Wednesday, September 21, 2011

2001 analysis - part 9: More on the relationship with 'Reservoir Dogs'


Recall from the introduction to this analysis, that at one point while Heywood Floyd and five other astronauts are near the monolith at TMA-1 (on the moon), it starts making a high-pitched noise. In an interview that took place not long after A Space Odyssey was released, Kubrick referred to this noise as a "kind of cosmic burglar alarm."[a]

In this screencap, some of the six men at TMA-1 are shown raising their hands as if to cover their ears, in response to the monolith's loud, high-pitched noise.

Also stated earlier in the analysis (in part 4) was that the six men with colors for their names in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, correspond, within some context, to the six astronauts at TMA-1 in A Space Odyssey. As it turns out, the basic underlying correspondence between the two films is that they both involve a diamond heist.

In Reservoir Dogs, the six gangsters (Mr. Blonde, Mr. Brown, Mr. White, Mr. Orange, Mr. Pink, and Mr. Blue) rob a bank of some diamonds, but the film's audience is never shown the actual robbery, only certain events that occur before and after it. This corresponds to the heist in A Space Odyssey: We are never shown the heist itself, but the fact is that the monolith on the moon (at TMA-1) contains stolen diamonds, and the events that occur among the six men there take place after the heist: Immediately subsequent to the monolith sounding its 'burglar alarm' (which corresponds to the bank alarm that goes off during the robbery in Reservoir Dogs),[b] there is some kind of 'face-off' among the six men at TMA-1, i.e., there is chaos and fighting among them, with some of them being killed (by having their air hoses disconnected). The correspondence for this in Reservoir Dogs, is the chaos and fighting involving its six robbers (along with other people), with some of them being killed. However, in 2001, we are not only not shown the heist, but we are not shown the face-off either.

The importance of diamonds and their being stolen in A Space Odyssey, and of certain events being 'hidden' from the 2001 audience, will be gone into in more detail later in this analysis. What's important to realize here is that in showing us what takes place after the heist in Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino is giving us hints about what actually occurs in A Space Odyssey, i.e., some of the events in Reservoir Dogs are, in part, representations of some of the events in 2001 which we don't see.

In Reservoir Dogs, an injured Mr. Orange is held by Mr. White, in a warehouse the two men have escaped to after the bank robbery.

a. Gelmis, Joseph. The Film Director as Superstar. Doubleday, 1970. p. 304.
b. Since the heist in Reservoir Dogs is not shown, the film's audience doesn't actually hear an alarm go off. However, it becomes evident that such an alarm did sound, as revealed when this alarm is mentioned after the robbery, during a conversation between Mr. Pink and Mr. White.


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