Fahrenheit 451 (1966 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Other than browsing newspapers, still no contact with current events, especially via talk radio or television. A solid week now. It is a refreshing purge. Among the topics I am happy to evade is the Vikings Stadium and anything to do with conservatives talking about jobs and the economy. Are those two of the most tiresome politic “discussions” in recent years or what? Hardly worth considering when one is engaged anyway…
Ok, ok…let’s back off from that. I am not thinking about people, politics, and stupidity for a few more days. I prefer to stay out of touch for just a touch longer. It is my birthday week, after all, and a little peace has been earned and deserved.
So shall I write about birds and walks in the park again? How about love and loneliness? Or love and happiness? Puppies? Raunchy sex? I do like writing about lakes and rivers, but rarely do. Cows are cool, too. I’m not sure I have ever written about cows.
I did watch Fahrenheit 451 last night. I might write about that. A strange alignment of coincidence tipped me off. I browsed Ray Bradbury because I had just seen a Columbo episode guest starring Oskar Werner. I knew Werner starred in a film adaptation of a Bradbury book, but I was going nuts because I could not remember the film. The more I thought about it, something that should be obvious, the more distant the answer became. You know this feeling when you do a crossword puzzle and get hung up on the most obvious clue.
Then I checked my WordPress stats and…guess what…I had recorded 451 visitors to A Little Tour in Yellow that day! Fahrenheit 451! There is the answer. Now is that strange or what? I like the coincidence though. I am trying to make something of it.
The idea to list all the books shown or mentioned in Fahrenheit 451 and then read them might be one of those inane projects that could catch on in cyberspace, but gathering all the literary references in the film will require many viewings. I managed to list 44 books. There are plenty more. If anyone has a comprehensive list, please share. I will consider my idea later.
Fahrenheit 451 is a solid film, by the way. It is science fiction for the masses. The story is simple and unfolds in a obscurely authoritarian future. All is neat and orderly…and a bit sedated. Print doesn’t exist (cartoon strips do, however) and most news and entertainment comes via telescreen walls. Truly the future.
Oskar Werner plays Montag, a fireman in the future. Fireman of the future don’t put out fires, they start them. Specifically, they burn books, because books complicate life with ideas and fantasies. Books are banned. Very simple.
Oskar Werner as Guy Montag in the 1966 film version.
Fahrenheit 451 does a lot with this simple story, however. It is very engaging, moves quickly, and nicely filmed. I should mention, too, that Francois Truffaut made the film, his only English-language film.
Werner perfectly portrays this confused future. He’s an odd, distant, and somewhat detached character, just like the world he inhabits. He is very much out of touch. He doesn’t watch the telescreens, he doesn’t seem all that interested in news and events. He simply does his job and worries about his aloof glassy-eyed wife. Until he discovers books.
So perhaps I am in a Montag transition from being blissfully out of touch to being re-engaged with print and ideas. There is a utopia at the end of the tracks. The key is moving ahead. And reading a good book every now and then should be part of the plan.
Filed under: Films, Wander with Me | Tagged: Columbo, Fahrenheit 451, François Truffaut, Oskar Werner, Ray Bradbury | 3 Comments »