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Atlas Shrugged the Movie

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Physiocrat Posted: Mon, Apr 28 2008 12:57 PM

Oh dear. They are going to make it into a film. I'm not expecting much.

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At least the guy has a personal interest in the movie. I can't see the movie being a huge hit, so maybe they won't butcher it.
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wombatron replied on Mon, Apr 28 2008 4:16 PM

 Hopefully it's not too awful.  I heard the movie adaptation of The Fountainhead was pretty awful, though, and that even had Ayn Rand writing the screenplay.  Maybe if it has a 300 meets Western sort of look...

Also, I hope they don't include all of John Galt's speech! :-)

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The adaption of the fountainhead was actually pretty decent; the only thing that really ruined it (as a movie), was the dialouge, which most of time was too thick in Rand's heavy handed use of dialouge (although there were many times where it kind of worked, the court scene for instance).  Another was the choice of Gary Cooper, who outside of the court scene did not seem to really to emote any kind of required emotional character for such outspoken dialouge (It was obvious Rand chose Cooper due to her own views on Cooper, and not entirley on his merit; that's assuming of course he auditioned, which I doubt).

Honestly, a bit of a fan edit on the dialouge might make it better, but overall, it would be miles away better than anyone would be willing to do nowadays in Hollywood. 

As for Atlas Shrugged (2008 or 2009?), as someone mentioned previously, if the actors do their job, they will keep true to the characters.  If it's good, I would definitley go see it as books are more enjoyable for me to read if I already have a decent visual pallete to draw from.  If it isn't, I'll opt for starting the book on opening day instead & catch it later via other means.

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Remnant replied on Wed, Apr 30 2008 9:44 AM

 

I read the Fountainhead but struggled to understand how it was libertarian.  Roark, the hero, destroys someone else's property because he thinks that it does not meets his own standards of architectural excellence.  This is not how I understand you defend property rights!!

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Bogart replied on Wed, Apr 30 2008 10:07 AM

 Ayn Rand is not and did not claim to be a Liberterian.  She called the Liberterians something along the line of right wing hippies.  Objectivism and liberterian philosophy share some things in common namely the beliefs of individual ownership of property  and the only efficient, moral and sustainable social system free market capitalism, derrived from individual ownership.

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Bogart replied on Wed, Apr 30 2008 10:08 AM

 Gee, I hope it isn't too long? 

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wombatron replied on Wed, Apr 30 2008 10:12 AM

Remnant:

 

I read the Fountainhead but struggled to understand how it was libertarian.  Roark, the hero, destroys someone else's property because he thinks that it does not meets his own standards of architectural excellence.  This is not how I understand you defend property rights!!

 

 The Fountainhead is more about the individual aspects of Rand's philosophy, rather than the social and political.  Yes, Roark dynamited someone else's property, BUT it was to show that it was really his creation, and that the second-handers that modified it (against the contract made with Peter Keating) were ultimately dependent on him.  Yes, Roark gave his design freely, but that was with certain conditions that were later ignored, and he thus reclaimed what could be thought of as rightfully his.

The libertarian respect for property rights is somewhat lacking, yes, but it is a (proto-)Objectivist book.  Within Objectivism, all rights, including property rights, are dependent on the proper social context, rather than being an inherent (they would say intrinsic) part of human nature.  That, incidentally, leads to the standard O'ist postitions on government, crime, and foreign relations, and is the main point of contention between O'ists and Austro-libertarians.

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wombatron replied on Wed, Apr 30 2008 10:27 AM

billott1:

 Gee, I hope it isn't too long? 

 

 Yeah, I agree.  Perhaps they will split it up into 2 or 3 different movies, smilar to what they are doing with The Hobbit.

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Nitroadict replied on Wed, Apr 30 2008 10:58 AM

Unless it is being produced & financed by some very wealthy invidividuals who can stand to lose (potentially) a lot of money, don't bet on it.  If there were going to be 2nd or 3rd parts, in an effort to more fully flesh out the book (the final harry potter movie  for the 7th book will be 2 movies actually, so this isn't unheard of), it would either been announced already (or will be), or such an option would be fully dependant on the "1st" part's box office preformance. 

Given that Jollie is attached, I am hopeful this will end up being a surprsingly good sleepr hit or an interesting oddity (as far as the mainstream is concerned) with major stars in it, that not everyone will want to see due to it's intellectual content. 

I'm not as picky as some are concerning books to movies though, so if they managed to boil it all down to the most vital events to carry the story along (something that is both possible & preferable by movie audience, again, I thought they did this very well with the HP movies, 3rd one & after), and it evens out to a reasonable  3 hrs ( I think 2 1/2 hours is stretching the limits, unless they somehow manage to do a lot of scenes without dialouge).

IMO, I think they would be far better off making this into a mini-series, ala John Adams, and if the movie does well enough, they should consider doing such to fill in the gaps of the movie (assuming they have the same cast of course, but a different cast wouldn't be terribly anoyying if it were to be an unoffical reboot, and told the story from start to finish).

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Bogart replied on Wed, Apr 30 2008 11:20 AM

There will have to be a mountain of editing and directorial preference in this one.  I read the exerpt from Atlas Shrugged where John Gault gives his speech on the television, it is way way way way too detailed.  I don't think the average movie watcher could stand that.  I could not stand reading it.

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 hopefully it is good.  I would worry though if you get too many big names like Angelina Jollie that it would lose what the stary was written about and revert to pure entertainment and no message.  

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 Although the message in Atlas Shrugged is quite different than the message in Lord of the Rings. 

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Andrew replied on Wed, Apr 30 2008 1:17 PM

 havn't read any Rand, but I think Daniel Day Lewis would be great as main character

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wombatron replied on Wed, Apr 30 2008 2:02 PM

.

Byzantine:

The Lord of the Rings movies were very true to the books but the dialogue had to be extensively re-worked, which Jackson's team did very well.  Point being:  it can be done.  They'll have to do something similar with Atlas Shrugged.  The trick is what to keep in and what to keep out.  Like the autarchic industrialist commune protected by an invisible force field--that one needs to go.

 If the Atlas Shrugged is as true to the book as the LOTR movies were, I will be satisfied, especially as far as dialogue goes (watching LOTR felt just like reading Tolkien to me, only faster paced).  I think that Galt's Gulch should stay, though.  Perhaps it has to be re-written a bit for the movie, but it is integral to the plot

 

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Well LOTR did deviate in at least one way from the books - most of the elves in the movies were blonde, i.e. the Vanyar, whereas according to the books most of the elves left behind were Noldor, i.e. dark-haired, pale elves. I found that odd.

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wombatron replied on Thu, May 1 2008 10:23 AM

Byzantine:

Anyhoo, Galt's Gulch needs to be a very different place from the book so moviegoers don't leave the theater in tears from laughing so hard.  Contrived and clunky.

 

Yeah, but I'm sure they could write something else in.  Maybe the scene could be shorter than in the book, just enough to introduce John Galt and show where everyone was disappearing to.

On a related note, are they going to bring the technology more up-to-date (computers, cell phones, etc.)?

 

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Magnus replied on Thu, May 1 2008 10:33 AM

 In movies the role of language is to provide texture. I am a bit annoyed by comments that compare filmed adaptations of books which point out how much has to be left OUT when a book gets translated to film.

The world is not made of words, words are a code, and a tool for helping us communicate. That is all they are. Just like a scale of measure, like inches or centimeters, are an abstract convention that enable us to judge distances. Life is sensation, experience, and consciousness. Consciousness exists without language. We have become so dependent of words, we have forgotten what appreciating reality can be without the filter of language.

What moviegoers need is not the verbal gymnastics of rhetorik, which is as good for deception and concealing meaning as it is for revelation - just listen to our politicians!

I for once, hope  that the movie Atlas Shrugged will give me a completely different experience then reading the book.

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Magnus replied on Thu, May 1 2008 1:59 PM

This conversation is a little bit of the topic of Austrian economics but let me just make my final comment on the subject. What I like is films that evoke meaning preciselly because they get underneath the overtly consciouss instrument of the words we learned in school.

2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, Playtime, The Holy Mountain, A Clockwork Orange, Eraserhead, L'Avventura - These would all be great examples of what I mean and they are pretty darn far away from being shallow!

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I personally am tremendously excited.  Even if flawed (which seems inevitable) it can only advance the cause of freedom in a huge specific way.  One of the things I've felt that libertarianism has lacked is a mainstream example of a free-market utopia.  There is no end to the 1984 knockoffs featuring a fascist dystopia, and by knowing only one extreme, today's youth look at our actual society (which is merely interventionist with a strong veneer of freedom) and think we're well off.  I've often thought that people need to see what normally "is not seen" (to paraphrase Bastiat), and Galt's Gulch qualifies.

In fact, I still think there is room for a great movie showing a utopia, showing how amazing life would be in a free society, if there are any aspiring screenwriters out there.  I think it's important that it be a movie, as nobody reads anymore (though it could certainly start as a book).

 

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wombatron:

billott1:

 Gee, I hope it isn't too long? 

 

 Yeah, I agree.  Perhaps they will split it up into 2 or 3 different movies, smilar to what they are doing with The Hobbit.

 

Last I heard, from David Kelley, they had toyed with various ideas along those lines but have decided to go with a 2-3 hour movie. Angelina Jolie is set to play Dagny Taggart.

 

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Remnant:

 

I read the Fountainhead but struggled to understand how it was libertarian.  Roark, the hero, destroys someone else's property because he thinks that it does not meets his own standards of architectural excellence.  This is not how I understand you defend property rights!!

It's been a while since I read The Fountainhead... Was it someone else's property? I think it more likely that it was either directly state-owned or at least heavily or fully subsidized by the state and built by those subsidized by the state. It was a low income housing project after all. Even rejecting IP, as I do, what Roark did was not necessarily an un-libertarian act (unless it actually was private property that wasn't largely or entirely funded by the state).

 

 

 

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MacFall replied on Thu, May 1 2008 4:58 PM

Byzantine:

Like the autarchic industrialist commune protected by an invisible force field--that one needs to go.

That would be pretty much like taking the Ring of Power out of Lord of the Rings. The industrialists are clearly supposed to be superior in intellect and of course, technology - they're romantic heros, not modernist everypersons.

It will need to be changed, certainly, but not removed.

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gplauche:
Angelina Jolie is set to play Dagny Taggart.

I could take 'billy bob's property', more seriously as Lillian.

If I was ever too meet a randian women, I probably would only think it's illusionary. Oscar Wilde had me convinced that beauty and brains don't come in the same package.

Wesley Mouch, should be portrayed by a Bernanke lookin' fellow.

I'm looking forward to the wedding speech on wealthy morality, and Reardon's trial.

I hope this film opens up public debate on property, and ownership.

I enjoyed the film The Fountainhead. It seems like films back then carried more weight, because they couldn't limp through an hour or two with special effects and two dimensional characters.

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wombatron replied on Mon, May 5 2008 10:48 AM

gplauche:

Remnant:

 

I read the Fountainhead but struggled to understand how it was libertarian.  Roark, the hero, destroys someone else's property because he thinks that it does not meets his own standards of architectural excellence.  This is not how I understand you defend property rights!!

It's been a while since I read The Fountainhead... Was it someone else's property? I think it more likely that it was either directly state-owned or at least heavily or fully subsidized by the state and built by those subsidized by the state. It was a low income housing project after all. Even rejecting IP, as I do, what Roark did was not necessarily an un-libertarian act (unless it actually was private property that wasn't largely or entirely funded by the state).

 

 

 

 

 As I read The Fountainhead, it was a state-owned housing project.  It's never explicitly said, but heavily implied.  In that case, it could even be argued that Roark had the best claim to ownership.

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Danno replied on Thu, May 8 2008 1:15 AM

 

mr_anonymous:
hopefully it is good.  I would worry though if you get too many big names like Angelina Jollie that it would lose what the stary was written about and revert to pure entertainment and no message. 

I dunno - _V for Vendetta_ was pretty entertaining, and the message came through clearly.  I got my early libertarian training from Heinlein, looking for (and finding) entertainment - I recommend _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_ highly.

If it's not entertaining, nobody will hear the message.

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I would say those who are not *looking* will not hear the message, if it isn't entertaining.  Those who are searching/looking/wondering/listening for the message (or at least for alternative thought) will be more receptive.

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mr_anonymous:

 hopefully it is good.  I would worry though if you get too many big names like Angelina Jollie that it would lose what the stary was written about and revert to pure entertainment and no message.  

I wonder if Ayn Rand made her book enjoyable then libertarians wouldn't be so critical of Objectivionism.Surprise

 

I remember Angelina Jolie saying she likes Ayn Rand.

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Niccolò replied on Tue, May 20 2008 5:43 PM

wombatron:

 Hopefully it's not too awful.  I heard the movie adaptation of The Fountainhead was pretty awful, though, and that even had Ayn Rand writing the screenplay.  Maybe if it has a 300 meets Western sort of look...

Also, I hope they don't include all of John Galt's speech! :-)

 

Well what do you expect? Ayn Rand was an awful writer.

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Niccolò:
Well what do you expect? Ayn Rand was an awful writer.

 

There are plenty of people who disagree.

 

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Niccolò replied on Tue, May 20 2008 6:49 PM

Geoffrey Allan Plauche:

Niccolò:
Well what do you expect? Ayn Rand was an awful writer.

 

There are plenty of people who disagree.

 

Well, I don't know... I guess you could make a case that her books were entertaining or even thought provoking, but great literature? I don't think so.

 

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