2001 x 007

Dan Hopewell turned up a 2017 thread on social media by Simone Odino about film writer Joe R. Frinzi, who noticed that the aliens in 2001: A Space Odyssey decorated the astronaut’s hotel room with a painting from Roger Moore’s room at Max Zorin’s château in the 1985 Bond movie, A View To A Kill. The idea of A View To A Kill existing in the 2001 universe is a lot to process. But given Clarke’s premise that they gleaned details of Earth from TV broadcasts, I guess we should have at least been aware of the possibility.

Detail of Christophe Huet’s 18th century monkey business paintings in the Petite Singerie at Château de Chantilly, image: Marc Walter via CdeC

A View To A Kill was filmed at the Château de Chantilly, whose most famous decorative paintings, in the Grande and Petite Singeries, are Christophe Huet’s 18th century wall paintings of monkeys dressed and carrying on as French aristocrats. Perhaps someone paint a version of the opening scene of 2001 in the style of Huet.

If Frinzi mentions the painting in his new book, Kubrick’s Monolith: The Art and Mystery of 2001: A Space Odyssey, I couldn’t find it in his just-dropped interview on the Kubrick Universe Podcast. They were operating on a different level of fandom entirely, tbqh.

A few hours later update: following up to a comment on tumblr by @brocatus about whether this was an intentional quote, I looked on IMDb. The Art Director for A View To A Kill was John Fenner, who also worked with Stanley Kubrick. He worked as a draftsman on The Shining (1980) and 2001 (1968, uncredited), and would go on to work as art director on Eyes Wide Shut.

Somewhere on social media in response to the Frinzi mention, someone Odino wrote that when he asked about the identity of the painting in the Hotel Room, Christiane Kubrick said she recalled MGM making it themselves “[MGM] might as well have made it themselves,” and she had no idea.* If Fenner didn’t make it, he surely would have recognized it, and would have been in a position to place it. Someone else pointed out that the studios for the two productions were different. Perhaps Fenner not only made the painting, but has it?

*Corrected the quote and credited Odino after he chimed in and clarified on social media.