JJPierce

Atlas Shrugged movie redux

57 posts in this topic

Both the interviewers and the director appear to be fans of Ayn Rand in a 'gut level', 'feel good' way, which means they like it but they really don't understand the philosophy or understand that Rand was so prescient because of the 'black and white' nature of the issues to which Paul Johansson objects.

I agree. A key exchange in the interview speaks to this issue:

JA: Well, to me the big thing about Rand is the romanticizing of the individual, right?

PJ: It is, it is. That’s why we all like it, isn’t it?

Individualism resonates so deeply with Americans. Perhaps it's one of the, if not the only, core aspects of the American sense of life that seems mostly intact. Despite politically correct or "socially desirable" statements about altruism and service, that core sense of one's own life as paramount comes through in what most people do.

Of course, the concept of individualism, and all it entails, can be perverted, distorted, or simply not fully understood and widely applied. A person can have the appropriate and very positive emotional reaction to the idea of individuality, but if they can't say why, or see how it plays out in a broad range of issues (especially political ones), then it will only go so far.

Based only on this interview, the impression I get from Paul Johansson is that he is very mixed. I believe his emotion, even passion, for the book and making the movie is genuine. Something about this book (and the others he cited as having read), profoundly and positively affected him. There is evidence in many of his statements that he really "gets" the philosophy at some level, or in some particular context.

However, I believe he hasn't read nearly as much beyond the fiction works and, therefore, doesn't yet fully see how the issues he "gets" in one or a couple contexts play out in many others. The troubling statements others on this thread have quoted are the reason I think this. As is always the case when taking on a monumental task, one will come face to face with his true convictions. So, which will win out: his positive and knowledgeable ideas, or the negative and possibly ignorant one's?

My hope is that his sense of life will guide him to make mostly the right decisions. Perhaps he'll go back to the book and take many of his directions from that. He seems to have a real sense of the esthetic of the movie. In the end, I hope he is as true to the story as he claims he wants to be. But I do admire his recognition of the fact that there will probably be very few, if any, who are satisfied. Yet, in the face of that, he still took it on and seems to be trying to apply Ms. Rand's principles to the process of making the movie. Applying principles is not as easy as understanding them. I really do hope he succeeds.

That being said, I saw a clip from the movie that included a scene that was never, and never would be, in Atlas Shrugged. I'm hoping that was just a goof, but I don't think it is.

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I wish them the best of luck anyway.

I don't. Although they appear to be on their way to finally making this, I hope some scandal or disagreement arises and forces them to abort production. This movie is going to be terrible for sales of the book and will spread a lot of misinformation about Objectivism.

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I wish them the best of luck anyway.

I don't. Although they appear to be on their way to finally making this, I hope some scandal or disagreement arises and forces them to abort production. This movie is going to be terrible for sales of the book and will spread a lot of misinformation about Objectivism.

I agree with you. This movie will just provide one big excuse for never reading the novel.

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I meant

If Ayn Rand's [works] words make it on the screen relatively intact, it could still make a powerful statement and encourage interest in the novel.
It's possible that this movie could lead some people not to read the book. I know that that was the case for some people I've talked to who -- when I ask if they read the Harry Potter series -- respond "no, but I saw some of the movies." Those who said this were mostly people who would not have read the book in any case. Watching the movie was family or friend induced.

But, in the case of a novel of ideas like Atlas Shrugged, it does provide an opportunity for discussion and to set the record straight. With the budget they have to work with, anything can happen in terms of filming, post-production, and distribution, but I'm expecting it will be released. Then, we deal with it. Enough people have read the book that misrepresentations won't just slip on through as "what Ayn Rand said..." or, they will, but the Left will say what it will no matter what they're given as input.

And, back to Harry Potter, their having seen the movie gave me the opportunity to discuss the books and point out that the books were far more dramatic, imaginative, funny, and engaging and, in a couple of cases, it led to an interest in reading them. It gave a point of comparison. I think it would be more so with AS, but we'll see.

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I meant
If Ayn Rand's [works] words make it on the screen relatively intact, it could still make a powerful statement and encourage interest in the novel.
It's possible that this movie could lead some people not to read the book. I know that that was the case for some people I've talked to who -- when I ask if they read the Harry Potter series -- respond "no, but I saw some of the movies." Those who said this were mostly people who would not have read the book in any case. Watching the movie was family or friend induced.

But, in the case of a novel of ideas like Atlas Shrugged, it does provide an opportunity for discussion and to set the record straight. With the budget they have to work with, anything can happen in terms of filming, post-production, and distribution, but I'm expecting it will be released. Then, we deal with it. Enough people have read the book that misrepresentations won't just slip on through as "what Ayn Rand said..." or, they will, but the Left will say what it will no matter what they're given as input.

And, back to Harry Potter, their having seen the movie gave me the opportunity to discuss the books and point out that the books were far more dramatic, imaginative, funny, and engaging and, in a couple of cases, it led to an interest in reading them. It gave a point of comparison. I think it would be more so with AS, but we'll see.

I hope you are right, Alann.

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If the director and actor that spoke stick to what they just gave us a glimpse of, then I would pay to see this movie.

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It's rather odd that so much hype surrounded all the previous attempts at this movie, yet it seems that out of nowhere we see it actually being made with little fanfare. The director seems to grasp that the point is individualism, so this may turn out well.

Betsy, I didn't know one could embed video here - is this a special case?

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Atlas Shrugged Move Wraps: Where is John Galt? - by Greg Zeigerson

Behind-the-scenes clips show an opening scene not found in the novel, a CNN-style TV debate with oil magnate Ellis Wyatt saying “because of…backroom deals, we are still addicted to foreign oil.”

Yuck! Ellis Wyatt on TV with the ideas of idiots coming out of his mouth. And David Kelley is script consultant, who either approved or failed to stop this pathetic idea of what Ellis Wyatt would say.

Too bad that a good film does not depend entirely on the looks of the cast. IMO the casting is good with regard to the looks of the characters. But who knows about the acting, and the production seems too cheap and too rushed to properly convey the epic scope of the story.

Worst of all, the film was scripted by someone capable of writing the scene above, and handed off to a director with little experience, only nine days to prepare, and a small budget. That, IMO, is likely to result in a film that looks, sounds, and feels like a cheap soap opera.

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Betsy, I didn't know one could embed video here - is this a special case?

Yes, it is. It requires embedding HTML code which only an Admin can do.

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Atlas Shrugged Move Wraps: Where is John Galt? - by Greg Zeigerson
Behind-the-scenes clips show an opening scene not found in the novel, a CNN-style TV debate with oil magnate Ellis Wyatt saying “because of…backroom deals, we are still addicted to foreign oil.”

Yuck! Ellis Wyatt on TV with the ideas of idiots coming out of his mouth. And David Kelley is script consultant, who either approved or failed to stop this pathetic idea of what Ellis Wyatt would say.

This is the video Greg refers to in his article. It was made for the summer conference held by David Kelley with whom the producer, John Aglioloro, is associated.

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So this is what they mean by "low budget"? ;) At least it's not a cardboard set like the original Star Trek, and that did pretty well.

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I drifted off during the second video, and a friend of mine said he couldn't finish it either. I suppose I have to agree with Alan that it's coming and I'll just have to deal - probably by ignoring its existence.

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This is the video Greg refers to in his article. It was made for the summer conference held by David Kelley with whom the producer, John Aglioloro, is associated.

Ouch. Had not seen the actor playing Ellis Wyatt - an exception to the cast looking right. Ellis Wyatt should look better. Overweight looks wrong.

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This is not particularly encouraging, listen to what the director says about Ayn Rand and “Good and Evil”:

GM: To return to the themes of the novel. Do you think the characters are beyond good and evil, beyond morality in a Nietzschean sense?

PJ: I really believe that. I really believe that.

GM: That they're these Promethean, Titanic figures who are above such things?

PJ: I really believe that. Rand uses a lot of things like good and evil in her text but I don't think she really believed those ideas. It's like what Oscar Wilde said ... I don't know the exact quote - he said that a book can either be poorly written or well written, but it can't be evil.

GM: But the novel has that Nietzschean overtone to it.

PJ: Absolutely.

You can read the whole interview here.

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He seems to grasp the point of the novel; the nobility of man (man as a heroic being). This is the most important fact, and perhaps minor inconsistencies will not detract from this if he can show it. I wonder who wrote the script or if previous script were used.

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He seems to grasp the point of the novel; the nobility of man (man as a heroic being). This is the most important fact, and perhaps minor inconsistencies will not detract from this if he can show it.

I agree. I respect the fact that he decided to go with one core theme and, apparently, organize all the specifics around it. And it is a good theme to choose. No doubt this has made it simpler while still, hopefully, retaining the power of the book. I'm still taking a wait and see approach, but my expectations are fairly low. Time will tell.

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He seems to grasp the point of the novel; the nobility of man (man as a heroic being). This is the most important fact, and perhaps minor inconsistencies will not detract from this if he can show it.

I agree. I respect the fact that he decided to go with one core theme and, apparently, organize all the specifics around it. And it is a good theme to choose. No doubt this has made it simpler while still, hopefully, retaining the power of the book. I'm still taking a wait and see approach, but my expectations are fairly low. Time will tell.

I'm getting the impression that the producer is the real loser in this film, and the infamous clip about dependence on foreign oil was probably his influence.

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Introducing Midas so early is goingto give fodder to the banker hating left...

I also think it a mistake to introduce Galt so obviously in the introduction. I found the mystery of Galt really exciting in the book. We knew from the plot summary he was taking the productive away but it wasn't stated explicitly for a very long time.

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FYI - the movie is going to be released April 15th, 2011. What a perfect date ;) Let's hope it's not terrible (and really hope it's actually good):

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Atlas-Shrugg...144777702200729

Hope is not a strategy and will not work. Ayn Rand was unwilling to compromise on the project and so was unwilling to see her novel basterdized, I think her wishes should have been carried out.

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Hope is not a strategy and will not work. Ayn Rand was unwilling to compromise on the project and so was unwilling to see her novel basterdized, I think her wishes should have been carried out.

Why were the movie rights sold?

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