Fahrenheit 451 – François Truffaut (1966)


Fahrenheit 451 is a 1966 British dystopian drama film directed by François Truffaut and starring Oskar Werner, Julie Christie, and Cyril Cusack. Based on the 1953 novel of the same name by Ray Bradbury, the film takes place in a controlled society in an oppressive future in which the government sends out firemen to destroy all literature to prevent revolution and thinking. This was Truffaut’s first colour film as well as his only English-language film. At the 1966 Venice Film Festival, Fahrenheit 451 was nominated for the Golden LionIn the future, a totalitarian government employs a force known as Firemen to seek out and destroy all literature. They have the power to search anyone, anywhere, at any time, and burn any books they find. One of the firemen, Guy Montag, meets one of his neighbours, Clarisse, a young schoolteacher who may be fired due to her unorthodox views. The two have a discussion about his job, where she asks if he ever reads the books he burns. Curious, he begins to hide books in his house and read them, starting with Charles Dickens‘s David Copperfield. This leads to conflict with his wife, Linda, who is more concerned with being popular enough to be a member of The Family, an interactive television programme that refers to its viewers as ‘cousins’. At the house of an illegal book collector, the fire captain talks with Montag at length about how books make people unhappy and make them want to think they are better than others, which is considered anti-social. … Truffaut kept a detailed diary during the production and later published in both French and English (in Cahiers du Cinema in English). In this diary, he called Fahrenheit 451 his ‘saddest and most difficult’ film making experience, mainly because of intense conflicts between Werner and himself.  The film was Universal Pictures‘ first European production. Julie Christie was originally cast as just Linda Montag, not both Linda and Clarisse. The part of Clarisse was offered to Jean Seberg and Jane Fonda. … The film had a mixed critical reception upon release. Time magazine called the film a ‘weirdly gay little picture that assails with both horror and humor all forms of tyranny over the mind of man’; it ‘strongly supports the widely held suspicion that Julie Christie cannot actually act. Though she plays two women of diametrically divergent dispositions, they seem in her portrayal to differ only in their hairdos.’ …”
Wikipedia
New Republic – TNR Film Classics: ‘Fahrenheit 451’ (1966)
Fahrenheit 451 (Video)
MoMA: Francois Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451
amazon
YouTube: Fahrenheit 451, Fahrenheit 451 1, Fahrenheit 451 – Trailer

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