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S.Courcelle

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  1. I don't think any actor could completely portray any character's sense of life—actually I think it's impossible because a sense of life is unique to an individual human being, and cannot be reproduced in either writing or theatrical performance, not completely; it's extraordinarily complex. Not even Rand's characters posses a real sense of life, because they are fictional characters. I think this is made clear in The Romantic Manifesto. I think that every actor makes his own sense of life a part of every character they portray—I think it's less noticeable with less individualistic actors, but with someone like, say, Robert Redford, there is a very definite something that unites all of his performances: his sense of life. Most good actors have a strong enough sense of life to permeate everything they do, which is what makes them memorable. It is that something which is an element of every character they've ever portrayed and everything they've ever done but yet is not quite discernable; it is their personality. Think of Cary Grant, Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery... I agree, these are emotional responses which could be misleading—and I should certainly be ready to examine those impressions when necessary, but I would need more data... No, I don't think I have enough evidence to judge her character, only enough to make a sort of preliminary evaluation. I would certainly give her the benefit of a doubt, but I don't like the idea at all, it just doesn't make sense to me. But you're right: the film would be less than ideal all considered, and really the casting is far from being the most important element to consider here. We've deviated from the point of the thread way too much and if we continue I'd like this to be made into a thread of its own, if possible. Although these are not the most important elements to debate should Altas Shrugged be made into a film, I think its fun to discuss them and a new thread would not be a bad idea. S.Courcelle
  2. COLUMBO - Awesomest detective ever. Favorite episode: "Muder Under Glass."
  3. You're right: I can't tell simply by looking precisely what her sense of life is. In effect, I was asking you to look at her the way I look at her, to see her through my eyes—which was stupid. The following excerpt may help to clarify in what way I meant "sense of life:" Extrospectively, the sense of life of another person strikes one as an immediate, yet undefinable, impression—on very short acquaintance—an impression which often feels like certainty, yet is exasperatingly elusive, if one attempts to verify it.... That automatic impression—of oneself or of others—is only a lead; left untraslated, it can be a very deceptive lead. TRM, pg. 32 So the sense of life I refered to is in fact only my lead on Jolie's sense of life, based on what I've read, seen, etc. It's a very basic impression, yet I was literaly repulsed when I first read on this thread that she wanted the part, might be considered for it. It was an emotional response, the idea of Jolie strongly clashed with my perception of Ayn Rand's character Dagny Taggart. A given person's sense of life is hard to identify conceptually, because it is hard to isolate: it is involved in everything about that person, in his every thought, emotion, action, in his every response, in his every choice and value, in his every spontaneous gesture, in his manner of moving, talking, smiling, in the total of his personality. It is that which makes him a "personality." TRM, pg. 31 So no matter how well Angelina Jolie portrays a certain character, her sense of life will never be apart from it but will be right in it. I've seen several Jolie films, and it's all right—she is who she is. But for this particular part, concerning a character that's come to mean a great deal to me, like all of Ayn Rand's heroes have—it was like an insult, I took it personally. This is because my impression of Jolie's sense of life clashes with mine very strongly. Haven't you ever met someone who right off the bat you just didn't like—like there was something about that person you couldn't quite put your finger on, but that really bugged you? This is the way I feel about her, and no matter how much I see her or learn about her, I don't think it will go away. So it was a clash between the values (or lack thereof) I associate with Angelina Jolie, and the values that I associate with Dagny Taggart. I should have been clearer, and never should I have tried to project my opinions and impressions on others. I'm a relatively new student to Objectivism, and have yet to take this all in—which is why I'm not posting on more serious topics yet. Thanks, S. Courcelle
  4. Well, I just read through the entire thread, and there are a few things I'd like to add. First of all, I'd like to comment on khaight's suggestion that Ralph Fiennes should be cast as Gail Wynand should there be a re-make of The Fountainhead—I think he'd be great as Wynand, I forget just what I exclaimed when I first read that, but I was very surprised and excited that someone mentioned him. Fiennes would be excellent as just about any of Ayn's central characters though. I have a great interest in anatomy (artistic anatomy), and he has one of the most incredible faces I've ever seen—a fine example of human beauty. He could easily play John Galt. Also, minorityofone mentioned Gary Oldman, who is also one of my favorite actors... There's something about him, too, that fascinates me... And there's an element of what fascinates me about Gary in newish actor Sam Rockwell, not sure what it is. Hm... Along with Quiz Show I would also recommend The English Patient... The romantic scenes between Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas are reminicient of the unforgettable "encounters" in Ayn's fiction, and this romance is the most incredible, passionate, and wholeheartedly dedicated I've yet to see on the screen. Fiennes is intense as Count Laszlo de Almásy. Out of the Past was the first film I ever watched starring Robert Mitchum (1947). Although it's a dark film noir, I love Mitchum's performance in it—he displays such intelligence and power in the film. I remember thinking he'd make an excellent Ayn Rand hero when I first watched it, but after watching many of his other films, I sorta changed my mind. He didn't play too many good guys, but when he did he totally kicked ass. Another good example is 1946's Undercurrent* in which Katherine Hepburn also stars—this film's theme screams objectivism, by the way. When I first watched it, I thought Ayn Rand must have had something to do with the script, and I had read then that she had worked for RKO and so I was convinced she had had something to do with it. She probably did, though indirectly. The film has clear objectivist overtones, and I very highly recommend it—if you can find it. TCM plays it every once in while, usually during the "Summer Under the Stars" event during which they dedicate an entire day to particular actors/actresses over a four-week period. It's going on right now, but the film wasn't included this year on Kat Hepburn's day. Maybe next year... Holiday is another Hepburn film, co-starring Cary Grant, which I think would appeal to objectivists... But it also is hard to find, unfortunately. I think a lot of you would love this movie. It's very fun. My most favorite film to date is Cinema Paradiso, which is an Italian film about a young boy and his relationship with the small Italian village's (Giancaldo) projectionist, whom he becomes friends with. I'm not sure precisely why, but this film and my sense of life are practically one and the same. I can't watch the film without becoming incredibly emotional, I can easily cry three or four times during the length of the movie (!). There's a childhood sense of purity and innocence about it, which will come off as tacky or naïve or downright stupid to some viewers... I suspect these are viewers who have all but lost the innocence of their youth. Other films worth noting: · Wes Anderson's Rushmore, hilarious! Anderson's best. · Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist, revolting story but excellent cinematography. · Fellini's La Dolce Vita & 8 ½, both excellent films IMO. · Spielberg's Empire of the Sun, starring a very young Christian Bale. · Valerio Zurlini's Cronaca Familiare, beautiful cinematography—starring Marcello Mastroianni and a young Philippe Noiret (who would later play the older Toto in Cinema Paradiso). *TCM will be airing Undercurrent on October 19th at 2:45 pm EDT. I'll try to remind everyone here before it airs. Y'all have to watch it! S. Courcelle
  5. The thought of Jolie playing Dagny is enough to make me want to puke. Not only is she wrong for the part physically, but as a person her sense of life is just so far from what Dagny represents. Really just think about it, look at her... she is not a Dagny Taggart. She is a Lillian Rearden. Brad Pitt could be Ellis Wyatt, but he may be just a little too cute for that part. I like the idea of Paul Bettany as Hank, but a little scruffier, sharper angles, a bit more gaunt. I think he'd be perfect as Ragnar Danneskjöld, the most beautiful of all the men in the book. I love the idea of Wentworth Miller as Francisco. I had never heard of him before reading this thread, initially I had thought Orlando Bloom would be the man for it... Oh! I've always thought James Stewart would have been a perfect Jimmy Taggart, lol. Think of the first scene in AS, when Willers goes into his office, when she first describes him... James Stewart! Robert Redford would have been a perfect Hank Rearden. As far as Dagny is concerned, I can't think of anyone at the moment. Physically the actress would have to be more along the lines of Hilary Swank, IMO. Someone w/ sharp angles and a lean body, like Gisele Bündchen—physically she'd be perfect, but she's not really an actress, and she's Brazilian... what's a Portuguese accent like I wonder? lol
  6. Watch Brubaker, starring the awesomely handsome Robert Redford. Y'know, I've always thought he'd have made a great Hank Rearden. If I were ever to become a film director, and were to film Atlas Shrugged, I'd be looking for a "Robert Redford" to play Rearden... Some hair dye could make a Roark out of him, too, lol. It's something about him, he's just right. I think after watching the movie you will agree.
  7. There are too few artists that really satisfy me anymore. Well, I suppose I should look, but I'm incredibly particular... My real interest in music started about 4 years ago. At the time I was listening largely to then-popular music. I remember Tool as being my favorite band, and knew pretty much everything about them. Listening to them now though, it really means very little to me. All I think is: "Hm... okay." Lol. After that I moved to the 80's: Bauhaus, Joy Division, The Smiths... Seventies: David Bowie, Brian Eno, Roxy Music, T-Rex... & Sixties: Nick Drake, The Velvet Underground... Not gradually though. It actually all started with TVU's White Light/White Heat actually, which I bought after watching High Fidelity and listening to some of it. I remember how much I loved that album. I must've been crazy, lol. The song "I Heard Her Call My Name" still makes me laugh like crazy though, those guitar solos (if you can call them that) are insane. I wasn't surprised to learn of the role amphetamines played in the recording of that album, ha! Anyhow, what I've found is that from all this pop/rock music I listened to, only a few of those artist have actually "stuck". I still like The Velvet Underground, but only their 1969 self-titled album, and the 1985 release "VU". I never bought "Loaded". Check them out! The 1969 album is, IMHO, great—with the exception of "The Murder Mystery". To get an idea, download Candy Says, What Goes On, Some Kinda Love, or I'm Beginning To See The Light. Another that's stuck is Nick Drake. I have two of his three studio releases, "Five Leaves Left" and "Bryter Layter". Incredible singer-songwriter. Download: Time Has Told Me, Day Is Done, Fruit Tree, Saturday Sun (!), One of These Things First (!), Hazey Jane I... Wow, I love of all those—couldn't keep any out. Television is also an artist that's stuck. I have both their studio albums, "Marquee Moon" and "Adventure", and I'm looking forward to buying some of Tom Verlaine's solo work. Songs: Venus, Guiding Light, Prove It (!), Torn Curtain, Careful, Carried Away, The Fire... Last but not least is Felt. Felt is a great band. The were around from 1980 to 1989, and "Forever Breathes the Lonely Word" is their greatest album. Listen to it. IT IS POP PERFECTION. One of my favorite lyrics is from the song Dark Hours Have Changed My Mind: A man is a boy, a boy is a child, a woman's son... Recently I began listening to Classical music. So far, my favorite pieces are Rachmaninoff's 3rd Piano Concerto (Argerich, have yet to listen to Horowitz's interpretation), Tchaikovsky's 1st Piano Concerto (Richter/Karajan, prefer it over Argerich/Kondrashin—if only S.R. had recorded the Rach 3!), and Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony. The 3rd was my first piece of classical. Never having listened to classical music before, it took a while for me to really take it in. I must've listened to it about a dozen times before I really started to understand it and recognize the melodies—for it to have a significant effect. Now I LOVE it. Much more than the 2nd actually. It's incredible. I love that part in the first movement, about 8 minutes in, where the music just rises and rises and comes to that powerful climax. I remember closing my eyes one of the first times I really listened to it and thinking of an argument, of pleading, almost like a man's pleading, like for his life... And it culminates in a sort of violence.... And then the Finale! Oh my... never have I listened to anything more beatiful or powerful or... Jeez. I'm smiling now just thinking about it. I'll put it on after I'm done here, lol. Also, I've been listening to some soul music. I recommend Nina Simone and Al Green—GREAT ARTISTS. Just listen to Nina's "Wild is the Wind" or Al's "Let's Stay Together (Which just about everyone has heard, but listen to it again! It's very good. He ruled. Oh, and look at the cover of the same-title album—doesn't it make you want to buy it? I mean, come on!)", lol. If you like any of these artists and would like to recommend somethin' then please contact me. S. COURCELLE
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