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Archive for August 6th, 2016

by John Grant

“If you want a vision of the future, Winston, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.”
|vt 1984

UK / 110 minutes / color with occasional monochrome / Umbrella–Rosenblum, Virgin Dir & Scr: Michael Radford Pr: Simon Perry Story: Nineteen Eighty-four (1949) by George Orwell Cine: Roger Deakins Cast: John Hurt (Winston Smith), Richard Burton (O’Brien), Suzanna Hamilton (Julia), Cyril Cusack (Charrington), Gregor Fisher (Parsons), James Walker (Syme), Roger Lloyd Pack (Waiter), Rupert Baderman (Winston Smith as a Boy), Corinna Seddon (Winston’s Mother), Martha Parsey (Winston’s Sister), Merelina Kendall (Mrs. Parsons), P.J. Nicholas (William Parsons), Lynne Radford (Susan Parsons), Pip Donaghy (Inner Party Speaker), Shirley Stelfox (The Whore), Janet Key (The Instructress), Hugh Walters (Artsem Lecturer), Norman Bacon (Man on Station Platform), Pam Gems (The Washerwoman), John Boswall (Goldstein), Bob Flag (Big Brother).

  • Note 1: Screen credit for the music is to The Eurythmics and Dominic Muldowney; in fact, depending on the version you find, you’ll hear a soundtrack by either one or the other. Radford preferred the Muldowney soundtrack that he’d commissioned and that had been recorded (as do I). Virgin insisted that their current megaband, The Eurythmics, should provide the soundtrack instead, and that was how the movie was released, over Radford’s protests. Since then at least one DVD has carried the original Muldowney soundtrack.
  • Note 2: Cinematographer Deakins deliberately desaturated the color to draw the life out of the images, and this was the way the movie was released. (The screengrabs here are from the desaturated cut.) In some of the home video releases, however, the colors have been resaturated to give a more naturalistic effect. The DVD release with the Muldowney soundtrack is unfortunately one of those with the resaturated colors—aargh!
  • Note 3: It was only after eight weeks of shooting that Burton was cast as O’Brien. It proved to be his last screen role, and the movie is dedicated to his memory.

Nineteen Eighty-Four - 0a

So there was this guy who sat down in front of his computer in New Jersey, stuck his DVD of Michael Radford’s Nineteen Eighty-Four in the tray, and set himself to rewatch the movie so he could write about it for the lauded Wonders in the Dark Science Fiction Countdown. (more…)

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