Film Series will screen ‘1984’ with 160 other theaters | ParkRecord.com

Film Series will screen ‘1984’ with 160 other theaters

Filmmaker Radford will introduce movie

In George Orwell's iconic novel "1984," a man named Winston Smith, whose job is to rewrite history to reflect the philosophies of the totalitarian world he lives in, starts a revolution by writing his thoughts in a personal journal.

The book, which was originally published in 1949, experienced a resurgence in sales shortly after the Trump Administration entered the White House this year, reported the New York Times.

"1984" found itself at the top of amazon.com's best-seller list shortly after Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway referred to "alternative facts" regarding press secretary Sean Spicer's conflicting attendance numbers of Trump's inauguration during an interview on "Meet the Press."

The events piqued the interest of members of the Art House Convergence — a group of local theaters with a goal to increase the quantity and quality of community-based, mission-driven Art House cinemas in North America — to the point that 160 Art House Theaters across North America, and Canada, will be showing the Michael Radford film "1984" on Tuesday, April 4, for free.

The Park City Film Series screening of the film will start at 9 p.m. at the Park City Library's Jim Santy Auditorium.

"There are a couple of theaters in Europe that are signed on as well," Executive Director Katharine Wang told The Park Record. "In some ways, the novel reflects the United States' current reality of so-called 'alternative facts.'"

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Art House Convergence believes in the art of exhibition and the power of arts and cinema to bring communities together around important and sometimes provocative ideas.

The organization took it upon itself to screen, without incident, Seth Rogan's 2014 political comedy "The Interview" when it was dropped by Sony after North Korea threatened war with the United States if the film was shown, Wang said.

"We came together again when the Trump administration came in to power, and it became clear that its agenda was antithetical to some of the values that arts organizations hold dear: freedom of speech, freedom of creative expression," Wang said. "Certainly we have seen the zeroing out of the budget for the National Endowment of the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and Corporation for Public Broadcasting. As these things were coming down the pipes, what film better than '1984' to show."

The April 4 screening date is significant, because that's when Winston Smith starts writing his diary.

The screening will be preceded and followed by a short presentation.

“Filmmaker Michael Radford has agreed to introduce his film to audiences in participating theaters via an exclusive taped video interview and a taped post-screening conversation about the film," Wang said. "The introduction will be approximately three minutes, and the post-screening conversation will be approximately 15 minutes in length."

In the introduction, Radford will express his views about the relevance of "1984" in today's world.

"During the post-screening conversation, Michael will recall stories about the making of the movie while discussing the ways in which Orwell’s prescient dystopian tale has retained its haunting and powerful currency across continents and generations," Wang said.

She hopes the screening will engage people with the book and its ideas.

"We are pleased to a part of this collective screening, a prime example of the important role that the arts play in our society and why they are worth supporting," she said. "Films (and books) like '1984' allow people to experience for a moment what life under a totalitarian government could be like and why it is so important to speak out and resist things like 'alternative facts' before they become normalized and we get distanced from our most basic values such as freedom of speech and respect for our fellow human beings."

The screening is also a great way to get the community together for a discussion about its values.

"We live in a community that is pretty idyllic in ways," Wang said. "But we are not immune to what's going on at the federal level. So, we hope this film will give people a sense of what we can do to preserve those values."

The Park City Film Series will present a free screening of Michael Radford's "1984," rated R at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4, at the Park City Library's Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave. For information, visit http://www.parkcityfilmseries.com.