Spaceships land in south London for The Vanishing Point’s Silent Running screening

Next month, south London is set to be invaded by spaceships, robots and a small army of people in tie-dye brandishing watering cans.

The Vanishing Point,  Silent Running  robots
The Vanishing Point, Silent Running robots

Before you dismiss DW as delusional crackpots, there is a logical explanation. Immersive cinema company The Vanishing Point is returning with another wonderful sounding event, this time screening 1972 eco-themed sci-fi classic Silent Running in association with nationwide film season Scala Beyond.

For this screening, the group will be taking over the Utrophia Gallery in Deptford – a space which, conveniently, is already well equipped with rooftop machinery, and the feel of a ‘run down old spaceship’, according to Paul Reed, The Vanishing Pointco-founder and creative director.

The Vanishing Point,  Silent Running
The Vanishing Point, Silent Running

The Vanishing Point works with freelance set designers to create the spaces for the screenings, though for this event the artist who work at the gallery are also getting involved in designing what looks set to be a wonderfully odd and immersive setting.

Reed says, ‘We don’t want to create a nostalgic reaction of the film but look at the themes, what was it getting at and how can we have some fun with that and keep people interested and excited.

‘The film itself has a lot of ecological themes which were very ahead of its time – it was very prescient. We want to play on those things and make it very interactive for people – that’s one of the points of Vanishing Point, to be immersive and fun.’

The Vanishing Point,  Silent Running  valley forge crew
The Vanishing Point, Silent Running valley forge crew

As well as machinery on the roof being tinkered with by spacemen, the venue will also feature a retro video game installation, ecological garden and other interactive elements.

Reed adds, ‘The Silent Running director Douglas Trumbull did the special effects for films like 2001 Space Odyssey, and it was a reaction to how pristine and perfect the space environments were being portrayed as [in other films]. In Silent Running the space ship looks very lived in so it’s a lot more believable.’

The Vanishing Point Silent Running Screening takes place on 15 September at Utrophia (Rooftop screening), 120 Deptford High Street, London, SE8. For tickets and more information visit

The Vanishing Point,  Silent Running
The Vanishing Point, Silent Running

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