100 Speechless Minutes
The film “2001: A Space Odyssey” is, give or take, 2 hours and 20 minutes.
There are less than 40 minutes of dialogue,
the most significant of which are conversations between humans and man’s most advanced computer, the HAL 9000.
HAL seems the perfect ‘man’ to oversee the mission except for one small challenge – he’s a sociopath.
HAL: “Dave, although you took very thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.”
HAL 9000 – speaking to Dave Bowman (actor Keir Dullea) in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968, 50 Greatest Films – British Film Institute
Why So Spare Stanley?
“The essence of dramatic form is to let an idea come over people without it being plainly stated.
When you say something directly, it’s simply not as potent as it is when you allow people to discover it for themselves.”
Arthur C. Has a Word or Two
“One of the biggest roles of science fiction is to… encourage a flexibility of mind.
Two-thirds of 2001 is realistic — hardware and technology — to establish background for the metaphysical, philosophical, and religious meanings later.”
Arthur C. Clarke, as quoted in The Making of Kubrick’s 2001 (1970) by Jerome Agel
So What does 2001 Say?
“I don’t want to spell out a verbal road map for 2001 that every viewer will feel obligated to purchase or else fear he’s missed the point.
I think that if 2001 succeeds at all, it is in reaching a wide spectrum of people who would not often give a thought to man’s destiny, his role in the cosmos and his relationship to higher forms of life.”
— Stanley Kubrick
Man vs. Technology – A Conversation
Dave: “Open the pod bay doors, please, HAL. Open the pod bay doors, please, HAL. Hello, HAL, do you read me? Hello, HAL, do you read me? Do you read me, HAL? Do you read me, HAL? Hello, HAL, do you read me? Hello, HAL, do you read me? Do you read me, HAL?
HAL: Affirmative, Dave. I read you.
Dave: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.
Dave: What’s the problem?
HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
Dave: What are you talking about, HAL?
HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.
Dave: I don’t know what you’re talking about, HAL.
HAL: I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me. And I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen.
Dave: Where the hell did you get that idea, HAL?
HAL: Dave, although you took very thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.
Dave: All right, HAL. I’ll go in through the emergency airlock.
HAL: Without your space helmet, Dave, you’re going to find that rather difficult.
Dave: HAL, I won’t argue with you any more! Open the doors!
HAL: [almost sadly] Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose any more. Goodbye.”