Inspired by Arthur C. Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel,” director Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey is a senses-shattering tale of life and “afterlife” in outer space that revolutionized science-fiction movies. The film depicts the discovery of a large black monolith at the dawn of man, an identical obelisk found on the moon, and two astronauts terrorized by their ship’s computer, HAL 9000. More than that though, it ushered in an age of cerebral sci-fi that continues to this day. (It’s enduring legacy is even woven through the tapestry of last year’s acclaimed Arrival). In a film bursting with iconic moments, 2001‘s most quoted scene has astronaut Dave Bowman squaring off against computer HAL 9000 in a battle of the wills. If you somehow haven’t seen the movie, I won’t spoil what happens next except to say the film touches upon issues of existence and human meaning in a way few popular entertainments have done before or since. So set aside some time to check out 2001: A Space Odyssey, it’s a journey always worth taking.
We are reprinting this piece from last year in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary