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The trailer for the “Atlas Shrugged” movie is out!

February 12, 2011

So here’s the thing: it looks like a slick, stylish film. I still believe that placing it in the present day is going to reduce it’s message somewhat. If you go to the official web site for the film, and read the synopsis, you’ll see that a lot had to be pared away. This movie is 102 minutes long and is only the first third of the book.

When Ayn Rand started writing the book – it took her over ten years to complete it – the railroads were the lifeblood of the country. The Eisenhower Interstate Highway system wasn’t even thought of, and I don’t think it was nearly complete when the book was finished. It took a significantly longer period of time for the trucking industry to develop into the main means of delivery of goods in the US.

So Rand wrote the book at the end of a unique period in history. Without the railroads, America would die. Today, without the railroads, while prices would increase for many items, our economy would survive. Even if all the aircraft were grounded today, we would survive – and that’s with our far more internationally-linked economy.

In Rand’s world, all the other countries of the world had become socialist. Their economies were failing rapidly, propped up by what remained of the deteriorating US economy. Ragnar Danneskjold travels the oceans, sinking relief ships sent to European countries, trying to hasten the fall.

Rand’s US was a collapsing economy. High unemployment, a high level of despair, almost the forerunner of the science fiction dystopia. It was being bled dry by high taxes, mismanagement, and increasing constraints on business. (Sound familiar?) The rich movers and shakers, those in high political circles, elites in academe, all lived in more opulent surroundings. The film trailer looks glossy, so maybe they got the rich side right. We can only hope the other side is portrayed far in the opposite direction.

I somehow doubt it, though. Today, that would probably be considered approval of the liberal class-warfare mindset. I don’t think that would be a message the film’s producers would want brought out to a public that might find it difficult to “get” the whole thing. We’ve had too many years of liberal brainwashing to overcome.

Maybe it’s scaled back in scope somewhat. Maybe the country won’t be faced with total disaster when, or if, the Taggart Bridge across the Mississippi River collapses. Maybe the disaster will just be the disaster of all the disappearing prime movers. It’s not as big but it might work for people who haven’t read the book.

Some of the comments I’ve read already panned the trailer. On the other hand, I thought it gave a bit of hope to the film. It’s a pretty low-budget, independently-financed and distributed movie, but it looked pretty good to me. We’ll have to see – the film comes out on (appropriately enough) April 15!

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