On Friday, May 18, 2018 at 12:18:20 AM UTC-4, s_o_...@hotmail.com
> Nolan interviewed in detail about the film-based workflow on the 2001:aso print screened at Cannes:
Hollywood reacts to the Nolan-supervised print of 2001:aso at the ArcLight:
Is it that the WTF?! panel cannot address the themes of 2001:aso, or that their web audience would just tune out if they "go there"?
Jeffrey Wells commented: "Lemire: “You can interpret  a lot of ways!” HE: Not really. The super-aliens who sent the monolith to earth to awaken the man-apes and turn them into bone-wielding carnivores, give them intelligence and the will to gradually evolve into homo sapiens are the sires of our species — our Gods, our fathers, our evolutionary architects. They planted one of their monoliths under the surface of the moon, knowing that sooner or later humans would fly there and uncover it, which would alert them to our evolutionary progress. At the very end ancient Dave Bowman sees the monolith at the foot of his deathbed and reaches out as a dying Christian would to a crucifix or a dying alcoholic to a fifth of Jack Daniels. And then he’s reborn into a star fetus, etc."
To the point of Lemire; Wells misses that the the monolith remains an oblique reference to the next stage of an odyssey, and it's not always the same material marker object being planted by aliens as a stepping stone.
- The monolith manifests and vanishes for the neanderthals, leaving them (or, at least Moonwatcher) whacking bones and lashing out at others to intimidate them, as the monolith intimidated him. Kubrick does add a flash cut of the monolith towering above before that occurs. I don't believe, "Now the ape understands that a bone can be an instrument or weapon," was the intended message. Moonwatcher wants to tower over others as the monolith towered over him. It didn't, "give them intelligence," but showed the apes there was something more dominant than them, resulting in a quest for domination (a reckless smashing of bones progressing to an orbital defense satellite dominating the Earth). It wasn't like the monolith taught the apes a new language. That would be implanted intelligence.
- Once mankind dominates space, the monolith is reduced to a directional signal. It is physically present under the surface of the moon, generating a magnetic field until excavated, and—when touched by man—emits a beacon to Jupiter. That is all it needs to be at that stage; an oblique reference to what awaits.
- Once man defeats the highest form of his own technology as a mind/intelligence in the HAL 9000, the monolith appears as a gateway (which Bowman seeks and/or is drawn to). The monolith no longer has evolutionary or hierarchical meaning here beyond something Bowman follows in an EVA. This begins a stage where the monolith is untouchable, and it may no longer be a material object at Jupiter (it does vanish).
- The monolith is certainly not a physical object after Bowman lives out his life in the alien consciousness environment. It may have even been pulled out of his consciousness like the room environment; but from his evolutionary origins in "The dawn of man." While the monolith in that earlier sequence may not have been a similar consciousness implantation, its form may have been decided at that origin stage as something which would embed in the primeval psyche, for man to respond to throughout evolution. It remains an oblique reference to unknowable and unattainable intellect until (Bow)man is absorbed into it, evolving beyond mind and body into something celestial (starchild).
Summarily; just the material presence and function of the monolith alone can be interpreted in many ways.