Movies that are slightly off.
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In the future, an oppressive government maintains control of public opinion by outlawing literature and maintaining a group of enforcers known as "firemen" to perform the necessary book burnings. This is the premise of Ray Bradbury's acclaimed science-fiction novel Fahrenheit 451, which became the source material for French director François Truffaut's English-language debut. While some liberties are taken with the description of the world, the narrative remains the same, as fireman Montag (Oskar Werner) begins to question the morality of his vocation. Curious about the world of books, he soon falls in love with a beautiful young member of a pro-literature underground -- and with literature itself.
“The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.”
It is a serene community. Low-slung houses, uniform of appearance, line the streets. Reed-like trees keep visibility at a maximum. Earth tones dominate the color palette, except for the occasional vermillion box with a blue light on top so as to catch the eye of would-be informants. Within these homes, bored civilians watch large flat-screen television sets from which talking heads issue assurances of social harmony. To and from work, one takes the train, taking care not to speak to fellow passengers. It all seems rather ordinary. Except that everyone is always stroking themselves and their clothing, an apparent epidemic of rather reserved heavy petting. The human…
Review In A Nutshell:
Fahrenheit 451 follows the story of a world where books are forbidden by law and firefighters are present to ensure they are perished via fire, and one firefighter starts to have second thoughts about his profession.
The first thing came into my mind when watching this film is the similarities this film has with A Clockwork Orange and Brazil, the similarities is found in its visual atmosphere, creating this dystopian environment, but what makes this film different from the two films I mentioned is its dystopia is found internally within its characters. The physical environment that these characters live in are actually close to home, aside from a couple of "improvements" like the wall screen. Truffaut…
"You're not living - you're just killing time!"
Film #5 of NoeHat's Scavenger Hunt Challenge-- a film with a number in the title!
Guy Montag's world doesn't exist; it couldn't exist. How could anyone be able to read at all in a society that anathemizes the printed word? How are all the complicated electronics built without manuals and blueprints and physics textbooks? How are records maintained with nothing but numbers and photographs?
But guess what? Big Bad Wolves and gingerbread houses don't exist either. This world's very un-reality forces us to compare the details to our own reality.
Consider: The first thing I do when I wake up is look at my phone or tablet. Then I turn on music…
"We're a minority of undesirables, crying out in the wilderness. But it won't always be so. One day we shall be called on one by one to recite what we've learned. And then books will be printed again. And when the next Age of Darkness comes, those who come after us will do again as we have done."
Okay, I just finished a second viewing today, thinking especially about the ending scene with the Book People.
The New Testament says, "The Word of God is living and active". That's a good picture. For me, it isn't that the Book People have fallen into a conformity of their own (though outwardly that may be how it looks). I see the film as a fairy tale. The fact that these Words are moving around, walking from place to place means they are alive. They can't die just because copies have been burned. They thrive. And they survive.
Adaptation to film of novels that are so intrinsically about books doesn't (or shouldn't) really make any sense. Francois Truffaut's first colour film, and his only in English, overcomes this hurdle well, adding some distinctly cinematic touches to add extra depth to the already strongly thematic source novel.
What makes the films of the French New Wave is the eternal desire for experimentation. Although the playful use of unconventional techniques is not as prevalent in 'Fahrenheit 451' as in Godard's similar 'Alphaville', it still gives the film energy that it would otherwise lack. A particularly nice, subtle touch was the initial titles being spoken, hinting to the abolition of books and writing in general that is the main focus of…
Really good horror movie.
Fahrenheit 451 is a great dystopian movie with lots of satirical elements but solid character moments as well.
A dystopian world where firemen burn books because reading is dangerous for society. The premise is interesting, but the film is just strange.
The strongest irony here is that the book is so much better than the movie. I've read the book twice now, and I genuinely don't know how well the movie could stand on its own without having read the book.
1 star for the fascinating concept and 1 star for the futuristic set design. Otherwise, just read the book.
''Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which book paper catches fire and starts to burn.''
It was way better on my mind as I was reading the book. Still good tho.
This film has improved with time, as the dystopian fantasy of books being replaced by screens has come to pass, not because of government oppression, but as a result of technology and global capitalism. The burning of books, extensively contemplated in this film, is strangely beautiful, oddly poignant, as we see the words and images eaten by the flame, the pages curl into ash one by one. And it is so beautiful to see the colony of human books, pacing in the snow, reciting themselves, a stunning image of the transformation back from the linear, literary culture into an aggregative oral one.
One of those interesting movies that has a lot of really good elements but which also has flaws that keep it from being as effective as it could have been.
On the good side, it has a striking, surreal quality to it that probably influenced a lot of other near-future social tales — A Clockwork Orange, Brazil, THX-1138, et cetera. It also has a lot to say to us about our lives in the twenty-first century — we're probably a lot more like Linda Montag than we'd care to admit. Cyril Cusack is excellent as the creepy fire captain, as well.
On the other hand, there are some distracting elements that trip up the effectiveness of the story. It was…
This film is bad. It got a half star only because I wanted to ensure that you, my sole reader, that this was not a rating that I passed over, as I often do. Truffaut is a louse film-maker. I have always maintained that. Probably always will. Overrated. The kind critics and academic types adore, which itself is practically a warning klaxon. The staging here is awkward and stilted. Scenes play out in a master shot when they should cut to close-up. Shots are blown-up so as to create grainy close-ups. Footage is reused and used again. Julie Christie can not act. Oskar Werner is lifeless and acting in a language not his own, the result of which is almost a cross between Tommy Wiseau and a bad Strangelove impression. Herrmann's score is laughable. This is just bad. So bad.
Much better the second time around.
Francois Truffaut's clear discomfort with the English language and overriding interest in the bare metaphorical bones of Bradbury's story leads to an awkward film that can't decide if it's a potent allegory or a sci-fi satire. I normally adore Julie Christie but here she's cast in two roles for no readily apparent reason and doesn't do well in either, while Oscar Werner is a blank as our hero; only Cyril Cusack's disappointed surrogate father really registers. By the end you're pretty sure the thing's having you on with a parade of quirky hipsters spouting book titles like extras from a less successful episode of The Prisoner.
These are my favorite films of all time. Some of the rankings may be estimated, ratings are subject to frequent…