National Event Day Screening of “1984” Hosted by Arthouse Theaters Around the Country In Response to Current Political Climate
On April 4, 2017, over 90 art house movie theatres across the country will be participating in a screening of “1984,” starring John Hurt, who died recently, and Richard Burton.
“Michael Radford’s brilliant film of Orwell’s vision does a good job of finding that line between the “future” world of 1984 and the grim postwar world in which Orwell wrote. The movie’s 1984 is like a year arrived at through a time warp, an alternative reality that looks constructed out of old radio tubes and smashed office furniture. There is not a single prop in this movie that you couldn’t buy in a junkyard, and yet the visual result is uncanny: Orwell’s hero, Winston Smith, lives in a world of grim and crushing inhumanity, of bombed factories, bug-infested bedrooms, and citizens desperate for the most simple pleasures. [Smith’s] task is to change obsolete government documents so that they reflect current reality. He methodically scratches out old headlines, obliterates the photographs of newly made “unpersons,” and attends mass rallies at which the worship of Big Brother alternates with numbing reports of the endless world war that is still going on somewhere, involving somebody. Into Smith’s world comes a girl, Julia, who slips him a note of stunning force. The note says, ‘I love you…’” —Roger Ebert
Less than one month into the new presidential administration, independent national movie theatres collectively believe the clock is already striking thirteen. Orwell’s portrait of a government that manufactures their own facts, demands total obedience, and demonizes foreign enemies has never been timelier. The endeavor encourages theaters to take a stand for our most basic values: freedom of speech, respect for our fellow human beings, and the simple truth that there are no such things as “alternative facts.”
By doing what they do best—showing a movie—the goal is that cinemas can initiate a much-needed community conversation at a time when the existence of facts, and basic human rights are under attack. These screenings are intended to galvanize people at the crossroads of cinema and community, and bring us together to foster communication and resistance against current efforts to undermine the most basic tenets of our society. A portion of the proceeds will go to local charities and organizations. R. 113 Min.