Hal 9000

Space odyssey and Hal 9000

2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick is a classic over the classics of science fiction cinema. But also one of the first films in which we deal with an extremely intelligent robot equipped with artificial intelligence. Not only that: HAL 9000 is not only a wise, but also an emotional machine that changed the face of robots forever. And although HAL turns out to be an antagonist with a rather radical approach to problem solving, he cannot be denied an engaging personality.


Space odyssey

The film had no luck with the awards. Time has shown that the American Film Academy makes mistakes. Today, because Kubrick’s work is considered the most outstanding achievement of cinema, and it received an Oscar only for visual effects. 2001. A Space Odyssey “was nominated in only three categories: in addition to effects, it was Direction and Best Original Screenplay. In the first one, Kubrik lost to the musical adaptation of Dickens’ novel entitled “Olivier” by Carol Reed (also Oscar for Best Picture), in the second – with the comedy “Producers” by Mel Brooks. Neither of these two films can be called a visionary masterpiece, such as 2001. A Space Odyssey”, he didn’t deserve.


Director Stanley Kubrick

There are legends about Stanley Kubrick (1928 – 1999). From the recollections of his friends, a portrait of the original emerges, for whom his work was most important. Appreciated and adored in the world, he did not like to travel, however, he most willingly woke up in his own bed. He was a titan of work and a master of self-discipline. His films were refined in every detail. Music also played an unusual role in them. He made 13 full-length feature films, 12 of which were adaptations of literary works. According to the messages, the future director was not madly interested in studying at school, because he claimed that teachers were boring. So his father provided him with private lessons, and Stanley could develop his interests: he played drums in a jazz band, but his first real passion was photography, so he took pictures and developed them himself.


All his inputs

When he was 17, he started working as a photographer for Look magazine. At the same time, he became more and more fascinated by films and contemporary art. The first, short document entitled He staged “Fight Day” in 1950. His film career gained momentum after the wartime feature film “Fear and Lust”, which he disliked very much and considered bad. “Fear and Desire” is the only Kubrick film that is not an adaptation of a literary work.

Kubrick has always tried to create a show that synthesized all the basic arts: image, literature, music. He dreamed of a “total work”. When he searched for literary material, he looked through everything from the works of recognized writers to the works of debutants. After all, the most important for him was the “intellectual leaven”. “How the Solar System was conquered” In 1964, Kubrick’s film Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, a Cold War satire. The main role of the mad scientist was played by Peter Sellers.

Soon after, Kubrick started looking for material for the next movie and read a lot of books. He decided to stay in the science fiction area. He wanted a unique work to be created, in which he would make his dream of artistic synthetism come true. His choice fell on a short story by Arthur C. Clarke entitled “The Sentinel” (Guardian), which spoke of a mysterious extraterrestrial being overseeing the development of civilization on Earth.


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Space Odyssey – how director met Clarke

Kubrick invited Clarke to London and they wrote the script together. Clarke co-wrote the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, which premiered in the same year as the film. London Odyssey The final version of the script is dated December 9, 1965. Pictures for “2001. A space Odyssey “launched at the end of December that year in Borehamwood near London, in the production halls of the American Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The first, humorous title of the film that penetrated the press was “How the Solar System was conquered” – a reference to the western “How the Wild West was conquered” from 1962.


Hal’s behavior

A Space Odyssey ”consists of four parts: Dawn of Humanity, TMA-1, Mission to Jupiter, Jupiter and beyond infinity. In the plot, the film tells about – as we have already mentioned – the evolution of the human race: from the ape, through humanity, to the Cosmic Child. And about the relationship of man with other intelligent beings, not only extraterrestrial, but above all those that he created himself.


Dave Bowman

An important point in this story is therefore the duel that cosmonaut Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) fights on the “Discovery” spacecraft with the HAL 9000 computer, equipped with artificial intelligence. The machine, endowed with self-awareness and feelings, rebels against its creators and decides to kill the human crew. Bowman manages to turn off the HAL 9000 systems, but is the only one surviving the fight. And he reaches Jupiter alone, which was the destination of this cosmic journey. It was about checking the planet to which the monolith found on the Moon sends radio signals. In the orbit of Jupiter, Bowman undergoes a transformation and, as a superman, returns to Earth to cause another civilization leap. Do you remember the first scene? Everyone seems to remember the first scene of the film. It is a bone tossed by an ape-like humanoid into the sky. In the background, the extraordinary music of Aleks North (inspired by, among others, Strauss and Khachaturian). Meanwhile, first we see the sun rising over the deserts and steppes. Next, in a sequence of over 20 minutes, we observe a herd of monkeys gathered around a muddy body of water. They feed on found plants and carrion.


Life support systems

Kubrick consulted this part of the film with anthropologists. At one point, a huge black monolith – a smooth cuboid – appears in the space inhabited by monkeys. From that moment on, monkeys undergo a rapid development and learn to use tools. When one of them, after killing his enemy, throws a bone into the sky, we move to outer space. To the music of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” by the famous German composer Richard Strauss, we admire the ballet of interplanetary ships in space. The first word in the film is not given until the 25th minute. The presence of Strauss’s work is not accidental, because in the film there are numerous references to Nietzsche’s philosophical treatise about the transformation of people into a higher and higher race. The film includes, among others pictures of the lunar surface taken by Soviet spacecraft crews and cosmonauts from the US space program Ranger. Materials recorded by telescopes placed on Earth were also used.


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Control hal’s higher functions

While working on the film, Kubrick, the perfectionist, willingly consulted with scientists and specialists in various fields. They were, among others employees of the IT giant IBM. Fans of the movie and puzzles related to it say that the name HAL 9000 can be easily solved. Just write the letters that follow H, A and L in this acronym, and you’ll get out: IBM. Kubrick saw in the development of artificial intelligence both a boon and a curse for humanity. According to him, whether a man will survive the clash with what he has created will be related to the ability to think conceptually. And that is why the astronauts defeated by HAL 9000 are shown like mindless, programmed robots.


Other computer hal begins

Speaking of robots, you have to mention Star Wars, in which there are a lot of intelligent machines. One of the most interesting characters, K-2SO from Rogue One, is a military robot constructed for the use of the Empire. During his service, he became familiar with the intricate structures of the imperial computer networks, and then he learned to quickly and imperceptibly reach with their help to confidential information. Admittedly, he was doing great in the ranks of the Empire.