Silent Running

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In the eco-themed ‘70s sci-fi classic Silent Running, Bruce Dern stars as a renegade space botanist who enlists three robots to help him save the last remaining forests. Freeman Lowell (Dern) is the caretaker of a greenhouse located on a group of space stations that are sent into orbit. The Earth has been stripped clean of foliage, and the greenhouse contains the last remaining greenery from the planet. Lowell’s staff includes three human beings and a trio of endearing robots named Huey, Dewey, and Louie. When word arrives, from the powers that be, that the greenhouse is to be destroyed (the space station is more valuable to man when hauling cargo and not “preserving the ecology of the universe”), Lowell decides to ignore the order. He also decides to go it alone, “circle the wagons” with his robots, and fend off all outside attempts to eliminate his ecological paradise. The directorial debut of legendary special effects artist Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey), Silent Running is a provocative slice of intelligent science fiction cinema, propelled by stunning special effects, a still-relevant ecological message and a tour-de-force performance by 2014 Best Actor Oscar nominee Bruce Dern. (Dir. by Douglas Trumbull, 1972, USA, 89 mins., Rated PG) Digital