Douglas Trumbull has directed one of the saddest films of all time. OF ALL TIME! Silent Running is the 1972 science-fiction film about how Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern) and a group of short robots — insightfully played by double-amputee actors — rescues the last remaining flora from Earth in a dystopic future run by faceless pencil-pushers who order Bruce's deep-space crew to detonate all the space-pods filled with forests and come home. Fuck that! You see something like that at age 10 and you want to join the World Wildlife Fund and stop the future in Silent Running from ever happening, it just makes you so sad and crazy. The only thing that diffuses the sorrow even slightly is Joan Baez warbling horribly over the soundtrack. Tonight's 40th-anniversary screening is introduced by director Trumbull, who's directed visual effects on everything from 2001: A Space Odyssey to The Tree of Life. In addition to Silent Running — co-written by Steven Bochco and Michael Cimino — he also directed Brainstorm, Natalie Wood's last film. And tomorrow night, Trumbull receives the Gordon E. Sawyer Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. He's a living legend. Be there or be nowhere! Billy Wilder Theatre at the Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd.; Fri., Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m.; free , resv. required. (310) 443-7000,

Fri., Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m., 2012

LA Weekly