Hello, Dave

HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey is possibly the most famous computer in cinema history and one of the most cryptic fictional characters of all time. This seemingly kind computer, full of authentic human emotions — who later turns out to be capable of cold, dispassionate murder — made an entire generation of filmgoers suspicious against helpful machines. Because of HAL, now whenever we’re watching a sci-fi movie like Interstellar, Moon, or even Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and a robot assistant is introduced, we prepare for the moment it will inevitably start murdering its human companions, even though nowadays this seldom occurs.

That being said, Stanley Kubrick’s films have a reputation for two things: being great and making absolutely no sense on the first watch. And in both of these respects, relative to his other films, 2001: A Space Odyssey is on a completely different level. In order to finally satisfy our curiosity about what the heck is going on with HAL, we rewatched the film, dug through old interviews, and even read through Arthur C. Clarke’s original novel. Along the way, we not only found answers to most of our questions, but we also discovered all sorts of interesting behind-the-scenes stories about HAL came to be.

So, click the link up top and follow into the story of HAL. And, as I did, follow the whole post through the next article on “Confusing Movie Endings”. I’m a lifetime movie geek and have seen the majority of films in question. Love the discussion this started in my own brain. Hope it works as well for you.

I started watching “Dark Winds”, last night…

I pretty much love it. I don’t miss the rez; just some of the folks I knew. The kind of folks who love this desert land and the people who really are part of it. But, I still have a fair piece of that land handy.

Aside from the mountain ranges which are likely to be populated by tourists or Anglos like me, I have the Caja del Rio. 84,000 acres of mostly nothing but Southwestern-style desert wilderness. Just the other side of our valley. It stretches from here, just West of Santa Fe, all the way over and into Arizona. I love it.

Anyway, “Dark Winds“. Written, directed, produced in the Navajo Nation is a truly accurate representation of life there as I have ever seen. Spoken mostly in Dine…with subtitles. Dead accurate as far as my memory goes. I have to wonder if most Anglos, most Americans will get it. Or care to.

This is a different culture, people living in a different time. Questions and their solutions often don’t match anything in your life’s experience, folks. And as much of a fan as I am of what can be achieved with moving images and foreign languages…or English…the step away from American TV may be too much for too many to get this drama to a second season.

Me? I’m not going to miss an episode. Wouldn’t mind missing some of the commercials; but, that’s also the American kind of TV it is. Casting, acting, every kind of production value is up to standard. Though I manage most of what I watch on my living room’s Big Flat TV on the corner table so as to escape a great deal of the crap we’re told is necessary to fund production of independent stories on the screen. I guess I can put up with it to watch a tale that needs to be seen.

Ed Campbell