Quote of the week...please share your favourite line from Ayn Rand's writings

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.”

Saturday, August 14, 2010

We The Living, The Movie

Ayn Rand's novel, We The Living tells the story of individual battling the state. It was made into a movie, first without the permission of Ayn Rand. It was a huge success when it was released, and was reviewed widely. Many consider it a better movie than the film version of "The Fountainhead. A special screening of the film "We The Living" will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, 21 August 2010, at the NCUI Auditorium in Delhi.

Excerpts from certain reviews and interviews:

" The banned, lost, rediscovered: Ayn Rand's "We the Living" lives on!" was published on We The Living The Movie website.

"The movie opened in Rome and was a huge box-office success. But before long, the film came to be viewed as a sly indictment of the Mussolini regime. In addition, the portrayal of an intelligent, sexually independent heroine, groundbreaking for its time, was viewed as controversial. The film was banned by the Italian government and ordered to be destroyed. But Massimo Ferrara, the studio chief for Scalera Films, hid the original negatives with a trusted friend and sent the negatives of another Scalera production to authorities for destruction! After the war, efforts to rerelease the film were ended when Rand declined to grant the necessary literary rights. By the early 1950's Scalera Films had gone out of business and We the living had dropped from sight."
"Philosopher Robert Mayhew on Ayn Rand's novel "We the Living", interviewed by Scott Holleran" was published in Capitalism Magazine.

"What is We the Livings theme?
The individual versus the state, especially the evil of statism. I think
thats how Ayn Rand talks about it in The Art of Fiction. It would never be the evil of Soviet Russia. Thats why I think We the Living is so much more effective than something like Alexander Solzhenitsyns The Gulag Archipelago, where you come away thinking the Soviets are evil, sadistic bastards but theres no sense of what is the alternative. In We the Living, its clear why any dictatorship is evil. Its not just a critique of Soviet Russia. Solzhenitsyn, in effect, says Soviet Russia is evilAyn Rand says why it is evil."
"Ayn Rand's popularity spurs release of the lost film, by Duncan Scott" was published in Newsmax

"Rand had recently emigrated from the Soviet Union and was living in the United States during the filming. “With the war on, she didn’t even know her book had been turned into a movie until years later.” Scott added. “We the Living” is widely regarded as Rand’s most heartfelt story. It draws heavily from her personal experiences growing up in St. Petersburg. Rand would later say that the book was “as close to an autobiography as I will ever write.” Set in Russia during the chaotic years following the Communist Revolution, “We the Living” is a powerful love story focusing on some of Rand’s most complex characters and visualized on an epic scale."
"Love, politics and Ayn Rand - A review of "We the Living", by Cathy Young" was published in Forbes.

"In 1942 the Italian government sanctioned a film version of the novel, intended as anti-Bolshevik and anti-Russian propaganda--in blatant disregard of copyright infringement. The adaptation by Goffredo Alessandrini consisted of two films, each about two hours long: Noi Vivi (We the Living) and Addio Kira (Goodbye, Kira). Valli and Brazzi costarred as Kira and Leo; Fosco Giachetti, a popular leading man of Fascist-era Italian cinema, played Andrei. The two-part film was a hit, but it also raised the eyebrows of officials in the Mussolini government who belatedly realized that its pro-freedom message could be read as anti-Fascist. After a six-month run the film was pulled from distribution, the prints and negatives seized by the Secretariat of the National Fascist Party and the producer summoned to party headquarters in Rome to answer charges of making an anti-Fascist film."
Making the "We the Living" movie, a two part interview of Duncan Scott, by Andrew Schwartz was published in The Atlasphere.

"TA: What was that[the movie] like?
Scott: It was quite a big job, and a far more creative process than I thought. It's not just a matter of translating something. Translating is a very creative process, because of the difficulty of finding the idiomatic or colloquial expressions that mean the same thing from one language to another. We spent a lot of time going back to the book and making sure that we had the spirit of the book — that was more important to us than literally translating from the original Italian word for word."
Good-bye Kira! Critiques review We the Living was published in Rossano Brassi International Network.

"It has a passion that is undeniably moving." - London Morning Star
"Place WE THE LIVING on the top of your "must-see" movie list ... a romantic and powerfully-dramatic experience never likely to be forgotten. WE THE LIVING has the power to enslave the heart and the emotions. It's a wonderful film." - Bill Collins, Sydney Daily Mirror
"Grand and lavish entertainment." - Variety

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