Business, Economics, Media Criticism, Philosophy, Political Commentary, Popular Culture Behind The Scenes February 17, 2011 Rand Simberg 18 Comments …of the Atlas Shrugged movie: And an interview with the screenwriter and producer:
18 thoughts on “Behind The Scenes”
You’ve done something weird to that first embed. It looks to be a couple thousand pixels wide.
I really hope they haven’t screwed this up.
High speed rail!
I feel like they probably will, but you only have two hours to lose.
Sorry, but I don’t see how this can end well. Some books really can’t be translated to the screen.
I would just be happy, if they haven’t screwed it up much. Keep in mind that the book has intense philosophical discussions and the 70 page Galt speech that would transfer over to the screen abominably (and don’t really add to the book either). Some sacrifice has to be made to the medium. The obvious sign that the movie is being taken seriously though is the fact that it is more than one part (do we know if it is two or more parts?). A single movie to cover the expanse of Atlas Shrugged? I doubt it could be done with any faithfulness.
Still for all the weirdness of the book and Rand, it’s eerie how her best passages can be applied to today. One can complain about her black and white logic, her fallacies of argument, odd views on sex, morality, etc, that is, her very skewed viewpoint of the world. But what does that say about someone when that flawed prophet has them nailed to a T? What shallowness of thought and behavior have to be present to be so predictable?
People who have no clue how the world works except that there are magic rituals, symbols, and things that allow them to have stuff and to have power over others. People who assume that producers must be cheating because they can’t understand what motivates a producer or what a producer does. Who have a ready list of oppressors that they or a group with which they sympathize are victimized by. Who have no understanding of the consequences of creating the sort of collective negative sum games that destroy civilizations. Who call such things “civilization”.
In other words, there really do exist people with the depth of an Ayn Rand minor villain. How can such a person stand to be a caricature?
High speed rail!
Titus, I was about to say that as well. But there was some blockage that had to be cleared first.
do we know if it is two or more parts?
So just like the book then. I guess that makes sense. The movie clips didn’t show a decent into chaos and societal degradation, but that was a key feature of the second half of the book.
From the police cars in the trailer, it seems to be set in today’s world. So the emphasis on the Taggart Transcontinental railroad would seem to be anachronistic, since railroads just aren’t as important today as they were in 1957.
On the other hand, if it was set in 1957, many young people would probably regard it as an historical period piece with little relevance for today.
I don’t know how they’re going to handle that.
As an aside, my dad worked for the Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad. He started in 1956, following in his father’s footsteps, and left in 1969. He witnessed the death of passenger railroads in America during his time there. It must have been hard to take, since they were at their zenith when he started.
I remember being in Cincinnati’s majestic Union Terminal when I was a kid. It was practically a cathedral of railroading. They really don’t make them like that any more.
I’m sure someone will use the fact that there’s high speed trains in the movie to “prove” that Objectivists support Obama’s HSR spending.
decent into chaos and societal degradation
So it’s a modern day setting, eh?
I actually think coincidences have conspired to make it the perfect time to release any movie with trains in it.
They should have set it in a dieselpunk alternate universe.
With all due respect to dieselpunk and 1957, I’m actually a bit relieved there’re setting it in modern days with no A-List Brangelina prima donas to overshadow the characters, or period elements to distract from the story. This isn’t escapism – it’s the exact opposite.
Actually, Rand set her book in a “near-future” (from her perspective) world. So setting it in our time would be just as anachronistic as setting it in the Fifties. Will’s diesel-punk alternate universe would actually work best in terms of setting. Something like the Sky Captain retro-futuristic SciFi Deco look without all the cheesy pulp.
In theatres April 15th 2011. Heh. Doesn’t April 15th have special significance for US taxpayers?
Yes, it’s our Dependence Day.
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