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  • At Argo’s beginning, though, we see a more complicated political point, one more valuable to America this election season. It’s a documentary-style sequence, before the actual story begins, and easy to forget once embroiled in the comedy and drama of the rescue scheme.”

  • Affleck presents a wonderfully effective prologue that reminds, informs and educates the audience about the events that led to such tensions via a visually stunning montage of comic book imagery and newsreel footage that sets the stage for the events to follow. ”

  • Opening with a quick recap of Middle Eastern international relations, Affleck drops us straight in to a pulsating sequence in which the US embassy is overrun, with genuine archive footage used to sterling effect. ”

  • But there is also something fantastically artistic and poignant about his choice of narration style in this segment. It is reductive and simplistic but uses a version of history that wasn't openly admitted by The States until 2000. Specifically America's role in the ousting of the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh and the establishment of the monarch Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as political leader in 1953. ”

  • From the lithe, brilliant synopsis of the source of Iran/U.S. tension that plays out over the opening credits all the way to the clearly somewhat more liberally interpreted final escape, everything just moves together so well. ”

  • The opening minutes feel lifted from a documentary about the 1970s Iranian Revolution; grainy photography from Rodrigo Prieto allows stock footage to blend seamlessly with the actual film. ”

  • Affleck’s unique opening sequence in “Argo” uses an educational combination of Hollywood style storyboards, real news footage, and narration to set the stage for America’s involvement with Iran prior to the events of the movie. ”

  • An opening narration sequence setting the scene over storyboards is an interesting, clever touch.”

  • Through some opening narration, the film provides the political lead-up to the incident, including some bad decisions made by the United States in the previous 30 years. The Americans are the good guys here as well as the victims, but the film acknowledges there’s a dark complexity to our political history.”

  • Although the film focuses on the Americans and Canadians, it does allow us to see the courage of the Iranian housekeeper of the Canadian ambassador as well as gives an historical description at the beginning explaining why Iran’s anger toward the United States developed. ”

  • A credit sequence sums up how enraged Iranians came to storm the U.S. embassy in November 1979.”

  • It seizes you from the start, opening with a brief, informative history lesson for the young’uns, and continues to grip you, right up until the final five minutes, when Affleck unnecessarily adds about six-too-many endings, tying up loose ends best left undone.”

  • Argo begins and ends with two powerful sequences crammed with nail-biting tension. The attack on the US embassy, that opens the film, showcases short takes and intense cross-cutting of simultaneous action both inside and outside the embassy to thrilling effect. ”

  • There is a sketchy, somewhat perfunctory retelling of the United States’ part in overthrowing an elected government and cementing the power of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi at the beginning. ”

  • The end credits for Argo—director/star Ben Affleck's chronicle of the CIA's 1980 rescue of six Americans trapped in Tehran in the midst of the Iran hostage crisis—roll with a slideshow comparing shots from the film with archival photos of the events the film depicts. The unfortunate coiffures of US embassy workers, the angle at which a veil-wearing Iranian held her firearm: Nearly every visual detail in Argo, we learn, was true to life. It's a striking display of meticulousness, this credits sequence, and you can't help but leave the theater impressed.”

  • A prologue at the beginning of "Argo" details the shah's bad deeds, implying the revolution was a popular uprising against an unrepentant tyrant. ”

  • A prologue sketches some of the history of why many Iranians were so angry, and we are taken behind the walls and inside Embassy where we become very aware that the American diplomatic staff knows that they will not be rescued by the US Marines, and they are captured and taken hostage, this action feels real and is very scary.”

  • A stylishly succinct prologue made up of cartoons and documentary footage lays out in simple terms what led up to the departure of the Western-supported Shah and the advent of the Ayatollah Khomeini and fundamentalist Islam in Iran in 1979. Visceral scenes convey the desperation of American embassy workers to burn or shred sensitive documents before the raging mobs break through the gates and invade the premises, where they quickly take 52 hostages.”

  • Argo's prologue explains the U.S. role in installing the Shah (and in the overthrow of Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953), but the thrust of the film is about seeing post-revolutionary Iranians as a chanting, unsubtitled horde, just as they were on TV in the '70s.”

  • Opening with the classic black-on-orange Warner Bros logo and a fast but highly effective run-through of Iranian history, Argo belongs to a better time for movies - that 1970s golden age and the conspiracy thrillers which helped make the decade so special. ”

  • The first five minutes of the movie are a crash course in Iranian history — a visually stunning combination of comic strip animation and authentic newsreel footage assembled by Kyle Cooper of Prologue Pictures. The sequence takes us through the 1953 CIA-backed coup, the rise of the Ayatollah and up to the relevant moment: November 4, 1979 — the storming of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in protest of the U.S.-granted asylum of the deposed Shah. ”

  • Affleck presents a wonderfully effective prologue that reminds, informs and educates the audience about the events that led to such tensions via a visually stunning montage of comic book imagery and newsreel footage that sets the stage for the events to follow. ”

  • The humor obviously does not come from those political events, which are explained straightaway via an effective prologue about how the Western-supported Shah was overthrown, and archival news footage featuring Mike Wallace, Tom Brokaw, and Ted Koppel, but from the unbelievable rescue mission, which Affleck's character orchestrates. ”

  • I especially enjoyed the beginning of the film, which did a wonderful job setting up the pertinent history to the story. Using a combination of archival footage, computer generated animation and – I suspect – newly shot footage, the introduction was informative and not condescending – very much like the sequence that likely inspired it from The Kingdom. To understand Argo, the audience must comprehend the historical context in which the story is told, and they did a skillful job at ensuring that.”

  • Stay for the credits to see that the film’s commitment to be historically accurate is exhibited not only in the electronics used but also in the casting of actors who are remarkable lookalikes to the people actually involved in this real-life drama.”

  • “Argo” begins by establishing historical context, then swiftly moves to a documentary-style sequence of the events that took place on Nov. 4, 1979, when Iranian revolutionaries protesting outside the American embassy stormed the building. ”

  • The movie does offer a nice, quick history lesson at the beginning as to why the Iranians of 1979 were rightly pissed at America (overthrowing a democratically elected leader, supported a brutal dictator so we could keep stealing their oil, etc). ”

  • A stylishly succinct prologue made up of cartoons and documentary footage lays out in simple terms what led up to the departure of the Western-supported Shah and the advent of the Ayatollah Khomeini and fundamentalist Islam in Iran in 1979. Visceral scenes convey the desperation of American embassy workers to burn or shred sensitive documents before the raging mobs break through the gates and invade the premises, where they quickly take 52 hostages.”

  • The film is shot through a grainy ‘70s lens and Affleck’s attention to detail in recreating the event and time period redefines notions of authenticity, with contemporary brand logos and products plenty including the old Warner Bros titlecard at the beginning of the film. By the time the closing credits come round, images of the actors are placed next to their real-life counterparts and they all look remarkably similar, like bona fide doppelgangers. ”

  • But, as it turns out, the thing to note about this prologue isn’t the what (its contents) but the how (the presentation), which unfolds as a series of vividly illustrated comic-book panels, with at least one partially exposed breast. We are advised, in other words, not to be intimidated. We’re signing up not for education but entertainment. These panels also prepare us for the film’s central conceit (based on true-life events), which is built around storyboards. ”

  • It opens with a prologue, replete with cartoon animations out of Persepolis spliced with documentary footage, of the steps that led to the exile of the Western-supported Shah in Iran, and the installation of Ayatollah Khomeini and his fundamentalist Islamic regime in 1979. The hyperkinetic opening sequence depicts the seizure of the U.S. embassy by Iranian militants on Nov. 4, 1979, and the capture of 52 hostages. ”

  • The film immediately drew the audience in at the beginning by setting up the entire movie by giving a brief history of Iran.”

  • First we see a brisk history of Iran, artfully designed by Kyle Cooper of Prologue Pictures with a combination of comic strip imagery and newsreel footage, that fills us in on the 1953 CIA-backed Iranian coup against the Mohammad Mosaddegh regime and the bringing of the Shah to power.”

  • Opening with the red and white Warner Brother's logo from the early 1970s, Argo explains in brief the political friction between the United States and Iran which escalated into a hostage crisis in Iran.”

  • It even begins with a brief history lesson that mentions not only the fanaticism of the Iranian Revolution but also the USA’s disastrous and decidedly unethical overthrow of the nation’s democratically-elected government in 1953. This prologue serves to get everything even remotely political out of the way immediately, allowing for two hours of comedy and suspense that entertain rather than challenge.”

  • The closing credits compare shots from the film with historical images and the similarities are striking, from a man’s body hanging from a crane, to rioters scrambling over the embassy walls. Argo’s backgrounds are brimming with detail - from angry crowds to a busy Tehran KFC - that make the film visually rich and remarkable to watch.”

  • The prologue segues into a brilliantly staged and harrowing sequence depicting the takeover of the American embassy in Iran and the almost accidental escape of the six clerks (played by Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Scoot McNairy, Rory Cochrane, Kerry Bishé, and Christopher Denham). ”

  • From its superb opening title sequence, in which the movie’s put in its historical context through a series of storyboards, Affleck directs with confidence. ”

  • It opens with a prologue, replete with cartoon animations out of Persepolis spliced with documentary footage, of the steps that led to the exile of the Western-supported Shah in Iran, and the installation of Ayatollah Khomeini and his fundamentalist Islamic regime in 1979. ”

  • After a brief intro sequence outlining the recent political history of Iran (using a combination of movie storyboard panels and still photos) the film drops us into the middle of a protest in Tehran. ”

  • The movie opens with a brief but needed historical backdrop — making it clear that the U.S. had a hand in overthrowing the elected nationalist Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953, and installing in his place the boy-king Shah. ”

  • The prologue is newsreel-style. A female narrator recounts the U.S. role in the 1953 Iranian coup that installed our ally, the Shah, the 26 years of human-rights abuses that followed, and the Shiite revolution that sent the despot fleeing to the U.S. and the Ayatollah Khomeini to powe”

    NPR
  • In fairness to Argo, its opening scenes seek to contextualize the US-Iran conflict, by referring to US's overthrow of the democratically elected Iranian government in 1953 and its replacement with a ruthless and corrupt monarchy. That is a tiny step forward. ”

  • After an animated opening explaining the volatile Iranian political climate circa 1980, the film delivers a taut, chaotic sequence as protesting outside Iran's American Embassy turns into a full-scale riot, with angry citizens storming the building and sparking a hostage crisis that lasted for over a year. In the chaos, six U.S. diplomats escape to a Canadian safe house, where they wait for rescue.”

  • From the opening that uses animated storyboards to explain the history of Iran up through the hostage crisis to the end credits that show photos of the real players and events side by side with their cinematic counterparts, this is a movie that cares about telling an amazing story while respecting the events and people who lived them. The fact that it accomplishes all of this without casting a political slant in either direction is equally impressive and praise-worthy.”

  • The film's opening is a primer in recent Persian history. In 1979, increasing unrest causes Iran's Shah (the Persian word for king) to flee. ”

  • Mostly I'm just so happy to see Affleck continue to find his voice. He takes a few chances here, stretches his legs creatively (an opening narration sequence setting the scene over storyboards is an interesting, clever touch) and seems to be catching a confident stride. ”

  • Opening with a partially animated storyboarded prologue explaining the events that lead to Iran's animosity toward the U.S. government – a complicated tale of vengeance for the longstanding U.S. support of the recently overthrown Shah of Iran, if you want to keep it simple -- Affleck wisely boils down this complex diplomatic crisis for the viewer, but within a framework completely apropos to the story.”

  • An introductory segment at the beginning of the film was added in an attempt to frame the political context and tone. “I’m not trying to editorialize, but it’s important to understand before we just jump into this movie and we’ve got guys jumping up and down breaking windows and yelling ‘Marg-bar Amreeka,’ which means death to America.... For better or for worse, here’s the truth.””

  • The film’s opening sketches a brief history of Iran, followed by an intense re-creation of the tumultuous events in 1979, when the U.S. embassy was overtaken by Iranian revolutionaries. ”

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