I found a book called FILM DIRECTOR AS SUPERSTAR which has interviews with many directors including the one, the only, Stanley Kubrick. It was published after 2001, when Kubrick still thought his next film would be NAPOLEON (it even lists it in his filmography). But there is plenty of good stuff on 2001 and DR. STRANGELOVE. . . . The interview in this book has Kubrick himself answering the question "What is the plot of 2001?". . . . I strongly suggest you check the book out for the rest of the great information (among other things, Kubrick discusses the God concept in 2001 and why he decided to make STRANGELOVE a comedy). The book, BTW, is by Joseph Gelmis and was published by Doubleday and Company; Garden City, New York. Copyright 1970. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ GELMIS: The final scenes of the film seemed more metaphorical than realistic. Will you discuss them -- or would that be part of the "road map" you're trying to avoid? KUBRICK: No, I don't mind discussing it, on the lowest level, that is, straightforward explanation of the plot. You begin with an artifact left on earth four million years ago by extraterrestrial explorers who observed the behavior of the man-apes of the time and decided to influence their evolutionary progression. Then you have a second artifact buried on the lunar surface and programmed to signal word of man's first baby steps into the universe -- a kind of cosmic burglar alarm. And finally there's a third artifact placed in orbit around Jupiter and waiting for the time when man has reached the outer rim of his own solar system. When the surviving astronaut, Bowman, ultimately reaches Jupiter, this artifact sweeps him into a force field or star gate that hurls him on a journey through inner and outer space and finally transports him to another part of the galaxy, where he's placed in a human zoo approximating a hospital terrestrial environment drawn from his own dreams and imagination. In a timeless state, his life passes from middle age to senescence to death. He is reborn, an enhanced being, an angel, a superman, if you like, and returns to earth prepared for the next leap forward of man's evolutionary destiny. That is what happens on the film's simplest level. Since an encounter with an advanced interstellar intelligence would be incomprehensible within our present earthbound frames of reference, reactions to it will have elements of philosophy and metaphysics that have nothing to do with the bare plot outline. GELMIS: What are those areas of meaning? KUBRICK: They are areas I prefer not to discuss because they are highly subjective and will differ from viewer to viewer. In this sense, the film becomes anything the viewer sees in it. If the film stirs the emotions and penetrates the subconscious of the viewer, if it stimulates, however inchoately, his mythological and religious yearnings and impulses, then it has succeeded. (submitted by H.N.)
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