Tag: Argo

“I want to thank Canada,” Mr. Affleck said

Tuesday, 26 February, 2013 0 Comments

Back when we tipped it to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, we wrote: “Sure, there’s a lot of alcoholic beverage knocked back in Argo, but the booze acts as an expression of civilization and an antidote to the emerging barbarism of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Ben Affleck stars in and directs a film that’s funny, clever, taut and a necessary reminder of the threat that faces us. Argo deserves the Best Film Oscar, and the ‘Best Supporting Actor’ award should go to Alan Arkin as Lester Siegel, a producer so cynical that the knows the price and the value of everyone in Hollywood.”

Well, Alan Arkin didn’t quite get the gong, but he did play a key role in an excellent film and that’s another milestone in an acting and directing career that stretches back over 50 years. By the way, the Argo screenplay by Chris Terrio, based on the May 2007 Wired magazine article The Great Escape by Joshuah Bearman, and chapter nine of The Master of Disguise by Antonio Mendez, is available here (PDF) for all those who would like to study Hollywood tradecraft. And congratulations to Ben Affleck for turning the script into a film that has finally pleased the Canadians. Not an easy thing to do, that.


Argo again

Monday, 11 February, 2013 0 Comments

The producers of Argo, George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Ben Affleck, had a fine time in London last night when their drama about the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979 stole the show and won the Best Film and Best Director gongs at the BAFTA Awards event. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) ceremony is the final major film occasion before this year’s Oscars, which will be handed out on 24 February in Hollywood, in a show hosted by Seth MacFarlane. The Big Mo is certainly with Affleck now. Go Argo!

The producers of Argo


The Iran Tribunal and the crimes of Khomeini

Friday, 8 February, 2013 0 Comments

While watching Argo, I was reminded that the enduring image of the Iranian nightmare was snapped 34 years ago this month: the return of Ayatollah Khomeini to Tehran from France. Although 10 February is celebrated as Revolution Day in Iran, the arrival of Khomeini on 1 February 1979 remains the key moment. On the Air France flight to Tehran, he was asked by ABC News reporter Peter Jennings: “What do you feel in returning to Iran?” Khomeini answered: Hichi (“Nothing”). This one-word statement was considered indicative of his mystical nature by both Islamic fanatics in Iran and useful idiots in the West. By the way, last year’s commemoration of Khomeini’s homecoming was a bit weird as it involved a giant cut-out figure of the old psychopath.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

Meanwhile, the report of the Iran Tribunal has been released. It found that during the 1980s the Islamic Republic was guilty of the murder of between 15,000 and 20,000 political prisoners. Quote: “The religious fervour of these crimes makes them even more shocking: for instance, a woman’s rape was frequently the last act that preceded her execution in Iran, as under the ‘Sharia’ law guidelines, the execution of a virgin female is non-permissible.” Iran is in the hands of evil and medieval people. How long more?


Alcoholic beverages are now available

Thursday, 7 February, 2013 2 Comments

Quote: “Ladies and gentlemen, it is our pleasure to announce that alcoholic beverages are now available, as we have cleared Iranian airspace.” Argo, Scene 318 from the screenplay (PDF) by Chris Terrio, based on the May 2007 Wired magazine article The Great Escape by Joshuah Bearman, and chapter nine of The Master of Disguise by Antonio Mendez.

Sure, there’s a lot of alcoholic beverage knocked back in Argo, but the booze acts as an expression of civilization and an antidote to the emerging barbarism of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Ben Affleck stars in and directs a film that’s funny, clever, taut and a necessary reminder of the threat that faces us. Argo deserves the Best Film Oscar, and the “Best Supporting Actor” award should go to Alan Arkin as Lester Siegel, a producer so cynical that the knows the price and the value of everyone in Hollywood.