Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Kitty Hawk

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Kitty Hawk

  1. Somewhere it's been noted that Ayn Rand wanted the guy who played a German officer on Rat Patrol, I forget his name, to play John Galt. He had dark hair, not blonde, so obviously hair color was not as important to her as an intelligent, focussed looking face. With that in mind, I'd suggest Sean Maher, who played Simon Tam on Firefly and Serenity, for Galt. For Francisco, perhaps Matthew McConaughey. I think he fits the aristocratic persona of Francisco well, in appearance and in his mellifluous voice.
  2. Gutenberg invented the printing press. For Thomas Paine, you must be thinking of his "Common Sense," or "Crisis" papers ("These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot . . . ") since "Give me Liberty or give me death" were the immortal words of Patrick Henry.
  3. 1. Declaration of Independence 2. U.S. Constitution 3. Abolition of Slavery 4. Industrial Revolution 5. The Wright Brothers and Kitty Hawk 6. Skyscrapers 7. Manhattan Project 8. Apollo Program 9. Ayn Rand 10. Computer Revolution
  4. This Biblical reference was pointed out in a book I read many years ago. In the scene where Galt and Dagny (and a few others) are flying away after Galt was rescued from his torturers, over and away from New York City, as that city descends into complete chaos: Which is supposed to refer to the Biblical Soddom and Gomorrah scene where looking back during their escape turned the people who looked back into pillars of salt.
  5. There was also a recent Wall Street Journal editorial on the subject of oil and it's non-scarcity, here: http://www.opinionjournal.com/weekend/hottopic/?id=110007377 Excerpts:
  6. I'm no expert on box office success, but I don't think Serenity is doing too well at the box office. This Friday only took in half of last Friday. The film cost $39 million to make, and has so far made back about $14 million or so. But they are hoping to do very well on DVD, which may make up for a so-so box office take. I personally would prefer to see the tv series renewed, rather than more movies. Correction: Serenity has taken in $17,594,000, through Sunday, Oct. 9th.
  7. The same can be said for Michelle Yeoh, whom I mentioned earlier in the thread. I find her far more attractive than Zhang Ziyi. But Erika Sawajiri, whom I had never seen before, is quite lovely.
  8. The CapMag forum is gone with the wind, isn't it? As for Serenity, I hope enough people go to see it to allow a sequel or two to be made. Sci-Fi network hasn't yet shown all the Firefly episodes, I think there are still 4 or 5 more to show, all excellent. Happy viewing.
  9. It definitely makes the experience better to have seen the tv series first. Even if you can only watch a few episodes, it would help. It isn't essential, but enhances the experience greatly.
  10. It's on page 57 of The Art of Fiction, in the chapter How to Develop a Plot Ability, section Think in Terms of Conflict. Evidently this was the plot of the Cecil B. DeMille movie, Manslaughter.
  11. Only the Valiant, a 1950 Western starring Gregory Peck. Kind of hard to find now, but worth the effort. The hero is Captain Lance, a cavalryman. He finds himself stationed in the desert Southwest, Fort Winston, with as motley a crew of cavalry troopers as were ever assembled in one fort. The theme of the movie is that integrity is the essence of leadership. Strength, courage, resourcefulness, intelligence, ambition---all these too are aspects of a leader. But without integrity, they are insufficient. And the movie demonstrates this in a tightly constructed plot. The movie's symbol for integrity is West Point, where men who lack integrity are sent packing. Many plot spoilers follow. Several of the troopers are shown to hate Captain Lance, all for bad reasons. The true reason for their hatred of Lance is identified by one of these men, Corporal Gilchrist, who both hates and admires Lance, during a heated exchange in the barracks. Sgt. Murdoch, a brutal malcontent, complains that Lance has prevented him from being commissioned as an officer. Gilchrist responds: "And would you say that was his fault, or your fault?" Murdoch has no responce to this, because everyone knows it's his own fault. Finally, Gilchrist says: "If the truth be known, you're all just sore because he knows you for what you really are: a bunch of flea-bitten bellyachers." The climax of the movie comes during the defense of Fort Invincible, to which Lance led a small detail to stem the tide of marauding Indians. First, Lance calls the men into formation, and tells them all exactly why they were chosen for this seemingly suicidal mission. "I'd like to straighten out any misapprehensions you may have had about why you were picked for this detail. In every case, my only consideration was the safety of Fort Winston. The fort is undermanned, and I picked the men that I felt could best be spared. "Sgt. Murdoch, you have a record of bullying and brutality, which is why I have repeatedly denied your requests for a commission. The result is you are a malcontent . . . "Trooper Rutledge, your only reason for being in the service is to revenge yourself on me for [getting you kicked out of West Point for dishonesty]. Your record shows no ambition, nothing but a merely adequate soldier . . . "Corporal Gilchrist, you are a drunk, which would find you inevitably brought in front of a firing squad if you got drunk at Winston during an attack . . . " Finally, during a lull in repeated Indian assaults against Fort Invincible, Lance discovers that Gilchrist has filled all the extra canteens with whiskey, instead of water. So, as Lance goes along the wall, rationing out the remaining water to the men, he passes by Gilchrist without giving him any. Gilchrist fumes, then picks up his carbine and aims it at Captain Lance. "The Indians are on the other side of the wall, Corporal," Lance says calmly. And Gilchrist backs down. "Why didn't you shoot, you fool?" Rutledge asks him. "I thought better of it," Gilchrist replies. "He's the only man can keep this outfit going." Which is exactly what the movie set out to prove. QED. Some humorous lines from the movie that I like: Lance, to his second in command: "I'm taking some men into the pass tonight. You'll be in command here." "In command of what?" "The horses." Corporal Gilchrist, while on a fatigue detail loading ammunition against the wall: "Captain, this is mighty thirsty work." "Most work is," Captain Lance replied.
  12. Oh, well the ship didn't actually land. It needed to because the cannon had knocked several holes in its sides, and the waves were high, causing it to take on water. But before the Claymore could even think about landing, they were caught between some reefs and a French fleet, and had to go down fighting, which they did. But the Marquis de Lantenac was saved by putting him on a small rowboat with one sailor to row him in to shore while the battle raged. Of course, with Hugo it is never that simple. The sailor rowing Lantenac to shore turned out to be the brother of the man who had been responsible for the cannon running wild on the Claymore. And Lantenac had just had that man shot.
  13. I liked the Todd of the Seventies . . . Being short, I never took a shine to Randy Newman . . .
  14. In addition to Audrey Hepburn, I would add Michelle Yeoh, famous for her role in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Even at 40 something years of age, she is really beautiful, graceful, and with feline agility---no doubt a byproduct of martial arts and ballet training.
  15. I also find Audrey Hepburn very appealing. She radiates femininity. I love watching her and listening to her speak in any of her movies. I especially liked her in War and Peace. A typical wonderful scene with her is in a movie with Cary Grant (To Catch a Thief?) where she says: "Do you know what's wrong with you?" "What?" responds Grant. Then, opening her beautiful eyes to their widest extent, she says: "Nothing!" There is a wonderful sense of life in her that shines through whatever role she plays in her movies.
  16. That's an excellent scene. What do you want to know about it? It's purpose is to show the courage and leadership--and ruthlessness--of the Marquis de Lantenac. He rewarded the sailor for his courage in securing the loose cannon, and then punished him for his negligence, which led to the cannon's coming loose to begin with. The royalist characters have spent the whole chapter commenting on the need for a leader with strength and without pity, and this scene shows they have found one.
  17. This is from the Helike website:
  18. That is a fascinating discovery. If they unearth "dozens" of original bronze and marble works by the Classical sculptors, it will be a treasure trove indeed.
  19. I did not realize this was of an actual incident in the war. Journalistic art is naturalism, of course. But this painting still retains elements of Romanticism, in choosing to depict resistance to tyranny, rather than submission. I do not agree that "minimizing the bloodshed and suffering would have the effect of suggesting that the mass executions weren't really much of an atrocity at all." Showing people stood up against a wall, about to be shot, would get the point across perfectly well to any rational adult. Gore is never necessary. As for painting a scene from Auschwitz, showing a line of skeletal adults marching into a gas chamber would make the point crystal clear. There is no need to show them inside, choking, vomiting, etc. That is horror for horror's sake. But a Romantic artist wouldn't even paint a scene of Auschwitz like that (just marching to the gas chamber). He'd show the camp being liberated, with perhaps a view of inmates marching to the chamber somewhere in the background. A better naturalist (i.e., one with a benevolent sense of life) could show the camp being liberated, also, since that actually happened in reality. My evaluation of Goya's painting is that the subject is naturalistic with elements of Romanticism, and the style is naturalistic. A mixed bag. But not something I would hang on my wall.
  20. Again, suffering can be portrayed incidentally in Romantic art. Kira's death is certainly a depiction of suffering, but the context was that she was struggling towards freedom, a Romantic theme. She definitely lived life as it ought to be lived, given the context of her existence. She did everything in her power to live a life proper to man---but the State smothered her.
  21. As I said earlier, suffering can be depicted incidentally in Romantic art. This painting of Goya's shows suffering, but the main theme, as I see it, is the heroic, intransigent struggle to resist tyranny, a perfectly Romantic theme. Goya's style of painting I do not like, but the subject is at least potentially Romantic. I think a more Romantic artist would have portrayed rebels attacking the soldiers, rather than suffering the consequences of resistance. Both are aspects of resistance, but Goya chose to show the more depressing aspect of it. I also think the depiction of "goriness" is not Romantic. Blood and gore is a naturalistic trait, and isn't necessary to depict suffering or resistance to tyranny. That kind of thing can be left to journalistic photographers. That's one of the elements of Goya's style that I do not like.
  22. Have you read Ayn Rand's The Romantic Manifesto? It will answer all your questions about what Objectivism has to say about art. A Romantic artist does not portray human suffering as the main theme in any work of art. A Romantic artist portrays life, man's life, as it could be, and ought to be. Something to admire, something that inspires man to achieve the best within himself. Think of Michelangelo's David---that is Romantic art. Human suffering may be portrayed in a Romantic work of art, but only incidentally. The main theme is always "things as they might be and ought to be." The fundamental requirement of Romantic art is the principle of volition. Art that portrays man as a pawn of fate, or of his environment, is denying volition, and is therefore non-Romantic art. In Romantic art, man is in control of his own destiny, and works to achieve his own goals, in spite of obstacles. I'll just quote Ayn Rand here, extensively and to the point: Now that is a lesson in art appreciation. Who could read that and not want to read the whole book, not to mention everything else Ayn Rand has written?
  23. That is precisely the point--he misused honesty. Just like a person who misuses a gun to initiate force. That is in no way admirable. I am incapable of admiring a man who is honest, if he (mis)uses that honesty to inflict a tyranny upon me. I could no more admire Jimmy Carter's honesty than I could admire the honesty of a murderer who tells me, just as he's about to pull the trigger: "In all honesty, I'm about to kill you."
  24. In searching Hugo's writings available at abebooks.com (used book site), I found there are at least three plays not included in my "complete" edition: Le Roi S'Amuse (The King's Diversion) Tyran de Padoue (The Tyrant of Padua?) Inez de Castro Those last two appear never to have been translated into English.
  25. I searched for a long time before finding a used copy of his complete plays in English. The version I found is called: Hugo: Dramas/Four Volumes in Two/by Victor Hugo/With Illustrations/Boston and New York/Colonial Press Company/Publishers. It does not give the name of the translator. It contains these plays: Hernani The Twin Brothers Angelo Amy Robsart Mary Tudor Ruy Blas Torquemada Esmeralda Cromwell The Burgraves The Fool's Revenge Marion de Lorme Lucretia Borgia I'm sure you can find some of them individually in print, but I don't think there is a complete set of his plays currently in print in English. Unfortunately, this edition does not contain his long introduction to Cromwell, which is supposed to have constituted his "Romantic Manifesto." I believe excerpts from it were once printed in the Atlantean Press Review. I would also recommend Hugo's two lesser known novels, Bug-Jargal, and Hans of Iceland. Hans of Iceland includes a character named Count Daneskiold, and another named Prince Ragnar-Lodbrok. These are his earliest two novels, but he was already skilled at creating dramatic value conflicts.
  • Create New...