Tuesday, June 26, 2012

2001 analysis - part 64: Clarification on the meaning of the end sequence




The flashing of Heywood Floyd's image on a video screen on Discovery One (top left and top center), is reflected in Bowman's space helmet as Bowman goes into a trance-like state (top right). Floyd, whom as stated earlier had had his body occupied by an alien life force, pre-recorded this message (while an alien) so that Bowman, the Jupiter mission commander, would hear it and obey it after he disconnected HAL. Note that what Floyd says in his recorded message indicates that he 'knows' the ship is now in Jupiter space, and he thinks that the three hibernating crew members have been revived. Also recall that Bowman was present at TMA-1 - the alien 'individual' occupying Floyd's body at that time (the same one who later 'combines' with Bowman) 'used' TMA-1 to set up Bowman's psyche so that he (Bowman) would see the need to unite all opposites within himself, then dissolve the internal tension of opposites. The point is, the alien set up Bowman's mind knowing that it would later be him who would view this video. The alien is setting itself up to unite with Bowman, who has now assimilated his shadow (HAL) - the alien figured that if Bowman overcame HAL, he would disconnect HAL's 'brain', which would then trigger this video to start. However, it was ultimately the case that the alien hoped that HAL would defeat Bowman, i.e., that Bowman would not be able to re-enter the ship, or that he would die while doing so and thus not be able to disconnect HAL. In this scenario, the three astronauts would be revived and then they'd physically move the diamonds to their final destination; then after this, the aliens and Satan would 'share' in a kind of 'evil empire' that would have been established. In any event, the fact that HAL kills the three hibernating men, means that in the end, Satan cheats the aliens out of their diamonds, which represents the media Jews cheating the radical feminists out of victory. After Bowman has physically exited Discovery One in his pod, per Floyd's instructions, he passes through the stargate, which as was said earlier, depicts Bowman's movement through a wormhole connecting Jupiter space with Earth space. Also as stated earlier, Bowman is here moving backward in time several million years as well. The alien needs Bowman not only to move through space quickly, before he dies, but it also needs Bowman to see the various images representing conception, such as the fetus-like image shown at above left, so that he will see the need to be reborn. In one sense, all of space is here being depicted as a womb. Bowman must also transit through the circles of Hell (above right), experience the beatific vision, etc.

After Bowman has been 'examined' by the alien through his dream (the hotel sequence), to see if he 'qualifies' as a suitable being with which it can unite, the moment of conception occurs: The actual 'merging' of the alien life force with Bowman, which began while Bowman was viewing Floyd on the video monitor (recall that the alien was 'storing' itself in the ship's circuits all along), is completed (above left) shortly after Bowman experiences enlightenment. The resultant combined being (above right) is a union of all opposites: good and evil (Bowman and his shadow), Man and machine (Bowman and HAL), the masculine and the feminine (Bowman and the alien), Apollonian and Dionysian, etc. The resultant being is also the personification of Mercurius and brahman/atman. The physical appearance of the being inside the fetus has qualities of both Dave Bowman (its overall facial appearance) and the alien (its high forehead and large eyes). It 'evolves' to the point where it can physically plant the monolith on Earth, now providing the aliens with another opportunity to determine the fate of mankind (development of the use of weapons, the incomplete citrinitas, etc.); and of course, they now have another opportunity to transport the diamonds, which are still contained within the monolith, to Jupiter (or some other planet). Note that the monolith must have moved through the wormhole with Bowman, to go from Jupiter space to Earth space.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

2001 analysis - part 63: A reference to the biblical book of Proverbs


After David Bowman (sitting on our left in the screencap at left) and Poole notify mission control of the problem with the AE-35 unit, a man speaking from mission control (on the monitor just above Bowman's head) 'rogers' the "two-zero one-three", which is evidently the 'code' for the AE-35 unit failing. At one point, the man states that mission control is reviewing telemetric information in their mission simulator, and will advise the astronauts on what to do about the problem. The number '2-0-1-3' is a reference to the 20th book of the bible, Proverbs, chapter 13.

As stated in the caption to the above screencap, the number '2-0-1-3' used by the man at mission control, when speaking to Bowman and Poole, is a biblical reference to the book of Proverbs (the 20th book of the bible), chapter 13, which is quoted below [New Revised Standard Version]:

1 A wise child loves discipline, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
2 From the fruit of their words good people eat good things, but the desire of the treacherous is for wrongdoing.
3 Those who guard their mouths preserve their lives; those who open wide their lips come to ruin.
4 The appetite of the lazy craves, and gets nothing, while the appetite of the diligent is richly supplied.
5 The righteous hate falsehood, but the wicked act shamefully and disgracefully.
6 Righteousness guards one whose way is upright, but sin overthrows the wicked.
7 Some pretend to be rich, yet have nothing; others pretend to be poor, yet have great wealth.
8 Wealth is a ransom for a person’s life, but the poor get no threats.
9 The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked goes out.
10 By insolence the heedless make strife, but wisdom is with those who take advice.
11 Wealth hastily gained will dwindle, but those who gather little by little will increase it.
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
13 Those who despise the word bring destruction on themselves, but those who respect the commandment will be rewarded.
14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, so that one may avoid the snares of death.
15 Good sense wins favour, but the way of the faithless is their ruin.
16 The clever do all things intelligently, but the fool displays folly.
17 A bad messenger brings trouble, but a faithful envoy, healing.
18 Poverty and disgrace are for the one who ignores instruction, but one who heeds reproof is honoured.
19 A desire realized is sweet to the soul, but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools.
20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm.
21 Misfortune pursues sinners, but prosperity rewards the righteous.
22 The good leave an inheritance to their children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.
23 The field of the poor may yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice.
24 Those who spare the rod hate their children, but those who love them are diligent to discipline them.
25 The righteous have enough to satisfy their appetite, but the belly of the wicked is empty.


The above verses correspond somewhat to what we said earlier, about how Bowman's and Poole's respective fates are, in part, due to their respective attitudes toward life.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

2001 analysis - part 62: The monolith and the 'Pulp Fiction' briefcase


From Pulp Fiction: Jules, with one hand on the briefcase, points his gun at Ringo.

Earlier in the analysis we said that the aliens have placed diamonds stolen from Earth inside the monolith, and that they are transporting them to Jupiter. We have also observed that the Pulp Fiction briefcase is physically similar in appearance to a small monolith.

It was observed in the analysis of Pulp Fiction that the briefcase contains something different for each man associated with it: Ringo sees gold in it, Vincent sees drugs, Marsellus sees money, and Jules believes it contains enlightenment (in the Buddhist sense). We can link what each man sees in the case with the fact that the monolith contains diamonds, when we realize that diamonds can be taken to represent certain things. Obviously, diamonds are of high monetary value, so this explains why Marsellus sees money inside the briefcase. To explain Ringo seeing gold, we note the connection between diamonds and gold: Philosophers...had a more naturalistic approach to explain the origin of gems: Plato for example believed gemstones were a consequence of fermentation in the stars, where a diamond actually formed the kernel of gold-bearing mass. In fact often diamonds were linked to gold, which may have found its origin in the joint occurrence of diamonds with quartzite, quartz veins and an occasional occurrence of gold in them.[a]

The connection between diamonds, and Jules seeing enlightenment, is derived from the name of a Buddhist text called the Diamond Sutra; in Buddhism, the ultimate goal is enlightenment, which is what Jules is seeking. Vincent, who is depicted as being a drug user, believes drugs are in the case; this is no doubt linked to the 1967 Beatles song, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, whose title can be taken as having the 'initials' 'LSD'. LSD is a hallucinogenic drug; recall that earlier in the analysis, we linked hallucinogenics to the 'psychedelic' images Bowman sees in the stargate.

Above left: Pulp Fiction's Vincent Vega. Above right: Pulp Fiction's Marsellus Wallace (with shotgun). The man standing near him is boxer Butch Coolidge.

It is no doubt the case that each of the four men mentioned above represents, to at least some degree, a character from A Space Odyssey. As we've already noted, Vincent represents David Bowman, at least within the context of Bowman passing through the stargate (the 'trip' metaphor); Marsellus, who sends two hit men to retrieve the briefcase, represents Satan; Ringo corresponds to Heywood Floyd; and Jules represents the 'ape-man' in 2001 who discovers that a bone can be picked up and used to hit things (i.e., it can be used as a weapon; the ape-man's ability to make such a discovery, was enabled by his earlier having touched the monolith). Then, within this context of each man in Pulp Fiction representing someone in A Space Odyssey, we can also draw a correspondence between the briefcase contents, and what the monolith represents in each of its four appearances: In the first and last appearances of it (in the primeval segment, and at the foot of Bowman's bed at the end), it represents enlightenment; at TMA-1 (Ringo/diner in Pulp Fiction), it 'contains' gold (in the sense of the correspondence of gold with diamonds, as described above); and when it is shown floating near Jupiter, it 'contains' drugs, within the context of the David Bowman/Vincent Vega-drugs correspondence. Ultimately, then, the monolith physically contains diamonds, and metaphorically speaking, it in part represents enlightenment. Note that in Pulp Fiction, we are never shown Marsellus looking inside the briefcase - this corresponds to the fact that we are never specifically shown Satan himself 'looking at' the monolith in A Space Odyssey. However, the 'cash value' of the briefcase contents for Marsellus corresponds to the high value of the monolith contents to Satan. The fact that Satan places high value on the diamonds in the monolith, explains why he sent the two hit men to TMA-1, to retrieve the diamonds from the aliens. (Also, recall that one of the aliens at TMA-1 is working as an informant for Satan).

a. Wikipedia, 'Diamond (gemstone)'. Web, n.d. URL = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamond_(gemstone).


Thursday, June 14, 2012

2001 analysis - part 61: Kubrick on luck and one's attitude in life


The rack set-up for a game of blackball. Note the pattern of reds and yellows (colors can be reversed). [Image from the Wikipedia 'Blackball (pool)' page, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.]

Continuing with our discussion from the previous part of this analysis, concerning references to the game of billiards in 2001, we note that when the balls are first racked up in the British-style game of pool known as blackball, the red and yellow balls are placed in the alternating pattern shown in the above screencap. Presumably, this is designed the way it is so that there is no greater chance of pocketing a yellow ball on the break than there is a red one. Recall that the sequence of events beginning with HAL's attack on Poole (via the EVA pod, which represents a cue-ball), up through the moment that Bowman is 'shot' into the airlock (billiards table pocket), represents the balls being knocked around in a game of blackball (with Bowman wearing a red spacesuit and Poole a yellow one). Also, note that the game of pool is governed by the universal 'action-reaction' laws of physics, i.e., when a ball is struck with a certain speed at a certain angle, it moves away with a certain resultant speed and angle. What Kubrick is saying is that there is some kind of universal law whereby the respective fates of Bowman and Poole are due to some kind of deterministic process, that is, which man would live and which would die during the sequence of events surrounding replacement of the AE-35 unit, was in some sense pre-determined by universal forces.

Poole admits defeat in his chess match with HAL, without correctly verifying that he has been checkmated.

Recalling the earlier discussion of the Indian Upanishad, in which it is suggested that a man's attitude and deeds determine his destiny, and in consideration of the fact that Poole has a worse 'attitude' toward life than does Bowman (he gives up in the chess game with HAL without sufficiently verifying that he has been checkmated, he sounds somewhat 'negative' during the discussion with Bowman in the pod, and he essentially 'blows off' the birthday greeting from his parents), one might think that Kubrick's message is that each astronaut's 'destiny' was determined by his attitude: Poole went careening off into space and presumably died (or at least, he did so after Bowman let him go), whereas Bowman lived at least long enough to re-enter the ship and disconnect HAL. However, what is actually the case is that Bowman's 'ejection' into the airlock is being depicted as some kind of random process, one which resulted in his hitting his bare head on an unpadded portion of the airlock wall; thus, his brain injury and eventual death (the alien/Bowman 'combination' at the end of the movie consists of the alien life force occupying Bowman's dead body). Thus, what Kubrick is ultimately saying is that although a man's course of life is determined to a large extent by his attitude and deeds (Bowman did a good deed in trying to save Poole), in the end, the outcome of his life is determined by random processes - it cannot be guaranteed that either a good or an evil man will get his 'just rewards'.

The topic of random fortune and destiny appears in the bible, in Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 [Revised Standard Version]:

11. Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all. 12. For man does not know his time. Like fish which are taken in an evil net, and like birds which are caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

Recall that the alien influenced Bowman's mind so that he forgot to put on his space helmet, before leaving Discovery One to retrieve Poole. Since a large part of the reason Bowman injured his head, is because he was not wearing a helmet when he entered the airlock, the evil alien played a very significant part in influencing his destiny.

When Bowman is 'ejected' from his EVA pod into one end of Discovery One's emergency airlock, he hits his bare head on the closed doorway on the other end, instead of hitting it on one of the padded portions of the wall.

What Lynch is doing in Mulholland Drive is telling us that Diane has a bad attitude toward life and suffers the consequences, but the fact that she was abused as a child no doubt contributed to her having the negative attitude; and since this abuse was a factor beyond her control, i.e., it is 'random' that she was born into an abusive family, Lynch is ultimately saying that random forces can affect one's life attitude itself, and thus can, to a large extent, determine the outcome of one's life. What Tarantino is trying to get across in Pulp Fiction is the idea that a random happenstance can alter even an evil man's fundamental attitude to life, and even change the very course of his life: When hit men Jules and Vincent are completely missed by several gunshots fired at them point-blank, Jules thinks it over and decides that it is a miracle (in the religious sense), and as a result, he decides to quit being a hit man and to instead wander the Earth.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

2001 analysis - part 60: Reference to the game of billiards is being made


In the British style game of pool (pocket billiards) known as blackball, the cue ball is white, the 8-ball is black, and the object balls are red and yellow. [Image from the Wikipedia 'Blackball (pool)' page, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.]

Recall the mention earlier in this analysis, of Michael Mann's '8-ball hemorrhage' hint regarding the bleeding into David Bowman's eye, after Bowman injures his head when he is 'shot into' the emergency airlock of Discovery One. We may apply this hint to 2001 in a broader sense, once we realize that in certain scenes in the movie, the white, round EVA pods are being used to represent cue-balls (as used in various versions of the game of billiards - see screencap above), and Bowman and Poole (the latter's name is, in addition to being a reference to a gene pool, a reference to the game of pool), wearing their red and yellow space suits, represent object balls, that is, they represent the balls that are to be pocketed (as in the game of blackball - see the screencap above).

Top left: After Poole's EVA pod (under HAL's control) has struck Poole, both Frank and the pod go careening off into space. This represents a cue-ball striking a yellow object ball. Top right: After Bowman has retrieved Poole's body from space, he is denied entrance to Discovery One after a brief standoff. "Behind the eight ball" (or "behind the eight") is a common idiom meaning to be in trouble, stymied or thwarted, in an awkward position or out of luck. [a] Above left: Bowman lets Poole go. Above right: Bowman, in his red spacesuit, is 'shot' into the airlock 'by' the EVA pod (cue-ball); the airlock can be taken to represent a pocket in a billiards table.

a. Wikipedia, 'Kelly pool: Behind the eight ball'. Web, n.d. URL = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelly_pool#.22Behind_the_eight_ball.22.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

2001 analysis - part 59: The conception allegory; the unconscious as a 'womb'


This image that Bowman sees while in the stargate, has an appearance not unlike that of a human fetus inside an egg (click image to enlarge).

The movie 2001: A Space Odyssey has been described as an allegory of human conception, birth and death. In part, this can be seen through the final moments of the film, which are defined by the image of the "star child", an in utero fetus that draws on the work of Lennart Nilsson. ('In utero' is a Latin term, literally meaning "inside the womb.")

New Zealand journalist Scott MacLeod sees parallels between the spaceship's journey and the physical act of conception. The lengthy pyrotechnic light show witnessed by David Bowman, which has puzzled many reviewers, is seen by MacLeod as Kubrick's attempt at visually depicting the moment of conception, when the "star child" comes into being. [a]

The above suggests that at least part of the action in the movie, is being depicted as taking place inside a metaphorical womb. Recalling the earlier quote from Jung, stating that Melusina's birthplace is inside the "womb of the mysteries", which Jung equates with the unconscious, the indication we have is that at least part of the movie is actually taking place 'in' someone's (i.e., Bowman's) unconscious. This idea is further evidence that some of what we see in the movie is a dream that David Bowman is experiencing.

a. Wikipedia, 'Interpretations of 2001: A Space Odyssey'. Web, n.d. URL = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretations_of_2001:_A_Space_Odyssey.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

2001 analysis - part 58: Hints in the movie poster


The poster for A Space Odyssey shown at left,[a] provides quite a few hints about various themes in the movie: The space craft exiting the yellowish slot in the middle of the space station, is leaving some sort of trail behind, giving the whole thing (station, craft, and trail) the appearance of a key being inserted into a keyhole. Since the space station rotates, and since it looks physically similar to a giant film reel, the hint here is that one key to the movie is rotation, i.e., when the "key" is turned, the space station/film reel rotates. The rotation 'theme' in the movie includes the rotation of an image of Heywood Floyd's daughter clockwise by 90 degrees (see below).

Above: Recall that when we rotated the image of Heywood Floyd's daughter clockwise by 90 degrees, the resultant image (the right-hand image above) turned out to be a hint leading to the conclusion, that Floyd's body is occupied by an alien life force.

The space station being in the poster is a hint, that part of the Jupiter mission film is being recorded in the station itself. The fact that part of the station is red in the poster is indicative of the presence of HAL's camera 'eyes'.

Note that all four alchemical colors (black, white, yellow, and red) are present in the poster. Also note the presence of blue, the color which Jung says represents the feminine, and which is being used in the movie to indicate that the aliens are feminine in nature. Finally, the prominence of yellow in the poster (in the lettering of the movie title) is meant to highlight the importance of the alchemical citrinitas stage and the chemical wedding.

a. Poster for 2001: A Space Odyssey: The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (Turner Entertainment), the publisher of the film or the graphic artist. The poster art is believed to be used in accordance with the U.S. Copyright Fair Use Act (Title 17, U.S. Code).


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