Eight days until Atlas Shrugged Part 2 comes to theaters and premieres are in full swing. Tonight, Thursday, tune in at 9:00 p.m. EST to watch livestreaming of the L.A. premiere at the Linwood Dunn Theater.
October 2, Tuesday of this week, marked the first official movie premiere in Washington, D.C. Atlas Society staff attended to celebrate, represent TAS, and discuss the movie with the capitol crowd. David Kelley gave a short speech before the film began, highlighting the ideas of Atlas Shrugged and emphasizing their relevance today.
Also on Tuesday, the movie's Facebook page posted this clip from Part 2 . It shows Hank Rearden (played by Jason Beghe) meeting "the wet nurse" (played by Bug Hall), a young bureaucrat sent from Washington to keep tabs on Rearden Steel. A few lines from this scene appeared in a teaser trailer for the movie , but now we get to see the scene in full:
Fans of the Atlas Shrugged novel will remember that Hank's other nickname for the wet nurse was "Non-Absolute," and the final line from this clip-- "Try pouring a ton of steel without rigid principles"-- is lifted directly from the novel, in the chapter called "The Man Who Belonged On Earth." Here's a passage from that chapter:
"The young boy from Washington-- whom the steel workers had nicknamed the Wet Nurse-- hung around Rearden with a primitive, astonished curiousity which, incredibly, was a form of admiration. Rearden watched him with disgusted amusement. The boy had no inkling of any concept of morality; it has been bred out of him by his college; this had left him an odd frankness, naive and cynical at once, like the innocence of a savage..."
"He spoke in flat assertions. he would say about people, 'He's old-fashioned,' 'He's unreconstructed,' 'He's unadjusted,' without hesitation or explanation; he would also say, while being a graduate in metallurgy, 'Iron-smelting, I think, seems to require a high temperature.' He uttered nothing but uncertain opinions about physical nature-- and nothing but categorical imperatives about men."
The Wet Nurse was not only a satire of clueless young politicians, but also Ayn Rand's comment on metaphysical materialism, epistemological skepticism, and moral pragmatism. Atlas Shrugged's answer, in Hank Rearden and the other heroes, is the philosophy of Objectivism : the metaphysical existence of man's consciousness and free will (in addition to matter), the power of reason in epistemology , and the principled morality of self-interest .
Returning to the movie, now, let's take a moment to acknowledge the graveled glory of Jason Beghe's voice. Coming full-circle, the end of Tuesday night's premiere found David Kelley sitting at a D.C. bar with Jason. David was hoarse from an oncoming cold and from his speech at the event. In a truly delightful Atlas Shrugged mash-up, David and Jason compared their delivery of Hank's lines: "Damn, son, you're brighter than you look" -- "We're done here."
Right: Patrick Fabian (James Taggart), Samantha Mathis (Dagny Taggart), and Jason Beghe (Hank Rearden) at the D.C. premiere on Tuesday October 2.