Director: François Truffaut
Year Released: 1966
Perhaps it's a credit to writer Ray Bradbury's vision that his most popular work still stands tall and remains relevant today: his future has society turning into cold, zombie-like vessels staring at televisions that they mistake for real friends all the while becoming addicted to stimulants/pills (Paxil?) and, underneath it all, an obscene amount of control is being exercised over what information gets transmitted (all books are burned because they pollute peoples' minds with 'unrealistic ideas'). This sterilized, non-human society can be used as a counterpoint to contemporary American life, in which the Internet and television sets have become extensions of us. What Bradbury seemed to think was that the quest for information (or, data-as-drug) would be ruled illegal by the unseen government, who would plan something called 'the re-education' program, to essentially reprogram the human race (reasons/details remain shady). Oskar Werner is a terrible lead - he's neither charismatic, interesting nor sympathetic (he was, however, appropriate for Jules and Jim). When he makes the transition from 'narc' to junkie, as it were, we're never quite clear of his motives, his addiction (why didn't the curiosity grab him earlier?). And, with a nearly two-hour running length, its clumsiness and dated trappings simply weigh it down.