Douglas Trumbull's Silent Running (1972) + Lillian Schwartz's Galaxies (1974)
August 8, 2012
International House Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Outdoor screening as part of International House Philadelphia's free summer series "The Outer Limits: 70s Sci-Fi
Silent Running, Douglas Trumbull, 1972, US, digital, 89'
After creating the stunning visual effects sequences in 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Andromeda Strain, Douglas Trumbull made his directorial debut with Silent Running. In a future where all plant life has become extinct on Earth, environmentalist astronaut Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern) is the steward for the many species of flora and fauna he maintains in a geodesic dome on the Valley Forge space station. When orders come to destroy the dome, Lowell refuses. With the aid of his three programmed helper-robots Huey, Dewey and Louie, he risks everything to maintain the valuable species he hopes to reintroduce to the planet. Trumbull's visual ideas, later showcased in Blade Runner, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Tree of Life are fully realized in Silent Running, which also features two songs by Joan Baez.
Galaxies, Lillian Schwartz, 1974, US, digital, 5'
Galaxies is a swirling, psychedelic trip through the cosmos made by Lillian Schwartz during the early part of her career at Bell Laboratories, where she was artist-in-residence. Schwartz is best known for her pioneering work in the use of computers for what has since become known as computer-generated art.