Famed sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury is not very happy with filmmaker Michael Moore.
The 80-year-old author is peeved that Moore’s latest documentary, “Fahrenheit 9/11″ — which just picked up the highly coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival — is trading on the title of Bradbury’s famous 1953 novel “Fahrenheit 451.”
“Michael Moore is a dumb [expletive], that’s what I think,” Bradbury told the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter during a phone interview from Los Angeles. “He stole my title and changed the numbers without ever asking my permission.” Not one to hold back, Bradbury said he tried to contact Moore’s production company to express his grave displeasure, but to no avail. It would be nice, he added, if Moore changed the title of his soon-to-be released film.
I guess some people aren’t flattered when phrases they coin gain such cultural resonance that they an be used as a literary shorthand for any critical view of an authoritaian mindset. And, um, isn’t Fahrenheit 451 a reference to the supression of critical free expression through the burning of paper?