- Publisher: Süddeutsche Zeitung (2005)
- ISBN-10: 3866150164
- ISBN-13: 978-3866150164
- Package Dimensions: 8.2 x 5 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 470 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,900,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fahrenheit 451. DVD-Video
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DVD, Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned
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About so many things however, Bradbury was amazingly forward-thinking and spot on. His warnings about television, essentially now all but forgotten, were unreservedly prescient. He pulls no punches in exposing television (the “wall family”) for what it really is: a mind-numbing, anesthetizing fraud. There's a hilarious scene where the evening's TV entertainment is of two men having a manic, interminable conversation, struggling to cover the tiniest details, about the seating arrangement at an upcoming dinner party—in other words, about absolutely nothing … complete pointlessness. It all takes place on a big, wall-mounted flat screen, and everybody wants as many wall families in the home as he can afford. Sound familiar? It makes one recall Reynolds Price's line about the undergraduates coming into his classroom at Duke with their “poor television-devastated brains.”
A few thoughts on how this writing genre got from there to here. In the wake of the horrific atrocities of two world wars in the 20th century, there emerged a “scientific” movement (social science, or behaviorism) with the benevolent aim of understanding causes of war, building a just society, and preventing appalling global conflicts. Two of the most famous isms to appear were socialism and communism. To achieve the mass cooperation needed for their version of widespread economic development, it was presumed that sophisticated methods for compliance with the “new doctrine” would be needed, such as shaping or controlling thought rather than using coercion. Around the world there grew enormous concerns that using science (generally used to understand physical realities) to create political systems (social realities) would produce an unwanted mutation—a new kind of dictatorship, a Frankenstein. Or maybe folks simply believed that all people of these isms were Godless savages. In any event, the fear was so intense that it influences anti-communism right up to the present day. At that time, a group of writers published quite a lot on the insidious methods of the new dystopia. In Bradbury's book, the government doesn't control people by controlling information through propaganda. It controls people through mass ignorance: drugs, television, and the banning of all printed words. Yup.
It all seems a bit mad, and it begins to hit very close to home. But Bradbury and the film do maintain a sense of humor. Have some fun looking for the anachronisms, odd color schemes, and the film-makers' obvious disdain for modernist design (poor van der Rohe). There are also occasional brief shots, in a fully remastered film, shown unrestored. For those who think one would never see this kind of official misology in the modern world: When you see politicians, in the U.S. and elsewhere, rail against elites and their damnable ideas, the message is that knowledge will get you nowhere—exactly the government's position in Fahrenheit. You may not see state of the art special effects in this film, but expect a lot of food for thought of that sort. Bradbury once said that films today are brilliant technologically, “But you come out aching, and you’re hungry. You haven’t seen anything. With Truffaut, you've seen something.”
The film’s thesis is clear and burning hot. The real threat is ignorance of thoughts and feelings, whether imposed by the few or freely chosen by the many. True, most people aren't interested in a lifetime of deep thinking, but the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction. It’s a bizarre irony that in a world of mass public education, there are so many people content to disconnect from books, plays, articles, poetry, all kinds of written words and the life-affirming thoughts and feelings, both positive and negative, that they contain—content to turn off leaning. And to disconnect from those thoughts and feelings is to disconnect from the two things that define what it means to be human in the most fundamental sense. When we disconnect from thoughts and feelings, we become intellectually and emotionally ignorant, we fail to understand self, and become disconnected from both self (alienated) and others (atomized). That’s the world of Fahrenheit 451, in some ways resembling our own world. So that it's not learning for some abstract elitist purpose. It's learning for the purpose of connecting with thoughts and feelings, both ours and those of others … for the purpose of being human. And in the end, that humanity (“simple human decency” [Chayefsky]) is all any of us really has in this life. Writers may be “a minority of undesirables crying out in the wilderness,” and they may write of pain. But pain reminds you that you're alive, and there can be no pleasure in life without it. Becoming comfortable with that reality--learning to cry as well as to laugh--is part of growing up. Literature is the “power of memory,” our history and future, and our collective thoughts and feelings. Remove it from your personal life, and those are the things likely lost. In Fahrenheit, this produces a mostly quiet, compliant, and self-absorbed public. In reality, we know that ignorance is at the heart of alienation, malice, and violence.
Ultimately this isn't at all a story about what the government does. It's about the choices individuals make to remain connected, or not, to their humanness. Much of the film's visual bareness comes to an end in the final scene with the book people. It's one of those moments in cinema when imagery, music, screenplay, and performance--thought and feeling--come together to produce revelation … a sort of spirituality … and something with great pictorial and emotional beauty. Bradbury said, “If you have a good film and end it badly, you have a bad film. If you have a medium film and end it beautifully, you have a beautiful film.” The book people show us that Fahrenheit 451 is indeed a beautiful film.
psychotropic medications, hallucinogenics and mood stabilizers were achieving medical efficacy, then into the hands of a frenzied new age population. fahrenheit 451 is as much about the destruction of information as it is about mans willingness to anesthestise himself from reality. look no further than real housewives or kardashians to find our 21st century cousins.
the look of the film is fabulous, so perfectly stylized out of the orange and green couture designs from 1966-72. I love the art direction. there are Giant tv's, which at the time seemed ludicrous and which, today, of course, have come and gone, the companions of the society, bent on keeping meloncoly emotions like sorrow, lonliness, remorse, anywhere but in here. The French do celebrate these low tides of the human experience, and the lovely director, Francious Truffaut, is able to make the point well. using a very suppressed and angry Oskar Werner as the vessel of fury for the loss of humanity, we are reminded how every persons journey effects every other person he comes in contact with. Werner's German accent makes the whole film that much more...odd. misplaced. as if something is here that does not belong.
The fire truck and the music in the opening scene are fabulous. From the very beginning credits, we know Truffaut is giving you his all. the credits are spoken! Because, hey, no one here can read and anyway reading is against the law. watching the antennae and tuning into the incredible score, xylophones, and strings with my hi def wi fi.. I am already futurized.
The view of the filmmakers seems to be that literature is the only true pastime for the intelligentsia. the communist USSR society seems to be a backdrop for this future, where all is take care of and no one desires much, and you are in big trouble is you misbehave. America also has her say, with too much time on their hands and nothing to do, pills are everywhere. ODing is just a fact of everyday life. the social austerity of the USSR meets the social obesity of the USA, and so it is only natural that people ... .. people find a way out by becoming a piece of fiction. they
become a book.
It is still one of if not my favorite ending of any movie. The besotted antihero finds his way out of the city and follows the tracks to the place where people are living off the land, together, reciting the books they love until they know them by heart. Each introduces himself by the title of a book.
And as the walk through the snow together reciting themselves, I have this feeling of home, purpose, simplicity. I long to be there, and I especially long to be there in Julie Christy's gorgeous suede coat. It was the height of cool fashion, and I still get an old feeling of my whole life being before me every time I see her in her coat, in a world of her own, saving herself, and sacrificing herself, for a larger meaning as well.
also that scene where he hides in the boat and the policemen are coming in the air in those rockets, that used to scare the crap out of me.
I think this was the only color pic ever made by French director François Truffaut, and the first he ever made in English. If you want to see Truffaut himself in action, watch for him as the likable French scientist in the 1977 movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
I liked the Bradury book Fahrenheit 451 when I was a kid, and the movie is pretty faithful to the original story. Put it on some dark, cloudy, day, and become a part of the family, cousin.