Day: January 23rd, Movie: 24
Today’s Genre-ary Sci-Fi DailyView is a film from 1972 featuring Bruce Dern in a futuristic tale.
There is definitely an environmental flare to the story of a future where plant life had got extinct on the earth and a company attempted to preserve as many species as possible on a space greenhouse attached to a cargo spaceship.
Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern) was one of the four crewmen aboard the Valley Forge ship who was the main botanist and ecologist, was involved with the greenhouses. However, the people in charge decided that they could not afford to keep the greenhouses and they wanted the cargo ships running product instead. So they sent an order for the crew to destroy the greenhouse.
Lowell did not want this to happen so he wound up turning on the others, leading to their deaths and he kept a couple of the greenhouses active and he communicates with the mission control that he was lost in space.
Lowell then went ahead trying to keep the greenhouse alive as he reprogramed some droids to help him.
To be honest, I found this fairly dull for most of the film. I did like the wrap up of the film, but it felt very slow and I did not have much of a connection with Lowell. He was a murderer and I had issue with what he did.
Bruce Dern did a nice job. I do think he is a great actor and he had to do most of the work on his own. Lowell seemed as if he was slowly going crazy from the isolation. I mean, he named the three robots and started to treat them like children. He brought this crazed character to reality.
The film also seemed to dismiss the environmental angle after the first act of the movie.
Overall, while I appreciate the shot this took, I was not a fan of Silent Running. It had some moments, but I found it dull and I could not support the protagonist.
I love this film, but bear in mind I first saw it back in 1977 when I was much younger, and I would be the first to admit that its a film of its time, especially so because of the two songs it features. The soundtrack either dates it horribly (for anyone coming to it today) or makes it oddly endearing (those of us who saw it in the ‘seventies). To a lesser extent (because its a better film) the same is true of 2001: A Space Odyssey, a film I’ve always held to be special but I guess young people watching it today mostly think even that film is both horribly slow and horribly dated with its ‘sixties-influenced future.
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