New article in TIME magazine online about the Atlasphere and the Atlas Shrugged movie just published an article about the Atlasphere as well as the Atlas Shrugged movie, penned by Claire Suddath, who spent this week talking with members of our dating service.
Her article is titled “Single Objectivist Seeks Same” and begins:

Let me get one thing out of the way: I have never read Ayn Rand. In fact, until recently I was one of those uneducated boors who thought the author’s first name was pronounced Ann. A few of her readers have corrected me over the years, but for some reason, I assumed they were joking â?? which is also what I assumed when they told me that they’d just read a great book about government intervention in the railroad industry. (That book is now a movie, Atlas Shrugged: Part I, opening Friday in the U.S.)
But then my editor asked me to look into the dating website the Atlasphere, on which Randians can search for their soul mate among fellow objectivists. I didn’t have time to read all 1,200 pages of Atlas Shrugged or even the 680-page The Fountainhead beforehand, so I did what any self-respecting journalist would do: I called up a friend. “Quick, can you explain Ayn Rand’s personal philosophy to me in one sentence?” I asked Fahad Siadat, a professional musician who just finished reading Atlas Shrugged. I know this because he’d cornered me at a dinner party and told me all about it. Which is what people tend to do when they’ve just discovered Ayn Rand.

See the full article for more.

WSJ: Remembering the real Ayn Rand

Writing at the Wall Street Journal, Donald Luskin has an excellent article “Remembering the Real Ayn Rand” that begins by discussing the new movie:

Tomorrow’s release of the movie version of “Atlas Shrugged” is focusing attention on Ayn Rand’s 1957 opus and the free-market ideas it espouses. Book sales for “Atlas” have always been briskâ??and all the more so in the past few years, as actual events have mirrored Rand’s nightmare vision of economic collapse amid massive government expansion. Conservatives are now hailing Rand as a tea party Nostradamus, hence the timing of the movie’s premiere on tax day.
When Rand created the character of Wesley Mouch, it’s as though she was anticipating Barney Frank (D., Mass). Mouch is the economic czar in “Atlas Shrugged” whose every move weakens the economy, which in turn gives him the excuse to demand broader powers. Mr. Frank steered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to disaster with mandates for more lending to low-income borrowers. After Fannie and Freddie collapsed under the weight of their subprime mortgage books, Mr. Frank proclaimed last year: “The way to cure that is to give us more authority.” Mouch couldn’t have said it better himself.

See his full article for much more, including a sensible discussion of the ways in which big businessmen are often no friends of capitalism and the ways in which Rand was neither a conservative nor a liberal.
Mr. Luskin is co-author with Andrew Greta of a new book, scheduled for publication next month, titled I Am John Galt: Today’s Heroic Innovators Building the World and the Villainous Parasites Destroying It. Judging from this article, I guessing it’s pretty good.

Earlybird reviews of the full Atlas Shrugged movie: "Spectacular," "Solid," "Faithful"

Detractors of Atlas Shrugged would never be pleased with any faithful adaptation of the novel, and so this movie’s primary audience is those who enjoyed the novel, are generally sympathetic to Ayn Rand’s ideas, or both. (If their response is positive, then the word-of-mouth buzz should attract the curiosity of many people who aren’t yet familiar with the novel.)
On this front, it looks like Aglialoro & Co. have scored a direct hit. The early reviews are quite positive.
Read the details on the Atlas Shrugged movie blog.

Hans Schantz: I’ve seen it. It’s awesome.

Atlas Shrugged movie co-blogger Hans Schantz and I were offered tickets to the pre-release screening in Los Angeles yesterday. I was unable to attend, but Hans was there and he has posted his initial reactions over at AetherCzar.
He begins:

I just attended the pre-release screening of Atlas Shrugged Part One, and I’d like to share my first impressions. Take this as an initial installment toward the much more thoughtful (but equally enthusiastic) review I’ll compose at leisure over the next few days and publish at the (fan-run, unofficial) Atlas Shrugged Movie Blog.
When I heard my favorite novel was being made into a movie, all the available omens boded ill: a low-budget production, with no-name stars, made independently without the adult supervision of a real Hollywood studio, and rushed into production at the last minute to avoid loss of rights. It sounded like a recipe for disaster. Scratch that. It WAS a recipe for disaster. I mourned the might-have-been movie Iâ??d been waiting my entire adult life to see. I regretted the lost opportunity. I averted my eyes to avoid the painfully unfolding train wreck.
Slowly the evidence began chipping away at my erroneous conclusions.

See his full post for much more.
Also, don’t miss first full review of the movie, by Atlas Society founder David Kelley.

Atlas Shrugged movie blog reminder

If you haven’t already done so, you may want to add the Atlas Shrugged movie blog to your blogroll or newsreader. Here are some recent headlines likely to interest fans of Ayn Rand’s novels:
Atlas Shrugged movie has booking service
Major new verdict threatens to bankrupt John Alialoroâ??s company, if not overturned
The Atlas Shrugged movie will be rated PG-13

"It is we who move the world"

Cross-posted from the Atlas Shrugged movie blog:
A couple of reviewers — Richard Gleaves and Fred Cookinham — who saw the ten minute sneak peak of the Atlas Shrugged movie in New York City noted that the phrase “It is we who move the world” from Ayn Rand’s novel had been changed to “It is us who move the world.”
The change was not well received. Cookinham, for example, wrote:

Language has also fallen apart since 1957. In the clips, Rearden says to Dagny, â??It is us who move the world, and itâ??s us who will pull it through.â? The â??usâ? should be â??we.â? It is â??weâ? in the novel, and all the screenwriter had to do was copy it. But apparently he found it necessary to dumb down the language from 1957â??s English to 2010â??s pidgin.

Good news, though — the producers say it’s going to be fixed. See this exchange with screenwriter Brian O’Toole from the movie’s Facebook fan page:

Teresa Summerlee Isanhart: I really disagree that replacing “we” with “us” is a “dumbed down” effort. Honestly, I just don’t think Rand would have a problem with a change like that. …
Atlas Shrugged The Movie: â??@Teresa – Interesting enough, the US instead of WE was a choice made by the actor and so was not delivered as written but I guess it’s easiest to blame the writer. 🙂 I believe the line is scheduled to be fixed during the ADR session with the actor. Thanks for the continued support! Best, Brian O’Toole

This is wonderful news to those of us who enjoy the classicism and elegance of Rand’s original phrasing.

Let a thousand Atlas Shrugged movies bloom?

If you’re not already familiar with it, check out ARI’s “Atlas Shrugged Video Contest.” I think this kind of contest is brilliant, and I salute their innovative efforts here.
It also reminds me of a comment a friend of mine made recently on Facebook, concerning the new Atlas Shrugged movie:

[I’ve long thought Aglialoro should] encourage the production of multiple versions, with a variety of artistic interpretations, styles, production qualities, of Atlas Shrugged as a movie.
I actually think the control that Aglialoro, or any other producer, wants to exert over the film is the biggest obstacle. They want it to be great. Naturally, we sympathize with them, and applaud them for this. This has been the obstacle keeping the movie from being made for so long.
It’s ultimately pointless: How much can Aglialoro affect the quality of the film? He’s pretty much limited to choosing the director and other essential staff. This is large, but… he also needs to ask how great he is at choosing, influencing, controlling artistic interpretation. Or for that matter, his directors or any other key creative contributors.
If instead of clutching the rights to make the movie, he made them free and invited all comers… we could see multiple versions made. I think this would stimulate much greater discussion of the interpretation of the book and the creative merits of each movie, and it would be a discussion which would last for years not just the few weeks or months that the feature film hits the box office. … Keep reading »

Read the rest of this post on our blog for the Atlas Shrugged movie.