2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #1) 2001 discussion


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2001 - One Man’s interpretation:

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Richard interesting but seems a bit late in the day, and you seem to be leaning on the movie rather than the book - the book was set around Saturn, not Jupiter

the most interesting thing about the book is Kubrick mislead Clarke on what would be in the movie and essentially had him write a book that was quite far from the movie so as to leave the movie as a stand alone unique thing.


Mark I do like the book far better, even if some of the visuals from the Kubric movie easily stand up to todays CGI extravaganzas.


Gerd I would say that the book and movie work perfectly together to create a complete picture, though, it also helps to read Clarke's The Lost Worlds of 2001.


message 4: by Matthew (last edited Jun 15, 2012 05:57PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Matthew Williams That was interesting, and very long, but that's really not YOUR interpretation. It's established in the book, the film and the sequels that the Monolith was a alien device that they used to transport their consciousness throughout the known universe and tamper with natural processes to promote the development of intelligence.

Did you not notice this when reading the book? It was as much as said by Clarke repeatedly what the Monoliths were, especially the one on Saturn's moon of Iapetus (not in orbit of Jupiter as was the case in the movie). He called it the Stargate, he called the Monolith's makers the Firstborn, and said they were the one's who helped engineer humanity from its simian origins. They conducted similiar experiments over the eons since they've been around for so very long.

I love this book, the movie, and would like to discuss it all. But there's really not much left to discuss since all of this is established.


Paul Vincent I'm going to go back and re-read the book. I've just realised it's been over quarter of a century since I read it!


Richard Matthew wrote: "That was interesting, and very long, but that's really not YOUR interpretation. It's established in the book, the film and the sequels that the Monolith was a alien device that they used to transpo..."


matthew, there are some great youtube pieces about 2001 and how the movie is really about the way information is being presented and the monolith fits the dimensions of a cinema screen - i found it fascinating anyway. do a youtube search on 2001 analyses and it should come up - 3 part piece.


Matthew Williams Sandyboy wrote: "Matthew wrote: "That was interesting, and very long, but that's really not YOUR interpretation. It's established in the book, the film and the sequels that the Monolith was a alien device that they..."

I certainly will. I take it Jeremiah isn't going to respond to the central challenge though, that this has all been established?


message 8: by Geevee (last edited Jun 19, 2012 01:39PM) (new) - added it

Geevee Jeremiah, I've watched the film but never to the end, so your post has engaged me enough to consider reading the book, which I have not attempted.

In every subject there are experts and well read people to whom discussion may seem complete; for me though the post wasn't irrelevant.


Matthew Williams Jeremiah wrote: "I didn’t see the posts until today, so my response was slow. I wouldn’t doubt that it has been said before; although I have not seen the youtube video you are talking about. I read the book almos..."

Listen to Geevee. I feel like a total jagoff now so I'm just going to sit quietly and listen to any further discussion. ...maybe I'll raise my hand later.


message 10: by Geevee (new) - added it

Geevee Matthew it wasn't a pop at you, just a view as I haven't managed to read it yet (or finish the film for that matter) so hope that's not how my comment came across.


Matthew Williams Geevee wrote: "Matthew it wasn't a pop at you, just a view as I haven't managed to read it yet (or finish the film for that matter) so hope that's not how my comment came across."

I know, I was just feeling guilty for lambasting another person's opinion so. That wasn't sarcasm or you hurting my feelings, just my inevitable chagrin over making someone feel like their opinion was irrelevant.


Themetalmallet I would point out though that in 2010, Clarke does kinda retro-actively put the 3rd Monolith near Jupiter. At least, that's what I remember.


Matthew Williams Themetalmallet wrote: "I would point out though that in 2010, Clarke does kinda retro-actively put the 3rd Monolith near Jupiter. At least, that's what I remember."

This is true. I think he realized that for future plot development - how they were turning Jupiter into a proto-star - it didn't make much sense for them to one planet over. Sure, you can monitor Jupiter from Iapetus, but not well!


message 14: by Bren (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bren Interesting (original post). I first saw 2001 when i was about 10 and now some 26 years later, a dozen or so re-watches and multiple readings of the novel...I'm still obsessed.

At this point it's important to indicate that I am in no way a religious person.

Although the movie is science heavy, IMO it transcends science and is actually about our relationship with "God". I would say this is probably a bridge-builder between science and religion showing that we evolved from a more primitive form with a gentle push from 'God'. The monolith is a key of sorts to the next level of evolution or higher level of conciousness.

That being said, it has all been covered before and as the project was collaborative between Kubrick and Clarke we will likely never have a definitive answer as both men took opposing views.


Matthew Williams Bren wrote: "Interesting (original post). I first saw 2001 when i was about 10 and now some 26 years later, a dozen or so re-watches and multiple readings of the novel...I'm still obsessed.

At this point it's ..."


That's actually a good observation. Clarke said in the book that these beings had basically evolved to the point where they were almost indistinguishable from gods. At least in the sense that they were incomprehensible, indestructible, and could tamper with the destiny of life forms. Kind of like how Asimov said how to the primitive mind, technology is indistinguishable from magic.


message 16: by Steve (last edited Sep 15, 2012 12:42PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Steve I have loved science fiction since the early 70's and this is a favorite. Far better than the movie.

Have re-read the book numerous times, but never have I cared to see the movie again.


message 17: by Mark (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mark Steve wrote: "I have loved science fiction since the early 70's and this is a favorite. Far better than the movie.

Have re-read the book numerous times, but never have I cared to see the movie again."


I saw the movie twice, more because of the director than anything else. And I have read the book more often simply because the book tels the tale far better in my humble opinion. I too enjoyed the book far more.


Georg I find it quite amusing how Kubrick managed to let Clarke look like his little ape he makes to appear to be but a tiny part of his movie. Without the book there would never have been a movie.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

The book is brilliant and I've just re-read it. Can't agree with those who consider that "god" makes an appearance but the beauty is that the ending allows for different interpretations.
I would however point out that the being who installed the star gates are specifically mentioned as being users of the gates but not the builders. Obviously we could discuss whether this makes them gods but for me at least it says that they are just an almost incomprehensively advanced people.

The film (as we in the UK call them), is probably my favourite science fiction film of all time if only because of its scientific accuracy. The way in which other films set in space have constant engine/weapon noises, engines constantly running, no sensible means of steering etc, drives me to distraction.


Khalid Cheema Georg wrote: "I find it quite amusing how Kubrick managed to let Clarke look like his little ape he makes to appear to be but a tiny part of his movie. Without the book there would never have been a movie."

I think the book was written during or after the movie was made. I might be mistaken but the idea of the book came from the movie conceived by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur Clarke. Hence they have differing views and interpretations of the ending :)


message 21: by David (last edited Feb 02, 2013 10:48AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

David Powell I thought it relevant to add my review of the book here in this conversation. I taught this book years ago in an advanced level class I entitled "Imaginary Worlds." I also used "Childhood's End" in a similar class for less-advanced readers, although they could have been switched with no loss of effect. "Childhood's End, the earlier book, was an original creation based upon Clarke's notion that alien intelligent life could, in fact, have had something to do with the emergence of intelligent human life and then, when the time was necessary, re-enter the picture to foster its next step. Clarke then later wrote "2001" after he an Kubrick had done the screenplay for the movie. It was based on a short story that Clarke had written called "The Sentinel." The parallels between the two novels and the short story are striking. The monoliths are in order: (1) the prehistoric one that starts the process toward human intelligence, (2) the one (on the moon) is the sentinel that signals the far-off intelligence that man has "made it," in that mankind was able to leave earth and discover the sentinel on the moon, and (3)the one that takes mankind onward to something beyond our physical understanding to be a part of the universal intelligence. The fact that the dimensions (1 to 4 to 9) of the monoliths are the the first three prime numbers with the implication that there are additional dimensions should not be lost. It is a powerful story that should even appeal to religionists in that it suggests something eternal and greater than mere transient human life.
I have to add one comment about the movie. The movie was tremendously advanced for its time, and it was just spectacular for its visual and sound effects. It may still be one of the most intelligent movies ever made with the burden of appreciation placed on the viewer. It has very little dialogue forcing the viewer to figure out its intent. To put that into perspective, on my very first viewing of the movie, I was sitting behind a man with two young children. Near the conclusion of the first part (the ape part), he yanked his kids out of their seats and headed for the exit with this comment: "I am not going to sit here and watch this ape s##t any longer."


message 22: by Larry (last edited Feb 03, 2013 10:47AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Larry Ive always thought the book should have been credited as by Clarke and Kubrick!


Michael i saw the film first at a rep theatre when i was...7 or so? i think my dad had heard it made nonverbal sense to kids, that it was showing at the u, hence as a prof it was cheaper, that this was already for a few years considered a masterpiece. i remember only that it seemed very long and the music/images of the hotel room ending scared me, that no i did not understand it.

my dad was annoyed with the computer going mad, this seemed too cliche, being a scientist who used computers in the seventies when they were room-sized etc.

star wars came around.

i remember becoming more and more in love with the 2001 work as a film after i read the book a few times, then read about the movie, then saw a lot of movies and could understand it as a great silent movie.

never got as excited about star wars.

as a book? well it was important to me that i came to understand the scary aspects, the madness of the computer, the idea of ultimate transcendence of humans. but for me, it had to be images from the film and childhood's end could not compete.


Feliks Americans would never have 'gotten the film' if it had centered the climax on Saturn. They could barely grasp the whole planet 'Jupiter' concept. Hardly Christian, you know. In fact, the whole idea of 'other planets' bewilders the average American. Any planet 'larger' than earth is shocking.

Mars is different, we can conceivably conquer Mars and plunder its resources; Mars is always a safe bet in science fiction (although disturbingly for Hollywood, movies with the word 'Mars' anywhere in the title mostly fail)


message 25: by Bren (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bren Feliks wrote: "Americans would never have 'gotten the film' if it had centered the climax on Saturn. They could barely grasp the whole planet 'Jupiter' concept. Hardly Christian, you know. In fact, the whole idea..."

Whether you are American or not, I cannot tell, but your comments are shockingly racist.

Kubrick was an American so claiming that Americans would never have gotten the film is naive to say the least.


message 26: by Feliks (last edited Feb 05, 2013 08:53AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Feliks Hoot! How are my remarks in any way racist? Name one 'race' mentioned in my sentences. Unless--dare I say it--you think 'American' is a race?

Yes of course I know Kubrick was from the USA. What's your point in raising that factoid? Makes absolutely no sense. His film can still be 'over the heads' of his countrymen; Stanley Kubrick hardly represents the 'average' citizenry of the United States.

Anyway. Please don't go around telling anyone else they're naive. You've shown you haven't got the ability to make that kind of call.


David Powell Feliks wrote: "Hoot! How are my remarks in any way racist? Name one 'race' mentioned in my sentences. Unless--dare I say it--you think 'American' is a race?

Yes of course I know Kubrick was from the USA. What's ..."

Whoa, gentlemen. Don't let this get out of perspective. The only point here is whether Americans are/were smart enough to "get" the movie or book. I know many Americans (including myself) who "got" it from the start. I think it is a stretch to assume that any other nationality understood the movie any better than Americans. Since there are over 300 million of us, I think it is fair to estimate that more than a few dozen of us "got" the message. Chill.


message 28: by Bren (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bren Yes, the American people are a race.

Oxford English Dictionary
race:- A group of people, animals, or plants, connected by common descent or origin

Wikipedia
First used to denote national affiliations, the term began to be used to relate to physical traits in the 17th century.

David makes a good point though. I've derailed the conversations...apologies.


Matthew Williams Bren wrote: "Yes, the American people are a race.

Oxford English Dictionary
race:- A group of people, animals, or plants, connected by common descent or origin

Wikipedia
First used to denote national affiliat..."


Just one problem with that definition. Americans share no single common decent or origin. They are made up of countless ethnicities, nationalities and cultures - i.e. "races". And the idea that Americans are a race of people has historically been put forth by people who believe that there is only one group of "real Americnas" who have Anglo-Saxon Protestant ancestry. Which, in itself, is a racist assertion.

But of course, I'm derailing things further, sorry. Couldn't resist commenting.


message 30: by Bren (last edited Feb 06, 2013 08:50AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bren Matthew wrote: ""

Yup I knew that would come up :) but where does one draw the line. Surely with over 200 years of heritage, the vast majority of people currently in the US are US born; therefore making the current populace's point of origin the US.

Expanding on that same point we are all Pangaean!

I think I'm bordering on troll territory now...I'll stop.

edit:
Now that I think about it 'point of origin' has quite a lot to do with 2001ASO. Maybe I'm not trolling after all :P


Matthew Williams Bren wrote: "Matthew wrote: ""

Yup I knew that would come up :) but where does one draw the line. Surely with over 200 years of heritage, the vast majority of people currently in the US are US born; therefore ..."


Not if one were to ask Americans. The concept of American race is still grounded in WASP identity, with Latino, Black, Native and Asian peoples all forced to hyphenate. Also, the concept of "race" as it emerged in the 18th century is a scientific misnomer. Race applies to the sapien category of homo sapien, not to nationalities. Those are more properly known as cultural or ethnic ties today, meaning membership in a group bound by common language, culture, or kinship. Race is far larger and goes back to early waves of homo sapiens as they migrated the Earth.

Okay, that's me done too! Just to steer things back, George, you mentioned how the movie wouldn't exist without the book. But in truth, Clarke and Kubrick collaborated on the screenplay before Clarke released it as a novel. So really, the book came second and the series wouldn't have existed without that collaboration.


Gabriel Cooper Matthew wrote: "Bren wrote: "Interesting (original post). I first saw 2001 when i was about 10 and now some 26 years later, a dozen or so re-watches and multiple readings of the novel...I'm still obsessed.

At thi..."


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke, in Profiles of the Future (Revised edition, 1973).


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