"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

Jun 8, 2009

Alchemical Kubrick

By Jay Weidner
Copyright 1999

"However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." - Stanley Kubrick

"I'm sure you are aware of the extremely grave potential for social shock and disorientation caused by this information. We can't release it without proper conditioning." - Heywood Floyd


In alchemy all things that exist come from the black stone, or the 'prima materia'. The black stone is the stone of transformation, and even more important to this argument the stone of projection. This is the Philosopher's Stone. This is the object that can change, or transmute mankind, according to alchemical lore. It is rare and, when it makes an appearance, it transforms the seeker. There is little doubt that the black monolith in '2001' is the Philosopher's Stone.

What is it that the Philosopher's Stone promises? The two main gifts of the stone are the one of total gnosis, or knowledge, for the seeker and the other is the immortality of the soul. Does the monolith deliver on these two great promises? We shall see that it completes both promises before the film finally ends. In fact the two promises of the Philosopher's Stone are what is actually accomplished by the monolith through the course of the movie. There is also little doubt that Kubrick knew this all the time and it isn't accidental in anyway. This is a movie about the black stone, the prima materia, and the powder of projection. I will show that Kubrick is actually telling us that the monolith is the film, and conversely, the film is the monolith, but that will come later.



At 5:21 PM , Blogger Zoro said...

His film left me high and dry on the greatest sunami wave ever committed to celluloid. You know Indi, where ci ou la, I promote occasionally an actualisation of the totsl immensity of our brothers and sisters true self-actualisation. In the true immensity, we believe a bit before our arms are thrown sky high. Enough crap, rock on.


At 6:55 PM , Blogger Belle Epoque said...

I took the monolith to be quite literally the problem of death, or death as ever present in the human condition and psyche. The monolith makes it's most memorable appearances at seemingly insignificant, but pivotal points in the film: the dawn of man (death as a primal state), and the future of man (death as a state of mind).

Brilliant film...

At 7:25 PM , Blogger Indigobusiness said...

Brilliant film alright, loved it. Left me feeling thick as a brick, but I loved it. Still love it, and his last film, as well. Its mere pacing dazzled me.

Far be it for me to unravel the mystery and meaning of these masterworks, better for me to abstractly absorb their substance like a lizard in the sun.


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