Another Odyssey: Design and Meaning in 2001

The moon base landing dome opens in pie slices like eye muscles, or the jagged mouth of a cyclops. Pods are not designed strictly for function but thematic meaning: who would fly one without side ports? Tunnel vision. The dark port in the white pod body is very eye-ballish. Similar also is the deep socket of Discovery’s bridge. It’s lit red early on when Bowman inhabits this superskull, later it’s dark/blind when HAL takes charge, signalling his dismissal of the astronauts, prefiguring his death. The space station shuttle bay was read as a vaginal slit by Freudian reviewers; the clipper ship entering can also read as a symbolic prestatement of the blinding of the Cyclops, an archer’s arrow aimed at the widescreen audience. Similar blind slits are in the Orion moon shuttle and lunar surface flyer. —Mark MartelAnother Odyssey: Design and Meaning in 2001 (Visual Memory)

An interesting Homeric reading of Kubrik’s version of Clarke’s novel. It’s only a stab at a full-fledged essay — there’s plenty listing of interesting parallels, but none of the “so what?” that turns a list of observations into a thesis.