Movie News

Big Brother Is Watching Another Adaptation Of 1984 Come Together!!

Published at: June 18, 2012, 12:45 p.m. CST by The Kidd

The Kidd here...

There hasn't been a big screen adaptation of 1984 since... well, 1984 strangely enough. That means enough time has passed for Imagine Entertainment to do it again, with Noam Oppenheim penning the script for George Orwell's sci-fi tale of a future totalitarian government, according to Deadline

Oppenheim has been making a name for himself as a result of his screenplays for THE SECRET LIFE OF HOUDINI, which Gary Ross has been circling since he left THE HUNGER GAMES and remakes of SNABBA CASH and WAR GAMES. 

No director has been attached to the project just yet, so it's still a ways off. The last time though it was Michael Radford behind the camera with John Hurt starring as Winston Smith. 

 

-Billy Donnelly

"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"

BillyTheKidd@aintitcool.com

Follow me on Twitter.

Readers Talkback

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  • June 18, 2012, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Sounds cool

    by Jake Pantlin

    It will be interesting to see a new take on 1984.

  • June 18, 2012, 12:52 p.m. CST

    LONG LIVE JOHN HURT!

    by CHRISTIAN_BALE_TRASHED_MY_LIGHTS

    Love that guy. Anyone see that great web series he did with Keifer Sutherland? That was pretty awesome.

  • June 18, 2012, 12:53 p.m. CST

    A faithful adaption

    by UltraMeerkat

    Or an inspired by, or some themes transplanted from the book into modern day Murica? My money's on the last of the three.

  • June 18, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST

    No thanks . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . no Dean Wormer? No dice . . .

  • June 18, 2012, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Thought crime

    by steve

    Report to room 101

  • June 18, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Wasn't Equilibriam basically a 1984 story?

    by A_J_Pennypacker

    I wanted to like that movie...

  • June 18, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Will this be titled 2084???

    by Tikidonkeypunch

  • June 18, 2012, 12:58 p.m. CST

    The problem with doing 1984 now.

    by Sithtastic

    Dystopian futures have become such a common trope that I fear a classic (albeit not the first of its kind) like 1984 might be overlooked or dismissed. I would also hope that for as much as it was social commentary, I want them to keep the sci-fi, other worldly feel to the book. In short, I do not need another on screen lecture about how we're living in a world observed by Big Brother. Of that I am keenly aware.

  • June 18, 2012, 12:59 p.m. CST

    will they Retitle it 2084?

    by zer0cool2k2

    Or just rework the script to include Hair Metal, Michael Jackson, and Indiana Jones?

  • June 18, 2012, 1 p.m. CST

    Damn you

    by zer0cool2k2

    Tikidonkeypunch!

  • June 18, 2012, 1 p.m. CST

    Fingers crossed for Michael Bay to direct

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    Take that oppressive goverment! PEW! PEW! BOOOOOM!!!!

  • June 18, 2012, 1:06 p.m. CST

    Sex Crime!

    by Andrew

    I remember this mega-hyped bullshit film as a kid. However, the soundtrack featured the last time Annie Lennox wasn't boring. How does someone go from being so spooky and enigmatic to duets with Al Green, Procol Harem covers, and "No More I Love You's"? She could have been the female Bowie.

  • June 18, 2012, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Hollywood needs to realize...

    by TheMachinist

    1984, though fantastic, is now pretty much a documentary, like Idiocracy.

  • June 18, 2012, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Gary Oldman or Edward Norton as 1984

    by DarthBlart

  • June 18, 2012, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Society is more Brave New World than 1984 these days

    by P

  • June 18, 2012, 1:29 p.m. CST

    John Hurt for the part of O'Brien. Make it so!

    by Colin Dent

  • June 18, 2012, 1:30 p.m. CST

    I cannot imagine this being better than the original

    by arcane1

  • June 18, 2012, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Like to see Andrew Niccol's take on this...

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    or maybe he should continue making his own new, original dystopic thrillers and leave this unnecessary movie alone

  • June 18, 2012, 1:33 p.m. CST

    like every distopian sci-fi film from the last 20 years...

    by Spandau Belly

    this film will likely feature ten minutes of social commentary followed by 90 minutes of chase scenes

  • June 18, 2012, 1:37 p.m. CST

    "Wasn't Equilibriam basically a 1984 story?"

    by buggerbugger

    It was more 'Fahrenheit 451' than '1984', although there were probably smatterings of the latter as well as 'Brave New World' in there, too.

  • June 18, 2012, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Doubleplusungood.

    by Mostholy

    The Radford (John Hurt/Richard Burton) version is a gut-punch of a film, and pretty much a perfect version of the book. I really don't see any way they could improve on it.

  • June 18, 2012, 1:55 p.m. CST

    In the Peter Cushing/John Hurt role:

    by buggerbugger

    Channing Tatum. That's how low we've sunk.

  • June 18, 2012, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Remake better have epic pubes like the original or GTFO

    by DickBallsworth

    Amirite?

  • June 18, 2012, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Brave New World > 1984

    by chiwrtr72

    Not to mention that there'd be a few orgies in a Brave New World movie...

  • June 18, 2012, 2:11 p.m. CST

    The original 1954 version had epic pubes in it?

    by buggerbugger

    No wonder Lizzie enjoyed it, she's always been a dirty bitch.

  • June 18, 2012, 2:14 p.m. CST

    DoubleplusFUCKYES!!!

    by Bigdada

  • June 18, 2012, 2:14 p.m. CST

    DoubleplusFUCKYES!!!

    by Bigdada

  • June 18, 2012, 2:16 p.m. CST

    errr... sorrry for the extra post. ^

    by Bigdada

  • June 18, 2012, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Director said Equilibrium was...

    by Red11

    A mixture of what you mentioned, and every other sci-fi trope he could get in there. He even worked some Zatoichi in, because Zatoichi is awesome.

  • June 18, 2012, 2:16 p.m. CST

    The Year of the Sex Olympics > Brave New World

    by buggerbugger

    Brian Cox and porn on TV 24-hours a day = instant win over 'Brave New Worlds''s quaint little orgies.

  • June 18, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    1984: This time it's personal

    by animatronicmojo

    'Bout time this was re-booted with a happy ending. They should do it as a neon-lit "Streets of Fire" redux Glee-style 80's musical send-up with Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Soft Cell, INXS, Duran Duran, etc., on the soundtrack. Nick Cage as Winston, Katy Perry as Julia, Stallone is O'Brien, Baz Luhrmann directs.

  • He was placed very close to Gregor Fisher and when the film came out on video, he rented it in the hope we might see him. To his surprise and ours, he can be picked out quite clearly. The scene was filmed in an aircraft hanger fairly close to to where we lived. That's his claim to fame.

  • June 18, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST

    1984 remake

    by Russell

    I wonder if they will try to outdo the monster bush on the chick that played Julia in the original. WE'VE GOT BUSH...

  • Unfortunately everyone now is too stupid to realize that we are now living in 1984. Or Brave New World or whatever. Guranteed if this isn't hijacked by an American studio the soundtrack with have Muse. Let the morning hate begin.

  • June 18, 2012, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Confirmed without confirmation: No "monster bush" in new '1984'...

    by buggerbugger

    ...because today's boys prefer the "plucked chicken" look. The future may be a dystopian nightmare, but ladies still gotta shave, man. Gotta be 'sexy' under those baggy, shapeless coveralls.

  • Classic Underrated Dystopian Flick. It's all about the Gun-Fu, Baby! Oh, and you can't but cheer Preston's "fuck You' grin during the last 2 seconds of the film. A true contender when being measured to Sci Fis like The Matrix. too bad the Blu Ray transfer is below expectations.

  • June 18, 2012, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Casting

    by mraig

    I know it was a joke, but animatronicmojo's suggestion of Nicolas Cage (in his Leaving Las Vegas/Adaptation/Bringing out the Dead/Weatherman acting style) as Winston Smith is weirdly compelling. It would make it a very different movie, but I'd be willing to take a chance. <P> Someone else said Ed Norton, and he'd be good too. But from the book I always get the sense he's way more of a sad-eyed pasty shlub than an action hero -- maybe more Paul Giamatti or Philip Seymour Hoffman? <P> But the book is so British -- what about Martin Freeman? Or (to go back to the chisel-jawed hero type) Clive Owen? Daniel Craig? <P> For Julia I see Ellen Page really clearly. She's a character who is all about her voice and her youth. Michelle Williams is amazing at everything and would be good at the more broken Julia from the end. Kate Winslet is probably just a tad too old but would still be good. Can't think of too many young british actresses. Karen Gillian? (Amy Pond from Dr Who.) <P> For O'Brien I could get see Anthony Hopkins as a kind of tribute to Richard Burton (respected elder Welsh actor), but for some reason I keep thinking Edward James Olmos -- he has the right ability to switch from sympathetic friend to cold hardass. Or maybe Gene Hackman? (but he seems to be retired for real.) Samuel L Jackson? Or what about Judi Dench? Might be interesting to make her a woman. <P> Retitling it as 2084 seems silly to me. (Has anyone seen recent editions of The Martian Chronicles which bump everything 50 years in the future? Dumb and ineffective. Whatever year you call it, it's clearly a 1950s imagination of space travel, with rockets and malt shops.) Either make it a period piece with big hair and polyester ties and big glowing cathode ray tube TVs everywhere, OR stress the point (which the book mentions) that the government fucks with history so much that 1984 is just what year they say it is -- who knows if it's right? But don't focus too much on tech-heavy bullshit where all the bad guys are in a room with forty computer screens, watching Winston and Julia run on live GPS satellite video. <P> All that said, I'm skeptical. It's hard to beat the actual book in my eyes. The 1984 version of the film was okay, but forgettable. My template for tone and feel would be the criminally under-recognized masterpiece Children of Men.

  • June 18, 2012, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Finally, a story about both Bush and Obama's administrations

    by Polo Chavez

    I included Bush, so I don't qualify as a racist.

  • June 18, 2012, 3:53 p.m. CST

    I hope this version includes TSA child molesters.

    by TheyPeedOnYourFuckingRug

    Getting harder than ever for Orwell to keep pace with reality.

  • June 18, 2012, 3:55 p.m. CST

    It's gonna be a shallow copy of Brazil with splosions

    by thedarklingthrush

  • June 18, 2012, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Three Versions Of 1984 Are Plenty ...

    by ArmageddonProductions

    ... and between the 1984 version and BRAZIL, I think that ground has been pretty well-covered. How come NO ONE has ever thought to take a crack at Ira Levin's "This Perfect Day"?!? I realize the idea of doing a guaranteed R-rated dystopian film may have been somewhat off-putting in past decades, but something like "This Perfect Day" is actually a LOT more timely than putting out another version of 1984 on film. Track it down and read it again (or for the first time, if you haven't) and you'll be surprised ...

  • June 18, 2012, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Equilibrium

    by The All Knowing

  • June 18, 2012, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Is the best movie ever made.

    by The All Knowing

    That is a fact, don't even bother arguing, it just is. That is all.

  • June 18, 2012, 4:33 p.m. CST

    gonna watch the original again on netflix

    by mick vance

    i hope that bush is as bushy as it has been in my dreams since high school AP English...

  • June 18, 2012, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Simon Pegg IS Winston Smith. You know this to be true.

    by DarkHawke

    I'm kinda with the "what's the point" crowd on this one. Too many other dystopias and we're already too close to Orwell's to make much of a difference. I like my casting inspiration, though. Pegg could play it dead straight and he'd kick ass. @cundalini_wants_his_hand_back: you mentioned Obama, so it's too late--you ARE a racist. And since you mentioned Bush, you're a moron too.

  • June 18, 2012, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Might as well just make a documentary on America today!

    by Johnno

    You guys really think choosing between Obama or Romney is going to make any difference? You guys actually think your democracy is really functioning? LOL! CHANGE! FORWARD! And so on...

  • The idea being that a movie called 2084 could sort of use the concepts of the novel 1984 as a jumping off point, but wouldn't be an adaptation of Orwell's book. Instead, take the idea of a totalitarian government and the erosion of the individual, and set those themes in 2084 but come up with a new story and have futuristic technology and social developments backing up the world building aspects of it all. Take technology we have now, and stuff that is being developed now, and extrapolate it about 70 years into the future and tie it into the concept of how a totalitarian regime would use it to control its citizens. Augmented reality, tracking chip implants, selective memory erasure, even crazier 24 hour media bombardment, future power and energy tech (solar, wind, thermal, etc), and maybe robotics and cloning and other stuff that could very well be making a bigger impact on people later this century. That could be very interesting, and would act as sort of a companion piece to the novel and film versions of 1984, but not a direct adaptation or sequel type of thing.

  • Upgrading some of the technology used in the film, and calling it something else. Instead of 1984, how about Newspeak for a title?

  • June 18, 2012, 5:39 p.m. CST

    How about a f**king prequel???

    by fauns_bass_1

    "1983"

  • and had a very 1984 feel to its dystopic near-future world IMO.

  • June 18, 2012, 5:57 p.m. CST

    ah, Big Brother....

    by yubnubrocks

    I always found it amusing that in the past, everyone thought the government was going to become Big Brother, when in fact, we ourselves have become BB. You cannot do anything without someone recording what you did and instantly uploading it to youtube, etc.

  • June 18, 2012, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Unnecessary. Just watch the '84 version.

    by throatwarbler_mangrove

  • ...it hasn't aged particularly well. I would definitely be interested in seeing another go at this one. <p> Unlike a lot of other people, I don't think they need to change it at all. Do a faithful adaptation and call it 1984. It would still resonate and reflect upon modern times. <p> Or, they could set it in modern times and adapt it as a warning parable about what we've become and where we're heading. <p> I strongly agree with whoever said they hope they don't needlessly make it a action piece, though.

  • June 18, 2012, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Someone should make a film called 1982

    by lv_426

    Or Summer of 82. It would be about a group of early 80's era geeks hitchhiking across the country for their last summer together before college, and stopping to see every great genre flick that was released that summer. It would be the American Graffiti and Dazed and Confused for the children of the 80's.

  • June 18, 2012, 6:22 p.m. CST

    remake it but end it like Dark City

    by Anthony Torchia

    THAT is a movie I would see :-) *spoilers* The night I finished the book, I didn't sleep much. It was the first time I had ever experienced a story when the good guys lost totally, like totally totally. Not just his life but his mind and his spirit. Jesus, I hate that book. It's great art and I absolutely hate it.

  • June 18, 2012, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Just base it on North Korea

    by in6087

  • June 18, 2012, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Sorry, my bad - North Korea's based on 1984

    by in6087

  • June 18, 2012, 7:51 p.m. CST

    Great idea

    by BeMoreFunny

    This has been begging for a remake for years. The original is incredibly dated, slow, and almost unwatchable.

  • June 18, 2012, 8:37 p.m. CST

    Anthony Hopkins as O'Brien & Michael Fassbender as Smith.

    by james_cameron_raped_my_childhood

    Hopkins may be too old but he's still the best choice. Fassbender is a genius actor, I'm sure he'd be brilliant as Winston Smith.

  • then maybe get David Fincher to direct. If he channeled his Alien 3 darkness and despair, it could be interestingly beautiful and bleak.

  • June 18, 2012, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Yeah, let's not "Michael Bay" it up

    by GeorgieBoy

    Keep it grounded in reality and this could be successful. Shoot, we're practically living in "1984" right now...

  • June 18, 2012, 10:06 p.m. CST

    re:tikidonkeypunch. 'Bush regime' ....snigger

    by richardHarrisonsSteamedCrabs

  • 1984 came late, but it's here.

  • June 18, 2012, 10:33 p.m. CST

    THX 1138 is 1984.

    by Gary Makin

  • June 18, 2012, 11:53 p.m. CST

    We also shouldn't forget Ridley Scott's 1984

    by lv_426

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxShzoUjiAQ

  • June 19, 2012, 12:22 a.m. CST

    1984 Part 2: 3968

    by Rick Webb

  • June 19, 2012, 12:30 a.m. CST

    How...

    by Johan_Schmidt

    ...will they strip the story of anything that makes it work & dilute it beyond belief this time? Do we really need a CGI Airstrip one, & another generic pretty boy as Winston Smith? Watch the version made in 1984, like the book (you'll get the idea if you have read it) it's timeless.

  • June 19, 2012, 12:55 a.m. CST

    re: gmakin

    by cobrakinte

    What does the North Dakota Apartment Association have to do with 1984?

  • June 19, 2012, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Terry Gilliam's Brazil is the best 1984 adaptation

    by Gorgomel

    facts

  • June 19, 2012, 2:45 a.m. CST

    People thinking the 1984 is in the past have missed the point

    by JIMBOCOP

    It's only 1984 because Big Brother says it is. By our calendar it could be 2084, 2284 or 20084. But if Big B says it is now 1984, then it is and always has been 1984.

  • June 19, 2012, 2:46 a.m. CST

    Robotron: 2084

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    I'm referencing an arcade game from 1982.

  • June 19, 2012, 2:48 a.m. CST

    @jimbocop - That's exactly right.

    by V'Shael

    I'd like to see a version of the story told with modern tech taken just slightly into the future. It doesn't have to look like a Stalinist future with cathode ray televisions being somehow able to watch the viewer while he's watching state sponsered programming. Combine it with the look of Minority Report or something. It's only a really scary story, if people realise how believeable it is.

  • June 19, 2012, 2:50 a.m. CST

    Adrien Brody for Smith, Ed Harris for O'Brien

    by JIMBOCOP

    Please. Shame Paul Newman is dead.

  • June 19, 2012, 3:09 a.m. CST

    They could film it in London today

    by JIMBOCOP

    No set dressing necessary

  • June 19, 2012, 3:17 a.m. CST

    BTW the book isn't even called 1984

    by JIMBOCOP

    It's "Nineteen Eighty-Four". Picky, picky me. The 1984 film version is flawless except for the score, which was replaced at the last minute and the Eurythmics songs were put in. It's only the music that dates the film as being a product of the 80's. I wish they'd film Jack London's THE IRON HEEL instead. There's an untapped classic. http://www.jacklondons.net/writings/IronHeel/toc.html

  • June 19, 2012, 3:29 a.m. CST

    They should do a prequel called 1977. Lots of possibilities.

    by Angry Mike

  • June 19, 2012, 4 a.m. CST

    They'll have to change it up...

    by SUPERJIM

    In a world with the Internet, webcams, CCTV everywhere, email snooping, IP tracking, GPS tracking and even Internet slang that's as simple as Nuspeak (I think that's what it was called) this isn't going to work. They will have to come up with ways of monitoring that aren't familiar to the general population and that would horrify us. Maybe eye implants that record everything we see and do. Or perhaps sticking to things tha are fimiliar but stepping them up is they key here, show us where we could be headed in just a few short years?

  • June 19, 2012, 4:08 a.m. CST

    Film in London?

    by Paul

    Absolutely they could. The ’84 version was filmed in London, so why not? The thing is that 1984 is set during a war which seems to have been going on forever, with history being revised to keep up with the Party’s needs. So the film needs to reflect that, and I would expect LOndon to be pretty battered around - and I don’t put it past The Party from bombing its own citizens to make a point about Goldstein either. There are problems with casting a “pretty boy” actor as Smith. The citizens of Airstrip 1 would be generally less healthy than we are. People will have just about enough to survive - but little more. Smith will look battered just by virtue of his life. So, you need someone with an expressive face - a character actor who has been around the block a few times. Smith isn’t necessarily young. I would like to think that Christopher Eccleston may be up for that role, but I suspect there are bigger names on the list than him. I agree with the comments that Children of Men pressed the buttons for the look and feel. A good, undervalued film there. Being a fan of this book, and Brave New World, I’d like to see both of these adapted for the big screen. And why not Zemyatin’s We while we’re at it?

  • June 19, 2012, 5:31 a.m. CST

    "It's already happening, mannnnnn"

    by Killdozers Evil Twin Brother

    Turn off your $500 phone, cancel your ISP, cash in your 401k and move to the forest, you dickless whiners. The US and Britain have a lot of passive surveillance security, but Thought Police it ain't. North Korea is clearly in the lead if you want to talk about real totalitarianism. But unlike you assholes, they can't move to Canada if they choose, nor would they even think of the option in the first place. THAT is some quality "control" fellas.

  • June 19, 2012, 6:48 a.m. CST

    Brave new world is a lot more relevant today.

    by David Cloverfield

    Hell, most people I know would sign right up for it. No need. Halfway there.

  • June 19, 2012, 7:04 a.m. CST

    jimbocop - Except it is really around 1984

    by David Cloverfield

    Smith even interviews a prole, who remembers the Wolrd Wars and "capitalists riding around wearing top hats". It's true that history has little meaning anymore, and Golstein's book could be bullshit (for all we now Oceania is only as big as the UK today). It's possible that 84 is not the exact date, but it is defenetly the second part of the 20th century. That doesn't mean of course that the poor fuckers will ever see 1985 :)

  • June 19, 2012, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Hurt and Burton were Great

    by AtheistScum

    the version with john hurt and richard burton (I believe his last film) was Brilliant, scary as hell, and is totally fresh still - hard to imagine a better adaptation to screen

  • June 19, 2012, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Oh god. moozikmktr=typical patriotard.

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

    You don't get it do you? Despotic countries like North Korea don't have the tech OR the money to truly institute a Big Brother type control over a populace. Don't you get it? The subject population in the book is actually quite well fed along with every household having access to tv sets for example. The George Orwell vision of the dyspotian future is one heaped heavily in surveillance tech that North Korea couldn't possibly match. And these days only the UK/US have melded that perfect blend of propaganda with technology. Look at the hate crime laws being passed. Can't smoke anymore, can't drink anymore. Can't do anything in public anymore except just walk. Watch what you do or say around police cause' you will probably most likely get arrested on probable cause. Cops don't even need any reason to arrest someone anymore. After all, the D.A. and judges have their collective backside. The shredding of the constitution has been going on for quite some time now. We're just waiting for the executive, judicial, and congressional wings of our current misgovernment to completely do away with that document.

  • June 19, 2012, 11:33 a.m. CST

    And oh yeah, our government already has drones patrolling the skies of America

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

    http://news.yahoo.com/talk-drones-patrolling-us-skies-spawns-anxiety-063727667--finance.html Won't be long now before these drones strike U.S. citizens inside their own country. Obama has already become judge, jury, and executioner for suspected terrorists overseas. It's already happening.

  • June 19, 2012, 1:05 p.m. CST

    loved the book, hated the last movie

    by taff

    Loved the book when I was in high school. Found the John Hurt movie depressing. But, perhaps if I went back and read the book I might find it depressing now. Personally, I would love to see Mel Brooks do a musical version...

  • June 19, 2012, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Do we have to spell it out, the title of the book is "Nineteen Eighty-Four"

    by animatronicmojo

    No, actually, it was changed to "1984" in 1984 so... it's always been "1984." <P> As soon as Winston had dealt with each of the messages, he clipped his speakwritten corrections to the appropriate copy of The Times and pushed them into the pneumatic tube. Then, with a movement which was as nearly as possible unconscious, he crumpled up the original message and any notes that he himself had made, and dropped them into the memory hole to be devoured by the flames. <P> What happened in the unseen labyrinth to which the pneumatic tubes led, he did not know in detail, but he did know in general terms. As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any particular number of The Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in its stead. This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, cartoons, photographs — to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place. The largest section of the Records Department, far larger than the one on which Winston worked, consisted simply of persons whose duty it was to track down and collect all copies of books, newspapers, and other documents which had been superseded and were due for destruction. A number of The Times which might, because of changes in political alignment, or mistaken prophecies uttered by Big Brother, have been rewritten a dozen times still stood on the files bearing its original date, and no other copy existed to contradict it. Books, also, were recalled and rewritten again and again, and were invariably reissued without any admission that any alteration had been made. Even the written instructions which Winston received, and which he invariably got rid of as soon as he had dealt with them, never stated or implied that an act of forgery was to be committed: always the reference was to slips, errors, misprints, or misquotations which it was necessary to put right in the interests of accuracy.

  • June 20, 2012, 2:09 a.m. CST

    Is a faithful adaptation of Brave New World possible?

    by Charles Calthrop

    The book has been removed from some high school reading lists because a few students and parents are offended by the word "savage" and the depiction of life on the Reservation. Instead of actually teaching the book, the school administrators caved in to avoid any trouble. I would love to see a faithful version, but it would have to be made outside of politically-correct Hollywood.