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"Atlas Shrugged" Movie

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But to that, I would respond that the extra support and buyers of the book are not people who have seriously studied Objectivism, or even read enough to understand its basic tenets. Atlas Shrugged is being hailed--by some conservative bloggers--as the "Tea Party blockbuster." Given that the Tea Party is composed, to a large degree, of extreme religious conservatives who just happen to share our goal of decreasing government intervention in the economy, I wouldn't necessarily be excited about that. When people from that particular demographic (i.e. my parents) read Atlas Shrugged, the deepest point they glean from it is "taxes are bad." Not quite what Rand intended...

There is no better introduction to Objectivism than Ayn Rand's own writing. I have not encountered more effective or as effective source than Rand.

Edited by ~Sophia~

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Honestly I don't understand this attitude that the move will hurt Objectivism. It's one thing to personally hate the movie for various reasons, but we have people here who have not seen it and decided it _must_ be bad somehow because _some_ reviews were negative.

The movie quite clearly has its problems, but it is inspiring people to Read The Book in droves (and that is the most important thing--even a totally wonderful movie would be inadequate next to the book), and from what I am seeing _most_ Objectivists on net enjoy the movie, so _predjudging_ it in the way that some are doing is nonsensical.

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But to that, I would respond that the extra support and buyers of the book are not people who have seriously studied Objectivism, or even read enough to understand its basic tenets.

Isn't that the whole idea? To introduce these ideas to people who aren't yet familiar with them?

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Atlas Shrugged Movie Boosts Book to #4 on Amazon Bestseller List

Here’s a marketing question I thought I’d never ask: Would you think that a critically panned, low-budget movie, with a virtually unknown director and cast, could catapult a more than 50 year-old book near the top of the Amazon bestseller list? Well, exactly that appears to be happening with the movie adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

I'll rephrase. The film is hurting Objectivism in context with filmmaking, which is what matters to me. What I'm interpreting in terms of a reaction, is from people who also understand filmmaking in the same way. Lets say I have a conversation with someone has seen Atlas Shrugged and is in the industry or somehow related to the art, but doesn't understand Objectivism. They're immidiate opinion of Objectivism is a big joke because the film reflected it's concepts poorly. Those are the people I associate with, and therefore I don't enjoy the thought of Atlas Shrugged having been misportrayed in my "chosen field".

That being said, if wider "mainstream audiences" don't understand the flaws in the film and decide to read the book, that's great for money making in terms of the book, not necessarily Objectivism, but time will tell. But whether or not they agree with it, if a movie based on a book comes out, the numbers always spike for a time.

Edited by Mstark

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What I'm saying is that I know a number of Tea Party-ish people who were excited about the AS movie coming out. Let's just say that I am not confident in their abilities to extract any deep meaning from the book that goes beyond "taxes are bad."

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What I'm saying is that I know a number of Tea Party-ish people who were excited about the AS movie coming out. Let's just say that I am not confident in their abilities to extract any deep meaning from the book that goes beyond "taxes are bad."
Your premise is false. Still, even accepting it as true, there is no negative.

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Just got back from seeing the movie.

I'm sorry to report that it is just bad. It is so bad that it may lead the intelligent but curious person to get the book just to make sense of how the movie is so bad. And since everything in the movie is so forgettable, the book's impending influence might make this theatrical release a net good thing.

Yes, the budget was low, yes, the time was constrained. Both of those show, a lot, and so my main question is: what motive did the producers have at all? It isn't a re-imagining which keeps the original spirit and essential elements intact. It isn't a literal re-telling. I guess I would call it a children's effort to execute a great theatrical masterpiece. It's like a bad stylist dressed a brilliant actress for her Oscars. Tried and true elements of storytelling aren't there. Rand's ideas are mishmashed. Great elements created by Rand are thrown out, like the book's great mystery itself! Galt is given away in the first five minutes, and given away blatantly in the final "scene," which is just a voiceover.

But now I'm starting to nitpick, which isn't necessary unless the movie almost hit the mark, and this one didn't come close.

The positives: The movie didn't completely warp Rand, and it seems to have bumped sales of the actual book, which is great.

The negatives: It doesn't come close to some of Hollywood's worst efforts, and doesn't deserve Rand's name.

Edited by JASKN

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What I'm saying is that I know a number of Tea Party-ish people who were excited about the AS movie coming out. Let's just say that I am not confident in their abilities to extract any deep meaning from the book that goes beyond "taxes are bad."

As someone who participates in and supports the Tea Party movement I challenge this notion absolutely.

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Yes, the budget was low, yes, the time was constrained. Both of those show, a lot, and so my main question is: what motive did the producers have at all? It isn't a re-imagining which keeps the original spirit and essential elements intact. It isn't a literal re-telling. I guess I would call it a children's effort to execute a great theatrical masterpiece. It's like a bad stylist dressed a brilliant actress for her Oscars. Tried and true elements of storytelling aren't there. Rand's ideas are mishmashed. Great elements created by Rand are thrown out, like the book's great mystery itself! Galt is given away in the first five minutes, and given away blatantly in the final "scene," which is just a voiceover.

Yes, the things they chose to exclude and include seemed very strange. Who decided to have Galt wandering around in the shadows with a fedora and popped collar, like a caricature of a film noir detective? Why did he appear in the beginning? It comes across completely ridiculous at times, if not convoluted and boring for the person who hasn't read the book and is trying to gather all the information regarding "who works for who and who owns what" in the first act of the film. Her philosophies are randomly thrown around like a small voice over from Dagny asking briefly like debating college student: "What is with all this altruism? Can't people see it only makes things worse?" And never mentioning it again. To me it seems like the film was made for the purpose of appealing to those who have already read the book because of the jumble of information, and cliffnote version of concepts. If this is the case, people would have to buy the book in order to actually understand what was so great about it, as well as NOT wait a year to find out what happens in the plot, due to the cliffhanger.

I do believe even with their limited budget they still could have done a fantastic job, but the script itself was flawed and the decisions made from then on only made it worse. As with anything in Rand's books and basic teachings of economics and practicality: intentions are very different from results. The producers' intention to do justice to Rand isn't what matters here, it is the result... which happens to be a poor film.

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It is likely, given negative reviews, that people's inspiration to pick up the book does not come from being particularly taken by the movie. However, given the rise in book sales, there must have been enough there in terms of ideas, even if presented badly, even if only on the sense of life level.

This happened to me in the past when my first introduction to something was not ideal or even the most accurate but I felt that "fit"... it resonated with me, and that was enough to grab me. I pursued it further. I am sure many of you will understand what I mean.

It seems that to some degree that is happening. In that context, I am glad this movie was made.

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I don't really get the criticism of my post. I didn't betray any "premises." I was relaying my personal impression of people I know who are involved with the Tea Party--that they tend to be tin-foil hat conservative types who think the earth is 6000 years old and Obama is a Kenya-born Muslim.

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Michael Medved gave the movie a lukewarm (2 out of 4 stars) review. However, he does like Taylor Schilling's peformance as Dagney. He also correctly identifies the good in the movie when he says: "If this clunky but earnest movie helps persuade people that it’s not good when government crushes industry, or handicaps society’s most productive achievers, then it will serve a purpose beyond entertainment value."

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I have now seen the film five times, and each time I have found it to be a thrilling attempt to bring Ayn Rand's ideas to the screen. There is so much about the film that is good that I hesitate to offer any criticism. I like the script, I like the fact that the shadowy, phantom-like figure of John Galt appears several times throughout the film, and, most of all, I love the fact that the producers decided to make a profoundly philosophical movie. It would have been so easy to focus on the superficial aspects of the plot and ignore the philosophical undertones of independent thinking and rational self-interest. The producers deserve enormous credit for that.

The question has been asked: "Would Ayn Rand have liked this movie?"

Sadly, I think the answer is no, and for one simple reason: the protagonists in the film do not come even close to the heroic dimensions of the characters portrayed in the novel. Taylor Schilling as Dagny Taggart is the lone exception. Schilling is the primary reason this film is as good as it is. She is, quite simply, fantastic in the role of Dagny Taggart. She is so good, in fact, that she makes her male counterparts look ordinary by comparison. This is true for all of the primary male characters including Rearden, Francisco and John Galt. It is also true of minor characters such as Hugh Akston and Owen Kellog, both of whom were miserably miscast.

It is no easy task to bring genuine, dazzling heroism to the silver screen. Considering how fast Atlas Part One was thrown together, it is certainly no surprise that it failed in this specific regard. Despite that fact, it is undeniable that this was a crucial aspect of Ayn Rand's novel. And it is equally undeniable that the film is truly disappointing in this area. Ever notice the way Clint Eastwood or Sean Connery walk through a scene? The sense of animal magnetism, charisma, power and self-confidence they exude through their physical mannerisms – especially the way they walk – is incomparable.

To make Ayn Rand's heroes real on the screen would have required actors with a bearing and confidence similar to that of an Eastwood or Connery, and they are a rare find. Grant Bowler makes a convincing effort, but he is simply not tall or austere enough to make you believe that he is Hank Rearden. (The funky hairstyle didn’t help.) Similarly, Galt does not carry himself like a man in total control of his world. He neither moves, walks, nor speaks like John Galt. And Francisco comes across as much more like Don Diego de la Vega then Zorro. It is hard to imagine him standing with a cape flowing behind him in the wind.

It is difficult to say whether this oversight is due to bad direction or the failure on the part of the producers to understand its importance. It is, nonetheless, a glaring oversight. And, for that reason, an objective observer has to acknowledge that the film has that one fundamental flaw.

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A question: should Ragnar and Francisco have accents? I don't recall them having ones in Atlas, but maybe it would add character to each. B)

Fransico definately didn't, says so in AS:

"He spoke five languages, and he spoke English without a trace of accent, a precise, cultured English deliberately mixed with slang." p. 90ish

Edited by intellectualammo

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In my opinion, what it covers of the novel it covers pretty faithfully. However, I felt like i was on the John Galt line the first time they fired it up... we had to get through 300 miles of dialog in 90 minutes, okay, 97 minutes to be exact. They condensed what they had to accomplish so much, that it was all about getting the dialog out, and very little about developing characters, about getting the viewers to really feel invested in the characters. You could tell by their actions that they were devoted to accomplishing their goals and and pursuing their values, but I was not convinced that they were actually passionate about those pursuits. In short, I felt the acting to be somewhat flat all around.

Now, I do love the fact that it appears they were diligent in faithfully relaying the material from the book, as much of it as they could cover in the time they had. If they ever continue it, I will go see the remaining parts.

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so apparently AS is a novel detached from reality according to some: You don't have to read trashy novels to recognize trashy novels. Her writings are long-winded and utterly detached from reality, at the briefest glance. Sorry that you don't have any taste.

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so apparently AS is a novel detached from reality according to some: You don't have to read trashy novels to recognize trashy novels. Her writings are long-winded and utterly detached from reality, at the briefest glance. Sorry that you don't have any taste.

Is that a quote? If so, who from?

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I don't really get the criticism of my post. I didn't betray any "premises." I was relaying my personal impression of people I know who are involved with the Tea Party--that they tend to be tin-foil hat conservative types who think the earth is 6000 years old and Obama is a Kenya-born Muslim.

And if someone had met a few people who read The Fountainhead at age 14 that claimed to be Objectivists having never actually studied the philosophy thought that all Objectivists were emotionally stunted morons looking for an excuse to behave in a narcissistic manner would you think that was appropriate.

I'm sure have contact with more people associated with the Tea Party than you do. Just because some very vocal people attempt to hijack a movement for their own purposes does not mean it is ok to judge all associated by the actions of these others. The primary focus of the Tea Party is small government and economic freedom.

I'm assuming that if you like to be judged as an individual, you would do well to offer others the same courtesy.

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I don't need to "grow a pair", troll. I genuinely like the movie, enough to have paid to see it a number of times. No hypocrisy or cowardice here; I've no vested interest in standing up for the producer or director or anyone else involved with it.

That having been said I've also posted lists of things I wish they would have done differently to make it even better.

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While this film has proven impossible to come about by committee, it is important that the film makers gain as deep an understanding as possible as to why certain things were written the way they were.

The film lacked the symbolic complexity between characters and inner dialogue that the book developed. It takes a master screen writer to work them in visually without adding to the length of the film.

The point of view of Eddie Willers; he is symbolic of the most common kind of person, symbolic of the usual mixed premises of the audience. Subtly showing his affection for her would have made a huge difference. He ought to have walked in on her sleeping in her office and looked at her for a moment, before giving her the bad news.

A few moments of Dagney at twelve years old standing on the train tracks ought to have been the opening. It symbolizes the purest form of desire for the way one wishes to direct their destiny. Cutting to her looking up at the statue of her grandfather in the terminal, showing the heart of hero worship as having someone worth striving to live up to.

The initial resistance of Dagney and Hank's attraction is intoxicating and raises the estimate of their esteem for one another, and his contradictions toward her gives credence to her decision later to choose John Gault.

The symbolic meanings need to be subtly implied. Atlas isn't just a story about Industrialists, it is the often unutterable struggle that everyone of ability faces against opposition. Giving up is what happens to the inner world of man when the mind wearies from being restrained and oppressed. This is why John Gault can't approach them until he is sure they are ready to give up, the reason he doesn't approach Dagney.

When Dagney and James Taggert are arguing and he says she doesn't feel anything, it would have been more potent at the climax of intensity between them, rather than a side note after the argument was over. Which is symbolic of what I am doing now. It is a bit amazing that the film was even made after the years of resistance to it. If I wanted to make that film myself I ought to have put everything into it that those responsible for it did.

Regardless of my disappointments I say thank you to the people who made this film, I was overflowing with tears of joy several times as I watched.

-Tym

Edited by Tenderlysharp

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