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Donovan A.

An Open Letter to John Aglialoro

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Atlas-Shrugged-Movie.jpg

Dear John Aglialoro,

I’m writing you this open letter to uphold my unwavering support of the Atlas Shrugged movie and to encourage you to move full steam ahead in the production of Parts II and III. I met you personally – only briefly – at the New York Atlas Movie Preview (December 2010) when you endorsed a copy of Atlas Shrugged for me. Your dedication to the goal of producing the Atlas Shrugged film is an inspiration to any self-made man. What you have achieved is what most people considered to be impossible, especially in today’s anti-intellectual culture.

I know you are being subjected to enormous criticism for your achievement and your efforts, just as Ayn Rand was when she published the novel. I certainly think it’s great to receive moral support, but the goal of artistic achievement cannot only be the accolades of others. These films would be of immeasurable value, even if you or I were the only men alive on this earth. Why? Because by witnessing the heroic characters in Atlas Shrugged, a rational man is motivated to achieve the best within himself, his highest potential. An Ayn Rand hero – as you well know – is a man of reason, of independence, and of high self-esteem. I urge you to draw strength from the vision of Ayn Rand’s heroes, to persevere, and to fight. One third of your battle is won, and you are not alone.

I was deeply moved when I watched the movie, and I have seen the impact this film is having on the world. That is why the liberals and the religious in this country are so adamantly opposed to the movie and to Ayn Rand’s works. They fear us, and they know they cannot win by honest means. As for those so-called “Objectivists,” or fans of Ayn Rand, that can offer nothing but cynicism or hostility towards your achievement or the Atlas Society, let me offer you an Ayn Rand quote which often refuels me as I fight for my own values. “Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours. But to win it requires total dedication and a total break with the world of your past, with the doctrine that man is a sacrificial animal who exists for the pleasure of others. Fight for the value of your person. Fight for the virtue of your pride. Fight for the essence, which is man, for his sovereign rational mind. Fight with the radiant certainty and the absolute rectitude of knowing that yours is the morality of life and yours is the battle for any achievement, any value, any grandeur, any goodness, any joy that has ever existed on this earth.”

I’ve heard of countless supporters who would be willing to donate or invest in your project. I, too, would be happy to offer my support in order to fund Parts II & III.

I remain your ally in the battle for reason, individualism, and freedom,

Donovan Albanesi

The Culture of Reason Center

Edited by Randall
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Atlas-Shrugged-Movie.jpg

Dear John Aglialoro,

I’m writing you this open letter to uphold my unwavering support of the Atlas Shrugged movie and to encourage you to move full steam ahead in the production of Parts II and III. I met you personally – only briefly – at the New York Atlas Movie Preview (December 2010) when you endorsed a copy of Atlas Shrugged for me. Your dedication to the goal of producing the Atlas Shrugged film is an inspiration to any self-made man. What you have achieved is what most people considered to be impossible, especially in today’s anti-intellectual culture.

I know you are being subjected to enormous criticism for your achievement and your efforts, just as Ayn Rand was when she published the novel. I certainly think it’s great to receive moral support, but the goal of artistic achievement cannot only be the accolades of others. These films would be of immeasurable value, even if you or I were the only men alive on this earth. Why? Because by witnessing the heroic characters in Atlas Shrugged, a rational man is motivated to achieve the best within himself, his highest potential. An Ayn Rand hero – as you well know – is a man of reason, of independence, and of high self-esteem. I urge you to draw strength from the vision of Ayn Rand’s heroes, to persevere, and to fight. One third of your battle is won, and you are not alone.

I was deeply moved when I watched the movie, and I have seen the impact this film is having on the world. That is why the liberals and the religious in this country are so adamantly opposed to the movie and to Ayn Rand’s works. They fear us, and they know they cannot win by honest means. As for those so-called “Objectivists,” or fans of Ayn Rand, that can offer nothing but cynicism or hostility towards your achievement or the Atlas Society, let me offer you an Ayn Rand quote which often refuels me as I fight for my own values. “Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours. But to win it requires total dedication and a total break with the world of your past, with the doctrine that man is a sacrificial animal who exists for the pleasure of others. Fight for the value of your person. Fight for the virtue of your pride. Fight for the essence, which is man, for his sovereign rational mind. Fight with the radiant certainty and the absolute rectitude of knowing that yours is the morality of life and yours is the battle for any achievement, any value, any grandeur, any goodness, any joy that has ever existed on this earth.”

I’ve heard of countless supporters who would be willing to donate or invest in your project. I, too, would be happy to offer my support in order to fund Parts II & III.

I remain your ally in the battle for reason, individualism, and freedom,

Donovan Albanesi

The Culture of Reason Center

As for those so-called “Objectivists,” or fans of Ayn Rand, that can offer nothing but cynicism or hostility towards your achievement or the Atlas Society, let me offer you an Ayn Rand quote which often refuels me as I fight for my own values.

Is Don Albanesi referring to a specific group of Objectivists here?

And what does he mean by "so-called" Objectivists?

Edited by Xray
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Atlas-Shrugged-Movie.jpg

Dear John Aglialoro,

I’m writing you this open letter to uphold my unwavering support of the Atlas Shrugged movie and to encourage you to move full steam ahead in the production of Parts II and III. I met you personally – only briefly – at the New York Atlas Movie Preview (December 2010) when you endorsed a copy of Atlas Shrugged for me. Your dedication to the goal of producing the Atlas Shrugged film is an inspiration to any self-made man. What you have achieved is what most people considered to be impossible, especially in today’s anti-intellectual culture.

I know you are being subjected to enormous criticism for your achievement and your efforts, just as Ayn Rand was when she published the novel. I certainly think it’s great to receive moral support, but the goal of artistic achievement cannot only be the accolades of others. These films would be of immeasurable value, even if you or I were the only men alive on this earth. Why? Because by witnessing the heroic characters in Atlas Shrugged, a rational man is motivated to achieve the best within himself, his highest potential. An Ayn Rand hero – as you well know – is a man of reason, of independence, and of high self-esteem. I urge you to draw strength from the vision of Ayn Rand’s heroes, to persevere, and to fight. One third of your battle is won, and you are not alone.

I was deeply moved when I watched the movie, and I have seen the impact this film is having on the world. That is why the liberals and the religious in this country are so adamantly opposed to the movie and to Ayn Rand’s works. They fear us, and they know they cannot win by honest means. As for those so-called “Objectivists,” or fans of Ayn Rand, that can offer nothing but cynicism or hostility towards your achievement or the Atlas Society, let me offer you an Ayn Rand quote which often refuels me as I fight for my own values. “Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours. But to win it requires total dedication and a total break with the world of your past, with the doctrine that man is a sacrificial animal who exists for the pleasure of others. Fight for the value of your person. Fight for the virtue of your pride. Fight for the essence, which is man, for his sovereign rational mind. Fight with the radiant certainty and the absolute rectitude of knowing that yours is the morality of life and yours is the battle for any achievement, any value, any grandeur, any goodness, any joy that has ever existed on this earth.”

I’ve heard of countless supporters who would be willing to donate or invest in your project. I, too, would be happy to offer my support in order to fund Parts II & III.

I remain your ally in the battle for reason, individualism, and freedom,

Donovan Albanesi

The Culture of Reason Center

As for those so-called “Objectivists,” or fans of Ayn Rand, that can offer nothing but cynicism or hostility towards your achievement or the Atlas Society, let me offer you an Ayn Rand quote which often refuels me as I fight for my own values.

Is Don Albanesi referring to a specific group of Objectivists here?

And what does he mean by "so-called" Objectivists?

Xray, he sure is, I have read a lot about it. But I am hogging the board so much lately, I will leave it for others more interested and knowledgeable to fill you in. As with everything Randian, it's multi-interesting.

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You are both out of touch with Objectivist culture. I confess that I am not the most knowledgeable. I had to use Google to find Noodle Food. But any continuous light contact and participation reveals more than is evidenced in the Call and Response here.

I thought that Randall's commnets were directed at Leonard Peikioff, the Ayn Rand Institute, Capitalism Magazine, and, then, by extension to Diana & Paul Shieh, who are (or have been) monetary supporters of the ARI. The Atlas Society has David Kelley as its CPO (chief philosophical officer). Kelley was the advisor for the movie. "Fact and Value" is a well-known tract by Dr. Peikoff cudgeling Dr. Kelley for courting libertarians by speaking at their events.

At the end of Atlas Shrugged, the credits included a statement that the movie was made with the permission of but without participation of the estate of Ayn Rand. (If you had seen the film you would have known that.)

Here on OL, MSK has created an open space for the discussion of Objectivism as a personal philosophy of daily life. As you know, we have Ba'al, and SJW, and Rich, Studio, and several other posters who do advocate in their own way for reality, reason, and democracy (if not capitalism), but who in their own ways deviate so far from Objectivism that they do not even pretend to call themselves by that label. Yet, here they are, as peers, to those of us who might not tow the party line - I listen to Mozart - but who nonetheless, like the Atlas Society, consider ourselves to be Objectivists, or at least objectivists. It is not a bright line. You define yourself.

At the same level as OL, you will find several other boards aligned or not with either of those two poles. Objectivism Online from David Veksler specifically states that posters are not to criticize the ARI or its officers. I get along with David Veksler and promised to cite formally, when (and if) I place in an academic journal, an article on "Crusoe Economics" where we found the same model for money independently. That said, one of his moderators kicked me off his board. As with Objectivism Online, Betsy Speicher's FORUM for Ayn Rand Fans http://forums.4aynrandfans.com/ is also "orthodox" in its Objectivism in holding it to be a closed system defined by Ayn Rand and her announced (not self-appointed) Intellectual Heir. I have not read 4RandFans recently - being unwelcome there - and I only heard second-hand that at OO the movie was panned with posters claiming that they would not even see it.

Joseph Rowlands created Rebirth of Reason blogsite. He has a programmer to help him maintain it, but it is largely his work. The interface is not a commercial product. They keep to a party line, also, with a Dissent Forum for posting disagreements with Objectivism. Posters who consistently question basic principles of Objectivism - such as Dragonfly here - are banished to Dissent. However, for personal reasons of some of the principles who work the site, they have always been supportive of homosexuality, which Ayn Rand definitely was not. Rock 'n' roll is also permitted and recently some posters (myself included) spoke well of Lady Gaga, whom most others find unpalatable. But no one was banned over it. Generally, RoR is "less intolerant."

Then there is Lindsay Perigo's SOLO Passion. Formerly, Perigo and Rowlands were together when SOLO was Sense of Life Objectivists. As Perigo spun out of orbit, they went their separate ways and SOLO Passion was created. Though I joined the original SOLO in 2004, I found the new SOLO Passion too raucous and never participated. Barbara Branden used to participate on the old SOLO, but after Lindsay Perigo was worse than unkind to her over what can only be called his own personality issues, she left.

If there is a "right" and "left" from orthodox to revisionist, the spectrum would have

SOLOP [ ...] OL -RoR - ARI - Noodle;Online;4Rand - ARI

Which, if this were the Estates General would be like

Moscow Communists [...] democratic socialism - democracy - constitutional republic - constitutional monarchy - absolute monarchy.

The "so-called Objectivists" would be those who mistake the King for the State.

Anyway, that's my taxonomy.

As for the movie, we all had a different movie in mind. Minor criticisms, my own included, are easy enough to find. Hugh Akston was generally considered a bad choice. But so what? If either of you (Xray, Daunce) has a name to drop of someone here who significantly trashed the movie Atlas Shrugged or boycotted it, then speak up. The movie was received well and reviewed in a positive tenor.

If this board allowed votes Randall would have gotten one from me. I agree with everything he said.

Edited by Michael E. Marotta
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At the end of Atlas Shrugged, the credits included a statement that the movie was made with the permission of but without participation of the estate of Ayn Rand. (If you had seen the film you would have known that.)

I knew that too, without having seen the film. But I don't recall right now where exactly I got the info from.

I thought that Randall's commnets were directed at Leonard Peikioff, the Ayn Rand Institute, Capitalism Magazine, and, then, by extension to Diana & Paul Shieh, who are (or have been) monetary supporters of the ARI.

But isn't the commentator a Don Albanesi (not OL poster Randall), who wrote this open letter?

If this board allowed votes Randall would have gotten one from me. I agree with everything he said.

See above. Randall merely posted Albanesi's Open Letter, so your vote would got to Don Albanesi.

Thank you for providing information on the Objectivist culture, Michael.

Since my focus so far has been mostly on the primary source (Rand's own words), I only had limited interest in movement splits and subsequent turf wars.

But recently, I have become more interested in these issues, and much appreciate your info.

Edited by Xray
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Michael,

But isn't the commentator a Don Albanesi (not OL poster Randall), who wrote this open letter?

See above. Randall merely posted Albanesi's Open Letter, so your vote would got to Don Albanesi.

It makes little difference. Randall is the the OL poster. Don Albanesi is not a participant here unless he has a username. A direct placement like this - not even a mere link but a complete cut and paste - is the opinion of the poster unless otherwise stated. I ran into this before a couple of weeks back with Selene and the Toronto Slut Walk and I mistook Adam's intent. So, I understand the potential for misunderstanding. Still, I took it as Randall's (confirming) opinion.

I also accepted your question and Daunce's reply as meaning "here" here OL, which is what you asked about: Who "here" dissed the movie? Daunce replied coyly, but without content.

I also understand and appreciate your interest in the primary works. MSK and Lindsay Perigo were engaged (!) over the Critics of Passion of the Passion of the Critics of Ayn Rand; and Michael posted a multipart book review of a book about a book. Myself, my Ayn Rand library ends with The Romantic Manifesto. I do have the Lexicon for convenience. And I see now that I actually do own The Voice of Reason by Leonard Peikoff, but I know that I must have bought it used for a few dollars and I also have never read it. I am not interested in his opinions. Neither have I read "Ayn Rand: Mistress of Industry" or "What Ayn Rand Means to Our Time" or whatever else. (I did read Judgment Day and I did read The Passion of Ayn Rand and watched the movie. I also have the book Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life and saw that movie also. Basically, however, all of that was only icing on the cake. My copy of Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal is a first edition. I was taking a "Basic Principles" class when it came out. So, I have been at this long enough that for me, the primary sources remain the first value; and thus, I agree with your intuition.

Edited by Michael E. Marotta
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Michael,

But isn't the commentator a Don Albanesi (not OL poster Randall), who wrote this open letter?

See above. Randall merely posted Albanesi's Open Letter, so your vote would got to Don Albanesi.

It makes little difference. Randall is the the OL poster. Don Albanesi is not a participant here unless he has a username. A direct placement like this - not even a mere link but a complete cut and paste - is the opinion of the poster unless otherwise stated. I ran into this before a couple of weeks back with Selene and the Toronto Slut Walk and I mistook Adam's intent. So, I understand the potential for misunderstanding. Still, I took it as Randall's (confirming) opinion.

No problem. I drew the same conclusion, but felt it necessary to point out D. Albanesi as the original source to avoid possible confusion.

I also accepted your question and Daunce's reply as meaning "here" here OL, which is what you asked about: Who "here" dissed the movie? Daunce replied coyly, but without content.

The "here" was in my post - sorry about not being clear enough. I did not mean "here" as referring to "here on OL".

My "here" meant 'in the article here' written by Don Albanesi.

Edited by Xray
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As for the movie, we all had a different movie in mind. Minor criticisms, my own included, are easy enough to find. Hugh Akston was generally considered a bad choice. But so what? If either of you (Xray, Daunce) has a name to drop of someone here who significantly trashed the movie Atlas Shrugged or boycotted it, then speak up. The movie was received well and reviewed in a positive tenor.

If this board allowed votes Randall would have gotten one from me. I agree with everything he said.

MEM, there's a slight semantic confusion going on here[/s. I read X's original question to be, "is there such a group of Objectivists as described in the Randall post quoted above?" and I think you read it as, "is there such a group here on OL,?"

My reply was, as you stated, without content. I didn't look up the references from the other sites, and in any case could not provide the excellent 411 that you did. I just kicked the ball and hoped it would be carried by someone qualified,

which happened.

I see that I appeared to hint of OL movie-trashers, but wouldn't back up the hint with evidence. But there aren't any that I know of; I haven't read every single post here (on OL) about the movie,so there might be, but don't know of them. I was thinking of what I read on other sites, and specifically of the Ed Cline connection as part of the Jonathan-ND OO discussion.

As you read it my post was indeed "coy and without content": (also lazy),and you were right to call me on it. Hell, they're like that often, even without cross-purposes. But not this time.

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My reply was, as you stated, without content. I didn't look up the references ... I just kicked the ball and hoped it would be carried by someone qualified, which happened.

As you read it my post was indeed "coy and without content": (also lazy),and you were right to call me on it. Hell, they're like that often, even without cross-purposes. But not this time.

Well, no blood, no foul. I assume that you did not see the movie.

That makes it hard to yea-say or thumbs-down on the original post. I did see it. And I have commented both directly and via the "GWTW" thread. If you look at The Wizard of Oz, Moby Dick, LOTR, or any other famous books later made into a movie (or like one of my favorites, Pride and Prejudice, remade often); if you look at Ayn Rand's own screenplay of The Fountainhead; you realize that Atlas Shrugged was a stunning piece of work, faithful to the original, yet translating it correctly into the medium. Could it have been done otherwise? Yes, indeed! Done better? No doubt. But did anyone else do that? Is there another version to compare it to?

You know, I have both a PC and Mac. I am a PC user because I am a command-line guy: I can program in hex and I don't need Windows or GUIs. But, really, why would I criticize the fundamentals of something I could not have created? I am happy with both for what they offer and I am grateful to the people who created them for me.

Same with this.

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My reply was, as you stated, without content. I didn't look up the references ... I just kicked the ball and hoped it would be carried by someone qualified, which happened.

As you read it my post was indeed "coy and without content": (also lazy),and you were right to call me on it. Hell, they're like that often, even without cross-purposes. But not this time.

Well, no blood, no foul. I assume that you did not see the movie.

That makes it hard to yea-say or thumbs-down on the original post. I did see it. And I have commented both directly and via the "GWTW" thread. If you look at The Wizard of Oz, Moby Dick, LOTR, or any other famous books later made into a movie (or like one of my favorites, Pride and Prejudice, remade often); if you look at Ayn Rand's own screenplay of The Fountainhead; you realize that Atlas Shrugged was a stunning piece of work, faithful to the original, yet translating it correctly into the medium. Could it have been done otherwise? Yes, indeed! Done better? No doubt. But did anyone else do that? Is there another version to compare it to?

You know, I have both a PC and Mac. I am a PC user because I am a command-line guy: I can program in hex and I don't need Windows or GUIs. But, really, why would I criticize the fundamentals of something I could not have created? I am happy with both for what they offer and I am grateful to the people who created them for me.

Same with this.

No, I haven't seen it, I don't think it showed anywhere in Canada. My only opinion on the whole subject is that having reading the novel, I think it could be a terrific movie. But what novel couldn't, in the right hands. Brant wrote somewhere here that AS was actually a written movie, not a novel, and that was the shrewdest comment I have seen. I meant to reply and agree with him, so Brant if you read this, I think you're right.

IMO the movie would have Orson Welles as director, be black and white, and Rand would have had to keep her mitts off, like that would ever happen. But there we are..this is the kind of discussion that prompted this whole thread. It is the politics that XRay (and I)were interested in learning more about, and you have helped us do that.

I can't make even a speculative judgment about a movie I haven't seen, -- not just from principle, but because I have done it in the past and made a fool of myself thereby, also missed out on some good entertainment.There are some reviewers I almost always agree with, and I have skipped movies because of their negative reactions, but also seen the panned movies later and liked them.The major example I remember is Barry Lyndon, very long ago, I forget which respected reviewer trashed it, but I loved it. So I look forward to the Atlas movie on TV, I do not have a DVD player.

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... Brant wrote somewhere here that AS was actually a written movie, not a novel, and that was the shrewdest comment I have seen. ... So I look forward to the Atlas movie on TV, I do not have a DVD player.

I take that as a compliment: I said the same thing myself. Ayn Rand worked as a screenwriter. In fact, if you watch The Fountainhead, it is clearly a stage play shot for cimema. Ayn Rand was not alone in not yet seeing cinema for itself, but the fact remains that she did not. I watched Fritz Lang's Metropolis last month, and he did understand the power of the camera. Rand admired Lang's work and recommended it.

As for your own resources, try the library. You might have to wait a year for the movie to be acquired, but it might happen sooner. The library will also have a viewer for you to use there and maybe check out as well. Libraries are not just books.

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Dear John Aglialoro,

I’m writing you this open letter to uphold my unwavering support of the Atlas Shrugged movie and to encourage you to move full steam ahead in the production of Parts II and III. I met you personally – only briefly – at the New York Atlas Movie Preview (December 2010) when you endorsed a copy of Atlas Shrugged for me. Your dedication to the goal of producing the Atlas Shrugged film is an inspiration to any self-made man. What you have achieved is what most people considered to be impossible, especially in today’s anti-intellectual culture.

I know you are being subjected to enormous criticism for your achievement and your efforts, just as Ayn Rand was when she published the novel. I certainly think it’s great to receive moral support, but the goal of artistic achievement cannot only be the accolades of others. These films would be of immeasurable value, even if you or I were the only men alive on this earth. Why? Because by witnessing the heroic characters in Atlas Shrugged, a rational man is motivated to achieve the best within himself, his highest potential. An Ayn Rand hero – as you well know – is a man of reason, of independence, and of high self-esteem. I urge you to draw strength from the vision of Ayn Rand’s heroes, to persevere, and to fight. One third of your battle is won, and you are not alone.

<...>

Donovan Albanesi

The Culture of Reason Center

Has Aglialoro really been that discouraged to continue with Parts II & III that he thinks of throwing in the towel?

If yes, is the discouragement due to some harsh critiques only?

Or is it mainly because of monetary issues? How is AS Part I doing on the market?

Edited by Xray
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1. To answer the question, he recanted. Atlas 2 and Atlas 3 are still in the works. Obviously he was disappointed, but when I read the news, it seemed to come from an interview and apparently began with the LA Times Entertainment section, 24 Frames. But a week later, Aglialoro told the Hollywood Reporter here that he is going forward after all.

2. The Official Website is called www.AtlasShruggedPart 1.com. You can get the news, watch out-takes, and buy gear. The movie has started a "Demand Atlas" campaign in Europe and Asia and Latin America. The "Demand Atlas" campaign here worked. When the initial release was announced, only 10 cities were on the list. The Demand Atlas clicks (via an Event marketing site) brought it to 30 metro areas and 300 theaters. It ran for three weeks here in Ann Arbor. And right now - two months later - it is still in Grand Rapids. The way theaters work, if you have a local social group that wants a movie, find out how many seats you need to sell. In addition to the big name cineplexes, here in Ann Arbor, we have two theaters downtown that show second-run and art films, the Cannes and Sundance artsy stuff, and one of the malls without a theater has a converted space with Dollar Movies, sort of a 100-minute babysitter, if you think of it that way. So, just to say, Atlas is still earning income, though not making money.

3. I said before that this movie is for fans. Like Star Trek, LOTR, and Pride & Prejudice, it is an entertainment product that appeals to a market, rather than making one. So, there is that. If you study any of the history of entrepreneurship, you know that failures are the norm. Heck, in baseball, you can consistently strike out two out of three trips to the plate and still lead the league in Batting. Interestingly, railroading itself provides a convenient paradigm as many roads failed financially several times in succession, going through new receiverships or the same guys back again, until the economies of scale and interconnected lines finally allowed profits. Yet, investors still poured in money. (Read The Man Who Found the Money: John Kennedy Stewart and the Financing of the Western Railroads. Beginning as a grocer in the 1850s, Kennedy eventually financed James J. HIll's Great Northern in 1890.)

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