Douglas Rain, HAL 9000's voice in '2001: A Space Odyssey,' has died. He was 90.

“I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

Douglas Rain, the actor who performed the voice of the computer Hal 9000 in Stanley Kubrick's film '2001: A Space Odyssey,' has died. He was 90 years old. Read the rest

The HAL 9000 Christmas ornament

Hallmark's got a 50th Anniversary HAL 9000 Christmas ornament... with light and sound!

The latest result in machine intelligence, the HAL 9000—thought to be the most reliable computer ever made and incapable of error—served as the brain and central nervous system for the Discovery One ship's ill-fated mission to Jupiter. Fans of "2001: A Space Odyssey" will want to bring home this special Christmas ornament that celebrates 50 years of the science-fiction masterpiece. Press the button to see the ornament light up as HAL says several memorable phrases.

Side note: reviewers can't decide if it's actually Douglas Rain voicing HAL or not (you can listen to a sample of HAL's ornament voice via the video on the product's page.):

Elizabeth: "I do believe these quotes on this ornament are the original Hal ... I played it against my lap top computer from the movie clips to compare. The difference is the speaker on the ornament is not great quality so it makes the sound of his voice a little off but the quotes are said the same way... I wish they would have added a few more fun quotes from the movie I like mine and glad bought it."

Matt: Matt: "I just received this ornament today in the mail. The voice being used is not Douglas Rain's (Hal from the movies). This is not a minor issue for a product sold as "HAL 9000 50th Anniversary Ornament With Light and Sound." The use of another voice actor should have been disclosed as part of the product's description on this page.

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Check out Kubrick's marked-up screenplay copy of The Shining

When preparing the screen adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining, director Stanley Kubrick highlighted, crossed out and wrote marginalia throughout his personal copy of the hardback novel, available online. Read the rest

Stanley Kubrick explains the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey

Eyes on Cinema posted a newly discovered 1980 interview with Stanley Kubrick in which he explains the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Here's what he told journalist Junichi Yaoi:

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. 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.

They choose this room, which is a very inaccurate replica of French architecture (deliberately so, inaccurate) because one was suggesting that they had some idea of something that he might think was pretty, but wasn’t quite sure. Just as we’re not quite sure what do in zoos with animals to try to give them what they think is their natural environment.

Anyway, 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, transformed and made some kind of superman. We have to only guess what happens when he goes back. It is the pattern of a great deal of mythology, and that is what we were trying to suggest.

From Open Culture:

The mysterious nature of the interview clip itself, a piece of the footage gathered in 1980 for a never-released Japanese documentary, suits the nature of the revelation.

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Kubrick explains the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey in rare video clip

A rare 1980 clip of Stanley Kubrick talking on the phone about the ending of 2001 has surfaced by way of a Reddit thread. A piece on the Esquire website explains:

...In a bizarre video, which has appeared on Reddit this week, the director seems to provide a very simple and clear explanation of the 2001: A Space Odyssey ending. It comes from a Japanese paranormal documentary from TV personality Jun'ichi Yaio made during the filming of The Shining. The documentary was never released, but footage was sold on eBay in 2016 and conveniently appeared online this week timed with the movie's 50th anniversary.

Here is the transcript of Kubrick's comments:

I’ve tried to avoid doing this ever since the picture came out. When you just say the ideas they sound foolish, whereas if they’re dramatized one feels it, but I’ll try.

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. 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.

They choose this room, which is a very inaccurate replica of French architecture (deliberately so, inaccurate) because one was suggesting that they had some idea of something that he might think was pretty, but wasn’t quite sure.

Read the rest

That Dr. Strangelove scene where the U.S. President phones Russia about an imminent air strike

In the War Room, the U.S President Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers) is making a phone call to the President of the U.S.S.R. From Dr. Strangelove, directed by Stanley Kubrick (1964). Read the rest

Tame Impala's "Eventually" cut to Kubrick's '2001'

You'll either love or hate this cut of 2001: A Space Odyssey set to Tame Impala's song "Eventually." No middle ground. Read the rest

Watch Jack Nicholson work himself up to do the axe scene in The Shining

Here's behind-the-scenes footage of Jack Nicholson muttering, running in place, and taking practice chops in preparation for the famous "Here's Johnny!" scene in The Shining.

[via] Read the rest

The Making of Stanley Kubrick's 2001 – An enduring cinematic masterpiece gets a book worthy of its brilliance

“Holy crap! It's a monolith!” After my recent bookworm-o-gasm over Taschen's new William Blake book, I didn't think I'd be having another dreamy out-of-box book experience anytime soon, but I was wrong. The venerable art book publishers outdo themselves again with their just released The Making of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The book was designed by the highly regarded Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag, together known as M/M (Paris). The duo has created a truly one-of-a-kind experience here, an artifact in book form that's worthy of the iconic artifactuality (Is that a word?) of the source material. (Did I mention: It's a monolith!) 

The book is 6.9” wide, stands 15” tall, and is covered in a lovely light-absorbing (and dust attracting) matte black stock. The book slides out of a glossy 4-sided wrap which contains the full-color cover art and back cover copy. Sliding the thick black slab from the sleeve, you're confronted by four sigil-like icons, representing stages of a Stargate journey, deep-embossed into the black cover board. The title on the spine is in black foil. Black on black. Lovely.

The cover opens portfolio-style (i.e. the cover spine is not glued to the bound pages inside). The cover and spine fold down flat, creating a kind of stage for unfolding the rest of the book. And stage is the right word, because that's what this books feels like: A performance. Many things feel different from a traditional book. Since the pages are so narrow, there are dozens of fold outs, in 2-panel, 3-panel, and 4-panel spreads. Read the rest

Watch Adam Savage build a model of the maze from The Shining

Adam Savage has been having a lot of fun making models lately (like this cosmonaut model). In this video, we get to see the large scale model of the Overlook Hotel's maze that he built. Read the rest

New 2001: A Space Odyssey trailer

2001: A Space Odyssey got a new trailer to celebrate BFI's theatrical UK re-release for Kubrick's genre-defining film. Even though every shot is already burned into our collective conscience, the trailer is surprising. Read the rest

LEGO Dr. Strangelove (video)

Using LEGO and pure genius, YouTuber XXxOPRIMExXX created this amazing stop-motion homage to the great Stanley Kubrick film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

View part 1, and part 2.

The project was originally uploaded in 2010, but YouTube blocked part of it over copyright claims.

"I had to take out the famous scene of Slim Pickens riding the bomb and the nuclear holocaust credits to have this video viewable because those scenes were taken directly from the movie," the auteur laments. "I was hoping to have the Slim Pickens scene done in Lego by now but I just never had enough time or effort to do it, maybe some time in the future. Enjoy." Read the rest

Gweek 068: Matthew Modine

Click here to play this episode. Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

My co-hosts for this episode are:

Jamie Frevele, Boing Boing's entertainment editor, comedian, and former editor of The Mary Sue.

Actor Matthew Modine, who has lent his voice talents to a new interactive book for kids called Punky Dunk and the Gold Fish, which is designed to make learning to read fun and something parents and kids can share. Matthew also recently released the Full Metal Jacket Diary app, which is an amazing iPad app that includes Matthew’s on-set photos and diary entries of his experiences during the time he was in the Kubrick movie.

Here's a demo of the Full Metal Jacket Diary app:

FULL METAL JACKET DIARY iPad App Demo Video from Cinco Dedos Peliculas on Vimeo.

Gweek 068: Matthew Modine (MP3)

Past episodes of Gweek: 001, 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 008, 009, 010, 011, 012, 013, 014, 015, 016, 017, 018, 019, 020, 021, 022, 023, 024, 025, 026, 027, 028, 029, 030, 031, 032, 033, 034, 035, 036, 037, 038, 039, 040, 041, 042, 043, 044, 045, 046, 047, 048, 049, 050, 051, 052, 053, 054, 055, 056, 057, 058, 059, 060, 061, 062, 063, 064, 065, 066, 067, 068 Read the rest