To Orwell Today,
re: 1984 A BAD MOVIE

Dear Jackie,

I agree with one of your readers who pointed out how poor the three movies are that were made about 1984. I purchased the last one made on DVD. I was so angry. For anyone who has not read this story and to view the movie is the most confusing experience and robs people of George Orwell's important message to all humanity. My husband and my son watched the movie with me and walked away confused. They have not read 1984, and unless you read it, it is impossible to try and explain the message to anyone.

Your reader has said that it would be impossible for a new version of the story to be a reality in movies. Oh, I wish someone in Hollywood could take that kind of project and produce a series. Oliver Stone or Stephen Speilburg would be good candidates for such a project.

What do you think Jackie? They could hire you on the set for advice!


Greetings Carmen,

It's too bad your husband and son saw the festering scab that is the most recent movie version of "1984", ie the one starring John Hurt which I assume is the one you bought. That's the only one I've seen but it is soooooooooooooo bad that I actually tell people NOT to watch it. It's a total turn-off and after that most people have absolutely no interest in Orwell and wonder what all the fuss about "1984" is about. What makes the situation really serious is that the schools don't teach the book anymore - they just pop the video (now DVD) into the machine and dim the lights (literally AND figuratively).

You mention making "1984" into a series and that sounds like a great idea - much better than just a two-hour movie. I'm sure Spielberg or Stone could do a good job of it if they stuck to their area of expertise and left the writing of the screenplay in the hands of people who know how to stick to Orwell's script. And yes, should anyone wish my advice I will be more than pleased to give it.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

PS - A Spielberg production that I really enjoyed was the animated movie CHICKEN RUN which had recognizable themes from "1984" in it. It accurately depicted life in a prison society and how "dumbed down" the citizens are. The heroine of the story was a hen who tried to warn the other "chickens" that the farm was being sold to a corporation and instead of laying eggs they were all going to be turned into pies. Another so-called "children's movie" along similar lines is ANTZ.

PPS - Another children's animated movie that has Orwellian themes is MONSTERS, INC which is about how Monsters feed on fear, ie get their energy from frightening children. There's a shocking scene of the hero asking his friend to dig the imbedded microchip out of his arm so he can escape from Monster Inc undetected. Here's a review.

Jackie Jura
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