Atlas Shrugged Part 1

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I'm excited. Atlas Shrugged is one of my 10 favorite novels. I hope it turns out good.

Now if they would only do Ender's Game.

http://www.atlasshruggedpart1.com/



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will.15's Avatar
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The Fountainhead movie sucked.
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:::GASP!!!:::
Well. They've been talking about doing this for at least twenty-five years. I hope it's worth the time invested. And: OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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'The Fountainhead' was a fine, fine film. This however... I dunno...

Ayn Rand's recent popularity scares me though.
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The Fountainhead was well shot and directed by the very talented King Vidor, but Ann Rand is a terrible fiction writer and they made the mistake (probably the only way they could get the rights) of having her write the screenplay. The only thing I ever read she wrote was her her first success, that play, and it was extremely distasteful. Reading about her I think she is a very unsympathetic, repugnent woman and objectivism is crap.



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The reviews are in and the liberal media elite didn't like the movie. I suspect there never will be a part 2.



A system of cells interlinked
Elite? Buahahahahaha

Bourgeois boot lickers you mean? A bunch of Barton Finks, with their heads so far up their asses, they can't tell art from a fart.
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Films made for largely political reasons usually suck, be it this or one of the many Iraq conspiracy thrillers that bombed a couple of years ago.



I don't know. I never really hear anyone but die hard, first-principles objectivists call Rand much of an artist. Even some of those find her excessively sententious as a writer. And from what I've read about this movie, wasn't it basically rushed through production by the millionaire who owns the movie rights, because they were about to expire? None of that screams "good movie" or even "entertainingly bad movie" to me. I haven't read the book and probably wont, but I did see The Fountainhead and preachy, cliched idealism is definitely how I'd describe it.



will.15's Avatar
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I don't know. I never really hear anyone but die hard, first-principles objectivists call Rand much of an artist. Even some of those find her excessively sententious as a writer. And from what I've read about this movie, wasn't it basically rushed through production by the millionaire who owns the movie rights, because they were about to expire? None of that screams "good movie" or even "entertainingly bad movie" to me. I haven't read the book and probably wont, but I did see The Fountainhead and preachy, cliched idealism is definitely how I'd describe it.
I'm not a fan of the Fountainhead, but on a technical level it was exceedingly well done. The problem with it was Ayn Rand, the novel and her screenplay. It seems clear the producers couldn't find any Hollywood big names for Atlas Shrugged to touch it. You look at the earlier press releases and all sort of big names were approached, but they end up making a 110 minute movie of the first part of the novel without name actors or director. Who in their right mind makes an incomplete low budget non action movie? They could have gotten the entire story in two and a half hour or at the very least filmed two parts of the complete story at the same time and released them separately. It is mainly talking heads so no reason not to film it all at once.



Yoda:
Films made for largely political reasons usually suck, be it this or one of the many Iraq conspiracy thrillers that bombed a couple of years ago




Costa Garvas has made a pretty good career out of it but the only one of his I ever watched was Z and that is basically a thriller, not a bunch of talking heads. Also everyone agrees right wing dictators are bad.

The Best Man was a good movie, but that had a believable story with believable characters, and its politics was middle of the road liberal and its core message was apolitical, about idealism and doing the right thing even if it means personal sacrifice, not selfishly blowing up buildings you don't like as was the case in The Fountainhead. Gore Vidal is a leftist, but The Best Man wasn't. Maybe he wasn't when he wrote that or maybe he is just a smarter writer than Ayn Rand and understands you have to keep it accessible.



I read Atlas Shrugged many years ago, saw the film yesterday with a friend, and today I took the book off my shelves again, rereading it, and am a little more than half-way through of a 1069 pg. book. I think Will is absolutely right, Rand was a terrible fiction writer. Her more interesting books were in the non-fiction realm and I think that suited her better.

Much of Atlas Shrugged as I'm reading it now, and as it was portrayed in the film, is dinner parties and sometimes 30+ page speeches. As I recall South Park, who the creators share some of her ideals, even stated through the Sheriff that, "I just finished this book and it was one of the most boring things I've ever read, I will now hereby never read again."

My thoughts on the movie were that this was really ill-conceived. Its nice to get another perspective, but this perspective is rather unpopular, even amongst most typical conservatives and some libertarians, and especially amongst a very liberal media. How it even got to see the light of day is somewhat beyond me. Knowing what they were going to go up against, I think they were either really naive or had confidence in themselves that it overshadowed their poor judgement. It's not a "bad" film, it's much like the book, but it's not a really "good" film either, because of those same reasons. To be honest, I always hate saying, "the book was better..." but in this case it was. Film was not a good medium for it. Atlas Shrugged plays out like a "fiction textbook," it's really hard to describe, so indeed, it feels as if you are watching a "fiction textbook" and it doesn't work on any real or philosophical level. It just is.
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Films made for largely political reasons usually suck, be it this or one of the many Iraq conspiracy thrillers that bombed a couple of years ago.
I would refute this, Third Cinema is almost exclusively political, and they produce amazing work.



I would refute this, Third Cinema is almost exclusively political, and they produce amazing work.
Having not seen Third Cinema, I couldn't comment either way, though I wonder if this opinion is a widely-held one. Nevertheless, I added the word "usually" to guard against these possibilities.

It also probably depends on what you mean by "political." There are many films I've enjoyed that were, in a very broad sense, political, in that they mirrored reality in some way or contained politics. It's when the films have some simplistic agenda whose airing is more important than the film itself, that they seem to turn to dreck.

Back to Atlas Shrugged -- the consensus seems to be that it's basically one notch above a made-for-TV movie in overall quality. My old man saw it recently (and believe me, he has every reason to want to see films like this succeed) and he said as much. So I won't be seeing it in theaters.



One thing worth noting, about cinema-as-politics: it's possible the quality is dependent on how clear-cut the issue is. I imagine I would find a film about basic human rights, the struggle for liberty, etc., fairly inspiring, provided enough artistry and skill went into it. I wonder if it's only when they wade into the issues we, as a society, are far more divided on, that they tend to take a nosedive. I imagine the things that motivate someone to fight on film for a controversial position are different than those that motivate someone to make a film about an undeniably noble struggle.



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One of the most interesting bad movies ever made is Leo McCarey's My Son John. McCarey was one of the best comedy directors ever, but it turned out during the Red Scare of the fifities he was a rabid conservative and My Son John is extremely well directed and ludicrously written by McCarey himself and another right winger about a woman who fins out her son is a communist. Apparently McCarey meant the father, played by Dean Jagger, to be sympathetic, but he is a loathsome, repellent nightmare that probably would have turned me into a communist if I was raised by that stupid, nasty drunken bigot. Apparently in McCarey's world view intelllectualism is bad (sorry Planet News), academia is evil, and the only good thing (and American) about college is football.