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Monday, February 28, 2011

A Look at the Atlas Shrugged Movie

One of the exciting privileges awaiting students who attended the International Students for Liberty Conference (recap here) a week ago, was a private screening of about fifteen minutes from the upcoming Atlas Shrugged movie, set to premiere on April 15th -tax day in the United States.

I couldn't help but squirm in my seat along with five hundred other TGFLs (total geeks for liberty... just made that up) as we viewed footage that only one other audience had seen before us. I sighed with satisfaction as I considered the many thousands of audiences who would see it after us, along with the rest of a movie that I believe might have the potential to change the world, just like the book that inspired it. It was no wonder that I saw Students for Liberty's executive director, Alexander McCobin, an objectivist pursuing his Ph.D. in philosophy, positively beaming before and after the event.

Then again, I've never seen him not smiling and projecting genuine warmth and joy into a room. Anyone who thinks of Ayn Rand's objectivism as angry, cold, or adolescent should meet McCobin, who quite perfectly exemplifies the joy and love for life that should jump out of the page at anyone who reads Ayn Rand's novels without a preconceived bias against her (or the tendency of adolescents who encounter Rand for the first time as teenagers to selectively interpret everything they read through an angry adolescent filter).

If you haven't seen it already, below is the trailer for the Atlas Shrugged movie:

And here is just one of the exclusive sneak peaks the libertarian students got that night at ISFLC, which was released a few short days later. In it, metals magnate Henry Rearden returns home to an insufferably rude and ungrateful family:

Though it's an independent film, you can see from the two examples above that the Atlas Shrugged movie seems to have pretty excellent production value, and listening to its producer speak at ISFLC, I am hopeful that it will faithfully render the plot, message, and meaning of Ayn Rand's novel on the big screen. My prediction is: look for Atlas Shrugged to be a runaway hit, driven by demand and word of mouth (much like Ayn Rand's novels), and fueled by a Tea Party movement hungry for artful depictions and explorations of its limited-government agenda.

Thanks to Students for Liberty for whetting my appetite in advance of this momentous achievement in political philosophy and cinema.

Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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