On Tuesday night, at an Atlas Society event, we saw the first eight minutes of the movie, and a special trailer. Wow! Before the event, I was cautiously optimistic. After the event, I was inspired! The first scene sets the context: the world on September 2, 2016. Gas is over $30, trains have become the dominant form of transportation, the Dow is under 4,000. Taggart Transcontinental is losing business, and Dagny (Taylor Schilling is amazing) confronting the battle of rebuilding the railroad. A lot to cover in a short amount of time! But it has to move quickly in order to cover so many pages on screen.
I was emotionally riveted. Chills ran through me as a close-up of Dagny showed her response to the massive train derailment. The musical score was temporary, but the effect of it was substantial in all the right places. I’m no movie critic, but this is going to be great. I’ve probably oversold it. Consider that I am much more invested than the average movie-goer. (As a reader of this blog, you probably are too!)
After the clip, there was a panel discussion entitled, “Atlas Shrugged: The Making of a Movie.” The panel was moderated by Stephen Moore, economist and editor of The Wall Street Journal and John Fund, journalist for The Wall Street Journal. Fund asked the great questions. I was very impressed with Brian Patrick O’Toole, the primary screenwriter. During the panel, he described his approach to the script. (I have always viewed the task as a heroic pursuit, if not an impossibility.) Among the three elements, he discussed drawing out the heart of the message in the scenes he recreates. His brilliance is obvious, even from his short descriptions. I think Ayn Rand’s message is in good hands.
Michael Marvin, John Aglialoro, Harmon Kaslow, and John Orland were among the other panel members. John Aglialoro was the man of the hour, but he emphasized the indispensable team effort that makes a production come together.
This is not, by far, the last time we will be discussing movie developments. It will be out soon. Narrow release is set for Tax Day, April 15th, 2011. Tea Partiers, get ready!
P.S. Please view http://www.SoulofAtlas.com if you’re having difficulty with the links in this post.