Friday, 21 September 2012

Re-visted - 2001:ASO - Working Girl - Bladerunner - Alien

I've noticed that Mike Nichols' film  Working Girl seems to either pay homage to 2001:ASO or directly reference to Kubrick's film...I shall explain.

Whilst watching 2001:ASO have you ever noticed how many times the term 'Happy Birthday' or 'Happiest Birthday' is's quite a few, considering that the movie is very light on dialogue.

In the movie "Working Girl", the words "happy" and "birthday" are said a total of  13 and 10 times each respectively...whereas in 2001:ASO the words 'happy/happiest' are said 10 times & the word 'birthday' 13 times.  This seems to be a form of mirroring 13-10 and 10-13, a type of symmetry.  In fact, the very first word uttered in the film Working 'birthday' and then a small cake (ben-ben) is presented, as can be seen in the picture (we only get an implied 'happy' as that part is not audible).

I mentioned this 10-13 motif before and it relates to Friday 13th...Kubrick was offered the Spartacus gig after Mann was fired on Friday 13th and Douglas called Kubrick on that same night and accepted the job, he was on set by the following Monday. (confirmed by Stranglove documentary).

One of the characters who is seen exclaiming Happy Birthday is in his first major movie and that is David Duchovny...which resonates with the X Files phenomena and all the UFO flavour that goes with it.  Note the resonant 10-13 motif.  I could bring up Kevin Spacey (geddit?) who also stars, but that would be labouring the point, as would the fact that he played an Alien in K-Pax.

Ok a tenuous start...I'll admit, but there's more.

Arguably one of the most well known aspects of 2001 is the transition phase from 'the dawn of man' into 'space'...the edit cut of the 'bone' being transformed into the 'space weapon'.

I think that Nichols deliberately references that in the following...

In fact the term 'bones' 'boney' are used quite often throughout the script.

Ok...but there's more.

How about a reference to the obligatory 'bathroom/toilet' shot that Stanley utilised so often?

The 'renaissance' (re-birth) room 2001 vs The 'renaissance' bathroom Working Girl.

With me so far....'cos there's more.

OK....Working Girl opening scenes... when Tess reaches her office the first call she receives is for a 'Mr Turkel'....this seems to be a wink of sorts from Nichols... Joe Turkel is one of only 2 actors who has worked with Kubrick 3 times in his movies' the other being Philip Stone...Joe Turkel, you may remember he played Lloyd the 'bar tender' in The Shining.

                                                                        The Turkel Twins

Eldon Tyrell - Bladerunner...Turkel in his own role as an 'overlord' of A.I. (that resonate with the themes herein).

Anyway...The 'Turkel' above in Working Girl gets this call from a character called 'Mr Alagash' who is in a hurry to talk to Turkel.  Well after doing a little digging I found an 'Allagash' referenced in respect of UFO abduction, in fact literally the first documented case of multiple abduction!

I shouldn't need to remind you of how that relates to 2001:ASO, lets just say that I'm sure we're familiar with the ET tampering idea that surrounds the later part of 2001:ASO and the fact that we're dealing with an 'alien' atrefact to begin with the 'monolith'.

the Allagash case achieved notoriety as perhaps the first well-documented multiple-witness UFO abduction 1976, 12 years before Working Girl. In fact 2 of the men of 4 were 'twin' brothers....and it gets even weirder!!!

About 12 years after (1988, same year as Working Girl) the incident, twins Jim and Jack suddenly began to have similar nightmares of being in a "medical examination room". (umm 2001 end scene anyone!) They also dreamt of strange creatures with large heads and large black eyes. (maybe it was Kubrick & Nichols lol!) The twins told Chuck Rak and Charlie Foltz of their dreams, and were surprised to learn the other men were having similar nightmares.]

Digest all that for a little while.

But wait...there's more.

Nichols referencing 2001 & Kubrick (Cubed brick) again...why am I not suprised to find this?

The name 'Dewey Stone' evokes 'Moon Stone' and the precipitation known has 'dew' which allegorically still connects to the moon as its source...and with reference to the 'philosophers stone'. 

                                        "The allegory of dew coming from the moon is still present"]

Outside of this 'Dew-ey' reference...


"Someone remarked that the best way to unite all the nations on this globe would be an attack from some other planet. In the face of such an alien enemy, people would respond with a sense of their unity of interest and purpose."

John Dewey, Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, 1917, excerpted from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, "Publication No. 15," p. 105.

And that's your next reference to Alien scenarios and abduction.

Mike Nichols first feature was 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?' 1966

His first major work in the medium of film began with a shot of the moon...

Working Girl has actress Sigourney Weaver as a main character and this brings in another Alien connection too, also Harrison Ford (Har-ford, EWS) has a main role, which brings in his 'stargating' from Star Wars etc.  Apparently 'star-gater' & 'bladerunner' Ford was considered for the role of Jack in Kubrick's The Shining.  He does play a 'Jack' in Working Girl.

                                         Harford (as in Dr) is a composite of Harrison & Ford.

                 Alien Weaver....who also played an A.I. ship's computer in Wall-E, just like Hal.

                                                  A.I. run amok....and turns on the crew.

                                      Star-gater Ford...who also plays Deckard in Bladerunner.

                                               Eye over the pyramid...Sirius/All seeing eye.

                                                        The eye of (tv) Set. (Bladerunner)

Turkel (in both The Shining & Bladerunner) lives in an uncompleted pyramid or a pyramid minus the capstone.  The incomplete 'pyramid' seen as a symbol of the unfinished 'great work'.

                                                  Brother Spielberg...So Mote It Be.

Jurassic Park visitor centre....barely hides the masonic apron (you have to turn it upside down), the power of Sirius (all seeing eye) radiates, death (t-rex) is now in the right place.


'Star-gater' Indy cast as Hiram Abiff/the sun/Osiris and raised just like the 3rd degree story and into the light....hence the convoluted scene (fridge nuke), that left some cinema goers perplexed!
Jurassic Park & The Cystal Skull....both directed by 'Hiram Helper' Brother Spielberg.

And to bring it all full circle, I bring you...

                                              I even left something for all you bear enthusiasts!

Haley Joel Spielberg's A.I...which as you probably know, was something that Stanley initiated and worked on for years. about I provide another sly reference into the mix re: Working Girl?  Having covered several 'winks' to 2001, can I relate it to another in the Kubrick canon and find further evidence of Nichols' intent?

               Well let's see...below, shots of Harrison Ford in Working Girl & The Colorado Lounge.

        There's Jack Torrance, oops I mean Jack Trainer in his Colorado inspired outfit, navajo design.

There's Jack just coming through the door and what is that strange random thing just over his shoulder, just a second that says Massacre...who would have that in their apartment, what massacre? And what are those figures underneath?

Closer up...they look very similar to those Navajo females that Jack throws the ball at in the Colorado Lounge...the Navajo Rainbow painting.  The 'Color-ado' Lounge...gedditt?
(Sorry this is the clearest picture I can find of the figures from Working Girl)

                                                               I've made it bigger here...

Jack, check...Navajo outfit, check...Massacre, check...Navajo Rainbow Indians, check.
Well it's certainly a contender.

               Danny's rainbows...Snoopy covered by a rainbow & Woodstock with his rainbow ball.

                                                               Where the rainbow ends?

Rainbow Fashions : Under The Rainbow...and the Lolita that is Milich's daughter, resides Over The Rainbow...synchronistically she (Sobieski) shares her birthday with Judy 'somewhere over the rainbow' Garland (June 10th).

                                     Happy Birthday  'rainbow girls' June 10th (1983 & 1922)

And just to wrap it up nicely...

Remember the scene I previously mentioned from Working Girl...where you see Jack in his Navajo outfit...when he returns from answering the door he starts to whistle..."If I Only Had a Brain (a Heart, the Nerve)" from the Wizard Of Oz, sung by the scarecrow, tin man & lion.

                                                                    And we finish on...

                              Alan Cumming aka Tin Man....Hotel Receptionist in Eyes Wide Shut.

1 comment:

  1. Here's a good one: Melanie Griffith plays Charlotte Haze in the 1997 Lolita remake.