We see a human for the first time nearly 20 minutes into the movie, and hear human voice another 5 minutes later; further, the last 25-odd minutes are again devoid of any dialogues – now that’s the kind of audacity few filmmakers apart from Stanley Kubrick could have displayed. A visual feast like few others, and comprising of some of the most groundbreaking, if understated, special effects for its times, the pristine white, claustrophobic and disorienting interiors of the spaceship must have been the inspiration behind Ridley Scott’s Alien a decade later. Yet, all its technical brilliance apart, the movie is ultimately an intellectually challenging, visceral, ominous, unsettling and poetic meditation on the very framework used to create the film – technology, culminating in a climax that is as mind-bending as it is surreal. By brilliantly juxtaposing the eerie silence of outer space with beautiful Classical-based soundtrack, the movie has at its core a mysterious black monolithic slab with the ability to emit powerful radiations and supposedly placed by an intelligent life form, that propels and becomes a contemporary to man’s evolution from a primeval ape to ones capable of advanced space exploration. Ironically, the film caused “cultural shock” and “social disorientation” when released at the height of the space-race between the USand the erstwhile USSR, the very thing that the scientists try to protect civilians from in the film.