Argo: A hostage situation we knew nothing about

Intro by Maria

Hey podcast audience. Maria here. Welcome to my totally meta introduction for our next episode of Peculiar Picture Show. It’s appropriate, because today, we’ll be discussing the 2012 film Argo—a movie that was chosen to be on this podcast purely because it won Best Picture at the 85th Academy Awards. And this is why you’re getting me introducing the movie instead of Brandon. You see, typically we introduce the movies we chose or the ones where we feel most connected. That’s why, for Silver Linings Playbook you had Brandon introducing the episode, talking about being diagnosed with bipolar. And then you got me, talking about my trauma in the Natural Born Killers one.

But Argo wasn’t especially meaningful for Brandon or for me, so basically we decided that I would do the introduction for this episode. And now that you’re all caught up as to the why you are listening to me talk rather than Brandon, let’s take a moment to summarize Argo.

Argo takes place during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979, when Iranians stormed the U.S. embassy and took hostages. Unknown to the Iranians, six Americans escaped from the embassy. The movie focuses on the delicate extrication of these six people. I say “delicate,” because it wasn’t just that these Americans could call an Uber for the airport and fly out—no, the situation was delicate because of the environment at that time. So of course someone from the CIA, named Tony Mendez (played by Ben Affleck), comes up with a plan to save these people by enlisting the help of Hollywood and pretending he’s part of a production for a sci-fi film called Argo.

Surprise! That’s the name of our movie! It’s a movie about a movie, just like this intro is about an intro. Anyway, of course Mendez is able to get the Americans out of the country safely. Oh, and did I mention that Mendez is struggling with his fatherly responsibilities during this time? No? Well, it’s in there, I guess—somewhere. I do hope you enjoy our discussion of this film that we would have never seen if we didn’t create this podcast. Three cheers for Argo on the next episode of Peculiar Picture Show.


M: I know a lot of people who are trying to have children and they can’t, and it’s really upsetting. When all that pressure is on them and you don’t know what’s going on in somebody’s life, and you’re at work and you see they don’t have children, and you’re like, “Blah blah, why don’t you have children?”—you should think a little bit before you say that.

B: There seems to be a stigma against people who do not want kids. The idea is that being a parent is such a selfless thing that anybody who doesn’t want that is deficient in some way. If you don’t want kids, that’s fine—you have a lot more time and money to give to other people.

B: That’s why we started this [podcast], is not only to look at our favorite movies, but also, what is public opinion of mental health? Looking at the public opinion of mental health surrounding hostage situations, I think there’s this real reluctance to accept the idea that there is lasting damage from being a hostage, and it could go on for years.

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