Thursday, February 2, 2012

2001 analysis - part 14: Hints from David Lynch; color symbolism; 'prostitution'


Four screen captures from David Lynch's film, Mulholland Drive: Top left: Diane Selwyn answers the phone by the red lampshade. Diane is a call-girl, and she operates out of the rooming house pictured here. In Mulholland Drive, Lynch associates the color red with prostitution. Top right: Rita, who represents Diane's subconscious (i.e., her unconscious), has opened the blue box. The 'staircase' structure on the inside top of the box indicates that the box represents the 'container' for Diane's Jungian Self. The Self, according to Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist Carl Jung, is realized as the process of individuation, which in Jungian view is the process of integrating one's personality.[a] The Self manifests itself in "wholeness," a point in which a person discovers his or her true nature.[b] Above left: Diane has a dream in which a prostitute, a hit man (far left), and a pimp are exiting a hot dog eatery called Pink's. Note the red items: the fire department vehicle at right, the red pole entering into view at right (click image to enlarge), and the red 'Aaron Brothers' sign across the street (at upper left of screencap). Above right: The prostitute, who represents Diane in the dream, gets ready to climb into the back of the hit man's blue van. What's being done with the colors in this scene is that Lynch is associating redness, and thus prostitution, with the blue, which represents Diane's Self - the blue box is linked to the blue van, and Diane's true nature is that she is a prostitute.

From A Space Odyssey: Above left: The lunar lander cockpit. Note the red 'glow' - Lynch's association of the color red with prostitution is to be taken as a hint about 2001, and he must believe Kubrick is saying something along the lines of 'certain women are serving as prostitutes', within the context shown here (i.e., space travel). The food on the trays being served to the men by the stewardess here, is to be eaten through straws. Above right: The passenger compartment in the moonbus, has a blue theme here, a fact which is reminiscent of the blue van in Mulholland Drive, but note the red glow coming from the cockpit. In this case, the red symbolizes the fires of Hell, and thus represents the 'presence' of Satan.[c] Heywood Floyd is one of the three passengers in the back of the bus (he is sitting at far left in the screencap). Since his body is occupied by an alien life force, and since, as is evident from the dialogue in this scene, he's working closely with the two men next to him, it must also be the case that these other two men's bodies are occupied by alien life forces.

As shown at left, the men in the moonbus have gotten their own food (which is solid) out of a container. Again, note the blue color scheme in the rear of the moonbus - Jung says (in his Psychology and Alchemy) that the color blue symbolizes the feminine;[d] the implication is that the aliens are feminine in nature.

Closer examination of the lunar lander cockpit activity, reveals Kubrick's intended message about 'prostitution in space':

Top left: When the stewardess first steps into the cockpit of the lander, the perspective is upside-down, i.e., it is inverted. In Part 1 ("The Sexual Aberrations") of his Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905), Sigmund Freud referred to the practice of homosexuality as "inversion." Top right: Once the stewardess is fully inside the cockpit, the camera perspective begins to rotate. Above left: Once things have been 'righted', they are no longer inverted; the symbolism here is that the female's entry into the cockpit eliminates the 'gayness' of the environment. Notice that the waist strap of the copilot's harness is higher up on his body, than is that of the pilot. The copilot will thus be able to quickly undo his pants; it is his 'turn' to have 'quickie' sex with the stewardess. Above right: The stewardess snuggles up to the copilot just before having sex with him. The point is that Kubrick predicted that as space travel became more common, women would be inserted into the space program to serve as 'prostitutes' for the male astronauts, one reason for this being to avoid a situation where the men would have gay sex with each other (due to their being confined together for long periods of time away from their spouses and other females).

Above left: We are shown an external view of the lander traveling, while the aforementioned sex is taking place. Above right: After having had sex, the hands of the copilot, as well as those of the stewardess (who is now sitting in a rear seat in the cockpit), are positioned as if covering their respective genital areas. This indicates that they are both embarrassed due to their mutual act. The source of this embarrassment is not only the 'quickie' aspect of the sex, but also, for the copilot, the fact that he has cheated on his regular partner back on Earth or on the space station; and for the stewardess, the sinking in of the fact that she has been hired primarily to provide sex.

The name itself of the Pink's hot dog eatery in Mulholland Drive (above left), serves as a hint that the woman (dressed in pink) greeting Heywood Floyd in the space station kiosk area (above right), is also serving as a 'space prostitute'.

Elena's two female colleagues (but not Elena herself), have been put in space to provide sex for the males. Kubrick predicted that even certain female professionals, such as astronauts and scientists, would be placed not only to perform technologically complex job functions, but also to provide sex for male astronauts.

Bowman disconnects HAL. Note the similarity of the name 'HAL' to the word 'Hell'; the red here represents the fires of Hell, again indicating the 'presence' of Satan. The implication is that HAL represents a Satan figure.

a. Wikipedia, 'Self in Jungian psychology'. Web, n.d. URL =
b. Wikipedia, 'Rubedo'. Web, n.d. URL =
c. It's true that certain real-life transport craft use red lighting as a vision-enhancement mechanism for the person(s) operating the craft, but this doesn't exclude the fact that Kubrick was also using the color red for symbolic purposes.
d. Jung, C.G. The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 12. Princeton University Press, 1968. paras. 320-321.


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