What will be the impact of the Atlas Shrugged Movie on our culture?
I am raising questions about the factors that will shape the magnitude of that impact, and am answering them before the release of the movie. It is in the hope that doing so will get more people thinking about this opportunity and preparing for it–which will enable them to devise their own strategies for making the most of it.
1. How does the movie compare to the novel?
My answer here: Atlas Shrugged Movie: A Roman Copy of a Greek Original
2. How does the movie compare to We the Living and The Fountainhead movies?
3. Will people not familiar with Ayn Rand’s work get the movie?
To be effective, a movie needs to stand by itself as a good movie, qua a work of art, regardless of its message. By that standard, I would give the movie a 7/10 star rating. While it does not have the irresistible force of a great movie, I expect that many people will get the message of the movie.
4. Will it strike a chord with the Tea Party movement?
The timing of the release of the movie couldn’t have been better. It’s message, being primarily economic/political/social, will resonate with the Tea Party movement–the extent of resonance limited only by movie’s artistic quality, not its message.
5. What will people, not already familiar with Ayn Rand, walk away with?
They will walk away with the social/economic/political message of Ayn Rand.
6. If someone likes the movie, how can you get them fired up about going on to read Atlas Shrugged?
Strategy: To draw attention to the intellectual/psychological/spiritual/philosophical depth of Ayn Rand using the movie as a springboard.
What questions can you ask to get them interested in reading Atlas Shrugged?
- What makes the heroes like Rearden, Dagny and Wyatt different from James Taggart, Orren Boyle and Wesley Mouch?
- What motivates Rearden & Dagny?
- How is Rearden’s & Dagny’s manner of thinking different from that of the looters?
- What do you think Dagny is going to do next, as everyone she worked with and liked keeps disappearing?
- Do you really want to wait for two years to find out what happens next?
What comments can you make to intrigue them about the content of the book?
- The movie could not really show in depth what makes Rearden or Dagny tick–the novel shows that in detail.
- The relationship between Dagny & Rearden is far more complex and fascinating than is portrayed in the movie.
- One of my favorite part of the novel was the character of Francisco–who was not portrayed adequately in the movie. Here is what Francisco is really like…
[I was planning to write a more detailed answer to this question--but many people around this world wide web are doing that already, and those efforts should expand after the release of the movie.]
7. Will the movie help the spread of Ayn Rand’s ideas?
Definitely. It will do so at least modestly well, if not very well.
8. What can I do to help promote the movie?
The Strike Productions is doing an excellent and innovative job of promoting their movie. You can see how you can help by visiting them here.
9. Will the movie be successful enough that we will see Parts 2 & 3 made in the near future?
Yes, I thinks so. There is a lot going for the project; I am optimistic.
10. What will be the impact of the Atlas Shrugged Movie on our culture?
When you consider that this is likely to be a trilogy, with each of the parts having its own multi-year production cycle, movie release publicity phase and DVD/Netflix release phase, it will provide an additional sustained publicity for Atlas Shrugged for almost a decade! The cumulative effect of such a publicity on the top of already massive sales of the book, and an increasing acceptance of Ayn Rand’s ideas as a part of our intellectual landscape will accelerate the spread of Ayn Rand’s ideas.
But the spread of ideas is not a deterministic process–its direction and speed depends on how well individuals bring their skills to bear on the opportunities that are available to them.
[Are there any big questions I am missing? Please let me know.]
Additional Questions as a result of comments received:
a. Why is the movie a powerful addition to the means of transmission of Ayn Rand’s ideas?
See the comment by Angela Burton below.
b. Aren’t you concerned that the popularization of a not so perfect Atlas Shrugged movie will undercut Ayn Rand’s message in Atlas Shrugged by diluting it?
No. Atlas Shrugged is a written work, widely available to anyone who wants it. The power of ideas in it, executed with magnificent artistry, makes it a tall, bright, immovable beacon for anyone who wants to see it.