“I wanted the film to be an experience, intensely subjective that reaches the viewer at a deep level of consciousness, just as music ; to “explain” a Beethoven symphony, this would be the émasculer by erecting an artificial barrier between conception and appreciation. “
“Generally, if the work is good, nothing of what you said is not relevant. “
“You are free to ask you questions as you want about the philosophical meaning and allegorical film. “
1. The key to reading
According to the majority opinion, the director offers us a key to reading at the end of the film. To be more precise, to the last plane, the one unforgettable of the fetus, as related to a star which seems to be heading towards the Earth. The image is accompanied by Thus spake Zarathustra by Richard Strauss, it would be, then, of the key.It should be remembered that Strauss wanted to, in composing this work, “illustrate” musically the book of the thinker in German (the book of Nietzsche is not a test but a “poem” philosophical “, that is why an illustration is possible).
After the musical performance of Strauss, here’s the one film of Kubrick. The entire movie can then be reviewed with the sauce nietzschean.
2. The inspiration of nietzschean
2001 may at first be interpreted according to a transposition of Zarathustra, a figure. Kubrick does not seem to be limited to this single work. It interprets and reinterprets all of the major themes nietzschéens.
a. 2001 and Zarathustra
The three metamorphoses…
The Zarathustra of Nietzsche, for what I understood, described, in its beginning, three metamorphoses of the spirit. The first is that which sees the mind become a camel. The camel is the beast of burden. He is a bearer of burden, it is the most opposite of superman. The camel suffered all her life.
Then, the camel becomes a lion. The lion, with its strength and its aggression, are released from any constraint. This is the moment of nihilism.
Finally, the lion becomes a child. This one, by his virginity found it, will be able to rebuild new values, time of the transvaluation that is so important in the thought of the nietzschean. Nietzsche is not a nihilist because he is not in fact a purpose. Nihilism is the way to lead to the transvaluation that only the superman will perform (it’s been very “prophetic” said like this). For the philosopher’s mustache, the transvaluation is a reversal of all accepted values, inherited.
…The three times of the film
My first analysis of 2001 has thus consisted of a transposition point to point between the movie and the book.
The primitive Man is a slave, in all the compartments of his life, he is nomadic and is dependent on water points, rival tribes, his food. The first metamorphosis filmed by Kubrick is permitted by the discovery of a new function of the os. With this tool, man frees himself from its primitive condition to access to the comfort and civilization. This metamorphosis happens through the symbolic death and violent of a congener (the first murder of humanity). Our civilization is based, therefore, on this first murder.
Kubrick was kind enough to tag the film : every metamorphosis is his Richard Strauss. The first time the film ends on the first measures of Thus spake Zarathustra. A new man is born.
Then the famous transition between the bone and the spaceships that appear to be dancing in the vastness. The year 2001, which is the future of then, is the receptacle of all the projections of Kubrick. This world is the culmination, the limit of human scientific and technical. The time scientists can be seen as the moment of nihilism. The men seem impersonal, infinitely diplomats, to such an extent that they seem foreign. Remove all the values in the Man, that it remains there if it is not the Science… HAL is the only being to whom we can lend human characteristics (hence the name anthropomorphic). This man who has finally outsourced their humanity to become even more dry, without emotion or grit. Stanley Kubrick also said ” science is potentially much more dangerous than the State because it has a lasting effect “. The man, in some ways, bogged down in the Science and technology.
Finally, the last metamorphosis is happening thanks to a new murder. That of HAL. Then David Bowman, sees himself die as he would see a whole of humanity perish. Stanley Kubrick ends his film on this, the ” fetus astral “, the superhuman evidence of the future surhumanité.
b. The will to power, the superman and the eternal return
This is what is the correspondence between the book and the movie. Beyond the book, I am convinced that Kubrick was touched in depth for the general work of Nietzsche. Thus, we can find the other great themes of the thought of the philosopher mustache.
The will to power seems to be the watermark of the movie. We are presented, as a species, as animated solely of the will to power. The interpretation of Kubrick is pessimistic about it. It presents a destructive energy, a desire for domination as destruction. The Man is filmed under its two aspects, the creator and the destroyer.
Finally, the eternal return. Because beyond the technical progress, the civilization, the same patterns recur in a loop. The Man is always prey to its own demons and is fighting against them. This struggle is the driving force. Remains to wonder if the Man is not the creator of his own obstacles (such as modality of self-transcendence) ?
3. The progress of humanity
I think that Kubrick is filming the pivotal moments of the history of humanity. The director apart in the 2h 21min the progress of this humanity. He shows us what, according to him, the mainsprings of Man, those who pushed him to move forward.
a. The Man and the tool
A fundamental question raised by Kubrick in this film is that of the man in the face of the technique, in the face of his creation, the tool. This theme is also addressed in Dr. Dr folamour. I think that Kubrick describes a man creator. He creates and invents in order to improve his life. The technique, the tool then take a central place. The technique, as this is the os or HAL, is the creature of man. Stanley Kubrick speaks well for the creation of instrumental, technical. The Art escapes this criticism.Furthermore, Man created the tool in his image. Since this tool has a purpose utility, it is the image of a Man’s needs at a given time. The os as HAL are reflections of humanity. The tool is the image of its inventor, this for a simple reason : it must fill a need that meets the man. It therefore reflects what man is, and endures at a given time. Primitive man naturally creates a tool aggressive (because he must fight the rival tribes) and the civilized man is a using rational function without emotion and is incapable of error. As well, the creature becomes the alter ego of the man.
b. The Man and the overcoming of itself
Finally, the Man has a tenuous link with his creature, it is both its reflection and also the modality of self-transcendence. In fact, the Man is in some ways challenged by his creature. The Man, in his urge dominatrix must eventually dominate what he has produced or perish. The Man creates precisely to overcome his creature.
The murder symbolic
This self-transcendence is illustrated by the killings symbolic. More than murder, it is, according to me, the mourning done by the man of a part of ourselves. Any overflow has its share of abandonment, similar to the molting of the snake.
Continue this design of the human creation, the purpose of which is to allow the Man the overcoming of itself. The Man, surrounding the Technique, dominates his environment and asserted his influence on a Nature hostile initially.
The creations of yesterday become the burdens of today. This technique represents ultimately a threat to Man. In a certain way, Man is condemned to the evolution (to the impossibility of the ataraxie) but also the violence inherent in it.
The violence of the overflow
The murder can also be taken over ” at the foot of the letter.” It transcribes the infinite violence attached to the process of human evolution. Whatever the time of the human history considered, regardless of the civility ” apparent “, the man remains bound viscerally to the violence of its existence. Historically, it is a child of violence (which began precisely when the first murder of humanity, the first sequence). Stanley Kubrick attaches a strong death wish, engines of Man.
c. The jubilation of the eternal recommencement
We understand that, ultimately, Stanley Kubrick has a unique interpretation of the eternal return. He thinks of it as the condemnation of humanity to violence that is eternal, continually repeated and perpetrated by men. However, Kubrick had the delicacy not to lock up 2001 in a pessimistic radical. Thus, each can project its fears or its hopes in the fetus in the final plan.
Finally, Kubrick brings a downside, the weight of our behaviour, of the eternal return. The men are indulging in violence, the perpetual thought of as irreducible. The men believe in the ” big blades “, treatment saving. The evolution of men cannot then be linear, it is a sequence of disruptions. Here, we can draw closer to the end of Dr. Dr folamour. We are witnessing the jubilation of a few men who see the potential for a “surhumanité” and forget very quickly what it implies : a new genocide.Stanley Kubrick, with 2001, the director who reveals us to ourselves. The one that forces us to gauge the scale of evolution. The one who dismantles the image of the civilized man and exposes the animality of man. We are forever primitive men, because our energy is first of all, the Will to Power seen here as a need to domination. At a minimum, 2001, a space odyssey” is disturbing, at best it is a revealer. It is one of those works whose depth is unfathomable…
I’ve seen 2001 once and it haunts me already, I have finished my analysis when I will see him again. I know that I leave a lot of empty : I have not looked at the implementation stage, on the interpretation of the monolith on 2001 among the other films of Kubrick, on the other filiations philosophical …
Other tracks to extend the 2001, a space odyssey (I advise you to start with you make your opinion) :
Your opinion ?