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Fahrenheit 451 starring Julie Christie and Oskar Werner #book2movie

Yesterday we had our first look at the upcoming Fahrenheit 451 starring Michael B. Jordan as Guy Montag, the fireman. Based on the Ray Bradbury classic, Fahrenheit 451 was first adapted in 1966 with François Truffaut directing. 

The Viennese actor Oskar Werner, best known to English speaking audiences for Jules et Jim, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and Ship of Fools, played Montag in that version with Julie Christie taking on the dual roles of Guy’s wife Linda as well as the revolutionary mistress we see in the clip below. What’s that number on your uniform, she wants to know. Why 451? That’s the temperature at which books burn he tells her. 

Fahrenheit 451 directed by François Truffaut

Which brings us to an interesting question posed by Louise at A Belief in Wicker yesterday:
“While the trailer looks interesting, I’m not sure that the concept works now that we have ebooks and audiobooks- how do they burn those?’’
An excellent question because it’s obviously not the cloth or leather binding, the paper pages of a book that’s dangerous, it’s the knowledge within those pages. 

I can see how fire could melt my nook, even my personal computer, destroying the books I have stored there. But these days books, knowledge is everywhere. The aptly named web spreads its tentacles far and wide so that while some regimes have elected to deny their people access, turning off the internet, there will always be some corner of the world where books and their dangerous ideas remain. I’m curious to see how the filmmakers address that question.

Truffaut’s take on Bradbury’s book was his first foray into directing an English language film and taking a quick look, it appears many of the critics, then and now, found it dull and pretentious. But not all of them agree. Check out this fascinating video review from Richard Brody of the New Yorker. Please excuse the mandatory ad, that’s the magazine’s  prerequisite to see the material.

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And here’s the vintage trailer.

If you’re still curious to see it—I am, even more so having seen Brody’s review —Fahrenheit 451 is available to stream on Amazon and Vudu for just under ten bucks.