U.K., 1984, 110 min, Digital, Dir. Michael Radford, Rated R, Park Circus
"What is remarkable about the movie is how completely it satisfied my feelings about the book; the movie looks, feels, and almost tastes and smells like Orwell's bleak and angry vision." – Roger Ebert
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. So goes the motto of the totalitarian state of Oceania in Michael Radford’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, adapted from George Orwell’s novel of the same name. A prescient book in its day, it has slowly become more and more relevant with the proliferation of misinformation and the ever-growing surveillance state in the last decade. This screening, occurring on the same day that Winston Smith began his rebellion against the Party, is part of a national initiative to uphold our most basic values and honors the memory of John Hurt. Roger Ebert called Hurt “the perfect Winston Smith,” praising the film for looking, feeling, and almost tasting and smelling like Orwell’s bleak and angry vision. The film itself is dedicated to another great actor, Richard Burton, whose portrayal of the immensely cynical O’Brien was his final onscreen role before passing away two months before the film’s release. Orwell's portrait of a government that manufactures its own facts, demands total obedience, and demonizes foreign enemies, has come to pass. It is now that the clocks have finally struck thirteen.
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