Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.
Frank is running around the centrifuge. He passes the ladder with two bunks to the right and the work station to the left. When Dave comes down the ladder, the bunk is to the left. This error is caused by Frank's last two running shots (the ones where the camera stayed just ahead or just behind him as he ran) having been accidentally reversed in editting. Frank's hair is parted on the wrong side and the sleep tube layout and the body positions within are precise mirror images of the layout seen in all prior and following shots. See more...
The Computer Science department at the Engineering School at the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois, have a "birthday party" for HAL every January 12th - the date & place HAL became operational in the movie. See more...
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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - 5 questions
The "questions" section is for any random questions that occurred to you while watching this film, or anything you didn't entirely understand, and which Google or the IMDb can't help with. Submit them as a question, and hopefully someone will answer (the bold comments in brackets) - check back regularly. If the answer is wrong, or missing information, please use the "clarify answer" option. Don't feel limited - want to know what music played in a certain scene? Whether this was the first film to use a certain effect? Here's the place to ask!
Question: Why did HAL go berserk? I thought it was because HAL knew the real reason for the mission (as Dr. Floyd reveals in the pre-recorded briefing), and was suspicious or curious of whether or not Dave and Frank knew. So when Dave is showing his drawings to HAL, HAL uses this opportunity to discuss the "rumours" with Dave. HAL of course is thinking as a computer in a chess game, and assumes to know what Dave will say next. But Dave thinks HAL is doing some psychology report on the crew and asks HAL that question. HAL did not expect this response, and quickly responds, "Of course I am." Now HAL is caught in a lie and does not know what Dave's next question might be, so he diverts the conversation by creating the AE-35 unit crisis. This, of course, sends the astronauts down a path that he cannot control, and he ultimately must terminate the crew to protect himself. 2010, however, went down some other path that did not make any sense to me. Hence the question. I would love the opportunity to discuss.
Answer: This is explained in the sequel, 2010. In that film, Doctor Chandra explains that Hal was given orders that directly contracted each other. He was informed about the monolith and instructed to complete the mission should the humans become unable to, but was also programmed not to deceive, and to relay information without distortion. This caused a "mental" breakdown in his programming. He decided the only course of action was to incapacitate/eliminate the crew and then complete the mission.
Question: I don't understand the significance of the monolith or the starbaby. Can someone explain it to me?
Answer: The monolith is a monitor placed by the aliens to track the progress of developing civilizations. When humanity found the monolith on the Moon, that signaled a certain level of technological advancement. The starbaby is the evolution of the astronaut, as the symbol of humanity, from "Earth-bound" to a true child of the universe, turning his back on the Earth and looking toward the stars.
Question: What was the ultimate destination of the Jupiter mission? The giant planet is made of gas, it has no solid surface to land on. Theoretically a spacecraft could land on one of Jupiter's moons, but they lie within the lethal radiation belt.
Answer: The ultimate goal was to orbit Jupiter to study the Monolith also in orbit around it.
Question: Maybe I need to read the book, but can someone explain the whole ending sequence to me. Why all the flashy over dramatized pictures? It's artistic but is there some other meaning to it?
Answer: All the flashing images are supposed to represent Bowman travelling past far and distant galaxies, this is what happens in the book, where he travels to that white house place.