Stanley Kubrick Finally Explains the Ending to ‘2001’, 50 Years Later

A rare interview with the late filmmaker has resurfaced

By Kirk Miller

 
2001
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09 July 2018

That psychedelic, time-traveling hotel-room sequence at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey? All by the book, apparently.

In a recently uncovered Stanley Kubrick interview with Japanese TV from 1980, the director spells out his vision of the WTF finale to his sci-fi masterpiece (which was just restored and is now back in theaters as part of a 50th anniversary celebration).

Admittedly, we’re only hearing the iconic director’s voice as he talks with host Jun’ichi Yaoi for a documentary about paranormal experiences. The footage was never used, but was reportedly found on a tape sold on eBay in 2016 —  so the hazy origins and lack of Kubrick’s appearance means this might not be 100% legit.

If it is true, Kubrick actually stayed close to Arthur C. Clarke’s book: astronaut Dave Bowman is taken in by “god-like entities” who keep him in a zoo-like exhibit (that hotel room) until he’s later “transformed into some sort of super being and sent back to Earth” for unknown purposes. As the director notes, it’s a common pattern in mythology “of all cultures in the world.”

Duh.

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