|Still from "Atlas Shrugged Part 2"|
The movie opened nationwide Friday and is based on the huge bestseller written over 50 years ago by Russian emigrant Ayn Rand. Her experience living under a totalitarian regime, lead her to pen a futuristic novel, based on what could happen to our country if conditions lined up, when “Looters Law” was the driving force behind government policy.
Her book has served as a waning to those who believe in capitalism and self responsibility. It has helped shape the political philosophy of many on the right. Even though written years ago, many of the authors’ predictions of a totalitarian society seem to be taking shape, with government in control of key industries, picking winners and losers...And a looters law mentality creeping into the campaign rhetoric of "getting a fair shot."
I clicked on Fandango to buy tickets, while I picked up the phone to call Harmon Kaslow.
Following is my interview with Harmon Kaslow, Producer of Atlas Shrugged Part 2
So Harmon, is it by chance that your movie opens 3 weeks before the November Presidential elections “Absolutely by design! In a capitalistic way we planned to take advantage of the election fervor. This faithful adaptation of the book offers an opportunity for swing voters to see what’s going on back in DC and help activate them to vote President Obama out of office.”
If Ayn Rand were alive today, what would her message be to us this close to Election Day? “People! You better right your ship now! You don’t want to go to part 3 of Atlas Shrugged!”
Not only did you find resistance by Hollywood to help produce this movie, John Aglialoro your partner, producer and financial backer, suffered a huge loss of 19 million from a product liability lawsuit involving his exercise equipment company. You really had to overcome hurdles to get this movie made. “Yes the lawsuit was a real blow and a stark reminder of how the tort system is abused. That 19 million dollar suit will mean thousands of people will lose their jobs. But John brought in other investors to help complete and market our film, he is an amazing man. He aspires to bring Atlas shrugged Part 3 to the screen as well.”
Out of all of the films you have made how does Atlas Shrugged Part II compare to the others? “No comparison! All of my others were original works and or screenplays. Atlas Shrugged is one of the greatest American novels ever written, it was a daunting task to bring the truth to the screen. Fortunately when John read it, it was life changing to him. His focus was to stay true to the books intent; he provided the guidance and vision. My job was the nuts and bolts of it.”
Having such conservative views in ground zero of Hollywood liberal elite, seems you would be an outcast: “Hollywood’s an interesting place. Obviously actors and creative people are very supportive of Obama, when he comes here he scoops up millions. But the studios are public companies and are driven by bottom line profits. They defer a lot in the creative process to those who don’t have a direct economic interest in their corporations-It’s hard to balance their drive to make profitable films.
“In short the studios don’t have the courage of John Aglialoroto produce a movie of this type, faithfully adapting to the principles of this book.”
In the book, a way was found to power a motor with only static electricity. Energy would be cheap and plentiful and the way the world turned would be revolutionized.
“The handcuffs put on us by the enormous burden of expensive energy reduce our capacity to be creative. Ironically in this book written over 50 years ago, she shows how transformative to society a cheap source of energy can be by the creative genius unleashed at Galt’s Gulch”.
“Part 3 of Atlas Shrugged will get much more into the sci-fi stuff when it gets produced. In the meantime we are looking forward to millions of people seeing Atlas Shrugged part II to introduce the genius of Ayn Rand to them.”.
But until the time we have a breakthrough in technology that makes energy almost cost free, the alternative is to use our own fossil fuels to bring civilization forward. There will be a great debate on this subject coming up November 5 at Duke University. The name of it is McKibben vs. Epstein. Check it out.
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