Ray Bradbury is demanding an apology from filmmaker Michael Moore for lifting the title from his classic science-fiction novel Fahrenheit 451 without permission and wants the new documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 to be renamed.
"He didn't ask my permission," Bradbury, 83, said on Friday. "That's not his novel, that's not his title, so he shouldn't have done it."
The 1953 novel, widely considered Bradbury's masterpiece, portrays an ugly futuristic society in which firemen burn homes and libraries in order to destroy the books inside and keep people from thinking independently.
Fahrenheit 451 takes its title from the temperature at which books burn. Moore has called Fahrenheit 9/11 the "temperature at which freedom burns."
His film, which won top honors in May at the Cannes Film Festival, charges that the Bush administration acted ineptly before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, then played on the public's fear of future terrorism to gain support for the war against Iraq. It opens nationwide in the US next Friday.
Bradbury, who hadn't seen the movie, said he called Moore's company six months ago to protest and was promised Moore would call back.
He finally got that call last Saturday, Bradbury said, adding Moore told him he was "embarrassed."
"He suddenly realized he's let too much time go by," the author said by phone from his home in Los Angeles' Cheviot Hills section.
Joanne Doroshow, a spokeswoman for Fahrenheit 9/11, said the film's makers have "the utmost respect for Ray Bradbury."
"Mr. Bradbury's work has been an inspiration to all of us involved in this film, but when you watch this film you will see the fact that the title reflects the facts that the movie explores, the very real life events before, around and after 9-11," she said.
Bradbury, who is a registered political independent, said he would rather avoid litigation and is "hoping to settle this as two gentlemen, if he'll shake hands with me and give me back my book and title."
Moore's film needed new distributors after Disney refused to let its Miramax subsidiary release it, claiming it was too politically charged. The documentary was later bought by Miramax bosses Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who lined up Lions Gate and IFC Films to help distribute it.
Bradbury's book was made into a 1966 movie directed by Francois Truffaut.
A new edition of the book is scheduled for release in eight weeks, Bradbury said, and plans are in the works for a new film version, to be directed by Frank Darabont.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
WARNINGS OVER COMPLACENCY: The curves of new infections in numerous countries is climbing, while others see the the first new infections in months Spikes in COVID-19 infections in Asia have dispelled any notion that the region might be over the worst, with Australia and India yesterday reporting record daily infections, Vietnam fretting over a new surge and North Korea urging vigilance. Asian nations had largely prided themselves on rapidly containing initial outbreaks after the coronavirus emerged in central China late last year, but flare-ups this month have shown the danger of complacency. “We’ve got to be careful not to slip into some idea that there’s some golden immunity that Australia has in relation to this virus,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters. Australia recorded its
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
The Australian government yesterday said that it plans to give Google and Facebook three months to negotiate with media businesses fair pay for news content. In releasing a draft of a mandatory code of conduct, Canberra aims to succeed where other nations have failed in making tech firms pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that Google and Facebook would be the first platforms targeted by the proposed legislation, but others could follow. “It’s about a fair go for Australian news media businesses, it’s about ensuring that we have increased competition, increased consumer protection and a sustainable