“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” 4 April marks the date when Winston Smith, the protagonist of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel ‘1984’, begins writing a diary in rebellion against the ruling authoritarian regime.
Orwell’s depiction of a society governed by extreme surveillance and censorship has been made into two feature films since its publication – Michael Anderson’s 1956 adaptation and Michael Radford’s later version, aptly released in 1984.
On Tuesday 4 April, 2007, Radford’s film will return to the big screen across Europe and North America, as over 190 independent cinemas protest against the current US President.
Donald Trump’s administration, particularly its association with “alternative facts” and “fake news”, has prompted countless comparisons to the Party in Orwell’s novel, which is led by the mysterious Big Brother.
The screenings also follow Trump’s proposed federal budget, which includes plans to eliminate both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
United States of Cinema, the organisers of the event, hopes to “initiate a much-needed community conversation at a time when the existence of facts and basic human rights are under attack.”
Participating theatres will donate a portion of the proceeds from screening 1984 to local organisations, with some pledging to fund future community-related and educational programming.
In a rare interview, we recently sat down with Michael Radford to discuss the making of the film, and what it was like working with the late, great John Hurt.
Published 22 Mar 2017
By Ian Schultz
The British filmmaker shares his memories of his late friend and reflects on his Orwell adaptation.
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