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Editor's Introduction to Argo

Editor's Introduction to Argo We are enlightened by Philip Freeman's splendid and insightful portrayal of the concept of actuality in the film Argo . He uses Freud's idea of a dream within a dream, here a film within a film, to describe the illusory elements in this cinematic, historical reconstruction. He frames the film with documentaries and stills, some not historically accurate, and uses the actual CIA building. Argo pretends to be historically accurate, yet it is a feature film that has the feel and look of a documentary. The claim that it is “based on real events” at the beginning of the film deceives the audience into believing that it is entirely true. In the film's partial fabrication, like an assemblage, it inserts other real events (car chases on tarmac) into the film. Argo is a well‐constructed action film, a suspenseful political thriller that encapsulates a real caper. Argo was released at a time of great frustration with the Iranian government over their potential development of a threatening nuclear capability. Its patriotic appeal is enhanced by relating a real triumph over the Iranians. As the film was being released Ben Affleck, the lead actor and director, was testifying in Congress about Congo and considering running for senator for Massachusetts. On a clinical level the film involves a splitting of psychic reality just as young children pretending to escape uncomfortable affects and realities. A child's avoidance of intrapsychic threat is paralleled by the six hostages escaping from real danger. Hollywood has been described as a dream factory, providing audiences with fulfilled wishes and imaginary triumphs. In its typical fakery Hollywood publicized a studio that was planning the film within the film in Argo . It is ironic that this Studio Six received 26 actual scripts before “folding,” and one was by Steven Spielberg. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies Wiley

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
ISSN
1742-3341
eISSN
1556-9187
DOI
10.1002/aps.1361
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We are enlightened by Philip Freeman's splendid and insightful portrayal of the concept of actuality in the film Argo . He uses Freud's idea of a dream within a dream, here a film within a film, to describe the illusory elements in this cinematic, historical reconstruction. He frames the film with documentaries and stills, some not historically accurate, and uses the actual CIA building. Argo pretends to be historically accurate, yet it is a feature film that has the feel and look of a documentary. The claim that it is “based on real events” at the beginning of the film deceives the audience into believing that it is entirely true. In the film's partial fabrication, like an assemblage, it inserts other real events (car chases on tarmac) into the film. Argo is a well‐constructed action film, a suspenseful political thriller that encapsulates a real caper. Argo was released at a time of great frustration with the Iranian government over their potential development of a threatening nuclear capability. Its patriotic appeal is enhanced by relating a real triumph over the Iranians. As the film was being released Ben Affleck, the lead actor and director, was testifying in Congress about Congo and considering running for senator for Massachusetts. On a clinical level the film involves a splitting of psychic reality just as young children pretending to escape uncomfortable affects and realities. A child's avoidance of intrapsychic threat is paralleled by the six hostages escaping from real danger. Hollywood has been described as a dream factory, providing audiences with fulfilled wishes and imaginary triumphs. In its typical fakery Hollywood publicized a studio that was planning the film within the film in Argo . It is ironic that this Studio Six received 26 actual scripts before “folding,” and one was by Steven Spielberg.

Journal

International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic StudiesWiley

Published: Jun 1, 2013

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