Time to throw out lame puns like “Ar-go lawyer up” and “Ar-go to court” because Iran has Ben Affleck’s Oscar winner for Best Picture in its legal crosshairs. And the Islamic Republic's lawyers aren’t just stopping there. A “Hoax of Hollywood” conference in Tehran on March 11 was intended to “unify all cultural communities in Iran against the attacks of the West, particularly Hollywood.” Gathering culture ministers and film critics, the conference seemed to suggest that lawyers for the nation are prepping lawsuits against numerous producers and directors they feel are guilty of perpetuating “Iranophobia.”
Though Warner Bros. has no comment about the matter, The Guardian reports that French lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, the wife and defender of notorious terrorist Carlos the Jackal, has been brought in to consult on the matter. “I’ll be defending Iran against films that have been made by Hollywood to distort the country’s image, such as Argo.” Other films that may face a legal response are 300, The Wrestler, and 1991’s Not Without My Daughter.
RELATED: Iran Didn’t Like ‘Argo’ So It’s Making Its Own Version
It’s unlikely, however, the directors and producers of these movies have anything to worry about. Iran won’t be able to bring its lawsuit to a U.S. court since there haven’t been diplomatic relations between the two countries since 1979, the year of the hostage crisis depicted in Argo. But it is possible that the suit could be filed in another countries in which these films were also distributed. Presumably, the idea of “Iranophobia” will be translated into charges of libel. But for that to stick, Iran’s lawyers will have to prove that the film’s producers intentionally distorted facts to make Iran look bad, that it made negative claims that fundamentally were not true and with a conscious motive to do so. That’s a tall order and one that rarely affects narrative movies, even ones that claim to be based on historical events. China has also considered suing over the representation of their nation in Hollywood films over the years but to no avail. Instead, they’ve learned to lobby Hollywood, instead—like when they successfully got the producers of the Red Dawn remake to change the villains of that movie from Chinese to North Koreans.
Iran has been cracking down on film in a big way of late, however. They’ve sentenced Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi to seven years of house arrest—which hasn’t stopped him from making movies, like last year’s acclaimed This Is Not a Film and his latest, Closed Curtain, which just won a prize at the Berlin Film Festival. They also boycotted the Oscars this year in the wake of the Innocence of Muslims debacle, despite the fact that the Iranian movie A Separation won Best Foreign Language Film last year. And before threatening legal action against Argo, the government loudly denounced it in the press. “We don’t expect anything else from the enemy,” Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini said after it won the Oscar for Best Picture in February.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
[Photo Credit: Warner Bros.]
You Might Also Like:Topanga's Revealing Lingerie Shoot: Hello '90s! Stars Who Have Lost Roles For Being Too Hot (Celebuzz)
The Man of Steel might have an enemy, but you may not have heard of him -- yet. According to the Latino Review, rising star Edgar Ramirez -- who starred in the mini-series Carlos and has a role in the upcoming Wrath of the Titans -- is currently rumored to be courted as the villain in the upcoming Zack Snyder-directed/Christopher Nolan-produced take on Superman -- tentatively titled Man of Steel. There's no word as to what villain he'll be, though, but sources are tossing around General Zod as the potential enemy. Or, you know, maybe he'll play The Riddler.
Source: Latino Review
Jason Fraser has spent almost 30 years photographing the rich and famous - many relaxing during time away from the spotlight - and has captured iconic images of Marlon Brando, Paul and Linda McCartney, David Bowie, Britney Spears, and George Michael.
He also famously took a picture of Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal in Khartoum, Sudan in 1994 after the fugitive had been on the run for 20 years.
More than 15 of Fraser's photos are on sale via a London gallery for up to $4,125 (£2,750) apiece. All proceeds will go to Lupus UK to fund research into the autoimmune disease.
When I saw that Disney's The Sorcerer's Apprentice came out today, I thought it'd be as good a time as any to run down a list of cinema's best apprentices. To be honest, I also thought it would be a pretty easy list to make, because cinema is filled with great apprenticeships, right? Eh...not so much.
Sure, there are a ton of father-son or mentor relationships, but that's not what I'm looking for. I don't care about a teacher teaching the student before they realize that, really, the student was teaching them all along. Say what you will about The Sorcerer's Apprentice as a whole - I happen to think it's a perfectly satisfying fantasy-for-kids flick with a host of impressive set pieces and special effects - but at least it doesn't stoop to that kind of schmaltz.
So in honor of Nicolas Cage teaching Jay Baruchel how to shoot plasma bolts (how can you not like a movie that combines Nicolas Cage and plasma bolts?), here are my favorite on-screen apprenticeships. Note: most of them involve teaching a set of skills a bit more lethal than bolts of energy.
Leon and Mathilda, The Professional
Luc Besson has made a lot of tremendous, influential films in his time, but none more so than The Professional. Not only did it introduce most of the world to Natalie Portman, but it also gave us a tender story about the passing of skills and lifestyle between generations. It just so happens those skills and that lifestyle involve shooting people in the head for money. As far as diametric opposites go, you can't find a better pair of opposites than Leon and Mathilda, and as far as the actual apprenticeship goes, Mathilda is a surprisingly agile learner.
Jack Shaw and Lt. Cmdr. Annibal Ramirez, The Assignment
The Assignment may be just an above-average thriller about terrorism, but it knocks the apprenticeship angle out of the park. Donald Sutherland is totally believable as a veteran CIA agent who can probably find a way to chop your head off with a rubber band, while Aidan Quinn is great as a soldier who conveniently looks enough like an international terrorist named Carlos the Jackal to be trained as an impostor. And it's the training sequences that make The Assignment memorable. They know how to show gradual progress instead of the instant mastery of skills that should normally take years to develop. If you ever need an example of how to train to be a badass, see the "look in the fridge" exercise in The Assignment.
Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars
I know, I know; Luke and Obi-Wan are an obvious choice, but I don't care. Don't tell me that, as a kid watching Star Wars, you didn't wish to have an Obi-Wan of your own teach you the ways of The Force. Every kid did and I refuse to believe otherwise. For that fact alone, this duo earn their spot on this list.
The Bride and Pai Mei, Kill Bill: Vol. 2
The relationship between The Bride and Pai Mei in Kill Bill isn't so much as an apprenticeship as it is an old martial arts master begrudgingly doing a favor for his friend by not killing the silly white woman left at his temple steps, but, that's close enough in my book. She may have only learned one particular skill from him, but it was a pretty damned useful one.
Hit Girl and Big Daddy, Kick-Ass
Yes, they're father and daughter in real life, but in their crime-fighting life, Hit Girl is absolutely Big Daddy's gleeful little apprentice. Not only is she a quick learner, but she's also an in-the-trenches, hands-on learner. There's no philosophizing talks of theory, just a whole lot of on-the-job training that pays off in big and bloody and glorious ways.
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille and Giuseppe Baldini, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
Tom Tykwer's fantastic, underappreciated Perfume: The Story of a Murderer features a very rudimentary apprenticeship, but its purely functional nature is what makes it interesting. Jean-Baptiste Grenouille (Ben Whishaw) doesn't want to become a perfumist like Giuseppe Baldini (Dustin Hoffman), he just wants to learn how to capture the essence of smells. He's already got a nearly superhuman sense of smell, so all he needs from Baldini is a simple set of lessons on how to distill and preserve odors. And he proves to be so damned good at it, that he goes on to do things with smells that Baldini could never dream of. It may sound silly, but if you haven't seen this flick, you need to bump it up to the top of your must-watch flick pronto.
Documentary about Carlos the Jackal. His name is synonymous with political terrorism in the 1970s. He was rumored to be the mastermind behind the Munich Olympic tragedy, the hijacking of an El Al jet in Uganda and the bombing of Pan Am 103. Six years after his arrest, the true story of Carlos the Jackal can be told. Was he as ruthless as people said or was his legend larger than life?