The essence of dramatic form is to let an idea come over people without it being plainly stated. When you say something directly, it's simply not as potent as it is when you allow people to discover it for themselves.
The destruction of this planet would have no significance on a cosmic scale: to an observer in the Andromeda nebula, the sign of our extinction would be no more than a match flaring for a second in the heavens: and if that match does blaze in the darkness there will be none to mourn a race that used a power that could have lit a beacon in the stars to light its funeral pyre. The choice is ours.
Some people demand a five-line capsule summary. Something you'd read in a magazine. They want you to say, 'This is the story of the duality of man and the duplicity of governments.' I hear people try to do it -- give the five-line summary -- but if a film has any substance or subtlety, whatever you say is never complete, it's usually wrong, and it's necessarily simplistic: truth is too multifaceted to be contained in a five-line summary. If the work is good, what you say about it is usually irrelevant.
In his essay on the uncanny, Das Unheimliche, Freud said that the uncanny is the only feeling which is more powerfully experienced in art than in life. If the horror genre required any justification, I should think this alone would serve as its credentials.
In any case, once you're dealing on a nonverbal level, ambiguity is unavoidable. But it's the ambiguity of all art, of a fine piece of music or a painting - you don't need written instructions by the composer or painter accompanying such works to 'explain' them. Explaining them contributes nothing but a superficial 'cultural' value which has no value except for critics and teachers who have to earn a living.
If you really want to communicate something, even if it’s just an emotion or an attitude, let alone an idea, the least effective and least enjoyable way is directly. It only goes in about an inch. But if you can get people to the point where they have to think a moment what it is you’re getting at, and then discover it, the thrill of discovery goes right through the heart.
The world's religions, for all their parochialism, did supply a kind of consolation for this great ache... This shattering recognition of our mortality is at the root of far more mental illness than I suspect even psychiatrists are aware.
You're free to speculate as you wish about the philosophical and allegorical meaning of the film—and such speculation is one indication that it has succeeded in gripping the audience at a deep level—but I don't want to spell out a verbal road map for 2001 that every viewer will feel obligated to pursue or else fear he's missed the point.