How the AS series should have been done

Posted by Temlakos 9 years, 1 month ago to Entertainment
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I don't rely on people's opinions. No Student of Objectivism should; that's not according to Ayn Rand's precepts. So I will give my opinion without apology:

I think the current AS trilogy is lacking, and leaves much to be desired. I could express myself more graphically, but what purpose would that serve?

I have watched a lot of other books or series of books come to film. The most successful to date are: Harry Potter, and the saga of Katniss Everdeen that goes by the title "The Hunger Games."

First, an hour and a half is not long enough to do justice even to a third part of Atlas Shrugged. It takes two hours and fifteen minutes at least.

Second: introduce Ragnar Danneskjöld in Part 2. He should speak to Henry Rearden about his role in the world.

Third: they ought to have split the third part into two parts, that I call Parts 3a and 3b.

Part 3a: Dagny Taggart in Atlantis, meeting John Galt and Ragnar Danneskjöld for the first time, wrestling with her work ethos, and finally deciding to return to the outside, not being willing to take refuge, but still believing she can deliver a full transcontinental railroad, still in working order, to the strikers when the collapse does come.

Part 3b: begin with Robert Stadler dragged off to Dunkertown, Iowa (thereafter known as Harmony City, thereafter known as Meigsville), and end where the book ends: with John Galt tracing a dollar sign over the outside landscape beyond the Uncompahgre River Valley. (And have Eddie Willers offered rescue, not by Dagny, but by the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, who takes John Galt's advice and declares his county a Washington Looter Free Zone, with Dan Conway, of the Phoenix-Durango Railroad, as the prime employer. I have no doubt that Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the real-life Sheriff of Maricopa County, would do just that.)

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  • Posted by Solver 9 years, 1 month ago
    There does seem to be a lot of short cuts, so far, with these movies. Afterwards, I wonder which Ayn Ryan movie speech will be remembered the most. My best guess so far is the one at the end of "The Fountainhead" created in 1949. It was long, and powerful.
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    • Posted by $ Mimi 9 years, 1 month ago
      I thought that they grabbed the best of Francisco’ speeches so far. Rearden’s lines seemed to be performed a little ‘wooden’. Dagny’s action works as well as words sometimes. It’s going to be hard to accept this third Dagny. She is a little on the fair side and doesn’t seem to possess the natural look of determination the other two actresses possess. But...I’m willing to stay upbeat about the third installment because I think they did do a fairly good job with the first two movies of getting to the ‘grit’ of the story with the budget they had.
      Some of the stills and vids they have of the gulch set are just breath-taking. Lovely country.
      I don’t think it would ever be a good idea to try to show the entire story on screen. Ayn Rand spent three years writing the final speech for John Galt. In the end, I think she over-thought it. There was too much repetition. She was entitled; it was her opus. I think what the producers have done with the script thus far is taken a hammer to the anvil, leaving us with a striking, yet functional work of art.
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      • Posted by 9 years, 1 month ago
        Oh, I definitely agree: there's no need to have that long, drawn-out speech. Rand's biggest problem was her desperate need to explain. I've been to writers' conferences, and taken premium writers' classes that even assigned me homework, not to hand in, but *send in* before I got to the venue. And one of the things my instructors wanted me to understand was: Resist the Urge to Explain!

        That speech had the same problem as the long and involved essays on what Dagny, and for that matter Hank, were thinking at any given moment. Whether it was Dagny settling in her mind why she was having an affair with Hank, or Hank seeing a figurative safe open when James Taggart said he counted on Hank to "do something"--I could cut that kind of stuff out and probably cut the content down by, say, a third. And make the book a lot easier to read.
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        • Posted by $ Mimi 9 years, 1 month ago
          One of the first rules you learn in creative writing --resist the urge to explain --in other words: show me don’t tell me. Ayn Rand’s task though was to put into words her philosophy using a fictional setting. The public ask for this and the end result was some of the protagonist come across as a bit Mary-Sueish, some of antagonists come across as one dimensional, and the reader is sometimes pushed out of the story by long-speeches.
          There was a JA fictional book in the nineties that was on the bestseller list for awhile that attempted to explain all the varying cultural philosophies in the world through this girl’s adventure. There was a lot of ‘explaining’ as well through long, drawn-out speeches. I wish I could remember the title of the book. Same dilemma, except I think the author was trying to cover world religions, too. I was pulling my hair half way through it. It was like taking a very confusing comparative religion class.
          Also, Ayn Rand was famous for explaining how men and women who rational choose their partners are more satisfied physically, but in the real world Dagny wouldn’t have slept with three different men who all continued to have feelings for her without causing stress between and among them It’s just a lot of wishful thinking going on there.
          But, Atlas Shrugged was well plotted, and some the wrinkles ironed out in translating it visually, like the one dimension of certain characters.
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          • Posted by 9 years, 1 month ago
            Nathaniel Branden said much the same: "There isn't time for all the special cases. So what you get are broad generalzations that can make superb theater: unless you are sixteen years old, reading it for the first time, your mind and soul on fire, and taking it all in as if it were a philosophical treatise. That's just not how novels are to be read!"

            I don't mind too much about the one-dimensional antagonists. Literary villains tend to be that. So do anti-villains--single-minded warriors serving good rather than evil. Besides, I think most of the AS villains have real-life counterparts. Obama = Mr. Thompson; John Holdren = Floyd Ferris; Jack Welch = James Taggart; Cass Sunstein = Wesley Mouch; Nancy Pelosi = Kip's Ma; Harry Reid = Kip Chalmers; etc.

            I have to agree: the producers seem to have done well with the budget they had. But they needed more time. Maybe a half hour with each installment would have given them the time they needed.
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