Atlas Shrugged, Part 1: Review of the First Peek at the Movie

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 if you’re having difficulty with the links in this post.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

15 thoughts on “Atlas Shrugged, Part 1: Review of the First Peek at the Movie

  1. Please, leave the “tea party” out of this. Most of those people are way to stupid to really understand what Rand was explaining. There is no way Bible Believers, God worshipers, etc will ever understand the evil of “GOD” and “ORIGINAL SIN” as RAND demolished. She made is very, very clear that you can not believe in GODS and have a clear, rational and happy mind. IF you fail to grasp that, you don’t have the intellect nor deductive reasoning nor logic to understand. Go back to church and bow down to your fake saviours.

  2. to the previous anonymous comment I would retort that your rhetoric reads no less dogmatic than those that bash the bible…it seems that you, sir, while being agnostic are just as dogmatic as those you put down so readily…the only difference, it seems to me, is that you are bashing with YOUR bible, Atlas Shrugged…the fact is that while Ayn Rands work is indeed inspired, it’s not the end-all, be-all of philosophies…so hop down off your high horse and maybe read another book this century 🙂

  3. Annonymous 2 and 3, from Anonymous 1:

    I never discuss “atheism”, “Deism” etc., since I don’t discuss “beliefs” and other forms of fiction. Something is, or something isn’t and “beliefs” have nothing to do with Rand. I am just stunned and appalled with the attempt to combine the two. It is like trying to combine the cute little fairy tale of “adam and eve” with Darwinian Evolution. It can’t be done. Or it is like having a Friday Night Orgy Night at your local Southern Baptist Church. Incompatible. Irrational. Impossible. I am sorry. I can not twist my mind up to do that.

  4. You bickering commentators are tiresome – talk about the movie!

    I felt the same way as “Soul of Atlas” about the movie clip. I tried to look at it with fresh eyes, leaving my preconceptions behind (very difficult!) – and I found the story-telling was suspenseful and dramatic. It was so satisfying to see Dagny tell Jim she had cancelled the Orren Boyle contracts! I’m much looking forward to the entire movie.

  5. I would have loved to have been there. I am really enjoying the articles and the pictures. It has to satisfy me (along with re-reading AS for the nth time)until I get to see the movie.

  6. I have been very influential in the tea party movement and I am an Objectivist. Keep your mainstream media generated images out of this, Anonymous. This movie is a great way to give liberty lovers more intellectual ammunition in their fight against what Mises called “omnipotent government.” The tea party people get liberty on a visceral level, they just need to get that correct intuition informed by great thinkers, such as Ayn Rand.

  7. It was either John Fund or Stephen Moore (at the showing) who referenced the Tea Party. Thanks for your input on the diversity of the movement. I think the movie will resonate across the board, and I hope it will promote the conversation between Objectivists and Christians.

  8. My brain is bigger than your brain! Are you serious? I know brilliant thinkers who are Christians and brilliant thinkers who are Objectivists. Please give the high and righteous attitude a rest…it’s small-minded, ironically.

    When it comes Objectivists and Christians there should be no theological compromise…there cannot be. However, there are many areas in which the two may be able to work together. Namely, in the political realm where small government and freedom and such draw the two forces together. We have so many similarities, so why not understand each other as well as we can?

    @Anonymous 1: I think Ayn Rand would either be chuckling or rolling over in her grave to see such a strong ‘believer’ in her philosophy be so manipulated by the media and so short-sighted. You come across as a bookie who hasn’t seen the light of day and interacted with real people. Pardon the insult, but that’s the way it appears to me…starting with your anonymous status and carrying on to your angry vitriol and uninformed biases. Isn’t it hypocritical to blast others who don’t understand you, and, in dong so, you do the same?

    In my opinion, deductive reasoning without inductive reasoning can lead to tremendously flawed thinking because you are less likely to truly test your assumptions outside of a vacuum. By definition, none of us know for sure where we came from. We are all taking leaps of faith of varying proportion. To be so sure of yourself is, by definition, flawed.

  9. Scott,
    I agree with you 100 percent. The idea of even making a movie like this is to spark the debate. Being a Christian and somewhat of an Objectivist, there is a lot of alignment. Rand states that one should only help someone or be generous when it brings personal value to the giver. That aligns with the Christian world view. We give because we do believe it adds value to our own person. Government taking a rich persons money to give for social programs is theft (by Rands definition or Gods). There is nothing in Rands philosophy that prevents one from being a Christian when it comes to Government or action of the individual. Both Christianity and Objectivism focus on individual over the social group. The both promote individual freedom. Anynomis 1 wants to promote the idea we must all become Athiest before we can have Libertarian government, yeah your gonna make a lot of progress that way idiot. The idea here is to make a successful change towards libertarian government, not convince everyone they need to have your atheistic beliefs.

    I am excited about this movie. I think it will be huge, make a lot of money, and most important get people to realize we have lost liberty and are on our way to serfdom.

  10. Rand had a significant reverence for the founding fathers and the libertarian government they created. It was an extremely religious populous that was the holder of this creation. It was progressivism that Rand hated. It was progressivism that destroyed this form of government. Christians and Objectivists can align on this. We share the understanding if what destroys libertarian government. It is progressivism we must defeat. If we cant put aside our religious differences to work together to destroy progressivism, then they have already won. There is an entitlement disease that has spread into the average non-thinker. This movie will start a massive public debate on it.

  11. FROM Anonymous #1:

    To Jim: What God? Please prove the existence of your “God” before you attempt to include this in a rational conversation. The Easter Bunny says your god doesn’t exists.

    To Scott: Christianity is not Objective. It is subjective and in fact, it is really fictional in that it is based on faith and beliefs, and not fact. If it was based on fact, it would not be a religion. The primary failure of believers is the inability to know the difference between fact-and-faith and “to believe vs to know”.

  12. Anonymous 1,
    I am not interested in debating religion vs atheism. Your missing the point here. If you truly align with Rand and are an Objectivist then my religion shouldn’t be important to you. If you actually want that libertarian form of government , that means absulte freedom. You can’t say “I want absolute freedom, but no one in my free world will believe in God”.
    What would your libertarian government look like. Everyone is free but goes to jail if they believe in God. Yeah, I get it, me believing in God is the same to you as ne believing in Santa Clause. Why do you care? It would be as benign to freedom as Santa Cause. In fact (my point about what the general populous believed in America for the first 150 years) having a society based on religious and economic freedom will drive a much more libertarian government. Most of the men that made it work believed in God (and no most of them were not deists, that is a progressive history and not truth).
    What is more important to you? That we fix this government and return it to the origonal libertarian state, or that you convince me I must renounce my Easter bunny before we align on what governments role should be?
    If your insistent that I must be atheist before we can align as libertarians than your not truly a libertarian. And from the other responses here I am hopeful you interance for religious freedom is in the minority. It’s about being free you moron, free to own your own production, free to own your body, free to own you beliefs. You don’t get to pick what parts will be free and what parts others must agree with you. If the founders thought like you, we would never had such a great example like America to know freedom.

  13. I second what Marsha E. said earlier: The thread is about a sneak peek at the movie.

    Could you guys show some self control and talk about -that- or the movie…or at least the book, instead of hijacking the thread to debate every idea Rand had and whether you agree with each one or not?

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