Francois Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451 begins with a striking narration of the film’s credits. The premise is simple: talk becomes the natural medium in an illiterate state. When the firemen, that is, the book burners, arrive at a high rise with orders to burn books we are immediately struck by the stark and vulgar aesthetics of the buildings that are so typical in totalitarian countries – globs of spiritless, unimaginative, state-commissioned modernism.
Sketching the parameters of Baggott’s palimpsestic narrative is tricky. Briefly put, the backstory of the novel involves a hyperbolic escalation of conservative cultural rhetoric that seeks a return to “traditional” values: restrained, upper-class politeness and hardline gender roles. The maniacal masterminds behind this so-called “Return of Civility” followed a violent effort at social engineering with a wave of nuclear attacks, referred to in the novel as the Detonations.
On opening night, the theater was filled with preteen girls carrying bows and wearing shirts that declare TEAM PEETA or TEAM GALE; you could mistake this fandom for something along the lines of Twilight – there’s giggling at every kiss, every meaningful glance. Bella Swan, though, wouldn’t last two seconds in the Hunger Games without her shimmering savior.
The only way it could be more topical is if there was a subplot about Sandra Bullock’s marital difficulties, and to its credit Repo Men is extremely dedicated to this high concept that lampoons and condemns the American health care industry in equal measure. The resulting ratio of ambition to entertainment value is, alas, less than equal, resulting in an uneven but ultimately entertaining film that somehow never quite lives up its full potential.
The March 19 release Repo Men is about a near-future in which organ transplants are simple, commonplace procedures and citizens can save their loved ones or prolong their own lives on a payment plan. Unfortunately, the moment customers fall behind on their dues, the Repo Men hunt them down to […]
I read this book in one take late at night and immediately headed downstairs to kick up the fire and drink some bourbon. I was cold, chilled emotionally, stunned, awe-struck by McCarthy’s words. I mentioned The Road to a singer/songwriter friend and all he could say was “That one put me off my feed for a few days.”