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-   -   The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO" (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=103626)

Bruce M. Thomson 01-30-2013 03:11 PM

The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
CONFIDENTIAL MEMO TO BEN AFFLECK: When you’re up there on the stage of the Dolby Theatre accepting the Oscar for Best Picture of 2012, please put in a plug for a forthcoming documentary, featuring former Canadian ambassador to Iran Ken Taylor, that will tell the real facts that you scrambled on the way to making Argo a hugely entertaining winner.

How do I know about this documentary?

I heard about it recently over drinks with Taylor, the real hero of the escape-from-Iran saga, and Elena Semikina, one of the producers of the doc, details of which will soon be announced.

Our Man in Tehran is the working title. Semikina, a tall, blond former Miss Universe Canada and aspiring actress, is collaborating with Drew Taylor, a former triple-A baseball pitcher who has started a film acting and directing career. They’ve found a big-name partner in Rhombus Media, with Alliance Films as distributor.

The film will reveal the facts about Canada’s role in keeping safe for months six fugitives who escaped from the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 when militants seized control and held more than 50 U.S. citizens hostage for more than a year. It will also explain how the key decisions were made in Ottawa and show the leading role played by Taylor. The doc’s ultimate goal is to create public recognition of Canada’s role in the happy ending, which Argo fudged with fabrications to glorify the CIA and make your character, CIA operative Tony Mendez, the hero while taking the audience for an enjoyable ride.

Of course, we don’t know for sure that your movie’s name will be in the last envelope to be opened on Feb. 24 (which would make it the first Best Picture Oscar winner since Driving Miss Daisy without a matching Best Director nomination).

But last weekend the odds changed in your film’s favour. On Friday, as the subject of a tribute at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, you were still a scrappy underdog. But you rushed back to L.A., where Argo took the top prize at both the Producers Guild of America Awards on Saturday and the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday.

That double win was a game changer. True, Argo had already beaten Lincoln at the Golden Globes, but many smart insiders snicker at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as a group whose members are less interested in cinematic art than in being granted interviews and having their pictures taken with the stars.

The guild awards are taken much more seriously as a sign of what Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voters are thinking.

So now, pundits are predicting your Argo will knock off Lincoln and seven other Best Picture nominees.

When it had its world premiere as a gala at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, you’ll recall that Taylor (portrayed in the film by Victor Garber) was conspicuously absent.

That’s because, as I reported in the Star a few days later, Taylor had not been invited by Warner Bros. And his Toronto friends were offended by the way your film downplayed his role in the dramatic escape from Iran of the six fugitives. A postscript printed onscreen at the end of the movie claimed CIA agents were the real heroes of the escape but allowed Canada to take credit, as a result of which Taylor received a huge number of citations.

As I reported in the Star a week later, you quickly attempted to fix the problem by calling Taylor to say: “If you have issues, I’ll address them.”

Taylor and his wife, Pat Taylor, were flown from their New York home to L.A. for a private screening. The offensive postscript was killed and replaced by a new one, drafted by Taylor, who was interviewed for the DVD version. In October, an invitational screening in Washington was co-hosted by Warner Bros. and Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., Gary Doer, with the Taylors as honoured guests.

That’s all very sweet, but millions of people who see Argo will still be getting a bogus version of events, with Canada deprived of proper credit.

Let us consider just a few inaccuracies. There was no crisis at the airport as depicted in the movie’s climactic scene. No one was considering closing the Canadian embassy, as a plot point indicated. And the fugitives never went to the bazaar, as shown in a grossly racist scene.

As Taylor says, Canada had responsibility for taking care of the fugitives and the CIA was a junior partner. Much of the behind-the-scenes drama took place in Ottawa. Joe Clark, Canada’s prime minister at the time, took a big risk by opting to shelter the U.S. fugitives.

“We weren’t moved around like chess pieces by the CIA,” is how Taylor puts it. “Canada could have done this alone.”

One can’t help but wonder why the highly inventive Argo surges ahead while accusations of factual inaccuracy have knocked Zero Dark Thirty out of the race for the top Oscar. (Zero director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal have been maligned for distorting historical facts concerning the use of torture in the hunt for Osama bin Laden.)

Influential people in the U.S. are nervous about torture, but it seems hardly any one cares if Argo is turned into a feel-good saga about the brilliant teamwork of Washington and Hollywood, while Canada plays the part of humble and slightly dim-witted servant.

But there’s an easy way you can still make nice with Canada: offer to be the narrator of Our Man in Tehran.

vxla 01-30-2013 06:43 PM

Re: The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
What does this have to do with drumming?

BacteriumFendYoke 01-30-2013 06:46 PM

Re: The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by vxla (Post 1105323)
What does this have to do with drumming?

It's in the 'Off Topic' lounge.

GRUNTERSDAD 01-30-2013 07:23 PM

Re: The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
Just be very careful that this doesn't go political. A word to the wise should be sufficient

wsabol 01-30-2013 07:40 PM

Re: The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
From the Argo Wikipedia page

Quote:

Canadian vs. CIA roles

After the film was previewed at the Toronto International Film Festival[13] in September 2012, some critics said that it unfairly glorified the role of the CIA and minimized the role of the Canadian government, particularly that of Ambassador Taylor, in the extraction operation. Macleans asserted that "the movie rewrites history at Canada's expense, making Hollywood and the CIA the saga's heroic saviours while Taylor is demoted to a kindly concierge."[14] The postscript text said that the CIA let Taylor take the credit for political purposes, which some critics thought implied that he did not deserve the accolades he received.[15] Affleck changed the postscript text to read, "The involvement of the CIA complemented efforts of the Canadian embassy to free the six held in Tehran. To this day the story stands as an enduring model of international co-operation between governments."[16] The Toronto Star complained, "Even that hardly does Canada justice."[17] When interviewed, Taylor noted that, "In reality, Canada was responsible for the six and the CIA was a junior partner. But I realize this is a movie and you have to keep the audience on the edge of their seats."[16] Taylor is also shown threatening to close the Canadian embassy in the movie; in reality, this never happened.[16]
Affleck noted,

"Because we say it's based on a true story, rather than this is a true story, we're allowed to take some dramatic license. There's a spirit of truth", and that, "the kinds of things that are really important to be true are—for example, the relationship between the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. stood up collectively as a nation and said, ‘We like you, we appreciate you, we respect you, and we’re in your debt.’...There were folks who didn’t want to stick their necks out and the Canadians did. They said, ‘We’ll risk our diplomatic standing, our lives, by harbouring six Americans because it’s the right thing to do.’ Because of that, their lives were saved."[14]
What you say is true, but remember that the primary goal of Hollywood's products are to entertain, not necessarily tell the truth, the whole truth, so help you god. The percentage of "historically based" films that don't paint the whole picture or fudge some details is probably 99-100%, so this is nothing new.

As an American I was very moved by the film and by the story in general. I can assure you that Canadian government's aid came across as very integral to the plot and the survival of the six Americans, regardless of the details. Now that the movie is out, I'm sure all Americans who see it have an appreciation for the sacrifices Canada made and feel grateful for our northern neighbors.

EDIT: ps. According to the "Canadian Caper" wiki, there is already a film, released in 1981, depicting the rescue from Canada's perspective. It's called "Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper". I might check this one out.

tamadrm 01-30-2013 08:42 PM

Re: The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wsabol (Post 1105348)
From the Argo Wikipedia page



What you say is true, but remember that the primary of Hollywood's products are to entertain, not necessarily tell the truth, the whole, so help you god. The percentage of "historically based" films that don't paint the whole picture or fudge some details is probably 99-100%, so this is nothing new.

As an American I was very moved by the film and by the story in general. I can assure you that Canadian government's aid came across as very integral to the plot and the survival of the six Americans, regardless of the details. Now that the movie is out, I'm sure all Americans who see it have an appreciation for the sacrifices Canada made and feel grateful for our northern neighbors.

EDIT: ps. According to the "Canadian Caper" wiki, there is already a film, released in 1981, depicting the rescue from Canada's perspective. It's called "Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper". I might check this one out.



+1.This has always been the case with Hollywood film making.You can't assume anything that comes from there is even close 100% historicly accurate.

A quote from "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" outlines this nicely...."Sir,this is the West,when the legend becomes fact...print the legend".

It's all based on either entertainment value,or the directors perspective of the facts(historical enhancement).Just ask Oliver Stone or Michael Moore,whos films are based on THEIR opinion of what happened,based on their own personal belief system,and genreally nothing to do with reality.

Steve B

aydee 01-30-2013 08:42 PM

Re: The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
...

I assumed the 'Canadian' story was kept out of the limelight for political and diplomatic reasons of that time. Affleck has apologized to Taylor, I believe.


....

Bruce M. Thomson 01-30-2013 10:14 PM

Re: The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by vxla (Post 1105323)
What does this have to do with drumming?

It is called the THE OFF TOPIC LOUNGE.

Bruce M. Thomson 01-30-2013 10:16 PM

Re: The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by aydee (Post 1105373)
...

I assumed the 'Canadian' story was kept out of the limelight for political and diplomatic reasons of that time. Affleck has apologized to Taylor, I believe.


....

Yes he has and I certainly don't mind a good story if it has to be tweeked; I posted this because some Canadians get so uptight about things American. I hope I did not offend anyone as that was not my intention. I plan on seeing it, I think I will enjoy the humour and there were lots of things going on I'm sure back in the USA that were not known.

Bruce M. Thomson 01-30-2013 10:27 PM

Re: The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wsabol (Post 1105348)
From the Argo Wikipedia page



What you say is true, but remember that the primary of Hollywood's products are to entertain, not necessarily tell the truth, the whole, so help you god. The percentage of "historically based" films that don't paint the whole picture or fudge some details is probably 99-100%, so this is nothing new.

As an American I was very moved by the film and by the story in general. I can assure you that Canadian government's aid came across as very integral to the plot and the survival of the six Americans, regardless of the details. Now that the movie is out, I'm sure all Americans who see it have an appreciation for the sacrifices Canada made and feel grateful for our northern neighbors.

EDIT: ps. According to the "Canadian Caper" wiki, there is already a film, released in 1981, depicting the rescue from Canada's perspective. It's called "Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper". I might check this one out.

I have seen it; alcohol almost dooms them. Thanks, I respond below that I posted it to show how some of my countrymen can get a bit hung up on this sort of thing. It looks to be a great movie and I agree that things sometimes need to be altered in order for to be that way. I should have mentioned my intention but I was also curious to see the response.
Cheers

?uesto 02-01-2013 07:46 AM

Re: The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
Hey, true or false as the movie may have been, it wasn't deserving of Best Picture, regardless.

Don't take it to heart, though. Hollywood has been profiting off falsifying history since before Disney.

aydee 02-01-2013 10:08 AM

Re: The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
...

I guess its about how much butter you put on the toast.

Movie making will always be about a 'version' of the events ( even it claims to be based on a true story ). All history is a version really, after all.
Movies will also always be about the director's creative interpretation of the events ( not to mention box- office )

As an example, the nerve - jangling ride the hostages took through the markets of Tehran, did not actually happen but the director used this little bit of fiction to express the stress of the moment.

Having said this, the Canadian role in this whole episode was central, and crucial. And this is also just a movie, folks, where facts sometimes become play second fiddle to entertainment.


...

Bruce M. Thomson 02-25-2013 07:15 PM

Re: The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
Jimmy Carter speaks about the true story of The Hostage Crisis.

http://youtu.be/xVV2c7k36n0

On a personal note, even though I am Canadian I just want to say that I liked Jimmy Carter and it is a shame how things turned out for him, but he certainly endures with good works to this day.

larryz 02-26-2013 05:48 PM

Re: The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bruce M. Thomson (Post 1113260)
Jimmy Carter speaks about the true story of The Hostage Crisis.

http://youtu.be/xVV2c7k36n0

On a personal note, even though I am Canadian I just want to say that I liked Jimmy Carter and it is a shame how things turned out for him, but he certainly endures with good works to this day.

I love Jimmy Carter and what he has done with his Carter Center to help alleviate suffering in poor countries, as well as the whole Habitat for Humanity effort, etc., etc. Certainly not a former president who retired from office and is now on the public speaking circuit making millions $$$. The morons who criticize him are uneducated twits.

tamadrm 02-26-2013 05:55 PM

Re: The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ?uesto (Post 1106130)
Hey, true or false as the movie may have been, it wasn't deserving of Best Picture, regardless.

Don't take it to heart, though. Hollywood has been profiting off falsifying history since before Disney.

Quite true....funny you should mention Disney.

Walt Disney holds the world record with 22 Oscars.Yep 22.

In truth,very few movies are 100% historicly accurate,reguardless of where they were made.

Steve B

aydee 02-26-2013 05:58 PM

Re: The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bruce M. Thomson (Post 1113260)
Jimmy Carter speaks about the true story of The Hostage Crisis.

http://youtu.be/xVV2c7k36n0

On a personal note, even though I am Canadian I just want to say that I liked Jimmy Carter and it is a shame how things turned out for him, but he certainly endures with good works to this day.

Jimmy Carter was a good man but an unlucky president. Even as a kid, it was really sad to see his humiliation after the Tehran hostage fiasco. Good thing Dubya was still in diapers back then.

...

bigiainw 03-11-2013 02:33 PM

Re: The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ?uesto (Post 1106130)
Hey, true or false as the movie may have been, it wasn't deserving of Best Picture, regardless.

I disagree, it was one of the few best picture winners that I have seen that I have enjoyed.

aydee 03-19-2013 02:54 PM

Re: The Canadian View of The Movie "ARGO"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tamadrm (Post 1113551)

In truth,very few movies are 100% historicly accurate,reguardless of where they were made.

Steve B


All of history is 'somebody's' version of the facts, isnt it?

I'd take it all with a large pinch of salt, because be it history books, movies or documented accounts, they will always have the narrater's bais embedded within, regardless of their 'authenticity'.

Hollywood has always had fun with 'creative license', as it should, even when they call it 'a true story'. Its primary job is to entertain and they cant really called it 'mostly a true story'.

I enjoyed the 'non-Hollywood-ness' of Argo. Without the usual formulas. Though I love Tarantino, this was they opposite end of the spectrum.. Nice to see Hollywood go a little more ' adult' in its target audience definitions.
...


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