Douglas Trumbull's "Silent Running" is one of those films that really sticks with you. Steeped in 1970s environmentalism, the film follows the world's last treehugger as he fight's to save Earth's last trees. Only these trees arn't even on Earth any more since we managed to poison the planet. Instead, they grow in robot-tended space gardens.
When Earth sends the orders to dump the gardens and bring the spaceships home, our treehugger (played by Bruce Dern) has to make a deadly decision. Let's watch a clip featuring the music of Joan Baez. Some of you may find this a bit dated and cheesy, but I feel a lot of nostalgic love for it:
It's a true sci-fi classic and a wonderful film. I remember discovering it for the first time during an afternoon showing on A&E.
"Silent Running" also had a huge impact on "Mystery Science Theater 3,000" creator Joel Hodgson, who discussed his obsession with the film in a 2012 STBYM interview. Here's a bit from that:
And of course the rest is history. Joel's "Mystery Science Theater 3000" was something of an homage to "Silent Running" in its depiction of a man stranded in space with robots and forced to watch cheesy movies.
I'll close out with this new mix from DJ Food, which happens to feature various samples from a documentary about the making of "Silent Running," in addition to tracks from Sinoia Caves, Pye Corner Audio, Machinedrum and Belbury Poly. Enjoy "A Little Night Music..."