Am I the only one who likes this film?
i liked it a lot more than i thought i would. it is corny in places, but i enjoyed how it focused more on the loneliness of deep space travel. to be honest, it’s what i was expecting when i saw Moon.
plus, i’d watch Bruce Dern in just about anything. i should start a Black Sunday thread one of these days.
I have a soft spot for “SR”, having seen it several times over the years.
It is a period piece, to be sure, but with its heart in the right place. The mood in the film is quite special, part humorous, part mournful, part something else I can’t put my finger on.
Trumbull’s imagery is beautiful. The soundtrack is, again, very “period” with Joan Baez singing about children in the sun, but it fits.
It’s a film that should be easy to dislike by many for its “green”, hippy/anti-establishment stance and yet there is a tenderness and sincerity about it that makes you remember it fondly.
It’s not afraid of sentimentalism, nor should it be; yet, when it counts, the final images are as powerful as you could want.
It deserves its niche in film history.
(One of my cherished soundtrack albums is “Silent Running” on green see-through vinyl.)
One of my favourites from childhood, and it is one of a few films that I remember (and admit to!) bawling my eyes out over. Only when I grew up a bit and understood Trumbull’s legacy did it crystallise as a critically significant film, albeit overly sentimental and idealistic. There is also great satisfaction that the film’s message is still resonant today.
Keep bumping… :)
“Silent Running” is a relatively obscure film nowadays, one which I have discovered only during the past couple years. However, people who were around when the film was released (1973) seem to have fond memories of it.
“Trumbull’s imagery is beautiful. The soundtrack is, again, very “period” with Joan Baez singing about children in the sun, but it fits.”
Folk music is timeless, Claus. That music could’ve been written and performed yesterday. I would say the rousing orchestral music in the film sounds more antiquated than anything Joan Baez plays here.
However, the film does seem to be the only sci-fi movie with a folk music soundtrack.
“It’s a film that should be easy to dislike by many for its “green”, hippy/anti-establishment stance and yet there is a tenderness and sincerity about it that makes you remember it fondly.”
Excuse me? Why should a film be “dislikable” for taking a positive (hippy) stance? Considering for what hippy culture stands in general, that statement is mighty confusing. Also, you don’t have to a hippy to “get it”. Richard Fleischer’s “Soylent Green”, released to same year, has the same message and none of the characters in said film would qualify as being archetypical “hippies” (certainly not the one played by Charlton Heston, and Edward G. Robinson’s character is an ornery type who is merely pining for the past).
Claus, from where did you acquire your “Silent Running” soundtrack on green see-through vinyl? They ought to do the same thing with the music from “Soylent Green”…that’d be groovy!
Does the cover per chance look like this?
I would just like to say, following on from what I have said above, films like “Silent Running” and “Soylent Green” deliver their eco-cautionary sentiments in a manner that makes them ideal viewing for film buffs with a conscience—easy to digest, with no sense of overblown self-importance, just relatively subdued, straight forward sci-fi films with a message.
It’s a pity many people just want to watch “Avatar” and other such cinematic fare where the special effects come first and the message seems to be there just to appease the new, disingenuous “green mainstream” types (think Cate Blandshit and Al Snore), who aren’t really “switched on” at all, but prostitute “having a conscience” for lucrative financial gain and stroking the ego.
I would love to see “Moon” on the big screen. It seems like “2001” and “Silent Running” (Douglas Trumbull worked on both) with its theme of humankind locked in deep space, surrounding by technology and separated from the rest of humanity. It’s much like how technology right here on Planet Earth threatens not to bring people closer together, but to dehumanise them and make them anti-social (just a thought I have). So I harken back to Bruce Dern’s passionate speech about the sterilisation of humankind he spouts in “Silent Running”: humanity is more proficient than ever before, but it has consequently sacrificed those things that make us human in the first place.
Regarding “Black Sunday”:
There’s one film I haven’t seen in…oh, more than 20 years! The one with the plot to wipe out the entire crowd at the Super Bowl…how strange is it the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys played each other in the next Super Bowl to follow the release of this film?
I will chalk up to the fact that we are communicating by keyboard alone that we seem to have misunderstood each other.
If a ‘new viewer’ were to watch this, someone in their 20es, the shorthand effect of Joan Baez and the songs alone should place this film firmly in the 70es. Good or bad, that, I think is true. She was in her prime, vocally, and that alone would make for an instantly recocnizable ‘folk signature’ for anyone listening.
If a conservative, in today’s heated environment (no pun) should watch this, I think we can both imagine what the sound bites would be like: touchy-feeliy, soft science….you know the list. Not a neutral reaction. Hence the comments.
The film wears its heart on its sleeve, and I think that a good thing. It does stay firmly on the side of our Lonely Soldier who guards the last woods. I get the impression that even if he hadn’t done what he did, that anyone would understand if he had asked them for help. All fine, in the service of the story, and it drives home the point.
In terms of music,. I am an amateur musician and an amateur musicologist and I am well aware of the travels of folk music, how ballads came and went, and got changed, borrowed, fitted to new needs and such. So, yes, I know folk music is timeless.
I am filtering this through what a less experienced/more politically overwrought viewer might see/hear when I comment on the songs.
The album cover you posted is correct. It is the Varese Sarabande issue, on green vinyl. Peter Schickele (of P.D.Q. Bach fame) wrote the score.
Here it is…I got it around ’77, by mail-order from Varese Sarabande.
Wow, that’s a really groovy record!
(No pun intended, although I wish it had been)
I wonder if the cassette tape was also green.
You’ve got to love that drone…now we know how George Lucas conceived the ideas for many of his droids in the “Star Wars” films!
“Silent Running” is something of a cult favorite for me. Its science fiction told in a melancholic and innocent way, a style that is totally forgotten nowadays . It’s a sweet and sour story and a tour de force for Bruce Dern, who manages to hold the film all by himself (with the precious help of the small droids).
I think Douglas Trumbull is the top special effects man in cinema history and I liked the films he directed too. “Brainstorm” was definetly poorer that “Silent Running” but the concept was quite fascinating.