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Atlas Shrugged - part ll
10-14-2012, 03:27 PM (This post was last modified: 10-14-2012 03:27 PM by Mufasa.)
Post: #1
Atlas Shrugged - part ll
Atlas Shrugged / part ll.

In my teens, Ayn Rand was so far above me intellectually that I admit that I struggled to even finish this novel. Hell - she still stands above me... and she died in 1982.
This film is actually part 2, as stated above. Do not let that scare you away. You won't miss part one if you did not see it yet... but do yourself the favor of renting it before seeing part ll.

If you have complained about gas prices - if you feel that you pay an unfair amount of taxes - if you feel that being forced... and I emphasize FORCED, to "share the wealth" is out and out BS, or if you feel that government in any form, dictating what you will and will not buy, sell, manufacture, and/or believe is also unacceptable - see the film.
It is neither boring nor tedious nor propaganda; it is Ayn Rand's incredible vision of the future come to life, with a vengeance.

There is truth in this film, and there is deception. There is terror, in the form of government controlling... everything. There is also the "I told you so" moment, and there is honor in the form of resistance to obvious injustice, and outright malice and evil.

The producers did an exceptional job of casting and sticking to the important issues at hand. The film flows along smoothly, and shows the interconnecting line of dominoes of supply and demand in the US and world market. It also shows how easily that the first domino can be knocked over... "With the stroke of a pen."

Besides - the opening scene is a Learjet 20 series screaming through the Rockies in a chase scene. Cool.
I would like to believe that this was a small nod to Bill Lear, who was a stand-alone sort of guy, as well as a thinker and innovator. The initiative that is implemented in the latter part of the film lays waste to that concept, and those same innovators and free thinkers.

Most of us are so caught up in life that we forget to live it.
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10-15-2012, 07:10 AM (This post was last modified: 10-17-2012 03:49 PM by BrianW.)
Post: #2
RE: Atlas Shrugged - part ll
Thanks Mufasa. Truly enjoyed part I and am glad to hear part II is out. I remember when I 'discovered' 2112 and devoured the lyrics and liner notes (ah, the old bi-fold lps!). As an avid reader, I was intrigued by the reference to Rand and sought her out at the local library. That summer was spent reading Atlas. What stands out is my dad seeing me reading that tome and asking if that was for school, and I said no - for fun. Eyebrows raised, he moved on. Geeky son now supplies his reading material!
PS, liked it so much I dove right in to The Fountainhead afterwards.

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10-18-2012, 08:34 AM
Post: #3
RE: Atlas Shrugged - part ll
Yes. 2112. Rand. Anthem.

I enjoyed The Fountainhead novel more so than AS. AS was a great read and really captured Rand's vision. But The Fountainhead really spoke to me. Howard Rourke had such conviction.

The AS movie as a nice effort. It was lavish, but to me came off like a B movie; trying to get the ideas conveyed in Rand's massive manifesto into a 2 hour I said, nice effort.

The 1940's Fountainhead movie with Patricia Neil and Gary Cooper is a better movie.

"One ounce perception...One pound obscure"
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10-18-2012, 01:46 PM
Post: #4
RE: Atlas Shrugged - part ll
Also found The Fountain Head far easier to read, Lanix. Have yet to see the film.

Most of us are so caught up in life that we forget to live it.
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10-19-2012, 11:02 AM
Post: #5
RE: Atlas Shrugged - part ll
Has anyone ever had the mentioning of the title of a book trigger a memory of where they were when they read it? The Fountainhead does that for me.

It was at a bed 'n' breakfast type of place a number of years ago. We had a little private cabin that was out on a secluded farm. There was a small bookshelf in the cabin with a number of titles, one of which was The Fountainhead. So I chose it to read, and I remember how pleasant it was in the cabin that day, just relaxing and reading that book, with all the windows open and the country breeze fluttering the curtains. There was this great view of an open field and some woods in the distance, and I would glance up and take that in every so often. At one point a barn cat wandered by and stopped at the window, looked in, and meowed a greeting. I wasn't able to finish the book that weekend, so I had to get it at the library to finish it at home. It wasn't as good at home. Now, every time I hear "The Fountainhead" it reminds me of that place!
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10-19-2012, 11:16 AM
Post: #6
RE: Atlas Shrugged - part ll
"Has anyone ever had the mentioning of the title of a book trigger a memory of where they were when they read it?"-Rey

Mine, in keeping with the upcoming All Hallows Eve, was The Exorcist. My Mom & Dad had a copy laying around as we had just moved to New Orleans, and were still unpacking. I saw it and asked my Mom if it was 'ok' if I read it (I was 12 years old) and she said fine, but warned of the language, and said to just look past that and it'll be a good book. So off I go, up to bed with my reading light firmly secured to a box next to my bed on the floor, and began reading. By the middle of the first chapter, I knew I wasn't going to be able to sleep that night. There was a thunder/rain storm starting, and between the lightning flashes and the occasional blinking of my reading light, I was terrified! I think it was around 5:30-6:00 a.m. when I finally finished that book, eyes WIDE open, and the sun started to burn off the clouds to start the day. The first, and last, book I ever read cover to cover without putting it down!

"Rollin' numbers, rock-n-rollin', got my Kiss records out!"
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10-22-2012, 11:21 PM
Post: #7
Tongue RE: Atlas Shrugged - part ll
I'm with Lanix - while the importance of Atlas to philosophy is far greater, I identified on a far more deep personal level with The Fountainhead. It's much more oriented toward the examination of psychology, particularly in tracing people's actions back to underlying motives - and in turn examining the psychological reasons behind those motives.

I got a whole great gob of corrective information when I read that, because as a teen I was essentially drowning in "other-directed" paranoia about "what other people think of me," rather than that natural self-confidence of childhood. To stretch the analogy, discovering first Anthem, then The Fountainhead, was a lifeline. I had to go through an incredibly long and intensely painful process of rediscovering and building upon that confidence just to function.

I read Atlas a couple years afterward, and of course that filled in reams of philosophic detail. It has an excellent mystery of incredible depth and philosophic integration too, but The Fountainhead has a bright, crisp freshness that's totally unique and... it spoke to me directly. It took roughly ten years after reading Atlas (plus a couple of trips through the 1976 Peikoff/Rand lecture series "The Philosophy of Objectivism," which Peikoff later revised and condensed into his second book, "Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand,") before I reached a point where I had a decent grasp of the philosophy as a whole. Add a few additional years to sort out the two opposing camps of Peikoff and Kelley - accusing each other of, respectively, intrinsicism and subjectivism - before I became comfortable in dealing with the movement's various denizens.

The movie! Oyeah! Rolleyes The casting changes of the principle characters between I and II were jarring but reportedly unavoidable. I preferred Taylor Schilling to Samantha Mathis as Dagny, but I think Jason Beghe is an improvement over Grant Bowler as Hank Rearden. Bowler was instantly likeable, but needed the Jason Statham-type grit that Beghe has; Mathis did an excellent job of conveying the pathos of someone grappling with a world crashing down around her ears, but she needed some of the counterbalancing "bright-and-sunny" that Schilling has in spades, and her bedroom scene with Beghe seemed awkward for lack of palpable chemistry.

The enhanced budget and far more relaxed production pace of II brought a welcome world-class quality to it, though some of the CGI was maddeningly botched - but maybe only detail-geeks noticed? I think Duncan and the gang did a bang-up job on the script too - it suffered from none of the choppy, abrupt aspects of Part I. (You can see him as an extra lurking behind Dagny and Hank as they walked and talked on that dark pathway with the Christmas lights after his trial. He says anti-tax activist Grover Norquist was on a park bench back there too, but I didn't catch that.)

Where I was when I read this? I picked it up in '83, the one and only summer I hired on with a custom combining crew that meandered from North into South Dakota - I was driving grain trucks rather than the combines on that gig, so I had lots of time to sit in the sun reading and feverishly jotting notes in the margins and on the front and endpages. I about had a heart attack when I lost it - it probably got sucked into the pickup and ended up in someone's Wheaties. I got another from a Pierre bookstore and continued, lamenting the loss of all of those notes.

"Changed my life" is putting it mildly - so a huge debt owed indirectly to an oblique hint from (such-and-such, ah...ahCHOO!) on a lyric sheet and in some comments-in-passing on "literary heroes" in a Circus mag interview. 'Really, really glad I spotted that...

D'OH! Book! Ack! Thpppt!
Sorreee.... Call it a mini-review. They don't have brevity on my planet.

Anyhoo, 'loved Part II; can't wait for Part III. I suppose I should be a sucker and try to scam a part as an extra, just so I can say I was a tiny part of it...

"Waiter...can you stop that noise? What you call 'music.' It sounds like dirty water. How can they eat food - and listen to ****?"
- Sabina (Lena Olin) in The Unbearable Lightness of Being
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