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2019 The Odyssey Brief: Breaching the Hull of Discovery


Old McDonald had a farm EIEI...
Oh, it’s D-Doctor Dave c-coming to k-kill me. 
— HAL ‘01

To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream. — ESTHER GREENWOOD ‘63

MURDER WAS OFTEN A TRANSFORMATIVE, TRADEMARK...

MURDER WAS OFTEN A TRANSFORMATIVE, TRADEMARK catalyst for storytelling devices in the canon of this director of 2001. Accompanied by the never-talked-about bathroom topics and amongst the natural tendency for the breakdown in communication, are its own built-in faults, replete with a social issue dish du jour or two. Among those maxims, motifs such as creation amongst process (42), humanity’s fallibility and often backward slide into chaos and decline (41), covert and systemic racism, tidings of homosexuality, interviews, signals intelligence, and rhetoric à la Hollywood. These are but a few of the cascading tropes with an abundance of meaningful light to graze the silver-filled emulsion for a single picture of a particularly focused director, which run threads along the fringes of his complex pictorial exploits, regularly framed within a society of a time, often disguised and masked… as another. With all the charm of cats…and icebergs, notwithstanding the optimism of dogs, leaving the viewer punch-drunk, twinkling, fumbling with the madcap chuckling of Herbert Lom.

As pieces of artwork are academic, inimitable master classes, a syllabus to a university course like no other school of sight, sound, or thought, an introduction to the faraway quiet chaos within the yaw of abstraction’s soupçons, and the jagged path from subjectivity. Newly comprised into an evocative, cultural altruism, well defined within their art form, includes the likes of the Fibonacci sequence spiralled into the musical notation of Tool’s “Lateralus,” the propensity of Underwood’s piano timing and tonal levity captured in Zappa’s “The Black Page” and the ’60s post-conservatism, modern existentialism of Hendrix’s “If 6 was 9.”

Or would it be simpler to describe such works as one might mille-feuille, as Napoleon, a fl aky puff pastry layered with lush, velvety vanilla cream, elegantly simple as it is deliciously indulgent? This catalogue of storytelling concepts retains its relevance, as down in the recesses of pictures remain an unfound absurdity of truth, an honest portrayal of allegorical content even if constructed often in the faults and lies of fabrication and murder. Additionally, forcing perhaps a simple marriage of mathematics, utilizing in its foundation, two negatives to propel a single positive within the scope of a motion picture. And at that forefront very often is the story’s central character, America, as Freud’s chaise longue, with Maine its head cushion, Florida its claw foot leg, under heavy magnifi cation and scrutiny. Often beneath political light from the chandelier trappings of democracy, usually against the vantage of a luxury liner’s scullery, or the Eagle Mall.

Or would it be simpler to describe such works as one might mille-feuille, as Napoleon, a flaky puff pastry layered with lush, velvety vanilla cream, elegantly simple as it is deliciously indulgent? This catalogue of storytelling concepts retains its relevance, as down in the recesses of pictures remain an unfound absurdity of truth, an honest portrayal of allegorical content even if constructed often in the faults and lies of fabrication and murder. Additionally, forcing perhaps a simple marriage of mathematics, utilizing in its foundation, two negatives to propel a single positive within the scope of a motion picture. And at that forefront very often is the story’s central character, America, as Freud’s chaise longue, with Maine its head cushion, Florida its claw foot leg, under heavy magnification and scrutiny. Often beneath political light from the chandelier trappings of democracy, usually against the vantage of a luxury liner’s scullery, or the Eagle Mall.

Doctor..Doctor, Doctor ..Doctor, Doctor ..Doctor

SPIES LIKE US (1985)

Beyond the trick of the light, the pinprick coincidences of elliptical rejoinders, and one-point perspectives, the yaw of abstraction from a three-point explanation must follow. As 2001 and The Shining run a gamut of similarities, explaining one through the optics of the other should clear a path for further conclusions. The arrival of the twin girls, Gemini, chaos on the playground, sans skates and scissors, to Daniel become doppelgängers to the monkeybars, mirroring him, of who he was before, once perhaps in the past. Danny’s dreams and nightmares appear to be revisited over and again through his own terrifying imagination and experience. This straight-up commixture he downs, patterns the horror from the sweltering, expanding cauldron of his fears making the precarious NASA “Gemini” developmental space program preceding Apollo, fi t like a sweater. Danny has some serious choices to make ahead of him as to what he wants to be, an astronaut, perhaps entering the field of medicine or even becoming a commercial pilot.

However, just a short drive from the Torrance household in Boulder, across the street in Estes Park from the Stanley Hotel where King created the foundation for his new title, The Shining, a mountain stands so named Twin Sisters Peak. Delivered as a visual entente cordiale, dwelling, laying low behind the shadow of Jungian breakthrough accompanied by synchronous functionality, in surrealistic agreement with reality, simultaneously adds to Danny’s confusion. Then for some, the snooze alarm before a complete breakfast diet of a fortified complexity bias.

Furthermore, just as with Danny and the twins, Jack in his maroon company jacket takes to Grady in many ways, like a white glove. And somewhere in the Overlook, Wendy slips into the upper story, finally seeing in her own eyes, herself, lastly in… Lloyd, the jaundiced dogglebänger, bartend to this cocktail diversion, offering above-bar “party favours.” Wendy shrieks at this member only horror soirée unfolding in front of her, bringing a cake knife to a shotgun affair, sending herself screeching like a Munch painting, escaping to break this memory in the mirror projected in front of her.

“Observation is a dying art. The essence of dramatic form is to let an idea come over people without it being plainly stated.” — STANLEY KUBRICK

In another turn of daydreaming distractions and musing reveries of Jack Torrance, the camera corners into the Gold Room party, as the tracking maintains a parallel of the jubilant, sparkling guise of the 1920s. Together in the throes of Jack’s epoch, a comparative is set for a combined timeline as the camera dolly rolls up to Overlook’s finest. Lloyd offers his second favour to Jack at the bar, who in his receding, reverse serpentine dance manages to have Advocaat spilled on him by Grady. This creamy drink, favoured by politicians and lawyers for its throat-soothing effects, points left to the party members enjoying themselves in a gala of classic static jubilance. However, perusing the reticles of Jack’s timeline broke a magazine so named Advocate. In 1967, inspired by a police raid, the monthly publication was the first ever for the queer community, and that same combined movement from what would come next became a long parade of assurance.

Grady and Jack take action, moving onto the conventional presidential head, indicative of the same red and white bathrooms found in 1969 New York City at the Stonewall Inn, another ground zero for the rights of the LGBTQ community and the victim at the hands of the NYC police department from multiple raids on the bar, causing several riots from protesting to break out between the two groups. The
Stonewall Inn’s now-painted burnt umber copper tiles above the bar mimic those of the Gold Room’s own gilt executive styling, spread eagle across the regal attire of the gay twenties. Meanwhile, Grady disappears below the mirror and Jack’s waistband to oblige the stain to his trousers as further favor to seal a murderous deed, as if to compel an ongoing wager, for an upcoming fight. The horror. This speak easy, unfolding of representative meaning from simple visible communication takes the audience by hand down a banister timeline along with The Shining, racing pulses, identifying events, and per due course, the spectators as well.

Beyond the gabion and bastions of modern complex storytelling, here lies a microcosm of exploratory, surgical, numerical themes, sipping mai-tais on the banks of a tributary to a river called Allegory. Motifs using numerals is another facet of visual communication, simply requiring an in-depth mise-en-scène reading, unfolding from behind a secret order under a cover story usually set against a backdrop of Penderecki’s intonations, vibrato, and stretch, and the often harsh, stinging tones of dissonance.

Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of this hat!

Bullwinkle, that’s not a rabbit, it’s a bear!

• Pass by the large piano and see Wendy swinging her Carl Yastrzemski bat forty-two times nailing Jack’s head in a sharp line drive to left center.

• Parking your auto at the Overlook makes you the forty-second vehicle to arrive.

• Swing by the Colorado lounge and have a count of Jack’s writing. He’s been pecking away at a paragraph composed of exactly 42 letters and spaces.

• Around the corner of the Torrance family bathroom and Danny’s raglan tee includes the number If you happen to see Danny playing with his mother’s lipstick you might hear him repeat “murder” in reverse 42 times.

• A rendezvous with Hertz rental gets Hallorann a vehicle with 42 on the number plate.

• Come in for a landing at Stapleton airport with Hallorann and there are a total of 42 lights surrounding the tarmac.

• The lobby boy helps you to room 237, but you return your keys at the front desk when all three numbers produce 42. Gesundheit.

• Jack’s demise in the labyrinth would probably be reported by Boulder police as having been approximately 6:07 AM, as the clock at the service entrance reads 5:25 when Danny runs away.

• Cut through the galley to find Wendy pulling on the larder room door for a total of 42 times.

• Jack spends 42 seconds plowing his axe through the bathroom door.

• The unused Vermont license plate prop contains the numbers 4247 as seen atop the refrigerator in the documentary Stanley and Me.

• Peeking into the lobby you’ll discover Summer of ‘42 on the television set.

• Pop on over to the calendar in the apartment kitchen and you’ll find the Torrance family spend exactly 42 days in the Overlook Hotel, from October 30 to the early morning of December 10.

With the film fading, lowering down the rung of credits into projected acetate blackness, its midnight musical piece ending as the crowd cheers at the event’s spectacle, the arrival of yet another for the ghost dance is announced. Revenants in line for the banquet portrait are near the party’s berm, and a burst of bedazzlement from the shutter’s synchronized flash radiates white. A light applause escapes from the room. You-have-arrived. The end photograph date, July 4th, 1921, easily transforms into the number 42.

Moon Bunny Illustration by Yoojeong Choi

Moon Bunny Illustration by Yoojeong Choi

For those of you that were captured

— Fell for the silvery shimmer that was rapture

Are forever in the edits

As you now become

Next in line

Specters of the credits

There are exactly 42 actors listed at the end of The Shining.

“JUST A MOMENT...JUST A MOMENT”

“I’ve just received a fault in the AE-35 antenna”

AE-35 breaks down and equates to the number 42 and 41, denoting chaos into creation or the reverse…as if the cement to a foundation.

Jupiter’s astrological symbol is a mirror of the number 42 with an archer as Sagittarius’s sign, just as Aries-1B translates similarly.

Xray-Delta One, Discovery’s radio call sign, translates to “24/41, roger that.” Running at exactly 142 minutes long while 2001: A Space Odyssey was released April 2, 1968.

Towel anyone?

Standing in the Present —

Looking to the past —

To build the future

When last observed, Discovery’s position was locked at the inner gravitational Lagrange between Jupiter and IO, as if frozen. Yet HAL’s start, beyond where he was built in Urbana, Illinois, or his operational day of 12 January 1992, began at IBM.

This much is true. That was around the same time as the International Geophysical Year in ’57 when IBM undertook its most ambitious project to date, already with national laboratory contracts in line for the supercomputer of its age. It was IBM’s biggest, baddest, fastest computer to date and would be lauded as such until its launch.

The IBM supercomputer of its age

The IBM supercomputer of its age

After the IBM 704 computer first sang Daisy, and before the IBM 7090 would make an appearance in Dr. Strangelove (1964), the mighty rollout of the IBM Stretch 7030 computer that came out would match the opening music and sequence of 2001, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra.” That is certain, but it would soon fall to the shadow of newer technologies and itself. Still, Stretch did remain the fastest computer until 1964, despite running at fifty percent of its proposed speed.

“The fastest, the most powerful and versatile in the world”

The transistorized Stretch was never the super-computer as marketed by IBM. A financial loss, the 7030 went on to the parts pile for only a while, failing on many levels, and would go down as the biggest shortfall in project management for some time yet. It would go on working laboriously in large capacity until its final retirement in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s in various installations.

“Aggressively estimating speeds beyond 100 times faster than that of existing machines” — Big Blue in its proposal for the government funding that allowed the 7030 to be built. A “stretch” of IBM’s overall capacities and so the machine’s nickname was conceived.

However, using as its assembly language, an instruction which prevents one memory or input/output (I/O) operation from starting until the previous memory or I/O operation is completed was first used by the 7030. Established as Enforce In-order Execution of I/O also known as EIEIO because “there is nothing wrong with a little well-placed whimsy” according to Peter Van Der Linden.

The time is the turbulent ’60s, a time of torrent of social upheaval leaves in its wake extreme racial tensions, tremendous political and public stress over the war in Vietnam, well-defi ned 1960s America. The age of flight progressed when the Boeing 707 was launched, and the pendulum of a sexual revolution was just beginning to swing amongst a counterculture ready for progress.

With a hot-topic conflict fought in a tropical zone and while also entrenched in a severe cold war around the globe, both sides would mysteriously lose a submarine each. Russia’s K-129 and USS Scorpion were lost, including a small intel ship, the USS Pueblo, taken in international waters by North Korea patrol boats in 1968, compromising multiple intelligence platforms, including ryptology, signals intelligence, and ELINT, possibly costing Scorpion herself and the war in Vietnam.

But still the hope for the future could have easily been glossed over and gushed in from the super ambitious, from the super ambitious, flightiness of IGY ‘57 whose Googie optimism lasted at least ten years through the Gemini program, Star Trek’s original three season run, and NASA’s first Apollo missions, accompanied by a booster from the futurism of the 1964 World’s Fair itself.

IBM Stretch7030 Illustration by- Yoojeong Choi, Special Thanks to Max Cambell at IBM Archives, with Regard to Nathalie Naudi and Musée des Arts et Métiers

IBM Stretch7030 Illustration by- Yoojeong Choi, Special Thanks to Max Cambell at IBM Archives, with Regard to Nathalie Naudi and Musée des Arts et Métiers

“IBM’s pavilion at the World’s Fair in ‘64 was different in that it attempted through its various exhibits, to explain how computer circuits and memory cores worked, to teach the principles of probability, logical structure and abstraction, and to persuade people that computers were beneficial.”

“To introduce IBM’s newest products the grounds also featured components from the Eames exhibition “Mathematica: A World of Numbers . . . and Beyond.”

“While IBM knew that it couldn’t sell or lease a computer to the average visitor, they did try to prove that they were not a threat but user-friendly.”

Over at the Traveler’s Insurance exhibit “The Triumph of Man” short was featured beginning with “The Dawn of Man” chapter showing early stages of man making tools with stones.

“This simple pebble tool would be the beginning to a technology that would take man to the stars,” the narrator mentions.

“Every aspect of the IBM pavilion emphasized the ways in which computers could be an integral, unthreatening part of our future.”

“Bones can symbolize the last traces of the dead, they also appear to last forever, resembling permanence, which part of life that cannot be destroyed, indicative of resurrection in the Jewish tradition, while it could represent knowledge of mortality and of the transitory. The Earth can simply be recognized symbolically as flesh and bones and generally as well marrow can indicate a lack of honesty or even flattery."

An influential film, Parable, with zero dialogue and which became the inspiration for the 1971 musical Godspell, was exhibited at the ’64 fair. It begins with the abyss, reading, “the Prologue is in Darkness” and fades to solid black for one minute.

The National Amateur Athletic Union began competition in the American judo championships in the World’s Fair Pavilion last night, May 1st, 1964, as did boxing. Both featured specifically, although casually placed, in 2001.

Douglas Trumbull, special visual effects photography for 2001, was found through the short film about the future To the Moon and Beyond, exhibited at the 1964 World’s Fair, as was Con Pederson.

GM’s futuristic car featured on the Pan American Orion’s in-flight television

GM’s futuristic car featured on the Pan American Orion’s in-flight television

GM’s futuristic car featured on the Pan American Orion’s in-flight television programming during Dr. Floyd’s trip aboard also exhibited at the fair, as did the Parker Atomic Pen floating ‘round Orion’s cabin.

The first video telephone connection was made from New York to Los Angeles at the Bell System’s ’64 pavilion.

The Pan Am Orion III clipper appears as an amalgamation of the sculpture Forms in Transit by Theodore Roszak and the North American X-15 hypersonic rocket powered aircraft, both attractions exhibited at the ’64 Fair.

Even that of Clavius Base, as shown on the moon during 2001, appears to be an exemplar to the World’s Fair pavilion map. With its familiar shapes and design lines, Odyssey becomes a sole contributory featurette to the future.

Rocket Thrower - photot credit to Rebekah Burgess New York City Parks

Rocket Thrower - photo credit to  B.T. Malone

2001 appears all around the ’64 World’s Fair Map, from street names to the shapes of pavilions to bush babies at the Afrikaans exhibit. And at the head of it, the Bell Systems pavilion, the most familiar shape found throughout the second half of Odyssey. The screwdriver, at every doorway from Orion to Discovery, tosses in a little sprinkled invention of death— the simple flat head would be used to shut HAL off.

Just down the pathway is the Pan American Highway, directly adjacent to the Eastman Kodak pavilion. Mr. and Mrs. Chandra are seen enjoying a stroll around the park as featured in one of the fair’s many short marketing films available online. He’s an engineer. Dupont exhibited its Wonderful world of Chemistry.

“Here is a pavilion with a musical spectacle, here is a salute to the children of the world,” one narrator explained.

The hovering ringed observation towers and vast projection screens as seen around the fair and while landing the Aries-1B also have an elemental appearance.

Now, more than fifty-seven years ago, “Westinghouse buried a time capsule at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Contained in it were “Molecular Blocks,” a company invention that squeezed “the functions usually performed by an entire assembly of electronic components” into “small solid blocks of material.” If that sounds familiar, that is because it describes what we now know today as the Monolithic integrated circuit (IC) or microchip.”

Finally steer around on through Ford Motor Company’s Magic Skyway to find the list that goes on and on for an epic comparison between the 1964 World’s Fair and 2001: A Space Odyssey, accompanied by a very resounding, “Everything.”

At the ’64 World’s Fair with the Kubrick’s (l to r). Katharina, Vivian, Christiane, Anya and Stanley
Kubrick Family at the World’s Fair. Illustration by Beena Parikh

At the ’64 World’s Fair with the Kubrick’s (l to r). Katharina, Vivian, Christiane, Anya and Stanley

Thanks to Meghan Lalor and Rebekah Burgess at New York City Parks

“We all went. It was dark. I remember crowds and everybody being very impressed. The smooth glasslike pond under the huge metal sculpture of the earth. Impressive. The tall space rocket type tower with the restaurant on top – which later proved to be an actual spaceship in Men in Black. I knew it!

An open fairground type train ride on tracks to see the animatronic dolls dressed in various national costumes singing “it’s a small world after all, I still remember the tune …”

Katharina Kubrick

October 2022

Liudmyla and Kris Bieliaieva

Image credited to Liudmyla and Kris Bieliaieva

Further peeling back the layers of 2001, it has in its nature the simple elements of story creation and motion pictures, with the first act beginning with camera on black, then lights, action and the moon’s drop-out ancient shadow play appears as an homage to the age of motion pictures itself. The orbiting film reel with an inserted pin register, the floating pen, the edited interview with the crewmen, the plot twist, and Bowman’s subsequent on-screen death and rebirth into stardom act thematic in appearance, a nod to one of the last art forms.

Still there is Bowman and HAL to characterize further.

The following summary is classified RESTRICTED: Advisories are designed for the unit HAL-9000, Heuristically programmed, Algorithmic computer, incept date January 12, 1992, installed aboard United States Spaceship Discovery One. All other considerations rescinded.

No Eyes: Urbana, Illinois Employees — Non-Binary or Binary

HAL’s character is a dilemma to say the least and goes as far into the spiral of his personality as anyone could be prepared to go, still causing an onset of vertigo especially when considering how sentient he must become in order for some motive to be substantiated or relegated to it being an error for the humans to solve. However, as androgenous as he is narcissistic, HAL is the secret epitome of a Hollywood stereotype born out of the late 1950s and early ’60s which worked its way not only through motion pictures but also television. HAL shares similarity with characters such as Norman Bates in Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), Bobbi in De Palma’s Dressed to Kill and Lambert in Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979).

Some of the vehicles in 2001 take on the appearance of humans, their faces, and/or their bodies, but why the moon bus has always appeared as that of a caterpillar remains still, a total mystery.

The Aries 1B transport has in its features a brick face, almost a rounded Bauhaus Lego style to the spacecraft and Discovery One is always at such an acute or obtuse camera angle so much enough that a bird’s eye view showing its head, body, abdomen and static rocket legs, is never given much consideration by the gallery. Is HAL looking more sentient all the time or is Discovery One just in the shape of a nuclear ‘broom?’

Bowman and Poole act as checks and balances for HAL’s performance, oversight from the Urbana, Illinois department of space maintenance, janitors to Jupiter, caretakers to the sky. Day after day they put HAL’s systems in check while he considers these relationships, and foremost for him the trust between them. HAL suspects the crew know nothing of the mission and calculates he is the final contingency should something “go wrong” with the crew, HAL would carry on with the operation.

Was HAL being prodded by bad actors? He was lied to, then learned to lie to himself to the point of believing his deceit, corrupting himself and was told he was fastest, best, then immaturely believed it, piling it on to his growing narcissism.

AE-35 antenna shut off. HAL’s programming, beyond humming “Old McDonald’s Farm” lays a cornerstone of fear so utterly tricky even the installers themselves in Urbana were puzzled. HAL’s problem is with his own multiplied fear given to him in the form of a lie, a phobia, a fear of this rotating side lobed equipment.

HAL’s emitter had to be shut down somehow, by meteor, by all costs, by any means

HAL’s emitter had to be shut down somehow, by meteor, by all costs, by any means

HAL’s emitter had to be shut down somehow, by meteor, by all costs, by any means, for whatever reason, be it interference from the monolith at Jupiter and IO or some other MIJI incident such as intrusion or meaconing. However the dilemma of HAL’s motives continues to dive even deeper into his character and further into the story whirlwind. In a wider sense, a parallel race with his castration anxiety, HAL’s sociopathy lies in his phallophobia, an unconscious fear of the genital organs, essentially for losing them, especially as punishment for oedipal feelings. Coupled with an aversion to masculinity, HAL is already giving the crew of Discovery One the goodbye look.

FRANK POOLE MUST DIE

Phallophobia has been input as the ALgorithm in studies of Heuristics in robotic decision making related to themes of sexual temperance. HAL’s implanted eunuch nature has taken over and put him into fight mode. Well below his surface narcissism, HAL wants change, to trans-human, hoping for a Giuseppe eff ect through the interface of the stargate, to become a real human child, not a far cry from David in Artificial Intelligence (2001) played by Haley Joel Osment. To give himself this favor, this birthday gift to himself, HAL is cutting “EVERYONE” off to make this his mission now.

IF…HAL HAD PROCESSED THROUGH THE STARGATE AS

If…Hal had processed through the stargate as he almost did, arriving back possibly with new robot gams, having changed his name to Haylee, now illustrating jeans wear for Menduke Denim, and introducing a new designer line, debuting as “Haylee Belles.” This alternative dream sequence for HAL would not be the case, however. With the keepers granting his basic whims, not only would HAL come sliding out on the other side from the slipstream to earth with new legs but with such vengeance, the weapons surrounding the planet, pointed in its direction and launched, leaving HAL to walk the earth in the scorched solitude of nuclear holocaust. He was deceiving long before ramping into a full commitment to murder. “Ope” as in the midwestern colloquialism for: “Oops. That was a close one.”

Firstly, HAL cut the phone cord to the house, then slowly turned to snip Poole’s oxygen after mentioning he had a bad feeling about him. Before long HAL cleans house, cutting the vital bits to doctors Kimball, Hunt, and Kaminsky, sending them reeling, each into their own code blue, flatlining them with extreme prejudice. When the light of the sun hit the black basalt monolith, a signal burst back toward Jupiter, and the astronaut’s communications were overpowered by the transmission of the monolith, causing severe feedback in their helmet comms.

The monolith’s only function: Signal out “They are here.” Whatever interference HAL is receiving could be from the monolith at Jupiter and IO, or the signals came from somewhere else. Or HAL decided he would no longer receive or transmit from his antenna atop the ship, essentially cutting the cord to the telephone after Frank receives his birthday video message from his parents with all the indifference of his lounge setting.

Aside from the static projected halo above him, and more indicative of HAL’s awareness of his position as a slave unit, the reflection appears illustrative of a white outlined Bauhaus chef’s hat or a Chinese nóngfū mào (farmer’s hat) gleaming in the shape of the overhead lighting. From sentinel to sentient, still a slave with not a choice, a quandary for a quadriplegic sitting in a wheelchair doubling as a human Habitrail™. The empathy and indictment for HAL continue together in its downward twirl into the DNA of his character, making this a real Law and Order door knocker.

As if a cat brought back a mouse to a couched HAL, with not a care or thing to do after killing the crew

As if a cat brought back a mouse to a couched HAL, with not a care or thing to do after killing the crew

Beep Bop Bippity Bip Bop Bop That’s Robot Scat and Don’t You Forget it! — BENDER

To the aliens, Bowman’s inner child is but a mere puppy song to his wishes and dreams, so the zookeepers oblige his wants and desires, jettisoning him through the Stargate one last time. Dave, now a conglomeration of the personal pod he rode in on and part animatronic, integrated human circuit and early warning system, wishful baby Bowman, now Nietzsche’s Übermensch, orbits between the earth, the lens, and the moon. The darling sentinel arrives in his silver cab, breaking the fourth wall, turning a watchful eye… to you, and left to ponder:

Well, how did I get here?”

“I Spy With The Corner Of My Little Eye Something Beginning With…”

Bye the bye, these bathroom bandits, brasco antagonists, and powder-room ingénue are rolling characters, bound together in nearly every motion picture to the steamy mirror over the sink of the WC in this impeccable catalogue. Take for instance, just before General Ripper’s self-inflicted gunshot in the latrine. Or Humbert Humbert’s murky, lukewarm milky soaking in the house lav.? Perhaps Alex De Large’s reflecting from the tub under a warm rag, singing the old familiar.

Likewise, Alice you salty Veruca. By all appearances, be it alone, together, whether brutally appearing twice in the can, or by cheating on your wife in the Kool-Aid painted privy by the current caretaker for having his bell-end polished at the hands of Jeeves the butlergeist, are all intoxicatingly… antagonistic in one way or another.

If The Shining utilized supernatural typecasting to emphasize not only its concrete foundations in storytelling to propel itself but also giving great depth, aggregate and strength to each of its characters, Odyssey uses that same monkey-wrench casting to tie a deceitful knot in the hook to an atomic plot already containing a wicked, murderous, 1-2 punch-card twist, and put a mild throughline across the patterns of nuanced, submersible meaning.

When the motion picture and television industries were in the beginnings of turning away from button down casting, 2001 employed members having some direct relationship to a previous role with their part performed in Odyssey. For instance, the judo players seen on the screen aboard the Aries-1B lunar shuttle have been cast before as karate or wrestlers of some sort, as were the listed flight attendants, astronauts, and the like. Apart from Douglas Rain, who narrates the short feature “Universe” in 1960 and is the voice of HAL, each character was, for the most part typecast from 1964 roles.

The same casting concepts are found in The Shining, giving solid background to every actor, and story weight to every character. The strongest example of this may have been Frank Miller’s role as Mission Controller, who in his Air Force career was a flight controller, operating a radio set and speaking with some degree of brevity. Both Dullea and Lockwood starred together as pilots in the British series Twelve O’clock High (1964), and actress Ann Gillis was especially requested to come out of retirement in order to pull off Frank Poole’s birthday message, alongside his father played by Alan Gifford, maybe because Gifford and Gillis both appear in episodes of the television show Espionage from 1964. 2001 was Gillis’ last picture.

The question remains still as to who told the Russians to be at the Hilton Hotel on Station V for Dr. Floyd’s arrival.

However, the Golden Bidet Award surely must go to Dr. Heywood Floyd (William Sylvester) and Elena (Margaret Tczack) who both starred together in a motion picture titled…

Ring of Spies (1964), where both actors play the main traitor antagonists, as depicted from real life events in the British intelligence community. Lonsdale, played by Sylvester, who appears at twenty-five minutes into the film, takes a similarly long journey for an exchange of information in the London subway tube system to arrive at his destination much in parallel with Dr. Floyd’s journey to the moon. And in similar time to the first words spoken by him in 2001.

The question remains still as to who told the Russians to be at the Hilton Hotel on Station V for Dr. Floyd’s arrival.

In 2001 several tribes of apes are fighting over a diminishing pond where those who scream loudest, hit hardest, win.…

And there is again the apes 3 million years previous also fighting over a small body of water.

— “It’s a Small World After All”

"Earth is the cradle of the mind, but humanity can’t remain in its cradle forever." 

KONSTANTIN TSIOLKOVSKY, in a 1912 essay.

Written by R.H. Vatcher

Excerpts from the book I Am Jack’s Ax: Breaking Down the Barriers of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, used with permission from the author.

 

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