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Friday, April 15 - 4:35pmSanction this postReply
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Oh - that BRIDGE was terrific!!! Wow.........

saw the noon show in Citrus Park in west Tampa... looked to be about half filled... thought it well done.....
(Edited by robert malcom on 4/15, 4:37pm)




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Friday, April 15 - 4:56pmSanction this postReply
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I saw the movie this afternoon (2:15)  in Albuquerque and there were about 50 viewers there. At certain points there were audible snickers and other comments audible that signified to me that at least some of the audience was familiar with the novel.

The emotional parts were the train crossing the bridge at the final view of Wyatt's oil field going up in flames. Both were very well done.

I kept asking myself as to what would have been my overall impression if I had seen the movie without reading the book. I'm not sure that I could have adequately integrated all the interrelationships between the numerous characters. Because of the brevity of the  movie (about 90 minutes) I wasn't possible to give as detailed a description as was given in the book.

A minor observation when Dagny sees Hugh Akston at the diner we see him smoking a cigarette with the $ sign barely visible but she doesn't see it or do anything with it. I think something got lost in the editing here. And she didn't eat his hamburger.

Sam




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Friday, April 15 - 6:51pmSanction this postReply
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yes - noticed that of the ciggie - and too was surprised it not more than an audience sighting.....



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Friday, April 15 - 7:54pmSanction this postReply
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Sam,

I kept asking myself as to what would have been my overall impression if I had seen the movie without reading the book. I'm not sure that I could have adequately integrated all the interrelationships between the numerous characters.
Well, I'll let you know what my overall impression is then. As far as Rand's fiction, I've only read The Fountainhead (thought by some to be her greatest novel -- in the purely artistic sense of "greatness"). All I know about Atlas Shrugged the novel is the summary about it here:

http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/Atlas-Shrugged-Book-Summary.id-7,pageNum-1.html

... and including this neat tool:


From:
http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/Atlas-Shrugged-Character-Map.id-7,pageNum-86.html

Ed




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Friday, April 15 - 9:01pmSanction this postReply
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Ed:

As far as Rand's fiction, I've only read The Fountainhead.

 Are you trying to tell me (nay, actually saying) that you, with 11637 sanctions on this board and one of the pre-eminent posters, and for whom I have a certain admiration, that you haven't read Atlas Shrugged? Pray tell, what possible excuse do you have? If you don't have the cash to buy the book you can surely get a copy from a library and failing that I will send you a copy. This doesn't make sense. It's like a life-long Christian monk never having bothered to read the Bible.

Please explain.

Sam  




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Friday, April 15 - 9:07pmSanction this postReply
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I just got back from the movie. In one word: "Intense". It was jam packed with Dagny's struggle to make things happen despite the decadence into cronyism. I'd say its true to the book as far as I can remember. I very much enjoyed it!

Cheers,
Dean



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Friday, April 15 - 10:36pmSanction this postReply
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Sam,

Pray tell, what possible excuse do you have? If you don't have the cash to buy the book you can surely get a copy from a library and failing that I will send you a copy. This doesn't make sense. It's like a life-long Christian monk never having bothered to read the Bible.

Please explain.
What's ironic is that I used to be a devout Christion (like a monk or something); never having bothered to read the (entire) Bible!

:-)

I have a terrible time with fiction. It's like I'm not wired for it, or something. I read Francisco's money speech and Galt's speech, too; but that is because they showed up in FTNI -- a non-fiction book. Besides The Fountainhead, I've haven't read any fiction in over 20 years. I want to explain it as if I'm some kind of a master writer of fiction, unable to appreciate the normal reception of it in books around me. I've heard of musicians who have trouble listening to music, because they cannot appreciate it without a creeping, over-thinking, internal criticism of it. That's the way I would want to explain it.

Another explanation is that I have what I call a "focus" disorder, which is kind of like an attention-deficit disorder. Instead of having trouble focusing, as is common in ADHD, I have trouble focusing too much on details -- getting stuck on the same thing, not being able to advance. I have found myself reading a line and not being able to get past it, not being able to just accept it and move on to the next line. Rodney Rawlings (former RoR participant) called my reasoning style "staccato" (referring to the fact that I only ever reason/argue in small, discreet chunks). This dove-tales with the possibility that I've got a minor case of autistic-spectrum disorder. It can't be a major case, because besides being a "systemizer" (a hallmark of high-functioning autistics), I'm also quite empathetic and personable.

Anyway, I'm just giving you my best guesses. I'll tell you what, Sam: Let me go and see this movie first, and there is a chance that, after doing that, that I will not be able to prevent myself from taking the plunge and reading the book, as well as the others (I hear that Anthem is a pretty short read).

:-)

Ed
[Never posts paragraphs which are longer than 5-6 lines]




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Post 7

Friday, April 15 - 11:03pmSanction this postReply
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Ed,

Have you tried audiobooks to see if that gets you past a block against fiction?

http://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Shrugged-Audiobook-Unabridged-Audio/dp/B003TL6CTA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1302932775&sr=8-2

The other trick that you might try, with an audio version, or a kindle version, or even the regular written hard or soft cover, is to assign yourself a task different from "read this novel" - assign yourself the task of examining a page at a time and then stopping to speak into a tape recorder giving a rapid, ad hoc summary of some aspect of that page (context, or continuity, storyline, or philosophical observations, etc.) (and you don't need to keep the tape, you can record over it after a time).

If text spacing on a page is a problem, something about paragraphs far too long for this block, then make a paper with a small (1" or 2" vertical, but width of the page) and read through that. Get your mind into analytic mode.

The particular of the assignment doesn't matter, what matters is getting you mind to go into the text (audio, whatever) to retrieve a meaning or abstract. Then, for practical reasons, you make that very short on the fly entry onto a tape. That satisfies the task purpose. Then take a deep breath and take about 1 minute to run the page's story line past in your mind (like a mental movie projector). Then back to the book for another page. Eventually, I suspect that your mind will let you skip the block altogether and enter the fiction, and be swept away into that world for hours at a time - but it might take a while.

You have shown that you can read difficult to plow through philosophers, and you have trained your mind to pull clarity out of jargon-laded scientific papers, you can find the way to get your mind to do this... and with practice and persistence you will be able to read fiction.

And it is definitely worth it. The richness of Atlas Shrugged by itself is worth it.



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Saturday, April 16 - 12:08amSanction this postReply
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Thanks for the advice, Steve.

I'm bookmarking your post.

Ed




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Post 9

Saturday, April 16 - 4:47amSanction this postReply
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The audio book is very good. It runs more than 50 hours. I listened to it while commuting a few years ago. Twenty minute blocks as a captive audience work wonders. I recommend the iPod Shuffle if you need a player. You will need to get an adapter to play it through your car stereo as state traffic laws generally forbid wearing headphones while driving.



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Saturday, April 16 - 10:13amSanction this postReply
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Ed:

I have a terrible time with fiction. It's like I'm not wired for it, or something.

Fair enough. I suppose that I have a different problem in that I have a poor memory so that each time I read AS it's not exactly like a new experience but I can appreciate it from a somewhat new perspective.

Further to the movie and as just a single example of how the depth has been compromised consider the treatment of Starnesville. The physical and moral poverty of Starnesville has been glossed over in the movie whereas in the book Rand gives us a very vivid portrayal of the conditions there. That criticism having been said, the movie is an honest attempt, within the limitations of the medium, to bring the philosophy to the masses and spread the word.

Sam

(Edited by Sam Erica on 4/16, 10:20am)




Post 11

Saturday, April 16 - 10:18amSanction this postReply
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Robert, I agree that the Bridge was excellent.

Did anyone else notice that Ed Snider was credited as a producer?

Did anyone else notice the tag that the film was made with the permission but not the involvement of the estate of Ayn Rand?

Graham Beckel did the best job of portrayal.  The shaggy hair and pot belly over the large belt buckle was perfect.  Having interviewed many entrepreneurs over the years, he was perfectly credible as a western oilman.  On MSK's OL, I explained why I liked Owen Kellogg: in a rational society Kelllogg, the nerd, would be a manager; in our world that is not possible.

I loved the industrial scenes.  Dagny's greeting to Francisco, while not canonic was fitting.  I thought that Dagny swallowed her line in the 20th Century factory about altruism versus compassion. 

 On reflection, I felt that the energy crisis of 2016 was not necessary to explain the importance of the railroad.  You cannot haul everything by air or by truck.  Rail remains important.  Even in 1957 (or 1945 when she started), no railroad was family-owned.  The Florida East Coast was perhaps the last privately-owned line in old robber baron model. 
Edward Gresham Ball (March 21, 1888 June 24, 1981)
Arguably the most noteworthy chapter in Ball's business career was his battle against the railroad unions in the Florida East Coast Railway strike of 1963 to 1977. In order to try to save the railroad from its three decades-long state of bankruptcy, which if allowed to continue would have threatened the railroad with physical deterioration and even partial abandonment, Ball fought for the company's right to engage in its own contract negotiations with the railroad unions rather than accept an industrywide settlement that Ball thought would include featherbedding and wasteful work rules. His use of replacement workers to keep the railroad running during the strike led to violence by strikers that included shootings and bombings. Eventually, Federal intervention helped quell the violence, and the railroad's right to operate during the strike with replacement workers was affirmed by the United States Supreme Court.  As the strike continued, the Florida East Coast took numerous steps to improve its physical plant, install various forms of automation, and drastically cut labor costs, all to an extent that most other railroads would not succeed in matching until years later. Ball therefore was a pioneer in the American railroad industry's struggle, beginning in the 1960s, to improve its economic efficiency
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Ball_(businessman
Just to ask, how will that validating crisis of 2016 play in 2026?

Overall, it is a fine film, one worth seeing more than once, and certainly worth owning a copy of.  I believe that in the near future, other independents will make their own versions. It is possible to have your own ideal cast from all across film history with Humphrey Bogart, Marylin Monroe, Diana Rigg, and all, taking whatever roles you want.  

These have been on YouTube for a couple of years.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8l_2sHzXDnw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STnUlpHf720

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGZowIOgZes

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 4/16, 10:37am)




Post 12

Saturday, April 16 - 12:11pmSanction this postReply
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Sam, "how the depth has been compromised": I said the film was "intense" mainly because it was so jam packed with quick deep dialog. Any person who is used to films with a great deal of useless dialog would be overwhelmed with the continual 1.5 hour rush of deep conversation.

Dagny did all of that work to get her trains working to Colorado... and after all of that work, the reason she built that rail was destroyed. I hadn't realized how crushing that must have felt to Dagny until I saw her character screaming in horror on the big screen.



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Saturday, April 16 - 1:14pmSanction this postReply
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Dean:

You don't need deep conversation to communicate the despair and numbness that existed in Starnesville. On the contrary, if the time constraints were removed it would be most effectively done visually. All we did see was a barbeque and a woman leading a cow, if memory serves. In my opinion, the lesson of Starnesville is one of the most important ideas that one can leave the theater with. If you have read AS only once a long time ago you may have forgotten how well Rand was able to communicate the Starnesville depravity.

I agree that Dagny's agony at viewing Wyatt's oil field on fire was very effective.

Sam




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Saturday, April 16 - 1:15pmSanction this postReply
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Saw AS on Friday at 7:20 pm on the lone screen showing it in Hawaii, with a group of libertarians and Objectivists. Theater was about 2/3 full.

I enjoyed the film, and laughed out loud at some of the lines delivered -- who knew AS was that funny?

Had a post-film gathering that lasted till midnight -- went around the table, with everyone ranking it from 1 to 10 -- answers ranged from 7 to 9.5. I gave it an 8, because of some of the villains being cartoonishly evil and overplayed instead of a bit more understated, and the cinematography and special effects not on a par with blockbuster productions, but noted that for a film with a production budget of only $10M they did a hell of a job in getting their money's worth and creating value.

Highly recommend it to anyone who is libertarian or Objectivist or free market oriented -- might be confusing to people unfamiliar with the book and the plot.

Thought it was amusing the disparity between the critical and popular rankings on RottenTomatoes.com -- critics gave it a 6% positive ranking, the audience gave it an 86% positive ranking.

My favorite scenes were the two featuring the bracelet Rearden gave his odious wife, and when his wife traded it to Dagny for her expensive necklace, not realizing that she was giving someone who was turning into a romantic rival a vivid symbol that Dagny valued Rearden and the work he was doing in a way that the wife never could.
(Edited by Jim Henshaw on 4/16, 1:26pm)




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Saturday, April 16 - 1:46pmSanction this postReply
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Jim, I don't think a rating above 5 would be warranted because on its own merits (stripping away your own knowledge of how the plot ultimately plays out) the film does not tell a sufficient story.

My video critique of "Part I" of the film and a discussion of how Ayn Rand's philosophy applies to today's struggle to defend Western civilization from the return of the primitive:

http://youtu.be/PolPBKnVxnY



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Saturday, April 16 - 3:35pmSanction this postReply
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Brad,

It doesn't stand on its own because it is part I, you can, as I have, criticize putting such a long time between Part I and Part II - because we could have seen all three parts in one week... and human memory and experience will bridge that kind of gap.

But it is what it is and you have to criticize it within that context. For a Part I rating it as only 5 out of 10 strikes me as much too low.

I listened to your critique and though you made some good points, you got off track with advancing your own ideas regarding the conflict with Islamists, and our history with the Indian tribes, etc.



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Saturday, April 16 - 4:02pmSanction this postReply
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Brad -- value is subjective. What something is worth to me is worth something else to another person, as the scene in AS where Dagny swaps her expensive necklace for the Rearden Metal bracelet vividly illustrates. Telling me I "have" to rate something a certain way ignores that principle of economics.

And, considering that there were a dozen people at our AS after-party, and the lowest grade anyone gave was a 7 and the highest was 9.5, I would say you are well on the low end of the distribution of subjective values.

I'm not saying you're wrong in the value you personally assign it -- clearly you did not enjoy the movie nearly as much as I did -- but rather you're wrong in saying others must share your evaluation.

If I had paid twice as much for the ticket, $20 instead of $10, I would have felt I had gotten my money's worth.

Also, note that AS shrugged was the 13th highest grossing movie on Friday. More to the point, the revenue per screen was essentially tied with the top two grossing movies. Basically, the movie, at least on the opening day, was drawing good crowds in the limited number of screens showing it.

http://boxofficemojo.com/daily/chart/

The theatre I was in was about 2/3 full, with the "sweet spots" almost all full and a scattering of empty seats around the edges and only a couple of people in the first few rows who wanted to crane their heads back and see a huge pic.



Post 18

Saturday, April 16 - 7:04pmSanction this postReply
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I saw the movie tonight with my local Ayn Rand Meetup group in a theater perhaps fifty percent full. I enjoyed it considerably. I anticipate watching it again later in the week. I actually appreciated the low budget as it forced the makers to focus on essentials. I thought they did. I look forward to seeing the remaining movies made and distributed.

As a side note, we met at the bookstore as usual before crossing the street to the cinema complex. A goober at the adjacent table overheard our conversation about health care and began extolling the virtues of Castro's Cuba and its wonderful medical system. As so often happens, the exchange quickly devolved into a diatribe about how the current state of Cuba and the world is all America's fault. The conversation totally went off the skids when the interlocutor in question began suggesting that the Holocaust happened because Jews make everyone else feel stupid. A woman at another table jumped into the foray expressing her displeasure, as a half-Jew, at the boy-man's sweeping smear of Jews. He retorted that he would gladly produce "facts" to support his statements. The fomentation subsided as quickly as it started which relieved me as I did not want undue attention from management. But at the end of it all, the offended woman agreed that government health care was a good thing based on her overseas experiences. Oh, dear. My resident economist tried to explain things to her but time ran out and we had to leave. Signs of the times!

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 4/16, 7:15pm)




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Post 19

Saturday, April 16 - 7:19pmSanction this postReply
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Sam -

And she didn't eat his hamburger.
 
I know! I thought about that driving home, remembering how Rand described Dagny as thinking it was the best hamburger she'd ever eaten in her life (and the best cigarette). It could have been the best rhubarb pie, or the best chili dog,  but the point is, it was the best!   Subtleties like those were so important in the book,  I'm disappointed the opportunity to include that one was missed in the movie.   
 
Jim -

I enjoyed the film, and laughed out loud at some of the lines delivered -- who knew AS was that funny?

"All finished, then?"

The whole theater burst out laughing, myself included.  I never expected Lillian to provide comic relief like that, but I really enjoyed it. 

There were about 100 or so people in the small theater yesterday evening.









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