The best part of enjoying fictional versions of a dystopian future is how well they prepare you for a dystopian present. Which is helpful, because it’s rough out there right now. Worried about bio-technocratic, cradle-to-grave social predestination? Reference Brave New World! Concerned about the suffocation of intellect and free will through manipulation of mass media? Crack open Fahrenheit 451! Stressed over militarized theocracy and the neo-feudal subjugation of women? The Handmaid’s Tale is popular lately. Or maybe you’re fretting over government surveillance, perpetual war, mandatory loyalty to party ideology, historical revisionism and autocratic control over the fabric of discourse itself? Well, get off of Facebook and allow me to present a reminder that things could still be a lot worse: 1984’s 1984, starring screen legends John Hurt and Richard Burton.
The book 1984, first published in the shifting post-war landscape of 1949, gave us a new vocabulary of resistance to despotism: doublethink, thought police, memory hole, Big Brother and dozens of other concepts turn out to be uncomfortably handy when describing features of the real world. In fact the thing that 1984 gets most wrong about the way totalitarian power will exert itself seems to be how obvious it will be. The world of the book (and the movie) has descended into nightmare with alarming and unambiguous rapidity. But 1984 doesn’t choose a side in our real, 2017, polarized political world: it rejects hegemony, deception, inequality and control, and it stands for freedom, liberty, and true love. No matter how we vote, we can all agree on that. Learn to love Big Screen — and join us for our first-ever Prime-Time REWIND — with 1984.
1h 53m / R / Drama