Based on the 1951 Ray Bradbury novel of the same name. Guy Montag is a firefighter who lives in a lonely, isolated society where books have been outlawed by a government fearing an independent-thinking public. It is the duty of firefighters to burn any books on sight or said collections that have been reported by informants. People in this society including Montag's wife are drugged into compliancy and get their information from wall-length television screens. After Montag falls in love with book-hoarding Clarisse, he begins to read confiscated books. It is through this relationship that he begins to question the government's motives behind book-burning. Montag is soon found out, and he must decide whether to return to his job or run away knowing full well the consequences that he could face if captured. Written by
Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
From Ray Bradbury's novel about totalitarian society that has banned books and printed words in order to eliminate independent thought; Oskar Werner plays professional book-burner who becomes enraptured with stories. Possibly a bit too thin at this length, but a fascinating peek at a cold future (which the times have just about caught up to). Didn't get a warm reception from critics in its day, yet the performances by Werner and Julie Christie (in a dual role as both Werner's wife and a rebel acquaintance) are top notch. I was never a fan of director François Truffaut's too-precious stories of childhood, but this film, curiously his only English-language picture, is extremely well-directed; the sequence with the woman and her books afire is one amazing set-piece, with tight editing, incredible and precise art direction, and the camera in all the right places. Truffaut lets you feel the agony of book paper curling up black in a mass of orange flames, and the proud defiance of the woman as she herself strikes the match. Unforgettable. *** from ****
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