Iran in the news again but not for what you may expect, but does not all surprise people. As the Associated Press reports, several Iranian news outlets reported that Iran is planning to sue Hollywood over an unrealistic portrayal of the country in the Oscar winning film “Argo.” One such news outlet, pro-reform Shargh daily, said Iran officials are in talks with Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, a french lawyer, over how and when to file a lawsuit. The movie portrays the 1979 attack o the U.S. Embassy in Tehran where 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days, but six staffers were sheltered by the Canadian ambassador. The main focus of the film is on their escape using a fake movie as a cover story. While the movie has receive plenty of acclaim and accolades, after the Oscar win in February, Iranian officials have come out publicly about the movie dismissing it as pro-CIA and anti-Iran propaganda. The lawyer stated to the semi-official Mehr news agency that “We will be able to block distributors of the movie, force them to apologize and challenge them to confess that the movie is nothing but a sheer lie.” Although the movie never showed in Iranian theaters, Iranian have found the movie through bootleg DVDs setting off a debate between those Iranians that took part in the 1979 Revolution who saw the movie as inaccurate and those too young to recall the events who wanted a different perspective. A late Monday viewing of the movie with critics and Iranian cultural officials, sparked the lawsuit but after the gathering called the “Hoax of Hollywood” it remains unclear what charges Iran could raise and what court Tehran could turn to for action according to the Associated Press. According to people in attendance at the gathering, the movie is seen as a “violation of international cultural norms” and in a statement proceeding the meeting comment that “awarding an anti-Iran movie is a propaganda attack against our nation and entire humanity.” Officials are accusing the movie of depicting Iranians as “too violent” and the movies director did not consult other documentaries on the embassy storming or discuss the reasons for the crisis such as tensions over the U.S. CIA-aided counter-coup in 1953 that took down democratically elected Prime Minister in order to restore pro-Western monarchy in Iran.
Of course this is not the first time Hollywood has been under fire for its depiction of history especially when it comes to Iran who believes that the portrayal of its country in movies is rather distorted. In 2009, Iran felt it was owed an apology from Hollywood actors visiting the country and movie industry officials for insulting Iranians in films like “300” and “The Wrestler.” In 2007, the movie “300” which was a hit in the United States angered Iranians because it insults their ancient culture and stirs animosity toward Iran. The 1991 film, “Not Without My Daughter”, a story about an American woman fleeing Iran with her daughter angered Iranians who accused the film of portraying Iranians as dirty, boorish and cruel, Islamic fanatics and womanizers. The Iranian state run film industry boycotted this year’s Oscars due to a Internet video clip made in the U.S. denigrating the Prophet Muhammad setting off protests in the Muslim world.
In Port Orange, Florida, The Last Resort pays homage to one of its more famous clientele, serial killer Aileen Wuornos, because this is the place where she had her last beer before being taken away. The extent to the dedication includes a photo on the bar, bottles of hot sauce and T-shirts sold there, and an airbrushed portrait lists the seven men she killed along with her last words. At a nearby motel, guests often ask for the room where Wuornos stayed. It has been 10 years since her execution and 22 years since her arrest from this her last place.
In 2003, her story was immortalized in the hitchhiking prostitute depicted by Charlize Theron in the movie “Monster” and continues to draw fascination, sympathy, and captivates the public. Some people who come to the bar want to see the bar from the movie. Her story began as a child when she was raped and abused in Michigan, her father committing suicide in prison, and her mother abandoning her resulting in her selling sex to make ends meet. After being shunned by classmates and her grandparents kicking her out at 15, she hitchhikes out of Michigan to Florida where she claimed she killed her first victim in self defense after being raped by a man she picked up off the highway.
The close friend who wrote and received letter from Wuornos while on death row before her execution, says that the bar is exploiting this woman for a profit which is upsetting to her. I think that regardless if this guy has or not, the fact remains is that people love a good story especially a crime of such a brutal nature as this. Even if this guy didn’t take advantage of the opportunity people would still come there but may not come there because of the fact this notorious serial killer had been there. I know quite a bit about Wuornos’ story and feel nothing but sympathy for the woman that was eventually executed as it the generally feeling from the females who visit his bar. I think it is great she is remember not as a serial killer sensationalized by the media and exploited by a movie but as a human being who has a crappy hand dealt her.
Check out these videos that give you a glimpse into what it was like to be a firefighter in 1926. The archives of the Fire Department of New York has released footage of a borough department responding to a fire in 1926. In the first video shot on April 24, 1926 may be the first dash cam video ever and depicts firefighters on their way to a warehouse fire. The second video which is also silent depicts the daily life of the firefighters on call and how they respond to fires. The footage is chaotic like the streets back in 1926 and are not great quality like the photo above which shows the clanging bell on the hood of a car driving on the sidewalk to get to the fire.
Really interesting to get the chance to take a glimpse at footage that has not been seen for ages. Hope you enjoy!