• Bruce Dern shoots the shit with his robot BFFs in Silent Running

Botany is a course of study that’s gone noticeably unrecognized in cinema. So while the world waits for a Carl Linnaeus biopic, we’ll have to make do with perhaps the greatest Hollywood plant movie ever made: 1972’s Silent Running directed by Douglas Trumbull—one of the pioneering figures of special effects in cinema and the key mind behind the technological innovations of films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, and most recently, The Tree of Life—and cowritten by Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter, Heaven’s Gate).

Silent Running, appropriately set in the year 2001, tells the story of a dedicated botanist (Bruce Dern) who tends to the last known plant life in existence aboard the Valley Forge, a large spaceship orbiting Saturn. When he’s ordered to jettison his gardens, which are housed in massive geodesic domes, and return to Earth, he cuts all communication to his superiors, kills the four crew members keen on carrying out the orders, and enlists the help of three robots dubbed Huey, Louie, and Dewey to help him continue his research.