A post by Maynard

Ayn Rand is one of those lightning rod names. Speak it aloud and you’ll get a strong reaction, one way or another. But do people really know Rand, or do they just express what they’re supposed to feel?

Personally I’m an advocate, but I’ll stop short of being an acolyte. Rand was a genius, and she said what needed to be said; things that others had neither the courage nor the articulation to express. If you haven’t been exposed to Rand, you’re missing a fundamental piece of the puzzle. However, she had her blind spots. To rely too heavily on Rand’s philosophy to the complete exclusion of others seems to me unrealistic.

To understand Rand more clearly, and to see both her greatness and her flaws, check out a biography written by one-time associate Barbara Branden, The Passion of Ayn Rand. (The measured balance of this biography will probably be unsatisfying both to enemies and some devotees, but I think it hits the right note.)

The novel Atlas Shrugged is Rand’s magnum opus. And now it’s been made into, so they tell us, a movie. Is this possible?

I’m skeptical about such projects. Atlas Shrugged is a sweeping epic. Can it be brought to life on the big screen? It will be difficult to give the characters depth, and keep them from being mere stereotypes representing this good philosophy or that bad philosophy. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but this is no small order.

For better or for worse, here it is. On a reported budget of $15 million (which is minuscule for a project of this magnitude), we shall soon see the release of Atlas Shrugged, Part I.

For that budget, you won’t find any big names. And that’s fine by me. As we know all too well, celebrity status does not necessarily equate to talent.

Anyway, I think the trailer looks good. The film itself is coming on April 15, which is an excellent day to ponder government gone wild. It appears there will be a limited theatrical release, with subsequent sales on video. I’ll look for it in a local theater if the opportunity arises.

You may recall that one of the central themes of Atlas Shrugged is government nationalization of the railroads. So it’s ironic to note that, as the movie release draws near, our Dear Leader is claiming the solution to our economic woes is a wonderful new government railroad. It seems that life does indeed imitate art. Those of us familiar with that art will be unsurprised by the subsequent tragedy.

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9 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. JLThorpe says:

    I tried listening to an unabridged audio version of the book recently but wasn’t able to pay attention to most of it, so I bought a paperback of it and began reading it today. When I saw some info about the movie on the internet, I tweeted Tammy about it. Personally, I’m really interested in seeing it. I’m also glad it will be a trilogy, as it probably couldn’t be done all in one film, but I hope that it will do well enough to see the other two parts released.

    And I, too, realized the odd similarity between Obama’s high-speed rail and the railroad plotline of Atlas Shrugged (I wondered if Obama’s rail would be made of Reardon Metal).

    • Maynard says:

      FWIW, in Atlas Shrugged, I found the villains to be more like real-life characters than the heroes. But that’s in part a comment on the state of our fallen world. We all fall somewhat short of our ideals. As the Christians would express it, all are sinners. Rand’s heroes speak for an ideal that I think is unrealizable in this life. But just because ideals are beyond us doesn’t mean they should be forgotten.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tammy Bruce, NY Jooo, Leslie Steury, bigwilbur, Harmony For Life and others. Harmony For Life said: RT @HeyTammyBruce: Atlas Shrugged, the Movie? http://bit.ly/e4ch0m #tbrs […]

  3. IloiloKano says:

    Nineteen Eighty-Four was made into a movie, so why not Atlas Shrugged?

    I seriously doubt the people who NEED to comprehend the inherent philosophy actually will, but maybe a few will open their eyes.

    Meanwhile, our double plus ungood mainstream media elite, along with their annointed politicians, will continue to speak to us in politically correct speech, all while rewriting history, constantly reminding us that most Americans didn’t comprehend the message of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

  4. Kelly says:

    I finally read Atlas Shrugged a few months back for the first time and it truly is an epic. I agree wholeheartedly with Maynard about Rand’s importance as well as his admonition about any slavish devotion to her philosophy alone.

    I really want to like this movie but I have no illusions about Hollywood’s ability to make a film that lives up to the book. I’m just hoping it comes close enough.

  5. girlsgotrhythm says:

    I shall be at the theater early and with bells on!

    • aardvark says:

      Yup, this is one to make on opening day. That actually influences how many theaters eventually carry it and for how long. It’s a good tactic to use in support of an important film.

      “To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association—the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”
      – Thomas Jefferson

  6. Maynard says:

    This is only Part I. Your furry little friends are granted safe passage through Part I.

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