Greetings, rebels to King George, and curious others.
It’s Saturday, the 22st of September 2012 and there are only 20 days left until the second installment of a long anticipated movie-trilogy premieres: “Atlas Shrugged, Part II.” Consider this affront-to-Authority from the teaser trailer…
“The question isn’t, ‘Who is going to LET ME,’ it’s, ‘Who is going to STOP ME’?”
For Liberty-lovers, the occasion of an Ayn Rand novel coming to life on the big screen is cause for celebration indeed, especially considering how hard it is these days to find “entertainment” that espouses even halfway decent foundational-beliefs & behaviors. I marvel at the perseverance of the “Atlas Shrugged” filmmakers and sometimes I swear I want to pinch myself to make sure I’m not just dreaming that they’ve actually done it…again. But I don’t. Instead, if necessary, I grab my DVD and re-watch “Atlas Shrugged, Part I,” the first of the “Atlas trilogy,” which came out nearly a year and a half ago on QUOTE-UNQUOTE Tax Day, 2011.
As a lover of Liberty myself, I believe – as you probably do, too – in the natural right of each Individual to freely Live and Learn and Work or Create to the best of their unique abilities – without, that is, purposefully harming others or their property. I’ll bet you likewise wonder why so many others are becoming unapologetic Moochers if not downright Destroyers. Sure, I get that it’s “easier” to Take or Break something than to create it, but how can these people miss the bigger picture? How difficult is it to take such a nihilistic lifestyle or such a deadly philosophy and project it out to its ultimate and logical, smoldering/blood-stained conclusion?
I just don’t get it…Because I’ve always been driven, instead, by the desire to Create (whether with paint, with fabric, or even more simply, with mere words). I’m finding that too many top-of-the-hour news broadcasts full of Dark reports chronicling those other alien, uncivil creatures can become overwhelming.
A temporary escape to other worlds is sometimes the only cure. Sure, these worlds are fictional, but she’s imagined into existence people and places we’ve come to admire, if not love, and Ayn Rand’s fiction offers a distinction today, more than ever before. Unlike popular contemporary bestsellers her books contain no magical, supernatural, mythological, or comic-book escapism. Shockingly the men and women are real-world; they are un-super-powered actual human beings. In her fictional spaces we readers revel in their heroic ideals and life-changing triumphs, thematic qualities which consistently flow from each work by Rand that I’ve read.
You may have just enough time to read “Atlas Shrugged” for yourself before October 12th. But the question is, Do you have the Mt. Everest-level stamina for such an endeavor? At 1000+ pages that would require reading about 50 each and every day. Of course you don’t need to read it, but if you haven’t or can’t I would seriously recommend watching Part 1 beforehand.
I was fortunate in that a mere 6 months prior to the April 2011 premiere I had re-read the novel… I’m embarrassed to say I was completely unaware of the planned theatrical release. And to say I was “pleasantly surprised” upon discovering those first trailers in January or February of 2010 would be the understatement of the year.
I was only disappointed in those “Atlas, Part 1” film trailers in one regard: I had originally “pictured” Dagny much differently and I, myself, didn’t find the actor cast as Hank Reardon to be as handsome as I’d always imagined the steal-man to be. But I realize that’s purely my subjective opinion. Now, after having seen that film at least a half dozen times, I must admit I’ve become smitten with both of them, but now sadly find the new Part II trailers reveal an entirely new cast…SIGH!
I have to admit I’m really working hard at keeping an open mind. I’m confident, though, the story and the characters themselves are strong enough to handle a new cast – kinda like the fictional “Reardon Metal.”
So if you’ve been meaning to but just haven’t read any of Ayn Rand’s novels yet, yourself, consider beginning with the slender 100+ pages of “Anthem.” This will quickly give you a feel for her passion and her personal knowledge of Mankind’s deep desire for Freedom. Then work your way up to and through the 700+ pages of “The Fountainhead” and perhaps enjoy the fine work of Gary Cooper in the lead as architect Howard Roark in the 1949 film version. (I’ve watched it at least a dozen times, the first 3 or 4 on an old video-tape purchased years ago and finally on the DVD version we got three or four years ago.)
Few stories can match “Atlas Shrugged’s” sweeping vision and the sense of Hope-then-Perserverance-and-Triumph-out-of-desperate-times and I can’t think of another 50-year old tale that’s more timely. The half dozen fiction and non-fiction books by Ayn Rand I’ve read have all been wonderfully thoughtful but this one deserves that rightfully rare distinction of magnum opus. I hope the movie trailers for “Atlas Shrugged, Part I” or the brand new “Part II” will entice you to make time to experience this large-as-life story on the big screen.
Check out the links below and Until next time,
Movie site with links to their YouTube channel: