Stephen Speicher

Jolie confirmed as playing Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged Movie

240 posts in this topic

You beat me to it. Of the good characters especially, she is the one Ayn Rand character I've seen on film for which I cannot imagine a more perfect portrayal. And as different as I know people's preferences can be, I can't help suspecting that there would not be a whole lot of disagreement by Objectivists over at least this one point regarding her performance, i.e. it was well done. So I guess I'm just begging for a passel o' people to prove me wrong.

Well, it won't be me. Alida Valli was absolutely great.

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"In love, as in literature, we are amazed at the choices of others." Andre Maurois.

And it's a good thing too. If it were not so, all men would duel over the most beautiful woman in the world...until only one of us was left standing.

We do agree on one thing. Alida Valli was fabulous as Kira. Hell, she was just fabulous. However, she didn't look like a Russian girl, and certainly not like Kira Argounova. And, no, please don't try to tell me what Miss Valli looks like. A few years ago I met a little Polish girl who looked and acted exactly like Kira, so I know what she looks like and you don't.

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And it's a good thing too. If it were not so, all men would duel over the most beautiful woman in the world...until only one of us was left standing.

We do agree on one thing. Alida Valli was fabulous as Kira. Hell, she was just fabulous. However, she didn't look like a Russian girl, and certainly not like Kira Argounova. And, no, please don't try to tell me what Miss Valli looks like. A few years ago I met a little Polish girl who looked and acted exactly like Kira, so I know what she looks like and you don't.

Jack,

It's been a trying week, and that was a welcome chuckle.

Thanks,

Jeff

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Jolie is a great pic, lots of publicity, now all we need is James Morrison ( Bill Buchanan ) as John Galt and Keifer Sutherland ( Jack Bauer ) as Ragnar Danneskjöld.

Bill_Buchanan_S6.jpg

jack-bauer.jpg

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Jolie is a great pic, lots of publicity, now all we need is James Morrison ( Bill Buchanan ) as John Galt and Keifer Sutherland ( Jack Bauer ) as Ragnar Danneskjöld.

...er... James Morrison is almost 53. And, is Keifer Sutherland, in your view, a man whose beauty is almost too great for this Earth?

Films are visual and auditory. Their success, in part, depends on what the actors in them look and sound like, not simply that they've portrayed characters one can admire. There are some things makeup and lighting can not fix.

I helplessly confess that I do not understand Objectivists when it comes to casting choices and taste in films. (I just watched Casino Royale last night, about which many have said positive things. I'll write a long critique sometime, but in the interim, I wonder what is in it they see as in anyway similar to Bond, the character created by Ian Fleming.)

Jeff

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...er... James Morrison is almost 53. And, is Keifer Sutherland, in your view, a man whose beauty is almost too great for this Earth?

What are you talking about girls dig Keifer Sutherland. One girl told me she likes him because he reminds her of a cute real life version of Bart Simpson.

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What are you talking about girls dig Keifer Sutherland. One girl told me she likes him because he reminds her of a cute real life version of Bart Simpson.

Kiefer Sutherland is gross, in my view. I wouldn't insult Bart Simpson like that.

His face looks like somebody's been trying to stretch it in all sorts of directions into some decent shape and eventually just left in the middle of the job.

He looks like a second hander to me.

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Well, it looks as if there isn't any new news about the ATLAS SHRUGGED movie, if this thread has moved on to the merits of Kiefer Sutherland and Bart Simpson. So I'll move even further, to a YouTube clip from H.G. Wells' THINGS TO COME (1936):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nsXjazGh8s

Nothing to do with AS, obviously, but it's set in a post-war world where civilization has collapsed and a looting warlord who calls himself Rudolf the Boss has his ragtag army fighting for control of a coal mine. Sort of a parallel situation. Only when Wells' world saviors later show up, of course, they're black-clad technocrats rather than capitalists.

Will it take until 2036 to see the ATLAS SHRUGGED adaptation?

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An ATLAS SHRUGGED movie looks even iffier now. Not only is Angelina Jolie taking a year off, but a cover story for one of the tabloids shows her looking now as if she'd just stepped out of Buchenwald -- yeah, anorexic. Indeed a frail reed to cling to.

I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again: what this project needs is the equivalent of Peter Jackson in THE LORD OF THE RINGS. Name stars, even if any could be found who are sympathetic to Objectivism, aren't going to mean a thing without someone at the helm who believes in the story as a story.

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An ATLAS SHRUGGED movie looks even iffier now. Not only is Angelina Jolie taking a year off, but a cover story for one of the tabloids shows her looking now as if she'd just stepped out of Buchenwald -- yeah, anorexic. Indeed a frail reed to cling to.

I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again: what this project needs is the equivalent of Peter Jackson in THE LORD OF THE RINGS. Name stars, even if any could be found who are sympathetic to Objectivism, aren't going to mean a thing without someone at the helm who believes in the story as a story.

I'm not all that warm on the project given the current personnel, but you lost me here. The producers are committed to doing it right, they have a couple of good successes (from a box office and critical perspective) under their belts, they hired a competent, A-list screenwriter. I'm not sure if you're simply saying they need a good director....?

The director, despite popular mythology to the contrary, is one of the least important components of a good film. Many of the best films of the '40s and '50s were directed by lesser-known (but competent) lights who worked for studios as more or less regular employees. Or, are you saying they need a name director for other reasons? Jackson wasn't well known prior to LTR. Are you just saying the project needs a director who is enthusiastic about the material in order to create a good film?

Can you amplify?

Jeff

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The director, despite popular mythology to the contrary, is one of the least important components of a good film. Many of the best films of the '40s and '50s were directed by lesser-known (but competent) lights who worked for studios as more or less regular employees. Or, are you saying they need a name director for other reasons? Jackson wasn't well known prior to LTR. Are you just saying the project needs a director who is enthusiastic about the material in order to create a good film?

Can you amplify?

Jeff

Well.there have doubtless been a number of good films made by lesser directors, but I don't think anybody could say that the director is "one of the least important components" of the classics of Alfred Hitchcock or David Lean. And notice, I didn't say "name director," but "the equivalen of Peter Jackson." Jackson indeed wasn't well known before LTR, but he was in love with the story and would spare no effort to do it justice. That was what counted. Among other things, he knew how to do the necessary compression: the scene where Frodo and Samwise are seated on thrones as hosannas are sung to them, for example, would have dragged on too long for a movie. But Jackson conveyed the meaning of it with the scene at Gondor where Aragorn tells the hobbits, "You bow to no one" -- and all the knights bow to THEM.

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The director, despite popular mythology to the contrary, is one of the least important components of a good film. Many of the best films of the '40s and '50s were directed by lesser-known (but competent) lights who worked for studios as more or less regular employees. Or, are you saying they need a name director for other reasons? Jackson wasn't well known prior to LTR. Are you just saying the project needs a director who is enthusiastic about the material in order to create a good film?

[Emphasis added.]

The statement I have emphasized is utterly wrong. Perhaps you're not familiar with how films are made.

I am doing some office work now and don't have time to list examples -- not that I think they're really necessary (all you have to do is buy any movie DVD with commentary) -- but I'll leave you with the words of someone who actually worked in Hollywood:

In all the arts that involve more than one performer, a crucially important artist is the director. (In music, his counterpart is the conductor.) The director is the link between the performing and the primary arts. He is a performer in relation to the primary work, in the sense that his task is the means to the end set by the work -- he is a primary artist in relation to the cast, the set designer, the cameramen, etc., in the sense that they are the means to his end, which is the translation of the work into physical action as a meaningful, stylized, integrated whole. In the dramatic arts, the director is the esthetic integrator.

[Emphases original.]

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The director, despite popular mythology to the contrary, is one of the least important components of a good film. Many of the best films of the '40s and '50s were directed by lesser-known (but competent) lights who worked for studios as more or less regular employees. Or, are you saying they need a name director for other reasons? Jackson wasn't well known prior to LTR. Are you just saying the project needs a director who is enthusiastic about the material in order to create a good film?

[Emphasis added.]

The statement I have emphasized is utterly wrong. Perhaps you're not familiar with how films are made.

I am doing some office work now and don't have time to list examples -- not that I think they're really necessary (all you have to do is buy any movie DVD with commentary) -- but I'll leave you with the words of someone who actually worked in Hollywood:

In all the arts that involve more than one performer, a crucially important artist is the director. (In music, his counterpart is the conductor.) The director is the link between the performing and the primary arts. He is a performer in relation to the primary work, in the sense that his task is the means to the end set by the work -- he is a primary artist in relation to the cast, the set designer, the cameramen, etc., in the sense that they are the means to his end, which is the translation of the work into physical action as a meaningful, stylized, integrated whole. In the dramatic arts, the director is the esthetic integrator.

[Emphases original.]

Hear, hear!

But in certain cases -- LTR was one, AS would be another -- the director also has to be a champion of the work being adapted. Jackson made a cause out of LTR -- he fought for adequate funding, fought the skeptics who thought the movie was impossible to make. A friend of mine who is usually quite astute about movies thought LTR would be a disaster. How wrong he was! But do we have a director out there who would fight for Rand's vision the way Jackson fought for Tolkien's?

"You've got to be a believer."

-- Delos David Harriman in Robert A. Heinlein's "The Man Who Sold the Moon"

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The statement I have emphasized is utterly wrong. Perhaps you're not familiar with how films are made.

I am. I attended UCLA film school for a year, write screenplays, and have worked in Hollywood as well. (Not at Rand's level, certainly, but I had a chance to obseve first hand what goes on.) I agree with Rand's statement as one pertaining to the way things should be, and in the best cases the way things are. Lean and Hitchcock are two excellent examples. Wyler, Wilder, and others could serve too.

Nevertheless, it is true that a great many really good films were created by directors who were not anywhere near their level. Why? Because they had extraordinary producers (Selznick), or screenwriters (Lehmann), and really fine casts. The director is one element in a collaborative effort, but not always the prime creative spark. Even the best directors can almost never rise above a poor script or save a film from bad performances. Hitchcock is a clear example of that, as is Lean, and many others I could list.

But you're right about one thing. This isn't worth debating.

Jeff

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But you're right about one thing. This isn't worth debating.

Other than getting heated, personally I find the discussion rather interesting and informative, not being an expert in how movies are made.

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But you're right about one thing. This isn't worth debating.

Other than getting heated, personally I find the discussion rather interesting and informative, not being an expert in how movies are made.

Let me try to turn down the heat and shed more light.

Here are some examples that support my case:

1. The Big Clock, directed by John Farrow vs Saboteur directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Hitchcock is a far superior director in general to John Farrow. Yet the first is one of the best films ever made, vs a mediocre (but entertaining) film. Why? A superb screenplay and Ray Milland's performance in the first case vs a mediocre screenplay and a performance far from Robert Cummings' best in the second. (Though the latter film certainly has one or two really good scenes.)

2. Jezebel directed by William Wyler vs Gone With the Wind directed by Victor Fleming (who replaced George Cukor just after the beginning of production).

The first is execrable despite a superior cast and the presence of one cinema's finest directors. Why? A bad script and mediocre production values. The second is a very good film (even though I'm not personally crazy about it), with a less good (though still good) cast than Jezebel and a second-string director at the helm.

3. Becket (dir. Peter Glenville) vs The Lion In Winter (dir. Anthony Harvey).

The first is a very poor film based with an outstanding cast and a nobody (as far as film is concerned) director. The latter is one of the finest pieces of cinema ever created, despite horrendously bad direction. The latter has one of the best casts ever assembled giving some of their finest performances in one of the five best screenplays ever written. The first is laughable despite a talented (theatre) director at the helm filming a very good play.

I should, for clarity and precision, modify my statement. The director isn't UNimportant, merely the least important of all the major elements.

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Well, it looks as if there isn't any new news about the ATLAS SHRUGGED movie, if this thread has moved on to the merits of Kiefer Sutherland and Bart Simpson. So I'll move even further, to a YouTube clip from H.G. Wells' THINGS TO COME (1936):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nsXjazGh8s

Nothing to do with AS, obviously, but it's set in a post-war world where civilization has collapsed and a looting warlord who calls himself Rudolf the Boss has his ragtag army fighting for control of a coal mine. Sort of a parallel situation. Only when Wells' world saviors later show up, of course, they're black-clad technocrats rather than capitalists.

Will it take until 2036 to see the ATLAS SHRUGGED adaptation?

I have this movie and it's genius wel worth a look at the whole, though Wells solution strikes me as ever more terrible. I'd have taken my chances in the land of the Boss rather than submit to the "technocrat knows best" vision Wells had.

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When the feature film finally comes out this 16 year old boy will be ideal for the role of Ragnar. Everytime I watch Canadian Idol (the Canadian version of American Idol), I say, "Holy Ragnar".

Check out the links to familiarize yourself with him. He seems to be an intelligent, wise, independent, pride, fearless, happy boy. And his face is so harmonious and magnificent in that Norman type of way, and when he smiles he shines.

So, wherever Galt is, I say come to Toronto and steal him soon.

Jaydee Bixby smaller picture

Jaydee Bixby bigger picture

Find interview with Jaydee

Jaydee Bixby on You Tube

Thanks,

Jose Gainza

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This morning at 10 a.m. Mountain Time, Mike Rosen, a local radio talk show host in Denver, will be interviewing Jeff Britting (sp?) about the Atlas Shrugged movie. The way Mr. Rosen introduced the topic suggested that the movie is on and Angelina Jolie is confirmed to play Dagny. I don't know if this will occur right at 10, but I think it might. The radio station is 850KOA and you might be able to get a live stream at 850KOA.com (although I'm not sure). However, he will probably archive the interview, which you can find later on the "Rosen Replay." I think you have to sign up, but it's free.

Mike Rosen is sympathetic to Objectivism, although I don't consider him a full Objectivist, and he probably doesn't consider himself that either. However, he has had Yaron Brook on multiple times and, fairly recently, John Lewis. So, check it out if you're interested.

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Mike Rosen is sympathetic to Objectivism, although I don't consider him a full Objectivist, and he probably doesn't consider himself that either. However, he has had Yaron Brook on multiple times and, fairly recently, John Lewis.

Out of curiosity, does he consider himself a liberal, conservative, or neither?

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This morning at 10 a.m. Mountain Time, Mike Rosen, a local radio talk show host in Denver, will be interviewing Jeff Britting (sp?) about the Atlas Shrugged movie. The way Mr. Rosen introduced the topic suggested that the movie is on and Angelina Jolie is confirmed to play Dagny. I don't know if this will occur right at 10, but I think it might. The radio station is 850KOA and you might be able to get a live stream at 850KOA.com (although I'm not sure). However, he will probably archive the interview, which you can find later on the "Rosen Replay." I think you have to sign up, but it's free.

I checked The Rosen Replay here for his 10 o'clock hour. He said Jeff Britting was scheduled to appear, but there was a difficulty making a connection. Jeff never did appear on the show on 8/2/07, but maybe tomorrow.

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Mike Rosen is sympathetic to Objectivism, although I don't consider him a full Objectivist, and he probably doesn't consider himself that either. However, he has had Yaron Brook on multiple times and, fairly recently, John Lewis.

Out of curiosity, does he consider himself a liberal, conservative, or neither?

From what I can gather, he considers himself a conservative, but not a religious conservative. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he's an atheist. I've certainly heard him criticize the religious right, and appropriately so. Generally, it's hard for me to get a clear idea of his philosophy. For instance, in promos for the show, he has a sound byte that talks about promoting "reason and rationality." Yet, there's a sound byte he sometimes uses at the beginning of his show in which he says, from memory, "Nobody's objective...we all see the world through our own subjective biases and filters." That isn't an exact quote, but the "nobody's objective" part is. On the whole, he is an intelligent guy with a pretty good show, but I have trouble understanding his explicit support of Objectivism yet his statements that obviously contradict it.

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Guess people here must have heard that Vadim Perelman has been signed on as director. I'm not really familiar with his previous films, and I know nothing as to where he stands ideologically. But if we can trust his wikipedia bio, he wouldn't have undertaken AS lightly:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vadim_Perelman

One quote from there:

Having been repeatedly approached by Hollywood to direct some mainstream, high-profile fare, he has been very selective in his projects. “I don’t want to spend a year of my life working on a film that does not resonate with me on a poetic level,” says Perelman, “Since great scripts are a rare commodity, I realized that I have to create my own opportunities and not wait for the right project to come along – for fate to smile upon me.”

It's curious that Perelman is of Russian and (I surmise, from his non-Slavic name) Jewish extraction, just like Ayn Rand. I wonder if there's a resonance there.

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Guess people here must have heard that Vadim Perelman has been signed on as director.

[...]

It's curious that Perelman is of Russian and (I surmise, from his non-Slavic name) Jewish extraction, just like Ayn Rand. I wonder if there's a resonance there.

From the annoucement in Variety.

Lionsgate has brought on Vadim Perelman to rewrite "Atlas Shrugged" and direct Angelina Jolie in the starring role.

While Lionsgate needs to get a final script before formally committing to a start date with Perelman at the helm, the move puts the company in a strong position for an early 2008 production start, just a shade over 50 years after Ayn Rand's famed novel was first published in 1957.

Pic will be produced by Howard and Karen Baldwin and Media Talent Group's Geyer Kosinski.

Perelman will work from a draft of the script penned by "Braveheart" scribe Randall Wallace, who managed to boil down the Rand manifesto of 1,100-plus pages into a 127-page script. The drama revolves around what happens when great industrialists and thinkers go on strike and the world grinds to a halt.

Wallace will remain involved, and in a recent meeting with Perelman, the pair traded Russian dialogue. Perelman was born in Kiev, while Wallace has picked up the language researching his Catherine the Great pic "The Mercenary"; Rand was born in Russia. Perelman has brought his own take that will be incorporated into Wallace's script.

Entire article here.

Note that he will be rewriting the script and "Perelman has brought his own take that will be incorporated into Wallace's script."

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