Thursday, 2 September
FAHRENHEIT 451 * 1966 * Directed by François Truffaut * 108 minutes * in English with English subtitles
These days people often argue about what sci-fi novel is closest to the one that we find ourselves in. They usually limit the discussion to either Orwell's 1984 or Huxley's Brave New World. But there is one novel that is equally relevant if not more, and that is the less cited Fahrenheit 451.To make a science fiction film based on a novel by Ray Bradbury was a surprising choice for one of the leading directors of the French New Wave, François Truffaut. But from the opening credits onward, Truffaut takes Bradbury's visionary premise and makes it his own. The futuristic society depicted in Fahrenheit 451 is a culture where books are illegal. Firemen race around in red trucks and wear helmets, but they don't put out fires (everything is now fireproof)... their job rather is to make public bonfires of forbidden stashes of books. By the way, to help you understand the title of the film, F-451 is the temperature at which paper burns.
Oskar Werner, the star of Truffaut's Jules and Jim, plays a fireman called Montag, whose exposure to an illegal copy of David Copperfield wakens an instinct toward reading and individual thought. In an intriguing casting choice, actress Julie Christie plays two roles: Montag's bored, drugged-up wife, but also a woman who helps kindle the spark of rebellion. The great composer Bernard Herrmann (Psycho) wrote the hard-driving music, and Nicolas Roeg (director of Walkabout, The Man Who Fell to Earth) crafted the cinematography.
The film does have an outdated veneer (a retro-vision of the future) - the sets and the costumes are very, very sixties - but for me that's part of the charm, and it does nothing to deter from the ideas being expressed. After all, its depiction of a narcissistic, alienated, superficial, massmedia-lobotomized culture might ring true for more than a few of us today. The movie also shows the fireman's wife as being addicted to medication to neutralize her emotions (Prozac anyone?) All of the "normal" human relations shown in the movie appear to be detached and lacking emotion.... people just don't care about much anymore, aside from what they are told is their own pleasure: they seem to be more interested in their wall-sized interactive flat screens than anything else. This film doesn't end in bleakness, though. Instead, it leaves us with a sublime ending.
This will be a high-definition screening.
Doors open at 20:30 * film starts 21:00 * Visitors limited to 16
Date & Time:
- 3-5 €