2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick's metaphysical science fiction opus is an odyssey indeed. Starting with a prehistoric 'Dawn of Man' sequence and culminating in a hallucinogenic trip through the galaxy, Kubrick attempts nothing less than an exhilarating meditation on time, space and the origins of life.
Based on Arthur C. Clarke's 1951 novella The Sentinel, the film expands on Clarke's original story which only covers the discovery of a mysterious monolith on the far reaches of the moon.
Kubrick's film, however, takes us from the birth of life on earth to beyond the far reaches of the galaxy, with space travel ultimately becoming an extension of humankind's search for the meaning of our existence.
The visionary special effects by Kubrick and photographic effects by Douglas Trumbull set the benchmark for science fiction films to come.