Join us as we kick off the Pittsfield Reads! community reading initiative on Sunday, April 3, with a Beacon Cinema screening of the 1966 Francois Truffaut film, Fahrenheit 451, starring Oskar Werner and Julie Christie.
Based on the 1951 Ray Bradbury novel of the same name, the film follows Guy Montag, a firefighter who lives in a lonely, isolated society where books have been outlawed by a government fearing an independent-thinking public. It is the duty of firefighters to burn any book collections seen or reported by informants. People in this society, including Montag’s wife, are drugged into compliancy and receive their information from wall-length television screens. After Montag falls in love with book-hoarding Clarisse, he begins to read confiscated books. It is through this relationship that he begins to question the government’s motives behind book-burning. Montag is soon found out; and he must decide whether to return to his job or run away knowing full well the consequences that he could face if captured.
Variety observed of this film, ” With a serious and even terrifying theme, this excursion into science fiction has been thoughtfully directed by Francois Truffaut and there is adequate evidence of light touches to bring welcome and needed relief to a sombre and scarifying subject.”
The 2011 Pittsfield Reads project is receiving funding through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners with monies from LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act), a federal source of library funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.