2001: A Space Odyssey
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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for 2001: A Space Odyssey can be found here.

When a mysterious monolith buried 40 feet beneath the lunar surface is found to emit a radio transmission to Jupiter, five researchers, including Commander Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and Dr Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood), are dispatched on the S.S. Discovery, powered and controlled by a revolutionary computer system known as HAL 9000, to investigate. However, HAL has an agenda of its own.

2001: A Space Odyssey began as an idea by director Stanley Kubrick [1928-1999] to create the "proverbial good science fiction movie." He developed the screenplay in collaboration with British science fiction author Sir Arthur C. Clarke [1917-2008] based on Clarke's 1950 short story "The Sentinel". As they were working on the screenplay, they were also placing their ideas into a book that was subsequently published in 1968 by Clarke under the same title as the movie. The novel was scheduled to be released prior to the film pending Kubrick's approval of the book's content. It was Clarke's belief that Kubrick intentionally delayed signing off on Clarke's version so that the movie would be released first. In 1972, Clarke published The Lost Worlds of 2001, a compilation of behind-the-scenes notes about the script and production issues. It also included a copy of The Sentinel and excerpts from the early screenplay that did not make it into the final version of the film. A sequel movie, 2010, was released in 1984.

Except for two baby chimpanzees, the apes were all actors in costume. All the other animals were real (the pig-like animals are tapirs), and many of the animal sounds were genuine, originally collected in Africa for Mogambo (1953). The scenes were filmed on a stage at Borehamwood Studios in England, using a complicated projection system to create the backgrounds.

The monoliths are tools of a highly advanced alien civilization. They are placed to observe and, in Kubrick's words, "influence" the "evolutionary progression" of humanity. Each of the three monoliths has a different purpose. The hominids' contact with the first, in the "Dawn of Man" sequence, sparked the discovery of tools/weapons. The second, found on the moon, emitted a powerful radio signal directed at Jupiter. While the monolith is activated by sunlight in the novel, it is completely lit by artificial lighting in the film when it emits its signal. The lunar night is too long for the sun to rise during the short time Floyd is at the site. The confusion arises due to an edit (what may be a time cut) to the sun appearing above the monolith. The third, located at the Lagrange point between Io and Jupiter, either leads to and opens or is itself the door to the stargate transporting Bowman to his destiny. A monolith appears at the foot of Bowman's bed immediately before his transformation and it sends him, as the Starchild, back to Earth. Whether this is the same monolith that sent him through the Stargate, as Kubrick's own comments suggest, or a different monolith, as certain interpreters believe, remains a question open to debate. Not pointed out in the movie: The monoliths are 1 × 4 × 9 in dimension—1 squared by 2 squared by 3 squared (or in short, 1² × 2² × 3²), as stated in Clarke's novel and also in the film's sequel, 2010. The "Odyssey" books by Arthur C. Clarke reveal that the monoliths are alien supercomputers capable of self replication. Whilst this may or may not be the answer imagined by Kubrick, it is a significant part of Clarke's vision that helps explain the plot to some extent. In one interview, Kubrick refers to the monoliths as "Jungian archetypes."

An animal called a Galago, which is a small arboreal primate; a cute, clever, big-eyed, long-tailed, monkey-like animal found in sub-Saharan Africa.

Before they meet Floyd, they are considering going to the observation deck while they wait for a flight. After Floyd leaves, they say, "It must be difficult for him."

The main Discovery set was built by aircraft manufacturer Vickers-Armstrong inside a twelve-meter-by-two-meter drum designed to rotate at five kilometers per hour. It cost 750,000 USD.

A qualified yes. The equivalence principle states that force due to gravity is indistinguishable from the effects observed within an accelerating reference frame, and rotation is a form of acceleration. Therefore, the effects resulting from centripetal acceleration within such a centrifuge could be called "artificial gravity." However, with the radius and rate of rotation depicted in the film, the result would be only one-tenth the acceleration due to Earth's gravity. "Normal" acceleration with a radius of 10 metres would require a rotation of 10 RPM, which would produce severe Coriolis effects. Fred Ordway, the Marshall Spaceflight Center engineer who was technical adviser on the film, noted that the centrifuge, in reality, would have to have been larger, but the studio sound stage in England would only accommodate movie sets up to a certain size.

No. That would happen only if the rate of rotation was accelerated or braked (whether by friction or otherwise). In all three cases—accelerating, steady, or braking—the ship's total angular momentum remains constant unless it is acted upon by an outside force. (Incidentally, this is specifically shown in the sequel 2010's book, and addressed a bit in the movie 2010, when the abandoned ship's friction with the carousel does set Discovery spinning.)

To save food and other "expendables," and so that the survey team would be "fresh and alert, not fatigued" by the long trip. It is implied in the movie (and confirmed in the novel and the later sequels) that this was also done to prevent Bowman and Poole from finding out about the true mission until the appropriate time.

When HAL makes his final move, he mistakenly says "queen to bishop three" instead of "queen to bishop six." This error foreshadowed HAL's mistake with the AE-35 diagnosis, indicating that something was wrong. This game was based on a game played between Willi Schlage, a tournament player, and a mysterious person named Roesch—mysterious, because nobody seems to know his first name, and there is some disagreement in what year this game was played. Roesch makes several beginner's mistakes. The fact that an otherwise insignificant game is recorded implies that this was a teaching game. It's certainly not a tournament game as has been suggested. From this information, we know that Poole is a beginner and, perhaps, learned the game on-board the Discovery to pass the time. Although HAL incompletely describes the checkmate setup, he was accurate in declaring victory. In addition to the moves he describes, HAL can also win by playing Nh3. Poole then would be forced to play Qh6 in order to prevent his queen being taken by a pawn. Then, there would be no way Poole could stop HAL. This shouldn't be seen as a mistake, because Kubrick was famous for paring down dialogue in order to speed up the pace of a film. For more information, see here.

The depiction of the HAL 9000 (Heuristically-programmed Algorithmic Computer) in 2001 remains one of the film's most eerie elements. For their description of artificial intelligence, Kubrick and Clarke only had the terminology of the mid-1960s. At that time, the prevailing concept was that Artificial Intelligence (AI) was expected to be a programmed computer. Thus, the term computer, with all its implications of it being a machine, occurs repeatedly. In the last 40 years, no true AI has emerged. Today's corresponding term would be "strong AI." Kubrick and Clarke's use of mid-1960s terminology obscures the fact that the film and novel authors constructed an AI that is unmistakably strong-that is, capable of "general intelligent action." How this would have been achieved Kubrick and Clarke left as an extrapolation. Clarke provides a little extrapolation in the novel:

Probably no one would ever know this: it did not matter. In the 1980s, Minsky and Good had shown how neural networks could be generated automatically—self-replicated—in accordance with an arbitrary learning program. Artificial brains could be grown by a process strikingly analogous to the development of the human brain. In any given case, the precise details would never be known, and even if they were, they would be millions of times too complex for human understanding.
(From: A. C. Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey, ROC edition, trade paper back, 2005, bottom page 92 - top page 93.)

No. (1) We (and HAL) see and hear Dave and Frank talking about disconnecting HAL, if this were done there would have to be backup means of controlling the ship. (2) When Dave goes to get Frank's body there is an insert display showing that Dave had cut HAL's control of the POD. (3) There is an emergency airlock over which HAL had no control. For these and other reasons the designers of the Discovery had to have built-in redundancy, backups to HAL; no complex spacecraft is ever designed without such redundancy.

There are two major schools of thought on this question that reflect different interpretations of the movie. In the recorded message which plays after Dave has "lobotomized" HAL, Dr. Floyd reveals the computer has known the nature of the mission all along. This is confirmed by Dr. Chandra in the sequel movie, 2010 who supplies the additional information that HAL was instructed not to reveal the mission's purpose until the appropriate time. Meanwhile, Dave and Frank have not been told for security reasons. This leads HAL to develop "paranoia" because withholding information directly contravenes his base programming to present all data without alteration or omission. One notes that this explanation is contained in Clarke's novel, only there is no directly explicit explanation given by Kubrick in the film. This basic material has inspired two different viewpoints: (1) HAL knows that Bowman and Poole intend to disconnect his higher brain functions if the AE-35 does not fail as he predicted. HAL knows he made the error and therefore he expects to be disconnected, the AI equivalent of death. On the most basic level, HAL is simply acting in self defense. This view is the most straightforward, but its detractors feel it does not account for all of HAL's behavior. (2) HAL turns lethal because he develops a paranoid belief that the crew cannot be trusted to complete the mission. This could be because he misdiagnosed the problem with the AE-35 unit; however, it is more likely he made that error on purpose to allow him to eliminate the crew. This view accounts for more of HAL's behavior, but its detractors feel it makes unjustified assumptions.

The novel makes HAL's behavior explicit in chapter 27, "Need to Know." Clarke implies that HAL equates withholding of information to lying, and hence imperfection, leading to a loss of mental stability. In the film, Kubrick only gives the viewer some odd dialogue between HAL and Dave, and HAL and Frank, plus some strange operational behavior. These are clues from which several conclusions may be drawn. It is to be noted that "HAL's twin" (twins in the novel) remains rational and differs with HAL. Since both viewpoints have their passionate adherents, there is no universal agreement on the question of HAL's behavior.


I will say that the god concept is at the heart of 2001, but not any traditional, anthropomorphic image of god. I don't believe in any of Earth's monotheistic religions, but I do believe that one can construct an intriguing scientific definition of god. [Extraterrestrials] may have progressed from biological species, which are fragile shells for the mind at best, into immortal machine entities and then, over innumerable eons, they could emerge from the chrysalis of matter transformed into beings of pure energy and spirit. Their potentialities would be limitless and their intelligence ungraspable by humans. These beings would be gods to the billions of less advanced races in the universe, just as man would appear a god to an ant. They would be incomprehensible to us except as gods; and if the tendrils of their consciousness ever brushed men's minds, it is only the hand of god we could grasp as an explanation. Mere speculation on the possibility of their existence is sufficiently overwhelming, without trying to decipher their motives. The important point is that all the standard attributes assigned to god in our history could equally well be the characteristics of biological entities who, billions of years ago, were at a stage of development similar to man's own and evolved into something as remote from man as man is remote from the primordial ooze from which he first emerged.
(Agel, The Making of Kubrick's 2001, 1970, excerpted from the Playboy interview, pp. 330-32)

The pod doors are built to move "transversely" (from side to side, not in and out). Once the explosive bolts freed the door, it slammed back into the normal open position. This advanced design avoids the possibility of increasing the danger by turning the door into a projectile.

The total change in momentum of Bowman and the air escaping from the pod, when applied to a pod with about the mass of a van/SUV, would result in the pod moving away at only about 1 metre per second (m/s). That would be barely noticeable from our POV—even if the change wasn't immediately corrected by an auto-pilot mechanism, which is feasible. Regardless of how Bowman exited the pod, the change in momentum of all that left the pod in one direction will be precisely balanced by the change of momentum of the pod in the opposite direction. A good baseline for calculating changes in momentum can be obtained by assuming conditions of standard temperature and pressure in the pod, a gas volume of 4 cubic metres, a mass for the pod of 2,500 kilograms (kg), a mass for Bowman of 150 kg, an average Δv of 200 m/s for the air in the pod, and a Δv of 10 m/s for Bowman—all of which yields a result of 1 m/s. If the ambient pressure in the POD were lower, we don't know what it is, or Bowman could have purposely lowered it, it would have moved more slowly. During Apollo, the cabin pressures sometimes ran at one third of an atmosphere the film was made during this time. It is to be inferred that, due to reaction forces by the escaping POD cabin atmosphere plus the torque exerted by POD door transverse retraction, the POD's reaction control system has to be active during any emergency ingress. That is, the auto control of the reaction control system has been set to cancel translational and rotational motion.

First, the pod door is intact, being that it retracted sideways into a track in the pod, so it could probably be restored. In 2010, the novel, it is explained that Dave recovered that pod, fixed and put it back in the pod bay, which is the pod one sees in 2010. (In Clarke's novel Bowman retrieves the pod by remote control and it is eventually refitted by the Leonov crew for use as a probe, but this is not mentioned in the film 2010.)

If you look carefully, there is a green spacesuit in the emergency airlock.

According to Vincent LoBrutto, Kubrick and Clarke studied Joseph Campbell's book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, in order to find inspiration. From this mythological perspective, the hotel room can be seen as a symbolic womb where the hero goes through the process of death and rebirth. This symbolic rebirth is an essential part of the hero myth. Some examples: (1) Egyptian - The dead Osiris is placed into a tree trunk and is later reborn as Horus, (2) Jewish - Jonah is spiritually reborn after spending time in the belly of a great fish, (3) Jewish - In a twist, Noah is not himself transformed in his ark, but the world around him was reborn, (4) Greek - Herakles enters a cave to travel to the underworld in order to complete his final task, from which he was given demigod status, and (5) Christian - Jesus was entombed in a cave until his resurrection fulfilling prophesy and confirming his status as a divine being.

As the monolith and moons align, a psychedelic light show begins and the pod enters a wormhole. Dave sees a series of oddly-colored landscapes as if he was flying over them. The pod ends up somewhere in time and space in a bedroom with a luminous white floor and furniture in the style of Louis XVI (as in neoclassical). Dave gets out, now a trembling grey-haired man. Next door in a similarly styled bathroom, Dave looks at himself in a mirror. Back in the bedroom someone is sitting at a table eating. It's Dave again, now much older and dressed in a dark velour robe. Old Dave has a drink of wine; the glass falls to the floor and breaks. Another man lies sleeping on the bed. It is a still older Dave, who stirs and raises an arm. The black monolith appears in the center of the room. Dave is transformed into a fetus in a sac. Floating in space, the large open-eyed fetus—the Star Child—gazes at the nearby Earth.

The director explains in a interview:

EYE: People are intrigued not only by the implications but the essence of the ending. Could you give us your own interpretation?

KUBRICK: I don't want to because I think that the power of the ending is based on the subconscious emotional reaction of the audience, which has a delayed effect. To be specific about it, certainly to be specific about what it's supposed to mean, spoils people's pleasure and denies them their own emotional reactions.

EYE: Can you be general about what you intended?

KUBRICK: Well, I can tell you what literally, at the lowest level of plot, happens. Bowman is drawn into a stargate. He is taken into another dimension of time and space, into the presence of godlike entities who have transcended matter and who are now creatures of pure energy. They provide an environment for him, a human zoo, if you like. They study him. His life passes before him. He sees himself age in what seems just a matter of moments, he dies, and he's reborn, transfigured, enhanced, a superbeing. I don't believe that anyone is terribly far from understanding it. What people sometimes mean is that they want some confirmation of what they've seen happen, and what they think. Some people who are used to the conventions of realistic theater and the three-act play are surprised when a new form is presented to them, no matter how intensely they react to it, and no matter how much pleasure they get from it.

EYE: Bowman, after this incredible experience, winds up in an eighteenth-century French bedroom. That really flips a lot of people out. Can you tell us how you conceived of this bedroom?

KUBRICK: Well, again, this gets into the area of imagination and artistic processes, whatever they are. The room is made from his own memories and dreams. It could have been anything that you could possibly imagine. This just seemed to be the most interesting room to have.
(Agel, The Making of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Eye Magazine Interview, Modern Library, pp. 248-49)

All in all, the technical details of the technology in the film are highly accurate. Two experienced engineers, Dr. Fred Ordway and Harry Lange of Marshall Spaceflight Center, spent three years working with Kubrick on everything from spaceship and interior design to spacesuit design. However, while Kubrick and Clarke strove for accuracy in making the movie, a number of errors have been noted. (1) When the shuttle synchronizes its rotation with the space station, the angle of the sun shining on the station does not change. (2) During the sequence where Floyd's ship to the moon is landing at Clavius, the gases at the pad swirl as they would on Earth, rather than stream out in straight-line ballistic trajectories. This became startlingly obvious only on July 20, 1969, a year after the film was released, as Apollo 11 transmitted live TV of the landing on the moon. (3) During scenes on the moon, gravity seems to be normal, instead of the one sixth g that would be prevalent. (4) When David Bowman sets off the explosive bolts to jump from the pod to the airlock, the pod should have moved away from the ship (although if the pod were particularly heavy, its movement could have been minimal). It could be argued, however, that Bowman might have set the reaction control system to compensate for the POD's motion. (5) When Bowman jumps out of the airlock, he appears to hold his breath. In reality, this is the worst thing a person can do in such a scenario.

2001: A Space Odyssey is today recognized by many critics and audiences as one of the greatest films ever made; the 2002 and 2012 Sight & Sound poll of critics ranked it among the top ten films of all time. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, and received one for visual effects. In 1991, it was deemed "culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in their National Film Registry. The storyline deals with thematic elements of human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence, and extraterrestrial life, and is notable for its scientific realism, pioneering special effects, ambiguous and often surreal imagery, sound in place of traditional narrative techniques, and minimal use of dialogue. The movie employs music and imagery from avant-garde music and art, including the music of Ligeti, making it a very significant link between art and popular culture.

Kubrick used a front projection camera. Besides the 1963 Japanese film Matango, it was the first time this kind of camera was used in a feature film.


It's not a message I ever intended to convey in words. 2001 is a nonverbal experience; out of two hours and 19 minutes of film, there are only a little less than 40 minutes of dialogue. I tried to create a visual experience, one that bypasses verbalized pigeonholing and directly penetrates the subconscious with an emotional and philosophic content. To convolute McLuhan, in 2001 the message is the medium. I intended the film to be an intensely subjective experience that reaches the viewer at an inner level of consciousness, just as music does; to explain a Beethoven symphony would be to emasculate it by erecting an artificial barrier between conception and appreciation. You're free to speculate as you wish about the philosophical and allegorical meaning of the film, and such speculation is one indication that it has succeeded in gripping the audience at a deep level, but I don't want to spell out a verbal road map for 2001 that every viewer will feel obligated to pursue or else fear he's missed the point. How much would we appreciate La Gioconda [the Mona Lisa] today if Leonardo had written at the bottom of the canvas: This lady is smiling slightly because she has rotten teeth or because she's hiding a secret from her lover? It would shut off the viewer's appreciation and shackle him to a reality other than his own. I don't want that to happen to 2001.
(Agel, The Making of Kubricks 2001, 1970, excerpted from the Playboy interview, pp. 328-29.)

It has been noted that if you take the next letter in the alphabet for each letter in HAL's name, you get IBM. Both Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke stated this was purely coincidence, and that HAL's name is an acronym for Heuristic ALgorithmic ((1) heuristic adj. 1 - allowing or assisting to discover. 2 - proceeding to a solution by trial and error. [Greek heurisko]; (2) algorithm n. process or set of rules used for calculation etc., esp. with a computer; (3) algorithmic adj. [Persian, name of a 9th-century mathematician al-Kuwarizmi])

KUBRICK: By the way, just to show you how interpretation can sometimes be bewildering: A cryptographer went to see the film, and he said, "Oh. I get it. Each letter of HAL's name is one letter ahead of IBM. The H is one letter in front of I, the A is one letter in front of B, and the L is one letter in front of M." Now this is a pure coincidence, because HAL's name is an acronym of heuristic and algorithmic, the two methods of computer programming...an almost inconceivable coincidence. It would have taken a cryptographer to have noticed that.

(The Making of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Eye Magazine Interview, Modern Library, pp. 249)
To support the idea that this is a coincidence, there is a similar sequence: the joke that the land of OZ is between New York and Pennsylvania; the reasoning is that the same "next letter" motion turns "NY" into "OZ", and then "PA" (with a Z becoming A). However, the high-definition edition has shed doubts on Kubrick's claim. In one scene, Frank Poole says "I can't quite put my finger on" what's wrong with HAL, while 8 minutes before this, Dave Bowman is working a keypad with his finger just beside a panel with an IBM logo. Also, when Dave is trying to reason with HAL, he says "Can you read me?", while the letters "MEM" are projected onto his face at an angle that makes the letters look like "IBM".

The most obvious answer would, of course, be to watch the film again. 2001 is a movie that is well-known for revealing new secrets upon its second, third or even one hundredth viewing! Discussing the film with peers can often prove very helpful, and it is always interesting to discover other people's personal opinions on what they've seen. Arthur C. Clarke's and Kubrick's novel, written by Clarke but in close collaboration with Kubrick (mostly between May 1964 and December 1965, and published shortly after the film's release), deals with the same subject matter in quite a straightforward manner. However, understand that despite the constant contact between Clarke and Kubrick during its gestation (see Clarke's 1972 book, "Lost Worlds of 2001" for his diary of the process), there is no guarantee that their visions were identical, and either may well have had further or modified thoughts as time progressed. Thus, two things appear to be true: first, that a work of such depth and complexity does not necessarily have any unique meaning; and yet, second, there is a definite philosophical and "hard science" back story on which it rests, so that it is not simply psychedelic flim-flam, intended as pure entertainment. Both of the creators were deeply serious. Clarke has also gone on record to say that the film intentionally raises more questions than it answers... and if anyone completely understands it, then [he and Kubrick] have failed to deliver.

He didn't use recreational drugs. (There is no evidence that he ever had.) As well, he had his reasons:

PLAYBOY: Have you ever used LSD or other so-called consciousness-expanding drugs?

KUBRICK: No. I believe that drugs are basically of more use to the audience than to the artist. I think that the illusion of oneness with the universe, and absorption with the significance of every object in your environment, and the pervasive aura of peace and contentment is not the ideal state for an artist. It tranquilizes the creative personality, which thrives on conflict and on the clash and ferment of ideas. The artist's transcendence must be within his own work; he should not impose any artificial barriers between himself and the mainspring of his subconscious. One of the things that's turned me against LSD is that all the people I know who use it have a peculiar inability to distinguish between things that are really interesting and stimulating and things that appear so in the state of universal bliss the drug induces on a good trip. They seem to completely lose their critical faculties and disengage themselves from some of the most stimulating areas of life. Perhaps when everything is beautiful, nothing is beautiful.
(Agel, The Making of Kubrick's 2001, 1970, excerpted from the Playboy interview, p. 346)

As long as you don't hold your breath, you could survive for close to a minute without suffering permanent damage, but you would lose consciousness in about 15 seconds. Serious injuries begin to occur after around a minute and death after two minutes. Experts at the "Ask an Astrophysicst" page on NASA's "Imagine the Universe" website assert that "exposure to a vacuum causes no immediate injury," debunking the urban legends that one would explode or freeze to death, that their blood would boil, etc. The saliva on the tongue of a test subject did vaporise when his suit accidentally depressurized and he was exposed to a near vacuum. See here for more information.

The Odyssey was included during the development phase of the film and there are strong similarities between Odysseus' struggle with the one-eyed cyclops, Polyphemus, and Bowman's difficulties with the one "eyed" artificial intelligence, HAL.

"About the best we've been able to come up with is a space Odyssey—comparable in some ways to the Homeric Odyssey," said Mr Kubrick. "It occurred to us that for the Greeks the vast stretches of sea had the same sort of mystery and remoteness that space has for our generation, and the far flung islands Homer's wonderful characters visited were no less remote to them than the planets our spacemen will soon be landing on are to us. Journey also shares with the Odyssey a concern for wandering, exploration and adventure." Mr. Clarke agreed...space is an endless source of knowledge, which may transform our civilization in the same sense that the voyages of the Renaissance transformed the Dark Ages.
("Beyond the Stars," Jeremy Bernstein, The New Yorker Magazine (1965) reprinted in "The Making of Kubrick's 2001," ed. Jeremy Agel (1970) p. 25)

Some feel the resemblances between 2001 and Homer's epic are general, at best, and coincidental, at worst. It appears Kubrick and Clarke were not making a literal adaptation of Homer's poetry, but only working along similar epic lines. In the quote by the pair, made before the film was even in production, Kubrick emphasizes this more general similarity by saying his project is only "comparable in some ways" to Homer. Clarke, meanwhile, seems more interested in later history, the "voyages of the Renaissance [that] transformed the Dark Ages." Supporters of the Homer connection feel that, since one of Odysseus' skills was as an archer, Dave's last name of Bowman makes the connection literal. Discounting that Dave isn't an archer at all, despite his name, this tenuous link grows weaker still in light of the differences in the two characters. Homer's protagonist, after all, is a vindictive, brutal, self-serving scoundrel. And, outside surface similarities, their journeys are entirely unalike. Dave is on an outward-bound voyage of discovery, while Odysseus' only concern is getting back home. Nor do their deeds make the supposed resemblances any stronger, since these are actions found in most all epic stories. In science-fiction film, for instance, both Ripley of the Alien series and Neo from The Matrix series must rescue some of their companions, lose others to "monsters," avoid spectacular hazards, survive storms, visit strange locales, have extended stays in those places, and return from them greatly changed. In short, to those who aren't convinced by its supporters, the Homer connection seems no more than a passing similarity in epic styles.

Clarke, who was decidedly influenced by H.G. Wells and Olaf Stapleton, wrote and published Childhood's End in the mid 1950s. In Clarke's logs of his collaboration, he wrote that Kubrick had once gotten very interested in using the "devils" idea from Childhood's End for portraying 2001's aliens. As Heywood Floyd first stroked the monolith on the moon, the idea presents itself ..... is this some kind of abstract re-interpretation of BIG THINKS about advanced alien civilizations by way of Clarke's Childhood's End? (Clarke's The Sentinel is really only a hook upon which to hang the monolith.) It appears now Kubrick was throughly familiar with modern prose science fiction and must have read Childhood's End. The ending of the film could be interpreted as a connection to Karellen/Overmind/Rashaverak of Childhood's End all super concentrated and contracted by Kubrick into the Star Child. The ending of 2001 can be interpreted as an abstracted-prcis non-literal translation of Childhood's End.

It is quite clear that we retrieve a lot of elements visible including monoliths into Yatrides canvas and drawings in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Yatrides has used the symbolism and monoliths since 1951 into his canvas to represent the link between humans and a supernatural strength (god). Also the final scene of the film when bowman becomes a fetus before crossing the monolith, we have exactly this in a Yatrides drawing. Monoliths and slabs are visible in a lot of Yatrides artwork. This artist was exposed in Chicago galleries since 1959, and it is publicly known that Arthur Clarke and Stanley Kubrick have visited the galleries looking for new ideas about the film. You can see a video on YouTube that shows the similarity between the artist artwork and the film.

According to Kubrick:

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 out-set. 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.
(Gelmis, The Film Director as Superstar, 1970, p. 308.)

Some major specific differences are: (1) In the book, the spaceship Discovery travels an even further distance, to Saturn, particularly to the moon Iapetus. In the movie, the journey is to Jupiter. Apparently, Saturn's rings were too difficult to show realistically. (2) In the movie, HAL tries to kill Dave by keeping him out of Discovery after Dave retrieves Frank's body. In the book, Dave never tries to retrieve Frank's body, and HAL tries to kill him by opening inside and outside airlock doors and letting all air escape. In both cases, Dave survives by making it to an emergency airlock and turning on the oxygen. (3) In the book, HAL was first activated in 1997. In the movie, the year is said to be 1992. The 2001: A Space Odyssey Enhanced Script Presentation features the script with accompanying screenshots and highlighted dialogue.

Also Sprach Zarathustra, by Richard Strauss. From Encyclopdia Dramatica: "Also Sprach Zarathustra (1896; Thus Spoke Zarathustra) is ostensibly a homage to the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, but is actually a concerto for orchestra in which the entities of man and nature are illustrated and contrasted by opposing tonalities." Kubrick uses only the piece's "dawn" fanfare, which is founded on a three-note trumpet figure (C1, G1, C2) to echo the opening and closing's three celestial bodies in alignment. This piece of music also sounds, interestingly enough, three times in the course of the movie.


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