Friday, November 26, 2010
PORFLE PRESENTS: COLEMAN FRANCIS' "2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY"
(NOTE: In order to get anything out of this, you have to have seen both Stanley Kubrick's classic masterpiece 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and Coleman Francis' classic messterpiece THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS. If you haven't, it might not make much sense. If you have, it still might not make much sense.)
1. THE DAWN OF MAN
Human evolution time. An ape and his wife. Unaware of scientific progress.
Always on the prowl. Looking for something or somebody to kill. Quench the apeman's thirst.
Shockwaves of an alien monolith. A once powerful, humble ape. Reduced to...human.
Monolith on the moon--how did it get there?
Heywood Floyd, noted scientist. Recently escaped from behind the shower curtain. Wife and children bored in Florida.
His aide carries a briefcase. Secret data on the alien moon monolith.
Secret data. Pictures of the monolith.
These men are also from behind the shower curtain. Two of NASA's most ruthless accountants. Their orders: get the briefcase. Have lunch with Floyd.
Heywood Floyd's destination...Clavius. And a meeting with the top brass at the monolith excavation ground.
Nothing bothers some people, not even floating fountain pens.
Kids from Earth, not yet caught up in the whirlwind of progress, feed birthday cake to the hungry bush baby.
Touch a button...things happen. A scientist uses a zero-gravity toilet.
A man chokes on a ham sandwich. A scientist's lunch. And footprints on the moonscape.
Secret data. Never before outside NASA. Man's first monolith on the moon.
2. JUPITER MISSION--18 MONTHS LATER
Human evolution time. People travel east, west, north, or south. The Discovery travels east, with two small astronauts. Adventurous astronauts.
Young Dave Bowman. Spaceman. Caught in the centrifugal wheels of progress.
Frank Poole, Dave's partner. Another man caught in the frantic race for the betterment of mankind. Progress.
Seven-hundred and ten in the shade...and no shade. Dave and Frank try to make their way up to Jupiter. To reach the planet a man needs a space pod. A jump from the pod could land you in orbit.
Frank Poole. Wounded para-sailing in Malibu. Dave and Frank try to keep the cosmos safe for humanity. Seven days a week.
Meteors. Once a menace to astronauts. Moon bases deflect them off their research grounds.
Hours in the broiling hot space laboratory, with no trace of the malfunction. To replace the AE-35 unit and allow it to fail is the only answer. A trip out into space, and float. And if the malfunction is in the ship's onboard computer, HAL...disconnect him. Disconnect first, ask questions later.
Dave and Frank pick their way up to the mouth of the space pod. One slip, and two feet to nowhere.
The space pod drops its man. If Frank Poole moves north, the impending malfunction will be caught in the middle. An innocent AE-35 unit, caught in the wheels of justice.
A man floats. Somebody severs his air hose.
HAL, finding his victim gone, unleashes his fury.
The hunter and the hunted. With only a few feet between him and the emergency airlock, Dave Bowman closes in for the kill.
20 hours without rest, and still no oxygen. In the smothering deep space vacuum, Dave plans another attack. Find HAL's brain, and disconnect him. Disconnect, or be disconnected. Man's inhumanity...to machine.
3. JUPITER AND BEYOND THE INFINITE
Dave Bowman, noted astronaut. Now a star fetus, prowling the spacelands. A futuristic baby in the nuclear age. Float. Float, just to be floating.
(originally posted at Andersonvision.com)