Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2001 analysis - part 48: Kubrick's 'child abuse' theme


Far left: Serial killer Jame Gumb (Buffalo Bill) from The Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal Lecter tells FBI trainee Clarice Starling that Bill is the product of years of abuse. Gumb deviates from his normal aloofness toward his captives (he holds each victim hostage for several days prior to killing them), when he begins to empathize, to some degree, with his latest captive, Catherine Martin. Second from left: Serial murderer Francis Dollarhyde ('The Tooth Fairy') from Michael Mann's Manhunter (based on Thomas Harris's novel, Red Dragon). Dollarhyde deviates from his normal pattern of carefully thinking over and planning each of his killings, when he gets romantically involved with a coworker, Reba. Third from left: Hit man Vincent from Mann's Collateral. In the audio commentary to the movie DVD, Mann says that Vincent was raised in foster homes and was physically abused as a child. Mann also suggests a parallel between Vincent and 2001's HAL 9000 computer, when he says that Vincent operates with a "machine-like" efficiency. However, Vincent demonstrates an anomaly, i.e., he deviates from his normally careful routine, when he goes with cab driver Max Durocher to visit Max's mother in the hospital. Far right: HAL's camera 'eye'. HAL behaves somewhat like a hit 'man', when he calmly maneuvers an EVA pod so as to sever Frank Poole's air hose and send him careening off into space, and then later, when he shuts off life support to the three astronauts who are in hibernation. HAL exhibits an anomaly in his normally error-free behavior when he misstates a chess move. Since HAL has control over almost all aspects of Discovery One's operations, and since the (feminine) alien has been storing itself in the ship's circuits during the mission, as described earlier, HAL and the alien have effectively gotten 'close' to one another. This explains HAL's deviation from his error-free behavior: He has begun to develop feelings for the alien, and thus, he is a little distracted. Near the end of the movie, while his 'brain' is being disconnected, HAL seems to regress to childhood, singing his first program, Daisy Bell.

Since HAL represents a golem/'bad Jew', one thing Kubrick is saying is that Israel is an abused child who has become the abuser.

HAL is effectively schizophrenic, due to his 'conflicted' programming: It's logical to assume that his basic programming includes the imperative to be completely honest with human beings, which would of course imply that he would normally fully disclose information to people; but at the same time, he has been programmed for the Jupiter mission to hide the true nature of the mission from some or all of the astronauts on board. He is also being portrayed as paranoid in a sense, by virtue of his 'assumption' (based on lip-reading) that Bowman and Poole planned to disconnect him; of course, he turned out to be right, but nevertheless, this is a hint from Kubrick that HAL is in fact paranoid.


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