Movie Review: The Fountainhead (1949)

Ayn Rand’s sui generis movie still stirs the heart of passionate individualists

FountainheadIf I had to describe the A-list movie production of The Fountainhead in one word that word would be ‘unbelievable:’ it is literally beyond comprehension that such a stark silver screen portrayal of important ideas—with world class acting, directing, score, production design, costumes, and of course writing—could ever be made… much less a movie about the epochal conflict between the individual and the collective (and the parallel ethical conflict between reason-based egoism and faith-based altruism). The second word I would use is ‘moving.’

Lately, The Fountainhead is a DVD I’ve been watching with regularity, simply to recharge my emotional batteries and reaffirm my sense of life. As the astute reader knows, we live in a world where the collectivists of the Toxocracy are hammering the individualists right and left… trying to close in for the kill. [I believe the individualists—full humans—will win, however, and relatively soon, due to a powerful cosmic jujitsu maneuver that I’m happy to be a part of. Ref. esp. Thrive. More on that in my novel soon to be released, The Truman Prophecy.]

And elsewhere, of course: 2016 is the Year of Conscious Evolution, which necessitates psychological independence, which necessitates the full flowering of the individual human conceptual faculty, which necessitates the wholesale adherence of humanity to the nonaggression principle. No this isn’t a dream, it’s real and it’s going to happen. Because of bold creative acts of people like Ayn Rand and those who live by her ideals—not as mere abstractions, but as real people struggling to create a benevolent world that makes sense.

The Movie

The Fountainhead, the book, was published in 1943, a couple of years before the end of WWII. Through the 1930s around the world, and especially among the Western intellectual elites, collectivism in the form of socialism and state socialism—notably the Soviet Union—was held in increasingly high regard. Many Americans felt that US president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s socialistic New Deal was what liberated them from the misery of the (capitalism-caused) Great Depression… plus he was such a good, caring man, with his handicap and all, that everyone loved him without reservation.  .AND. he boldly led us to victory in war; that cuddly superpower ally, the Soviet Union, then helped to finish the task of defeating the Nazis. Continue reading

Guest Column: Howard Roark and the Collective

Why go to fiction to learn about power?
by Jon Rappoport [original column at nomorefakenews.com here]

Why go to fiction to learn about power?

Because in art we can see our visions. We can see ideals and archetypes. These fictional characters have the energy we strive for.

When Ayn Rand, the author of The Fountainhead (1943), was asked whether Howard Roark, the hero of her novel, could exist in real life, she answered, with annoyance, “Of course.”

Her implication was: don’t you have the desire to discover your own highest ideals and live them out?

Roark is an architect who creates buildings no one has imagined before. His refusal to compromise his vision is legendary. He suffers deprivation and poverty and rejection with an astonishing amount of indifference. He is the epitome of the creative individual living in a collective world.

For reasons no one can discover (must there always be reasons?), Roark has freed himself from The Group. Perhaps he was born free.

Roark’s hidden nemesis is a little man named Ellsworth Toohey, an architecture columnist for a New York newspaper, who is quietly building a consensus that has, as its ultimate goal, the destruction of all thought and action by the individual for the individual. Continue reading

Book Review: Ayn Rand

… and the world she made (2009)
by Anne C. Heller[1]

AynWell executed book on an iconic figure by Ms. Heller, who certainly wasn’t an insider with the ‘Objectivist movement’ or blown away by Rand’s work—Heller bestows no glowing accolades on Ayn Rand or her achievements, yet respectfully reports on them with a discernible general sympathy. I find the author’s objectivity valuable, yet necessarily giving an incomplete Gestalt of ‘Who is Ayn Rand.’ Heller is too young to have experienced the rush that Rand’s passionate articulation of heroic individualism provided, mainly, in Baby Boomer prime time (late 1950s into the early 1970s)—with The Fountainhead (1943, movie 1949) and Atlas Shrugged (1957), then the nonfictional politics oriented writings from Rand and her coterie. Continue reading