On this day in 1968, 2001: A Space Odyssey premiered.

I’ve revisited it a few times over the years, and I always have different reactions, but they usually include

1. Where’s my goddamn moon shuttle?
2. “Bell.” Heh. “Pan-Am.” <snif>
3. We really are, as a culture, poorer for not having the Soviets as staple villains. (Not that you can’t muff that, too.)

My favorite recycling of 2001 is of course Wall-E. But I really wanted to point you to my favorite critical reading of 2001, by Michael Bérubé—part 1 and part 2. If you haven’t read it, please do.

And when you do, let me know: do you think the silence of the movie’s final chapter covers the “unmentionable” or “what goes without saying”?