There are some filmmakers who would rather leave the meaning of their films up to the audience to interpret than explain what the filmmaker is trying to say. Stanley Kubrick was one of the directors, opting to challenge audiences at every level. 

He didn’t subscribe to one single interpretation of his work, telling Playboy magazine in 1968, “You’re free to speculate as you wish about the philosophical and allegorical meaning of the film—and such speculation is one indication that it has succeeded in gripping the audience at a deeper level—but I don’t want to spell out a verbal road map for 2001 that every viewer will feel obligated to pursue."

However, Kubrick contradicted this belief in 1980, when he talked to filmmaker Jun’ichi Yao in a documentary that was never released. A clip, uploaded to YouTube by internet champ, is from the documentary that features a telephone conversation in which the late director reveals his intentions behind the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey

During the telephone interview, Jun’ichi Yao asked, “People are wondering, what is the meaning of the last scene… could you give us answers?” 

Kubrick responded to Yao’s question regarding the final scene in 2001, where the protagonist Dave Bowman lies in bed, saying, “I tried to avoid doing this ever since the picture came out because when you just say the ideas they sound foolish, whereas if they’re dramatized one feels it.” 

The director continues, adding, “The idea was supposed to be that he is taken in by god-like entities, creatures of pure energy and intelligence with no shape or form and they put him in what I suppose you could describe as 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, it just seems to happen as it does in the film.”

To elaborate on this concept, Kubrick notes that the room was a very deliberately inaccurate replica of French architecture to show that the entities had some idea of what Dave would find comforting and familiar like humans do to animals in zoos. 

Stanley Kubrick explains the ending of '2001: A Space Odyssey''2001: A Space Odyssey'Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Concluding his comments about the film’s ending, Kubrick says, "When they get finished with him, as happens in so many myths of all cultures in the world, he is transformed into some know of superbeing and sent back to Earth. It is the pattern of a great deal of mythology, that was what we were trying to suggest.” 

2001: A Space Odyssey is a film with so many visceral and emotional moments that the experience of watching the film matters a bit more than the contents of the story. It’s a subjective experience that muses on life, death, rebirth, and existentialism. It is one of the greatest sci-fi epics in cinema history, and the ending is truly up to your interpretation.

That being said, it is nice to know what Kubrick’s intentions were with his film's ending. 

What do you think of Kubrick’s intentions behind the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey? Let us know in the comments!

Source: internet champ