I have spent the last seven articles explaining to a large degree how our present society has arrived at a very bad place rooted in deep collectivism sharing in common with the hard-core Christians, the Satanists, the big government liberals, the crony capitalist Republicans, the drug abusing libertarians, the communists, the socialists, the Masons, the saints, the sinners and gutter whores the single metaphor climaxing at the Denver International Airport, the center of the swastika—the entry point into spiritual enlightenment through group oriented acceptance. CLICK HERE TO REVIEW. If you are like me, and have studied all these aspects of human nature and determined them to be insufficient to the individual creative mind that desires to excel away from the collective summation mentality imposed upon us by the limited thinking of people fearful of their own shadows, then you will be delighted to know that Atlas Shrugged Part III finally wrapped on Valentines’ Day 2014 and that Kristoffer Polaha appears to have done a marvelous job portraying John Galt from that famous book of the same name. Watch the interview below between JJ Snyder and Polaha during the final days of the Atlas III production with her hilarious gigantic microphone. Click the link below to learn more about John Galt and his epic speech which will appear in this third film.
I think Polaha is the perfect John Galt, which was something I was very concerned about. One thing that became very evident to me while watching the film rendition of Ender’s Game recently is that the film was too intellectual to achieve blockbuster status in Hollywood. I remember when Blade Runner first appeared and was considered a box office disaster. It was because the film was way out in front of the Hollywood trend in 1982. Ender’s Game was very good, but people not familiar with the book would likely be lost. The film cost a lot of money and barely made back its production value with a worldwide take. Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley and a wonderful performance by several young actors could not compete with Thor which came out a week later and soaked up the box office dollars. Ender’s Game was considered by modern Hollywood standards to be a box office failure—but so was Blade Runner which is now considered a masterpiece of science fiction. Many years from now Ender’s Game will be considered in much the same way. It is a very intellectual film, and difficult for pop culture enthusiasts to embrace. In many ways, this is the case of the Atlas Shrugged films. The work that John Aglialoro put into these three films has been astonishing and will not be appreciated in the short run with gigantic box office takes—but many years down the road. The Atlas films will be known as a benchmark for change in Hollywood, and the type of films they produce—and the kind of material that home theater owners wish to devour. The fart jokes and topless teen films of old will give way to the intellectually stimulating films of Ender’s Game and Atlas Shrugged Part III because there is value in those later productions which has staying power where the old models of mindless Hollywood tripe is presently outdated and due for extinction.
Aglialoro has been a resilient figure of sheer tenacity. I admire the guy greatly. He had the film rights to Atlas Shrugged for many years and has succeeded where box office Hollywood tycoons like Clint Eastwood, Angelina Jolie and several others failed. Hollywood did not want to make Atlas Shrugged, which is the second most popular book in the Library of Congress behind only The Bible. The message of Ayn Rand’s work is one of true individual freedom, particularly intellectually—and this has operated counter to the message of progressivism which took over Hollywood studios in conjunction to Rand’s work on Objectivism philosophy. Aglialoro did not make much money on the first two films which I enjoyed. He took a massive beating from critics, but anyone who has read The Fountainhead understands why those critics hated the first two Atlas Shrugged films. Ayn Rand understood it clearly, and so does John and Harmon Kaslow whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a time or two. Kaslow is another one of the producers, and I think is a wonderful guy. CLICK HERE TO REVIEW. I was very touched by Harmon when he was in Cincinnati and we talked about the impact that the Atlas films was having on literature. He admitted then how much working on these films had changed his life. There was an authenticity to him that was obvious, as if he had just discovered for the first time in his life a real Galt’s Galch. These guys were making a movie not so much for the box office success, but in dedication to a philosophy that was unique and formed on the heels of thousands of years of human failure. The first two films are basically set up movies for the final act which will be Atlas Shrugged Part III. It will be the first film where the mythical John Galt finally makes an appearance and it is there that the overall philosophy of the previous two films come together. Aglialoro could have simply backed out of the project after the harsh criticism of Part II, but he retooled and came back with a vengeance for Part III and made an excellent casting decision with Kristoffer Polaha.
Even four years later people are just now discovering for the first time Part I and Part II. When they watch them on DVD and Netflix they are then discovering Rand’s written works and delving into them carefully. This has been a pattern that takes some time. For some people this journey could take 10 to 15 years to fully comprehend some of the concepts. When the films were first released only people who were already intellectually comprehending Objectivism were able to understand the John Galt message. So many people were raised on various degrees of collectivism from all political facets that they simply couldn’t put their mind around the ideas conveyed in the movies. Critics were actually terrified of the ramifications of a John Galt approach to life in the way that a child afraid of the monster in their closet feels exposed when the covers of their bed is ripped away leaving them open and vulnerable to the darkness. Their hatred of the Atlas Shrugged films were not in the production values as they declared—which were quite good—it was in the vulnerability that the film’s content exposed in them intellectually.
Aglialoro had to create a production company that could make an Atlas Shrugged type of film because nobody in the entertainment industry was prepared to do that kind of work. This is no different from when George Lucas had to invent Industrial Light and Magic to create Star Wars. In 1975 and 1976 there were no special effects companies able to make Star Wars, so Lucas had to create them—even though special effects films had been done in the past. As time went on, the Star Wars films got better as Industrial Light and Magic gained skill. Lucas was so embarrassed by the first Star Wars film by his standards that he went back and fixed his issues with the 1997 Special Editions. In the same way, Aglialoro has become more proficient as a film producer. The Atlas Shrugged movies have increasingly grown in quality with each one climaxing into Part III. The difference between Atlas Shrugged and Star Wars is that the later took everyone by surprise where the former had an entrenched Hollywood machine defense against it. Hollywood is still uneasy with all this new production ability that people outside of their studios have access to. They loved the days when anyone who wanted to make a movie had to come to them—and they could control what was green lit, and what got rejected. Now anyone who wants to make a movie can, and Hollywood hates it—because it means change that is not to their advantage.
Movies are about ideals and the visual format presents them in a way that makes concepts assessable to regular people who might not otherwise read a 1000 page book and a speech from John Galt that takes three straight hours. There are certainly plenty of collectivist films made, but very few that represent values of true individual achievement. Ender’s Game was certainly one of these films—where one little kid in his teens became the savior of Earth with a rigorous level of skill and competition which fell fully on his shoulders. There was nobody else who could do his job—and that is a message that the current entertainment culture despises. They want altruistic films about sharing and overcoming faults—not an Overman who literally carries the entire world on their shoulders the way Ender Wiggans did, or John Galt does in Atlas Shrugged Part III. Hollywood used to make those types of films with John Wayne, Zorro, and the Lone Ranger, but they moved into less strong characters that were more appealing to the “everyman” and their belching, farting grossness.” This left few studios to even understand how to approach a film like Atlas Shrugged. So John Aglialoro had to create a production company that could make a film like Atlas Shrugged Part III. The endeavor was not easy, but the world will be better off because he fought through tremendous opposition to deliver the final, and likely the best film of the Atlas series.
Kristoffer Polaha is the perfect John Galt. He’s a person of value; he loves his wife, his children and is extremely charismatic. During the interview above he made it a point to explain that he was a man of religion and was a wonderful find from the Atlas production guys. Even though I have made comparisons to Star Wars when discussing the path to actually making a film like Atlas III the void is not a technical one—it’s a philosophic one. In this respect Atlas Shrugged Part III and the films which came before it are more likely to resemble the box office prowess of a film like Trouble with the Curve by Clint Eastwood. These are not films that will smash box office records because they are more intellectual than action oriented. In the case of the Atlas films, they are about big philosophic ideals which run counter to the current mainstream, and take time to be accepted by the movie going public. In that regard, Kristoffer’s rendition of John Galt is likely to resonate for decades as the character has the potential to be as impactful to society as Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name character from the Leone westerns. The difference between the characters is essentially Galt uses philosophy, where Eastwood’s “No Name” character used a gun. Both stand for individuality in raw form and will resonate powerfully to the movie going public. But the nature of the delivery will be unusual, and will take audiences time to adjust to.
John Galt is literally one of the strongest characters to ever be introduced to a story. Galt does not have the crutch of a superpower, or even financial means. He is not the quickest gunman, or the best pilot—he is simply the best at everything and is without a flaw of any kind, which is difficult for traditional narrative story telling. John Galt is unique to the world of literature and film—and audiences will be confronted with a problem in dealing with him. Women will love him because as anybody who knows anything understands that the number one trait women crave in a man is confidence—followed closely by smell. John Galt played by Kristoffer Polaha will cause women to swoon in a big way. They will LOVE John Galt. For men, they will have a much more difficult problem. Girly men, movie critics, progressive psychopaths, and men easily dominated by their wives will not understand John Galt and will not have context to relate. They may enjoy the message of John Galt from a libertarian point of view—but the character himself will not be one that they will relate to. It’s not like they can go out and buy a new Hummer because Arnold drives one, or join a gym to get big muscles like Sylvester Stallone—John Galt will require men to build their minds up intellectually to even comprehend the character and that will take a number of years. That is the primary reason nobody but John Aglialoro has attempted to bring John Galt to the screen in all these years. Several have tried, but nobody has succeeded because the task in doing so meant that Aglialoro had to build a production company from the bottom up just to comprehend the character of John Galt. For those who have not read the book the nature of the character upon their first introduction will be difficult—like meeting an alien from another world for the first time who comes from a much more advanced culture. John Galt is that type of character.
John Galt is the product of American philosophy—not the work the Scottish, the English, or the Greeks. He is not molded from the minds of the orient. He is not a god from South Pacific legend or a Norse god from the icy Arctic waters. He is uniquely a product of American philosophy created during a time when the benefits of 100 years of American achievement produced the most powerful country on earth which began to be attacked under the European premise of progressivism. This period would be approximately 1790 to 1890. Galt is a rejection of that European premise of progressivism infecting American culture from 1890 to the present and is a direct product of American ingenuity, and a commentary on what it means to be born free in The United States. John Galt has the potential to be to America what Miyamoto Mushasi is to Japan, or King Author is to Europe. John Galt is a character of epic scale and to play him the producers wisely found just the right guy in Kristoffer Polaha. John Galt is all about viewing productive enterprise as a creative endeavor. For Galt, creating a new railroad, a new building, or a new kind of metal, electrical power, or any technical achievement is the highest work of art—more important than the Mona Lisa or the collected works of Edger Allen Poe and his cut off ear. The businessman is not a symbol of greed and decadence the way 100 years of progressivism have instructed 99.999999999999% of society. But an act of the highest moral order and that is something that is very unique from a narrative standpoint that is not easily accepted, and is declarative against those who fall short of that vision.
As I watched the proceedings on the last day of shooting during Valentines Day, as everyone just wound down after the aggressive 20-day shoot I realized I was watching history in the making. It is a kind of slow cook that will not make a huge splash in box office numbers right out of the gate. It will sort of simmer for a decade or two like many of the progressive policies did on the backs of several occult mystics and superstitious knuckleheads from the past. Atlas Shrugged Part III is an achievement, like climbing a tall mountain that nobody thought possible and those who hoped nobody ever would using superstition to keep anybody from even trying. But John Aglialoro and a small army of dedicated supporters did, and the result will appear in around 500 theaters this upcoming fall of 2014. And the world will be a lot better off because of it—which makes me immensely proud.
Soon the world will know who John Galt is, and particularly women, will fall in love with him. Kristoffer Polaha will be the dream of millions of women who want a spouse like him, and millions of men will yearn to be.