Friday, April 28, 2006

Curious News

One of the most influential books of my youth was Atlas Shrugged. I read it in 10th grade, preferring it to the other choices in that year's English class, and it changed my life. I credit it as "the book that made me a capitalist." I chose to re-read it, and as I near the conclusion I was surprised to see this news about a possible film adaptation.

The two actors mentioned in the article, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, are allegedly fans of the book. I think they would make very good choices for the film as far as casting goes, but I do worry about what Hollywood might do to the story. This story requires devotion.

Ayn Rand cultivated a philosophy known as objectivism. I can't say that I subscribe to it fully, but I do strongly identify with its broad concepts. I think anyone that attempts to make this film would need to be totally committed to producing a faithful version, true in every whit to the novel. It is essential, because the novel is the expression of her philosophy, and to change it in order to make it "mainstream" would irrepairably damage the message. Its ideas will shock a world that wants to tax the windfall profits of oil companies. Its ideas will shock proponents of industry bailouts. And its ideas will shock those who subscribe to the ideology that government's role is to redistribute resources to create equitable outcomes. I hope it does shock those people, and in turn, shocks the rest of us out of oblivious slumber and into vigorous and decisive action.


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