilots in order to further spread the rumour.

Looking at the council meeting again it’s not difficult to notice that the meeting has been scripted by its three central characters. Floyd and Bill are privately whispering to each other before the meeting starts. After Floyds introduction speech, he asks if there are any questions. Bill then asks how long the cover story will have to be maintained. Of course Bill already knows the answer because he has just been privately chatting to Floyd. Notice how utterly silent the rest of the group are. If you strip away the pretence, Floyds talk is basically a scripted question and answer session. It is a mystery as to whether the rest of the council are in on the propaganda stunt or are being manipulated into spreading the rumours.

In an ultimate reflection of the films surface narrative, which is basically a “cover story” for Kubrick’s hidden narratives, the famous poster of 2001 features the deceptive tagline “An epic drama of adventure and exploration”.

The entire dialogue of the council meeting scene is embedded with hidden narrative innuendos. An amusing example is the presence of a parallel or mirrored reality, as featured in the excavation site. Dr Halvorsen introduces Floyd to the group and then walks around the right side of the table and back to his seat in a way that virtually mirrors Floyds movement around the table on the left side. The two characters also look very much alike and when Floyd addresses the group he says “nice to be back again” as if he has just got up and introduced himself twice. He then delivers a message from a Dr Howell, perhaps encouraging us to "howl" with laughter at the double identity joke.

He tells the group that their discovery “may well be one of the most important in the history of science”, but he mentions nothing about what that discovery is. If this film is about the discovery of alien intelligence then why doesn’t he say something specific to that effect? He does however pass on the “appreciation” of the aforementioned myterious "Doctor Howell" for the many “sacrifices” they have had to make. Again, this is very vague. What sacrifices?

After cutting to a close up shot, Floyd makes comments about “conflicting views” and “opposition to the cover story” and that he sympathizes with the groups “negative views”. These comments could apply to some of the deliberate visually continuity errors, such as images being flipped vertically and horizontally, or to the hidden narratives.

The camera angle now switches back to a wide shot as Floyd says “well, this is the view of the council”. Again this could be hinting at the mirrored reality theme. Is Floyd referring to his own physical view of the room or to our view (the films audience)? The position Floyd is stood in while speaking this line is also probably the position the camera was in when his pre-recorded briefing of the Jupiter mission was filmed. Floyd would have been sat in his chair in the middle of the desk.

He next says “the purpose of my visit here is to gather additional facts and opinions … on the situation … and to prepare a report recommending when and how the … news should eventually be announced”. Again, why so vague? What is “the situation” that he is waffling about and why does he hesitate before speaking the word “news”? Perhaps because the “news” announcement is a grand lie to the public.

There is another interpretation for the meeting room scene, which could be running in parallel with the theme of a faked alien artefact discovery, and this is most evident in an unbelievable continuity error. All of the characters movements as they walk about the council room are occurring under full gravity identical to Earth’s. This is supposed to be a moon base, but the photographer practically runs around the table.

Everywhere else in 2001 we find careful attention paid to convincing gravity effects. The hostesses wear grip shoes that fasten their feet to the floor and aboard the Discovery Poole and Bowman walk carefully about the pod bay indicating that they are wearing grip shoes as well.

Now I know it’s easy to pass off the Earth like gravity in the council meeting as a simple continuity error, but we only need to look at the shots leading up to the council scene to discredit such a dismissive explanation. As Floyds landing craft approaches the Clavius base three astronauts are seen standing on a lunar mountain top with their backs to us, overlooking the base.

Notice that they are discussing something and pointing down at the base. One of them then walks away to the left and starts preparing to take a photo.

The choreography of these three men parallels that of Floyd and his two closest colleagues in the council room and both scenes feature photographers, but the walking movements on the lunar surface are slow and careful by comparison.

So why would Kubrick depict low gravity in the lunar surface shot and then completely forget about it for the council meeting scene? Surely somebody on set would have pointed this out to the director. No, the gravity differences are most likely exaggerated as part of yet another hidden narrative.

So have you guessed what this other hidden narrative is yet? Well, basically it is communicating another controversial subject … the fake moon landings theories. Now before you shake your head in disbelief and disagreement, remember what I said about conspiracy theories and the polarization effect. The truth often lies somewhere in the middle. My intention here is not to try and convince you that the moon landings were faked. I am simply interpreting what I believe to be subjective themes expressed in 2001. Even if Kubrick did believe the moon landings were faked then that doesn’t make it so.

So let’s explore this idea further. The astronaut on the mountain top prepares to take a photo as Floyds landing ship floats in on the left. It doesn’t take a great leap of logic to realize that he will be taking photos of Floyds moon landing, which is paralleled by the photographer taking photos of Floyd in the council room.

 Considering that the meeting is supposed to be highly secretive, why the hell is this guy taking pictures anyway? Why is he only taking photos of Floyd and why the various angles?

For potential insight into this puzzle I recommend you seek out a documentary film called "Dark Side of the Moon". This strange film explores a rumour that Stanley Kubrick may have filmed fake moon landing footage for the US government in return for massive budgets on his films. The film states that Kubrick was approached on the contention that if communication with the astronauts were to fail during the moon landings then false backup footage would be needed to keep the public satisfied about this great historical event. The film features interviews with Kubricks wife, Christiane, and other people associated with the director. It shows photographs of fake moon landing sets in which Kubrick had apparently left photographs on the ground to try and expose the landing as a hoax … and so on. At the end of the film it is revealed that the interviews have been scripted and that the whole documentary is actually poking fun at moon landing conspiracy theories. To prove this Christiane and the other people interviewed are shown in the end credits getting their lines wrong and laughing.

One of the weirdest things about the “dark side of the moon” mockumentary is that political heavyweights such as Henry Kissinger and ex-CIA director Donald Rumsfeld are also shown laughing at the end of the film, as if they also were acting in the scripted interviews. Why would such powerful and influential men take time out of their schedule to act in a silly conspiracy mockumentary? Note: one of the members on the forum for this site recently explained that the director of Dark Side of the Moon, William Karel, lifted interview footage from another of his own documentary films called The World According to Bush and placed that footage out of context in Dark Side of the Moon. It's odd that a supposedly serious documentary film maker would risk his own reputation by making a film such as Dark Side of the Moon. Is the film a determined attempt to scramble the debate about the whether the moon landings were staged? Did William Karel really believe the moon landings were fake, while disguising his message within a "comedy" film? Was Karel just going through a weird phase and decided to make a useless film for his own amusement?

Even after almost forty years the conspiracy theories over the moon landings have not subsided. There are all kinds of video documentaries, articles and web pages that argue both sides of the debate and the subject has even made it’s way into other Hollywood movies such as the fake Mars landings in the sci-fi film Capricorn One.

Before showing you the other moon landing conspiracy clues in 2001, I must mention that the first US moon landings were broadcast on the 20th July 1969, but the film 2001 was released on the 6th April 1968 – over a year in advance. So how could Kubrick have been giving out conspiracy messages about a major event that hadn’t even happened yet? As I said the truth is often somewhere in the middle ground. Here are some possibilities.

    * Kubrick mistakenly believed that the moon landing project was going to be faked and so he tried to expose it in advance.
    * Kubrick was asked to film back up footage, but the footage was not needed due to a successful landing and transmission.
    * The conspiracy theory is true, Kubrick did film the fake footage and it was broadcast for the world to see.
    * The first moon landings were unmanned and so fake footage of astronaut involvement helped boost the public relations aspect.
    * The first moon landings were faked but the later ones were genuine.
    * There are no conspiracy messages in 2001 at all and people like myself have misinterpreted the film.

My contention is that, right or wrong, Kubrick was convinced the moon landing project was a conspiracy in the making and hence he embedded a fake moon landing narrative in 2001. Here are my additional observations in this respect.

The long sequence of colour filtered landscape shots before the Renaissance room seem random, but the fact that they take up such a lengthy section of the film suggests that they are of paramount importance. They are often perceived to be the landscapes of an alien planet, but why are they so unconvincing?

With the huge budget and talented crew he had, Kubrick could have filmed something much more impressive - the lunar landscape special effects. from earlier in the film, demonstrate what he was capable of.

There are absolutely no signs of organic life in the "alien" terrain – only rock formations, but yet we see vast expanses of water, which suggest there should be life.

Some research sources claim that these shots were actually black and white footage leftover from Kubricks previous film Dr Strangelove. Here are some actual landscape frames from the Dr Strangelove DVD.

Notice the similarities? If the landscapes of 2001s ending were taken from Strangelove stock footage then they would of course have been colourized. So being that the colourization process in 2001 involved one colour replacing the bright areas of the image and another colour replacing the dark areas, if we restore the dark areas and turn the image to monochrome what do we see?

The black and white versions could definitely pass for Dr Strangelove footage.

Taking this theme further let's now take the landscapes from the Dawn of Man sequence and view them both in monochrome and with similar colour filters to those used in the "alien" landscape sequence.

Do you see what I'm getting at? By experimenting with colour filters we find that the landscapes of both the Dawn of Man sequence and the "alien" planet are virtually indistinguishable from each other. By turning both sets of landscapes to monochrome and removing the unrealistic colour filters we're left with footage that could also pass for the lunar surface ... espescially if we darken the skies.

The only giveaway in the shots below is that the they are taken from low altitude where bones and shrubbery are visible.



  • Guest
Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2010, 10:44:55 am »
Rest of Chapter 12

To explore these colour themes further try watching a dvd of the film with the colour settings on your tv turned all the way down. The rocky formations of the three landscape sequences - dawn of man, lunar surface, alien terrain - are one and the same.

I believe this was Kubrick's way of trying to tell us that the lunar landscape footage broadcast in 1969 was filmed on Earth in some rocky region that could be made to pass for the moon, and that false filtering was somehow used to make the footage convincing.

Sound far-fetched? Well, remember I'm not saying that the moon landings actually were faked, just that Kubrick believed they were.

Let's go back to the lunar landscape scenes and pay close attention to the footage. Most of these lunar lansdscape shots have also been colour filtered in the film, but to a very faint degree that bypasses our conscious attention. Depending on which shot you’re looking at the moonscapes are either blue, green, purple or yellow.

Here they are again, but in black and white. Can you see how the original shots were faintly colorized?

To make the colour filters easier to see here are the same shots, but with the colour saturation and contrast turned way up. Notice that that each shot was filtered with a slightly different colour.

If we now add a different colour to the darker areas then the moonscapes are not much different to the rocky landscapes at the end of the film.

The most convincing link between the lunar shots and the colour filtered landscapes is the following image of Floyds craft descending with Earth in the background. This shot has a green tint and a spherical blue haze over the centre.

And here it is with increased saturation and contrast.

This kind of spherical haze is prominent in many of the “alien” landscape shots after the stargate.

It’s extremely subtle messaging. The rocky landscapes during the dawn of man, the lunar surface shots and the colour filtered alien landscape sequence are the same terrain. The presence of lakes and oceans in the end sequence drives the message home that these landscapes are definitely not the moon. They are Earth.

Note: Something else worth considering about the presence of oceans is that water is a valued resource to all life, but the apes are seen battling over a tiny pool of muddy water in the films opening sequence.

Exaggerated colour filtering is a part of 2001s visual code and is boldly expressed in several of the marketing posters and production stills. Compare the following poster with its corresponding footage from the dvd. Not only have the colours been drastically altered in the poster, but the footage of Poole's parents has been turned to black and white. The orange goggles Frank is wearing also communicate the colour filter theme.

The following selection of posters and stills also feature interesting colour messaging.

I also found this production photo of Floyd and his colleagues entering the excavation site, but have been unable to identify whether Kubrick requested the filter be used or if somebody else added the colours later.

Given all these clues, it could be that the lunar landing shots of 2001 are actually fake moon footage that Floyd has been showing to his colleagues in the council room. This would mean that the council meeting takes place either on Earth or on the Torus station. This also explains the presence of full gravity and would be yet another variation on the "film within a film" motif put forth in previous chapters.

The vague council meeting dialogue also fits well with the contention that Floyd and his colleagues are conspiring to publicly stage the moon landings (as well as intending to fake the discovery of extra terrestrial intelligence). For example, the comment “I completely sympathize with your negative views” could be an innuendo about the colourization themes. The comment about “the potential for cultural shock and social disorientation contained in this present situation” may be a warning that the operation must be done convincingly.

There are even more details in the council meeting scene to support this fake moon landing interpretation. One of the most famous of the moon landing conspiracy claims is that the US flag is seen blowing in the wind on the lunar surface even though there is no atmosphere on the moon. Here we see a US flag, which is very prominent in some of the close ups of Floyd, and there’s an unidentified blue flag on the right. Both of these flags are seen faintly moving during the wide shots, as if blown by a mysterious wind.

Also look at the ceiling. Its unsophisticated mottled grey could pass for an out of focus view of the moon’s surface. The colours of the floor, chairs, water flasks and desks are also similar to those of a cloudy sky.

If we apply the vertical flipping suggested by the letter “i” in the octahedron sequence and the matching celings of the Torus station that reappear as floor tiles in the renaissance room, then we may actually be seeing a subtle depiction of the fake moon surface accompanied by an Earth sky - and of course the US flag.

Lastly, in another classic Kubrick film, The Shining, young Danny is seen wearing a sweater with a cartoonish depiction of an Apollo moon mission rocket - perhaps hinting that the moon landings are equivalant to a childs fairy tale.


  • Guest
Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2010, 01:18:49 pm »

Now let’s explore a very strange feature of the story – the design of the Discovery ship. It seems to hint of many things – the bone thrown by the ape, a single sperm in the void, a spinal column, an eyeball on a stem or a ball and chain. Its spherical front end appears smaller from outside than it does inside. The artificial gravity wheel, podbay, airlock, HALs brain and cockpit seem to be incredibly well packed into this sphere. Kubrick had most prints and diagrams of the films special effects destroyed after production so we’re left with what we see on screen as a measure of the Discovery’s internal space.

I believe the Discovery was designed to fulfil several metaphors at once, but here’s a particularly interesting one. Its spherical front section has prominent grey stripes or bands that are faintly similar to those of Jupiter … and if the Discovery sphere is intended to visually mimic Jupiter then the open pod bay doors could be a parallel of Jupiter’s great red spot.

 So why isn’t the discovery sphere Brown like Jupiter? Well obviously the visual connection would then be too easy to crack, but it’s also because the sphere represents the moon and the Earth as well. It represents all three celestial bodies rolled into one.

Have you ever noticed the similarities between the Discovery ship and the spherical craft that takes Floyd to the moon’s surface? The connection can be found most easily by comparing two shots.

One is a low angle shot of the lunar lander, in which we see four mechanical legs slowly extending downward. The detail of the ship is easy to make out, which includes an airlock door (and possibly a maltese cross). The other shot is a view of the Discovery sphere seen through Bowman’s pod when he is trying to get back on the Discovery. The doors in both shots are almost identical.

One scene features extending mechanical legs, while the other features extending mechanical arms.

The lunar craft lands at Clavius and is then taken into a red hangar area where it aligns with sets of long white rectangles in the walls.

In parallel, Bowman’s pod symbolically lands on the surface of the Discovery sphere. Dave then goes inside through the airlock and makes his way to HALs red interior where he aligns himself with the white rectangular cells of HALs brain.

Bowman’s survival of the vacuum of space, which is often sited as unrealistic, could also be explained by this metaphor of the discovery as a planet. He survives because there symbolically is an atmosphere to be breathed. One set of production stills from the excavation shows the astronauts lined up in front of the monolith, seemingly in character, but without their helmets. This would be impossible unless, as we already explored in chapter 12, the astronauts weren't even on the moon and were staging the alien find. These photos could simply be passed off as a rehearsal, but considering the hundreds of other subliminal messages in 2001 it could go either way.

In the main marketing poster for 2001, which is hand painted, the presence of the Torus ship indicates that the planet in the background is Earth, but look at the continents of the planet. They are coloured like the Earth, but they’re formed in square patches like the patterns on the Discovery sphere. No artist worth their salt would paint such an unconvincing view of Earth's continents for a big budget film unless they were asked to. The small moon in the poster also features a dark patch perhaps symbolising it as an eyeball / pod. This is a strong indication of the Discovery ship as a metaphor of Earth.

A less distributed poster shows the Discovery floating near Jupiter. A moon in the backdrop is roughly the same size as the Discovery sphere, which could be hinting at their cross symbolism. Again we have a large planet to the left. It is a very poor rendition of Jupiter and, like in the former poster, it has patchy rectangular areas. A very interesting thing in this painting is that the pod in the foreground has rocket flames coming from underneath. At no point in the movie do the pods use this kind of propulsion. Also note the bluish area stretching across the background - is this a galaxy or a planetary surface?

Similar to the rocket boosted pod in the above painting, the ship that takes Floyd to the moon also has fire shooting out from underneath it in some of the painted posters.

So there are plenty of indicators that the discovery is a symbolic synthesis of the Earth, the moon and Jupiter. The pods and sperical lunar landing craft also seem to be representing celestial bodies of some sort. We already know that each pod represents an enlightened eye, which is also a symbol of the sun. So the repeated shots of a pod emerging from behind the Discovery could be representing the sunrise over a celestial body, like we see in the opening shot of the film.

Kubrick makes clever use of interchangeable moon and planet images. The floating monolith does not pass in front or behind anything and so its scale is ambiguous. Like wise, there is only one shot in the whole movie where a spacecraft is seen overlaying a distant moon or planet - the Discovery when it appears down screen behind a giant Jupiter crescent before the stargate.

The moons and planets themselves also tend not to overlap each other, except in the opening shot of the sunrise and in a couple of the Jupiter shots. This effectively means that most of the time the sizes of moons and planets are subjective based upon our own assumptions. When we see what looks like Jupiter, its moons are in separate portions of the screen. Are the scales of these celestial bodies inverted so that we are seeing a small scale fake Jupiter that is actually much closer?

The shots in which moons and planets do overlap each other are usually lit from behind so that we don’t know which celestial bodies we’re looking at.

Even Bowman’s pod might be hiding among the vertical alignment of moons in the last shot before the stargate, itself passing for a distant moon.

 You may be wondering what the hell all this has to do with the storyline, but it actually fits in very well with the hidden narratives of fake moon landings and technological enslavement. The confusion over celestial scale and distance communicates that the characters don’t know what planet they’re on. They only know what HAL or Floyd and the council tell them.

The “Jupiter mission” could be a moon mission or an Earth mission of some description. Judging from the faint haze that illuminates the sides of the Discovery, the ship may not have even left Earth’s orbit. These parts of the ship should be in total darkness unless they are being illuminated by light reflected from a nearby solar body.

One shot even suggests that the entire Jupiter mission is being staged in some way – as Bowman prepares to approach the antenna, the pod rotates and in its window we can see lights and a faint brownish landscape of some sort reflecting across the glass. These reflections should not occur in space, especially with the sun shining in from a totally different direction.

Here they are again with increased brightness and contrast to bring out the details.

Another possible visual association, and I know this is really pushing it, is that the location referred to by Floyd as "Clavius" is an actual lunar crater formation on the moon. Notice the similarities with the  triple satellite dish on the Discovery.

 Some other details that may tie in with these themes are Bowman’s comment in the pod about continuing the mission under “ground based computer control” and the fact that three astronauts made the actual moon voyage in 1969. At several points in 2001 we are presented with three astronauts, such as the ones seen on the lunar mountain or the three hibernating crew members who HAL kills in their sleep. Bowman also stated in the BBC 12 broadcast that "the three hybernating crew members represent the survey team." The fact that we are not shown photos of them suggests they have a symbolic identity of some sort.

Floyds announcement about the purpose of the Jupiter mission features a large image of what is probably the Earth and the moon projected behind him. The flickering quality of the image is strange, as is the square shape of the screen. What is definitely interesting is that he is also seen with the Earth projected behind him in a square window when he chats to his daughter.

The implication here could be that Floyds announcement of a mission to Jupiter is childish nonsense and holds no more credit than the conversation with his daughter. Note: Floyd also tells his colleague that he has to make a couple of phonecalls, but we only get to see the one where he calls his daughter – who were the other ones to?

Perhaps the observations in this chapter are yet another hint that the fight between Bowman and HAL is a stuggle between Earth monopolists and their enslaved subjects. The technologically trapped crew of the discovery live in a reality that has been turned inside out and upside down. They have become lost in a dark void with little sense of time or space and it is HALs intention to keep them there.

We already know that Bowman won the battle at the end, but at what cost? All his colleagues are dead ...

... aren't they?


  • Guest
Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2010, 01:40:08 pm »

Even having written such a detailed and exhaustive review as this one, there are still many aspects of 2001 that I have not found any kind of convincing meaning for.

One is the close up of an animal skull in the opening sequence ...

... and another is what looks like a magazine sat on the receptionist desk on the Torus station. The image on the cover appears to be an astronaut with a helmet on, but the background is difficult to identify.

Something I’m convinced has meaning is the order in which Bowman unscrews HALs brain cells. He releases the first five of the memory terminals, but skips the sixth and goes straight to the seventh. What’s really strange is that when he unscrews the seventh one it stays put and the sixth one suddenly emerges.

A hissing noise overlaps the two scenes of astronauts changing the AE-35 units. It sounds like air seeping out of something, which is what happens to Poole when his breathing gear is severed. But the hissing noise stops when Poole is attacked. Surely the air leakage should be heard after he is attacked and not before.

There is also a repeated visual theme of oval shapes and of the elongated hexagons that cover the walls of the excavation. These are often featured as doorways. One of my co-researchers for this review put forward the idea of the hexagons as a variation of symbolic eyes.

Their frequence in the walls of the excavation pit perhaps implies that many eyes are watching over the event.

The letters allocated to the pods is another mystery. The first two times HAL is asked to rotate a pod they are referred to as B-pod and C-pod, but the third time Bowman asks HAL to rotate G-pod. The pod closest to the airlock is never accessed so why the changing letters?

There are also some strange parallels between Floyds activities aboard the Torus station and Bowmans experience in the renaissance room. Floyd and his colleague discuss breakfast and he sits at a table where he is twice offered a drink which he refuses. Bowman sits at a table, drinks wine and eats just before his rebirth. The ceilings of the Torus are also identical to the floors of the renaissance room. And although it’s difficult to hear, the DVD titles reveal that Floyd has a table booked in a place called the Earthlight Room, which probably refers to the council meeting room. He is told his flight leaves in an hour and ten minutes. If we leap ahead by an hour and ten minutes in the movie (adding just under three minutes for the intermission) we arrive at the scene in which Bowman survives the airlock vacuum and then proceeds to shut down HAL. Whether there is some narrative logic to this I’m unsure.

Something slightly bizarre is the design of the hibernation pods. The three crew members look almost mummified.

In fact there are many strange parallels between the events before and after the lunar excavation scene.

    * Floyd is told of a communication failure with the Clavius base and he replies that “they’re probably having some trouble with their equipment” … and the discovery crew are told by HAL that there is a failure in the ships antenna.
    * Floyd is told of a rocket bus having been denied permission to land at Clavius … and Bowman is denied permission to re-enter the Discovery.
    * Dr Smyslov is the name of a Russian chess player and he has a debate with Floyd about rumours of an epidemic. HAL also plays chess and debates with Bowman about the same rumours.
    * Smyslov says there is going to be "quite a row" about the moon bus not being allowed to land at Clavius … and Bowman has a row with HAL after being locked out of the discovery.
    * The so-called epidemic “at the base” of Clavius may also apply to the epidemic “at the base” of the discovery if we accept the visual metaphor of the ship being a ball and chain viewed at a 90 degree angle.

So Smyslov's story of a crew that were denied permission to land at Clavius seems to be a direct parallel with the events of the Jupiter mission. Now here is a really interesting comparison. Smyslov confirms to Floyd that the crew of the rocket bus got back safely, but we also know that HAL terminated the three hibernating crew member’s life functions aboard the discovery. This is a sever mismatch between the two narratives. However, Kubrick offers an incredibly subtle hint that the hybernating crew didn’t actually die. When the basic technical aspects of hibernation are being explained during the BBC tv broadcast, the first close up of the hibernation pods shows a terminal of buttons and a set of instructions called “emergency revival procedures”.

 So there you have it. In the hidden narrative the three hibernating crew members were more than likely saved by Bowman after he shut down HAL.

However, there is one other crew member not accounted for … Frank Poole. His body was lost in the void, but there is also a hint that his fate may be different in the hidden narrative. Bowman conducts the first trip to the antenna and just before he reaches it we see a close up in which he pushes a button on his forearm console. Then his head moves on screen and his face disappears into blackness. Now it’s easy to assume this is the shadow from the antenna, but watch the shot closely. Only his face disappears into complete darkness. His spacesuit, including the helmet, remains in full sunlight. What the hell just happened?

One explanation might be that, having pressed a button on his forearm console, Bowman has activated a chemical shielding device in the glass of his helmet to protect his face against the suns harmful rays. If this was the case though, he would have done it before climbing out of the pod. Remember as well that there was a black, monolith shaped, button on his console which he pointed at when pressing one of the buttons.

My interpretation of these details is that when the pod attacks Frank Poole, he makes the shift out of the film narrative and into the stargate. Perhaps he recognised the monoliths meaning just as his air supply was about to completely run out. After all Bowman survived the vacuum of space for a good ten or fifteen seconds. This also make sense of a very odd shot. After Poole is seen struggling for breath in the void, in the next shot he suddenly flies into the distance completely lifeless.

It’s as if he has just died instantly, but the really strange thing about this shot (the second and third screen capture above) is that a pod also flies on screen from the same position as Frank and flies off at a different angle all together. I believe this represents Frank Poole’s soul leaving his body and heading off into the stargate in a symbolic death.

If Poole did make the stargate trip and was reborn then this would account for the following production stills and posters that imply he has reached the same form of enlightenment that Bowman does.

Notice in the poster above that Frank can be seen at the top, jogging around the wheel, while his suit stands staring at us. Like Bowman after the stargate, he is in and out of the film simultaneously.

And so putting all this together, the parallel comment from Smyslov that the crew got back alright would also apply with the discovery crew – the only real death being HAL. If this extremely positive interpretation of 2001’s plot really was an intended hidden narrative then it reveals that Stanley Kubrick was the total opposite of the cold cynic he was widely perceived to be.

Now one last mystery I’d like to bring up is the peculiar parallels between 2001: A Space Odyssey and the film Planet of the Apes.

Both films were made in the same year and they were released within three days of each other. In planet of the apes three astronauts crash land on a planet populated by a race of apes. The apes have evolved to approximately the same intelligence levels as humans and have constructed advanced societies. At the end of the film the main character discovers that the supposed alien planet is actually Earth. He and the rest of his hibernating crew have been drifting endlessly in space and have returned to an earth in which domesticated apes had evolved and overthrown their human masters. These plot details all bare conceptual similarities to the hidden narratives of 2001, but as far as I can tell there was no collaboration between the film crews, distributors or producers.

Regarding the subliminal hints of 2001 that tie in with moon landing conspiracies, Planet of the Apes also features a shot in which one of it's three astronaut characters embeds a small US flag into a rock. At this point he still believes he is on an alien planet. The film's main character sees this flag and stares into the camera, howling with laughter.


If you are wondering why the sequel 2010 does not follow the same visual codes as Kubrick’s masterpiece, then bare in mind that Kubrick not only didn't make the sequel, but he also ordered most unused footage, props, and other production materials destroyed so as not to be used in other productions.

2001 is Kubricks baby, a giant conceptual puzzle that is challenging us to expand our consciousness. It demands that we think on higher and more complex levels. Kubrick expects each of us to evolve by using our untapped intelligence to carefully decode the messages of his cinematic masterpiece. Only after we have made this great mental effort will a full understanding of the films true meanings “dawn” upon us. This review is my attempt, with the valuable help of several mutual Kubrick fans, at cracking the full code of 2001.

For those of you who never previously bought into the notion of Stanley Kubrick being a cinematic genius, or who thought that 2001 was a pompous and empty effort to appear more grandiose than it actually is … think again. I hope this review changes your mind.

Offline 37

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #34 on: February 26, 2010, 10:52:25 am »

The Dome of the Monolith...

The Bhagavad Gita, quoted by Oppenheimer after the Trinity Test.  "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds..."

Clarke lived in Sri Lanka.
"Whatever it is, I am against it."  -Groucho Marx

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Offline Djævlen

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2010, 02:09:59 pm »
just got 2001 on Blu Ray, cant wait to watch it and the extra goodies!
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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2010, 02:15:49 pm »
just got 2001 on Blu Ray, cant wait to watch it and the extra goodies!

Well done, it looks fantastic, during the monkey scene near the start, look at the sky at certain moments cause you can see the artificial background.

Here's a list of the extras on the blu ray :

Channel 4 documentary: 2001: The Making of a Myth

Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001

Vision of a Future Passed: The Prophecy of 2001

2001: A Space Odyssey - A Look Behind the Future

2001: FX and Early Conceptual Artwork

Look: Stanley Kubrick!

Audio-only interview with Stanley Kubrick

Offline Djævlen

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2010, 11:03:54 pm »
Well done, it looks fantastic, during the monkey scene near the start, look at the sky at certain moments cause you can see the artificial background.

Here's a list of the extras on the blu ray :

Channel 4 documentary: 2001: The Making of a Myth

Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001

Vision of a Future Passed: The Prophecy of 2001

2001: A Space Odyssey - A Look Behind the Future

2001: FX and Early Conceptual Artwork

Look: Stanley Kubrick!

Audio-only interview with Stanley Kubrick

this blu ray transfer is one of the best i've seen to date. its looks simply stunning - as if the movie was made yesterday. actually, it looks much better than most modern movies released on blu ray. the extras are excellent as well.

this is by far Kubrick's masterpiece.
“The devil is only a convenient myth invented by the real malefactors of our world”

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2010, 12:46:01 pm »
When this movie was at the Oscar's folks were thinking it was gonna get the best make-up award but it didn't cause the judges thought the monkeys were real.

Offline Letsbereal

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Re: 2001: a space odyssey (1968)
« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2010, 09:54:36 pm »
Stanley Kubrick: The Prophecy of 2001 Part 1

Stanley Kubrick: The Prophecy of 2001 Part 2
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