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Rare Footage Reveals Stanley Kubrick’s Explanation Of The End Of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’

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It is well-known that Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey features one of the most mind-boggling endings in cinematic history. For decades, the director remained tight-lipped about the events of the film’s conclusion… that is, until an old recording of Kubrick breaking it all down was uncovered.

The Origin Story

According to the YouTube channel that initially posted the clip, the footage is said to originate from an “unaired Japanese paranormal TV documentary” led by filmmaker and UFO expert, Jun’ichi Yaoi. The tape made its way through the ufology community to an eBay auction, where it was then released to the public.

Stanley Kubrick

Scraps from the loft

A Shocking Revelation

At one point in the video, Yaoi sought to learn more about the end of Space Odyssey from Kubrick himself. He eventually managed to get the director to (reluctantly) agree to an interview.

Kubrick began by explaining his apprehension: “When you just say the ideas they sound foolish, whereas if they’re dramatized one feels it, but I’ll try.”

Stanley Kubrick

The CJM Blog

Stanley Spills Secrets

Finally, the director started to explain the film’s eerie conclusion. “He is taken in by… creatures of pure energy and intelligence with no shape or form,” Kubrick said (of Dr. Bowman). “They put him in… a human zoo to study him, and his whole life passes from that point on in that room. And he has no sense of time.”

Stanley Kubrick

Know Your Meme

An Educated Guess

“They choose this room, which is a very inaccurate replica of French architecture because one was suggesting that they had some idea of something that he might think was pretty, but wasn’t quite sure,” the auteur continued, drawing parallels between the fictional human zoo and animal zoos in real life.

Stanley Kubrick

Carroll County Times

Maintaining Some Mystery

“When they get finished with him, as happens in so many myths of all cultures in the world, he is transformed into some kind of super being and sent back to Earth,” Kubrick said, stopping short of revealing Bowman’s ultimate fate. “We have to only guess what happens when he goes back.”

Stanley Kubrick

Vanity Fair

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