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MacGuffin

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #105 on: May 22, 2006, 06:59:41 PM »
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Stone denies directing Venezuela coup film

Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone said on Monday that he was not directing a movie about the 2002 coup in Venezuela despite an announcement to the contrary by President Hugo Chavez.

"Rumors that I am directing a film about the 2002 coup in Venezuela are untrue and unfounded," Stone said in a statement released by his publicist.

On Sunday, leftist firebrand Chavez told the South American country that Stone was making a film about the short-lived coup that Chavez says was planned by United States Washington denies the charge.
 
Relations between the United States and oil supplier Venezuela remain tense, particularly as Chavez cultivates alliances with U.S. foes like Iran and Cuba and blasts U.S. foreign policies as "imperialist domination."

"So there will be a movie," Chavez said during his weekly television talk show. "Could it be that the government of the empire will try to prevent the filming of a movie about a coup that they themselves planned and carried out? Let's see if they can."

Dissident military officers joined with opposition politicians to seize power in Venezuela on April 12, 2002, following reports Chavez had resigned. The power grab came after more than a dozen people were killed by gunmen during a huge opposition march.

Chavez, insisting he never resigned, was returned to power by supporters and loyal troops two days later. The coup has been a recurring theme in Chavez's war of words with Washington, which portrays the Venezuelan leader as a menace to democracy.

Stone won best directing Oscars for Vietnam War movies "Platoon" and "Born on the Fourth of July," and directed a 2003 documentary, "Comandante," about Cuban President Fidel Castro, a Chavez ally.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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MacGuffin

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #106 on: July 23, 2006, 12:15:01 AM »
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Oliver's acid trip down memory lane
Source: NY Daily News
 
Guests this weekend at the Park Regency hotel may have been surprised to sniff some funny-smelling smoke drifting around director Oliver Stone's suite, but they shouldn't have been.

"I like ayahuasca," a hallucinogenic tea, said Stone, who's also spoken of his love of pot. "And I liked LSD, and I liked peyote."

The director of "Platoon" and "JFK" thinks tripping is so beneficial, he once spiked his father's wine with acid. The gonzo filmmaker tells Chris Heath in the new GQ magazine that he was just trying to help - like the time his father lent him one of his favorite French prostitutes for the young director's first sexual experience. It was left to his mother, he added, to teach him the delicate art of self-satisfaction.

But Stone got serious to direct "World Trade Center," starring Nicolas Cage, about two Port Authority cops trapped in the collapse of the towers on 9/11. "The script was very emotional - it got to me," said the moviemaker, a Trinity School and Yale grad who served in Vietnam.

In fact, it was the uniform jacket he wore to Martin Scorsese's film class - and Stone's angry attitude - that he claims provided Scorsese with one of his greatest inspirations.

"Whatever it was," he said, "he certainly used it in 'Taxi Driver.'

"I'm sure that factored in, because I was driving a cab. He may not have known about it, but the seething part, and I used to wear an Army jacket, and I looked a lot like [Robert] De Niro going to class."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Weak2ndAct

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #107 on: July 23, 2006, 03:21:35 AM »
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Quote from: Oliver Stone
In fact, it was the uniform jacket he wore to Martin Scorsese's film class - and Stone's angry attitude - that he claims provided Scorsese with one of his greatest inspirations.

"Whatever it was," he said, "he certainly used it in 'Taxi Driver.'

"I'm sure that factored in, because I was driving a cab. He may not have known about it, but the seething part, and I used to wear an Army jacket, and I looked a lot like [Robert] De Niro going to class."
What a fucking asshole.  Yeah, and Paul Schrader followed him around and took notes too.  I wish this cock would just fry his brain once and for all-- I see no end to this decade-plus of irrelevant filmmaking.

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #108 on: July 23, 2006, 10:35:39 AM »
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What a fucking asshole.  Yeah, and Paul Schrader followed him around and took notes too.  I wish this cock would just fry his brain once and for all-- I see no end to this decade-plus of irrelevant filmmaking.

And I see no end to your endless posts of irrelevant bashing. A lot of people don't like Oliver Stone. Your just winning the douche race by trying to attack him every chance you get. No worries. I see by your recent posts Grind House has to be a relevant film to look forward to.

Weak2ndAct

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #109 on: July 23, 2006, 08:04:48 PM »
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GT: Dude, seriously, get off your high horse.  You don't find it a tad ridiculous that Stone would claim to be the inspiration of one of the most iconic characters in cinema?  I am no Stone-hater, in fact I love a whole lot of his movies-- sadly though, I think he's been lost since 'NBK,' and hasn't had a great one since.  I've seen them all, and am consistently disappointed by his recent efforts.  Please, by all means, stick up for Alexander, Any Given Sunday, U-Turn... even the docs aren't anything to write home about.

And as for your 'Grind House' comment... you're just a petty, nitpicking twat.  There's 'relevant,' and then there's 'fun'.  Though I suspect you don't know what the latter is.

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #110 on: July 23, 2006, 08:55:31 PM »
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Haha, I find it a tad ridiculous that you think you know any better than Oliver Stone in this situation. Taxi Driver was written by Paul Schrader. It was filmed by Martin Scorsese. That means that Scorsese had control over attire, which means Scorsese could have been influenced by Stone to clad Travis Bickle in an army jacket. Since Scorsese also calls Taxi Driver a personal film, it means he could have been in contact with Schrader while he wrote it and was throwing ideas back and forth with him.

The point is, I don't know as you don't either. I'll guess that since Scorsese and Stone are friends that Oliver Stone at least has a better idea. Yes, I barked at you. I didn't mind doing so either. You launched an attack based on the fact you can't stand the guy.

Can I truly defend Oliver Stone since Natural Born Killers? Absolutely. Nixon is one of his best dramas while Any Given Sunday is one of his best pure filmmaking efforts. I dare anyone who is not an admirer of intricate and perfect editing to not marvel at how great that film is (general statement, sure, but I'll argue it anyday). I also think it is Oliver Stone's update of the storytelling scheme he started in The Doors. It is also an update of similar themes. Both films deal with Americana landmarks and both are equal portraits of their greatness and destruction. Anytime you do want to actually begin discussing these movies, let me know.

In the end, you're right. I'm never going to be able to enjoy genre fillers like "Grind House". I hate that those types of movies that are focused on just being enjoyable rides. I hate that Quentin Tarantino regards them as less than grade B genres. I also hate the film, "U-Turn". Oliver Stone called it a grade D genre film. He only wanted to make it enjoyable and weird at the same time. I couldn't stand that movie. Oh, wait, I did like it. Haha, your telling me I don't like fun movies because you have no argument. Awesome.


MacGuffin

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #111 on: September 28, 2006, 08:54:29 PM »
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Oliver Stone Takes a Blast at Bush

Filmmaker Oliver Stone blasted President George W. Bush Thursday, saying he has "set America back 10 years."

Stone added that he is "ashamed for my country" over the war in Iraq and the U.S. policies in response to the attacks of Sept. 11.

"We have destroyed the world in the name of security," Stone told journalists at the San Sebastian International Film Festival prior to a screening of his latest movie, "World Trade Center." The film tells the true story of the survival and rescue of two policemen who were trapped in the rubble of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, after they went to help people escape.
 
"From Sept. 12 on, the incident (the attacks) was politicized and it has polarized the entire world," said Stone. "It is a shame because it is a waste of energy to see that the entire world five years later is still convulsed in the grip of 9/11.

"It's a waste of energy away from things that do matter which is poverty, death, disease, the planet itself and fixing things in our own homes rather than fighting wars with others. Mr. Bush has set America back 10 years, maybe more."

The director of blockbusters such as "Platoon," and "JFK" said the U.S. reaction to the attacks was out of proportion.

"If there had been a better sense of preparation, if we had a leadership that was more mature," he said. "We did not fight back in the same way that the British fought the IRA or the Spanish government fought the Basques here. Terrorism is a manageable action. It can be lived with," said Stone.

Stone rejected allegations that U.S. authorities may have known about the attacks in advance and said the real conspiracy came after.

"I think that conspiracy-mongering on 9/11 is a waste of time," he said. "The far greater conspiracy occurred after 9/11 when basically a neo-cabal inside our government hijacked policy and went to war. That was as broad a conspiracy as we can get and it was about 20, 30 people. That's all, they took over and all these books are coming out and they are pointing it out," said Stone.

"This war on Iraq is a disaster. I'm disgraced. I'm ashamed for my country," he said. "I'm also ashamed that America has attacked itself with its constitutional breakdowns. I'm deeply ashamed."

In the United States' favor, Stone posited that it's not responsible for all the world's problems.

"You can't see that the United States is responsible for all the evil in the world because you can see so many dictators and so many bestial acts all over the world now. .... There is something in the human heart, the international human heart, that is evil," said Stone.

"That's the evil that turns its mind and ears on humanity and is able to say `I can kill a person in the name of God or religion.' This is not a human being, this a fanatic. And I fear that fanaticism is the result of our overreaction to 9/11," said Stone.
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MacGuffin

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #112 on: October 16, 2006, 10:43:30 AM »
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Oliver Stone's real 911 movie
Source: Moviehole

Finally, Oliver Stone’s going to be let off his leash to tell a ‘real’ 911 movie.

The “World Trade Center” helmer has decided to tackle a second film about the events of September 11 – this time opening fire on America's response to the terrorist attacks with the invasion of Afghanistan and hunt for 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden.

According to Variety, “Jawbreaker” will be written by Cyrus Nowrasteh, whose most recent credit was the controversial ABC miniseries "The Path to 9/11. The script is based in part on a memoir of the same name by Gary Bernsten, the CIA's pointman during the invasion, who coordinated the efforts of the CIA and Special Operations Forces to end Taliban rule.

Stone and Par bought the book months ago and kept it hush-hush so that "World Trade Center" could open unencumbered in the U.S. and overseas. A first draft was written by Ralph Pezzullo, who co-wrote "Jawbreaker" with Bernsten.

"This will be partly about the ground war in Afghanistan, among other things," Stone said. "We've been discreet because we didn't want 'World Trade Center' to be affected unnecessarily by political bullshit about Afghanistan."

"World Trade Center" was marketed as a heroic rescue tale, but Stone recognizes it will be harder to avoid political discussions on "Jawbreaker." In a memoir heavily vetted by the CIA (there are pages of blacked-out lines), Bernsten details feeling stymied by bureaucrats in President Bill Clinton's administration who prevented operatives from engaging a growingly malicious Al Qaeda and Bin Laden presence. While Bernsten describes how he and his cohorts were stunningly told to stand down when they had Bin Laden cornered in Tora Bora, he writes approvingly of President George W. Bush's handling of the invasion.

But Stone, an outspoken critic of Bush's decision to invade Iraq, said Bernstein's tome does look skeptically at the situation, too. "Gary might be a defender of the administration, but he certainly had very clear criticisms of bureaucratic snafus in Afghanistan," said Stone.

Also compelling is Stone's choice of Nowrasteh, whose "Path to 9/11" script met a volley of critical salvos for injecting fictional scenes. The mini, which was nearly pulled by ABC in September, was pointedly criticized by Clinton for unfairly painting his administration as indifferent to Bin Laden. Nowrasteh wrote and directed 2001 telepic "The Day President Reagan Was Shot," which Stone exec produced.

Stone just returned from a whirlwind nine-country, 22-day tour to launch "World Trade Center" and said he felt high levels of skepticism and scrutiny on a film he felt was devoid of political context.

"They were watching every nuance of the film, trying to decide if I was being pro-Bush, anti-Bush, too patriotic," Stone said. "It's the least political film I've made, and looking at it politically blinds one to the heart of the movie."

Stone said the intention in "Jawbreaker" will be to create compelling drama, not a polemic.

"It has the potential to be very exciting. There's a lot of action and a thriller element that we're still trying to bring out," Stone said. "I'm not looking to make a political movie, but it always seems to come down to that with me."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #113 on: October 16, 2006, 12:18:08 PM »
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Wow, the second film sooner than later. I'm glad. Stone has the re-edit for Alexander to do (which I want to see) and then he should go directly into making this film. The details sound fantastic and looks like he will be back throwing his old punches. The first since Nixon. One thing I worry about is the star talent that will be in this film. He needs them to get his projects financed and usually he picks good talent but his picking in Alexander and WTC have been questionable.

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #114 on: October 17, 2006, 08:32:47 PM »
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From BBC Online:

"Stone plans Afghan invasion film
 
Stone's other films include Nixon, Wall Street and Salvador
Director Oliver Stone is to follow up his 9/11 drama World Trade Center with a film about the subsequent US-led invasion of Afghanistan.


The film will be partly based on a CIA officer's best-selling book Jawbreaker, which also chronicles the hunt for al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

Stone has aroused controversy with films including Platoon and JFK.

But the film-maker told Variety magazine that the new movie would be "compelling drama, not a polemic".

Jawbreaker, by CIA officer Gary Berntsen, includes the suggestion that the US bungled a chance to find Bin Laden.

World Trade Center, which tells the story of two police officers trapped in the rubble of the Twin Towers after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, received largely favourable reviews in the US.

Stone has called it "the least political film I've made".

The 60-year-old won best director Oscars for Born on the Fourth of July and Platoon, and a best screenplay honour for Midnight Express."

MacGuffin

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #115 on: November 03, 2006, 12:12:10 AM »
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Armstrong,Stone to chat at music event

Director Oliver Stone and composer Craig Armstrong will participate in a keynote Q&A session at the 2006 Hollywood Reporter/Billboard Film & TV Music Conference, to be held Nov. 14-15 at the Beverly Hilton.

At the Nov. 14 session, Stone and Armstrong will discuss their collaboration on the feature "World Trade Center," which recently won Hollywood Movie of the Year honors at the Hollywood Film Festival.

Stone's award-winning career includes Oscar and Golden Globe awards for his direction of "Born on the Fourth of July" and "Platoon" and his screenwriting for "Midnight Express"; he also received Golden Globes for directing "JFK" and writing "Fourth of July." He won an Emmy as the producer of the HBO film "Indictment: The McMartin Trial."

Stone's other films include "Any Given Sunday," "The Doors," "Wall Street," "Evita," "Natural Born Killers" and the documentaries "Persona Non Grata," "Comandante" and "Looking for Fidel." His features as producer or co-producer include "The People vs. Larry Flynt" and "Blue Steel."

Armstrong's honors include a Grammy for the score of Taylor Hackford's "Ray," a BAFTA and an Ivor Novello Award for his music in Baz Luhrmann's "Romeo + Juliet," a BAFTA and an American Film Institute Award for his work on Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge" and a second Novello for his music for Phillip Noyce's "The Quiet American."

Formerly a student at the Royal Academy and resident composer at Glasgow's Tron Theatre, Armstrong also is known for his pop work with Madonna, U2, Massive Attack and Pet Shop Boys. He has released two solo albums, "The Space Between Us" and "As If to Nothing," on Massive Attack's label Melankolic; he also has released "Piano Works" (Sanctuary) and "Film Works" (Family).
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #116 on: November 03, 2006, 04:50:22 PM »
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Why doesn't Stone make a film about the assassination of President Garfield? 
Music is your best entertainment value.

MacGuffin

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #117 on: December 18, 2006, 03:13:52 PM »
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Oliver Stone
The three-time Academy Award-winning director on Kennedy conspiracy theories, Platoon's illegal birth and why he stuck to the facts when filming World Trade Center
Source: Guardian Unlimited

Mark Lawson: Welcome to the Guardian interview with the three-time Academy Award-winning director and writer Oliver Stone. We're going to talk about his work tonight, which over the last 40 years has dealt with America's critical emergencies, from the Kennedy assassination to the Vietnam war, to Watergate and the Nixon years, to most recently, with World Trade Center, the 9/11 attacks. Welcome, please, Oliver Stone.

We'll talk about the films in a moment, but the first thing that struck me on the way here is that tomorrow, after nine years, the report into the death of Princess Diana is published in London, addressing all the conspiracy theories - was she murdered, etc. And Oliver Stone flies into London the night before? Are we supposed to believe that's a coincidence?


Oliver Stone: I believe I was told part of the revelation tomorrow. What I had to do with it you'll find out. What was more shocking to me when I arrived today was, the first thing I saw at Heathrow was a banner headline saying "Strangler loose in Ipswich". I thought, how British. Jack the Ripper, Hitchcock's Frenzy - it was kind of a throwback.

ML: I mentioned in the introduction that you've dealt with the big American political subjects from Vietnam to 9/11. There's one gap so far, which is Iraq and Bush. Probably for a lot people here, the dream next film from you would be Bush or Iraq, or both. Is it going to happen?

OS: That's a very flattering comment because I feel World Trade Center is an opening for me into this world. And I really am interested in the "post" period, the 9/12 on. I'm not sure the answer lies so much in Iraq, I think that's a result. For me the answer lies in the interim step, in Afghanistan. I think there's a lot of light to be shed on the nature of that war, how it came about militarily and politically, and also the nature of the war with Pakistan, India and Iran. It's a great subject matter. It leads to Iraq but that's the third phase. And there are already many movies about Iraq in terms of the internet and documentaries - in a sense, it's been usurped by television, as 9/11 was, to a certain degree.

ML: Before we talk about World Trade Center, do you know what the next film will be?

OS: No. It's the same thing for any film-maker who works at it. It's a period of uncertainty. We've been developing three or four things. We do a lot of work in research and development - we hire, we write screenplays or have writers write them; sometimes the screenplays take a long time, sometimes they're quicker. You need an actor, a budget, a studio. It all has to blend; it really is like an experiment. Nine out of 10 things do fail, or four out of five. So it's that period right now and it's a tough period, but we work just as hard doing nothing as when we're filming.

ML: We're going to start with the most recent thing you did, World Trade Center, the story of two men from the New York Port Authority Police Department caught in the collapsing World Trade tower.

[runs clip]

ML: I think that film surprised a number of people who've followed your career. As you know there are numerous books of conspiracy theories about 9/11: the American government did it, Israel did it, it wasn't a plane that hit the Pentagon and all the rest of it. But you've pretty much gone with the official facts of the story.

OS: We followed strictly the story of these four people - two husbands and two wives. Their story is corroborated. We also had 40-50 rescuers on the film who worked there. We're dealing with facts here, authenticity, we're dealing with what we know. Eyewitnesses would tell us, "This happened that day." I talked to John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno and their wives many times. I don't think they ever expressed to me even once any opinions about politics or Bush. It wasn't about that. In fact, John, because he'd been at the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center, all he said was that in the confusion that day, he thought it was a truck bomb. It never occurred to him that it was a plane. And to the end, that's what they thought. There's a wonderful moment when Will Jimeno comes out of the hole and says "Where'd the buildings go?" They didn't know. If you're operating within the parameters of these 24 hours, you must adhere to what they know. This is a subjective movie - it's seen from within, from their point of view. But it's also from the point of view of their wives, from without, through the television, so it's subjective and objective. It would have been wrong to go to politics. Plus, we had a lot to do - there were three rescues, devastation, survival, life in the suburbs amid the worsening news, all this in 24 hours. You have to understand the tension - two wives at home realising that there would be no survivors. That's a great story in itself. Then there's the marine who rescued them, that's another great story. What time do you have to cut away to other things, much less want to?

ML: I understand that. You're entirely true to the story, but if I'd had to guess which aspect of 9/11 you would have chosen to dramatise, I don't think I would have chosen this. It's the one optimistic part of the story - that some people did survive it.

OS: There were times in the 90s when things were so prosperous... I mean, when Reagan was still around, I made Salvador attacking the Reagan administration in Central America. Perhaps I'm a contrarian. It seems to me 2006 is a far darker time than 2001. Those of you who remember that day would have seen how united the world was - the world was with America, had great empathy with America, and did again, maybe not as much, for the war in Afghanistan. But that has all changed. Now we have serious problems - more deaths, more terrorism, more constitutional breakdown in my own country. It's a disgrace, what's happened. And that's much more serious to me than the 2001 was-there-a-conspiracy-or-not. I don't know enough about it and I'm sure there's a lot of leaks and messy stories, but I've been through these arguments. But al-Qaida claimed they did it, over and over again. They claimed the credit, and the motive is very clear. They succeeded in creating a panic, a mental instability in the world and that had tremendous consequences because it was fuelled by George Bush's administration's reaction. So they've won. It's the opposite of the JFK killing - there you had a man, an uneducated, single guy who said, "I didn't do it. I'm a patsy." He disappears with the Dallas police for almost 48 hours, all his transcripts are destroyed, or are missing, and he's killed. It is the opposite of this story. It's a Reichstag fire kind of story. There's no motive, and who benefits? This is the key question and never gets addressed by the press. They always follow the scenery - that's what Ruby and Oswald were. I always say follow the money. Who benefited, what was the motive to get rid of John F Kennedy? I think there's a big difference. So why waste time with conspiracy theories? If you're going to politics on this issue, go now. But we don't know everything. If I'd made a movie in 2004 about the politics of the Bush war, I'd be shamefaced today because there's so much new information that we didn't have in 2004. Every month in the US there are about 10 books - [Bob] Woodward['s Bush at War, etc], The 2% Solution [by Matthew Miller], The Looming Tower [by Lawrence Wright]; every book has deepened my awareness of what really happened and it's not so simple as going after Osama bin Laden. If I make a movie - and we're not journalists, we're film-makers and dramatists, we have to look for the overall meaning and pattern of an event. That takes time.

ML: But it seems to me you are moving towards that film.

OS: Don't rush in where angels...

ML: The reason why I chose that clip from World Trade Center was that another surprise for me when I saw it was that, when I think of an Oliver Stone film, I think of the huge expansive camera movement, reminding us how wide the screen is. This was very, very different.

OS: This was a very tough picture to do, as hard as I've ever made. The lungs alone took a beating. But then you're working with two men in a hole. You have two actors - Nic Cage hasn't been this quiet in a long time. You basically have half a body and a head - it's a pickle in a jar. It's not easy. And Seamus McGarvey, our Irish-Scottish DP, lit this thing - you could see the expression on Jay Hernandez's face, but this was a very dark hole. It's basically a conversation between light and dark, because then we'd cut to the suburbs. We timed it so that you had 10 minutes in the hole the first time -very dark, very cold - then out to the suburbs where it was a really beautiful day, then back to the hole; eight holes with diminishing time periods from 10 minutes down to about two or three minutes. But our biggest problem was the third act, because once they're rescued by the marines - I don't know if you've all seen the movie...

ML: You've just given the ending away.

OS: There are three rescues in the movie - the marine, Will and John, and each one was a big number in itself. It took five hours to get Will out. People think that when you see somebody it's easy to rescue them but on the contrary, it's even more difficult; people can get killed because the spaces are so dangerous and narrow. We wanted to show the heroism of the first responders - it was their job but they went into those positions and risked their lives. And it becomes more than a story of two men, it's the story of collective effort.

ML: Let's take a look at a second clip. We're now going in chronological order, starting with Platoon.

[runs clip]

ML: I'm interested in the shape of your career because there had been work before Platoon - there were screenplays and some directing. But in 1986, when you were 40, that's when your career really seemed to begin and you became a director. Was there something that happened?

OS: Yeah, I think I got angry and fed up. I had done Midnight Express, Scarface and Conan, but I really was a director at heart, and I wanted to break through. I'd had two failures up to then, two horror films. They were similar in theme, actually, and I vowed never to do a horror film again. Jamais deux san trois. It would be a disaster for me to do a horror film - I'm not a natural born sadist, actually, and I think you have to be to do a good horror film. You have to scare the shit out of the audience, you have to really want to. I don't know if I could. 86 was a banner year.

ML: You'd served in Vietnam. Had you always known that that would be a big subject for you as a film-maker?

OS: It wasn't made, you know. It had been written 76 and turned down for 10 years. It was a bit of a stale joke. Frankly, when I got the opportunity from an English producer called John Daly... he actually read both scripts, Salvador and Platoon, and asked which one I wanted to do first. Which of course to a young film-maker is like a dream. I picked Salvador first because I was so convinced that Platoon was cursed - it had been started so many times but not got made, so I thought it was not going to happen. It was [Michael] Cimino on The Year of the Dragon, which I wrote with him, who convinced me to pull it out of the closet and go with Dino De Laurentiis, who reneged on his promise. I got another lawsuit but I got it back by the skin of my teeth. And then John Daly walked into my life. God bless the English for making those two movies - they were made illegally, almost fraudulently in Mexico. Salvador was made on a letter of credit issued to an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie - on our slate on Salvador, you can read the word Outpost, which was supposed to be the movie he was doing. Years later, of course, for other reasons, the banker was indicted, the letters of credit were questioned and so forth. But I do think you need government tax help - Britain benefited enormously from this. I don't know what's going on now...

ML: It's in the balance at the moment.

OS: You had a great system for a while.

ML: One of the subjects of Platoon and also Born On The Fourth of July is the number of people who were destroyed by the Vietnam war - the suicide rate being higher than the death rate for example. Did you ever come close to being destroyed by it?

OS: I'm very lucky that I got to make three movies about it - I think that helped enormously. I think there are a lot of successful Vietnam veterans in civilian life who are doing very well on the surface but are very bottled up inside. People who killed people, who killed civilians...Vietnam was a charnel house, there was a lot of indiscriminate killing, probably more so than in Iraq. But that's the nature of war. Platoon is fundamental, it's almost biblical. I was in three different combat platoons, and looking back I have to say there were people who were predisposed to kill anything, and other people who are predisposed to restraint, and it's not an easy equation because there are times when you are under pressure and you kill. It was a bit like a western. And of course, there are the kids who fall in the middle, like my character, the Charlie Sheen character in Platoon. Sometimes life is that way. And the kids in Iraq - who I hear are better soldiers than we were, and there are more Christian-trained and born-agains - they're all encountering this fundamental problem now. Their hatred of the enemy has reached the point where many of them hate the civilian population and they don't know the difference any more.

ML: Do you get angry when you look at people in America, from the president downwards, who got out of the war?

OS: I am beyond it. 2002 was the year I got upset. He was moving troops to the Middle East before the UN resolution. Now they're re-examining that whole period and the Colin Powell speech, but there were troop movements before Powell's speech. Once they moved there, you knew something was going to happen. And [former White House anti-terror adviser Richard] Clarke and various people have verified it, that Bush had the thing on his mind, he wanted to go to war, it was a given. It angers me greatly because when Bush went to Vietnam just four weeks ago, they asked him, "What did the Vietnam war mean to you?" And of course, this is the guy who sat out the war, draft dodged, as did Cheney, six or seven times. And he said something to the effect of, "I think it proves that if you stick in there, you'll win." That was his lesson from Vietnam.

ML: We move now to an earlier president, John F Kennedy. This clip I've chosen, it's part of a very long scene, and is my favourite Oliver Stone scene. It's a speech which I think is one of the great speeches in cinema and I want to talk to you about the writing and the directing of it. But here it is, from JFK.

[runs clip]

ML: The reason I chose that is I want to get at this business of getting what's on the page to what's on screen. It's an enormously long and complex speech, and it's exposition, which is what people always say you can't do in movies. So can you talk a bit about planning that visually?

OS: It was a 12 to 18-minute speech. I offered it to Brando, and I'm glad he didn't do it - it would have taken 30 minutes. It's actually two scenes, it was really complicated editing. Jim Garrison sees Fletcher Prouty in the middle and at the end. We ended up collapsing that in the middle. The secret, I think, to why many people have liked it is not only John Williams's music, but it's coming at the end of the first half. In Holland, there was an intermission after this scene so it gives you time to absorb this. Really, it's about Garrison going from this small, local investigation in New Orleans and jumping up another level - a quantum level leap. He never met Fletcher Prouty but he met a man similar to Prouty, who told him a similar story. But the man vanished. He's no longer operative. Fletcher was somebody I met separately. He'd written several books about it, including The Secret Team. He was chief of special ops, one of the key guys in the cold war. He was involved in at least 25 to 50 CIA missions in Tibet to Guatemala, everywhere. He supplied the hardware - the CIA didn't have the military weapons at the time. Something smelled bad to him that year and he quit, and he was discredited by the administration and by journalists, not for any correct reason. They spread the usual disinformation about him and Garrison. He told me the story from his point of view. I'll never forget that day.

ML: How carefully was it planned in advance?

OS: This was shot on the fly. We did it in two, three days. It was the last scene in the film. [Donald] Sutherland is the fastest talking actor in the world, he's very authoritative at that speed. It was a hell of a lot of dialogue, but I wanted to get it all in. Because Garrison is learning it as we learn it. And Garrison's jaw is dropping, "This is much bigger than I ever thought, how can I go on?" Garrison was the only public official who did anything. It is as a result of his beginning something that we have some records, and those records are invaluable. He also attracted the attention of the private community and they gave him a lot of help. But he could not get all the facts together. I didn't change what Prouty told me - this is based on what he said.

ML: That account in the film is very exciting. Do you believe that that account is what happened, that it's correct?

OS: I don't know who did it but I believe it was a military operation. The shooting, the autopsy, the brain, the Zapruder film - you shoot the guy coming towards you so you get the second shot, the third shot. You don't shoot him going away from you. The pressure's enormous, the sound's enormous and Oswald was not a great shot. And the [6.5mm] Mannlicher-Carcano was a piece of junk. I mean the story was just so ridiculous. The Zapruder film is evidence enough - there are two smoking guns. His head flies backwards, he was shot from the hedge. And they talk about this bullet that hits Kennedy and [Texas governor John] Connally 11 times - it's the most ridiculous bullet in the history of the world. In fact, a British audio group did a test a year ago - this is the English saying this - and said they're 99.9% sure that there were four shots. And the Americans came back a few weeks later and said, "The British are off on this." They always do that. This is a contentious thing, but bottom line: I don't know who, but I know it could not have been one man because too much went wrong at a high level. It was planned, there were a lot of red herrings and misdirections. As Prouty said himself, that whole thing about the military group is typical of a misdirected operation. All this stuff had been worked out in the 50s - you saw this time and again in assassinations in Latin America and everywhere. This is black ops. Who did it? Somebody with military capability. Why? I presented several motives in the film but I can't tell you the answer. But I would say Cuba and Vietnam and the détente with the Russians, with whom Kennedy in 1963 signed this historic agreement on nuclear weapons. That really was potentially the beginning of the end of the cold war. All this had occurred after the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. The Fog of War, as good a film as it is, never mentions why the Cubans were so paranoid about an American invasion in October 1962. Why did they have Russian missiles coming into Cuba? Because they were frightened of our 1961 invasion. There is always cause and effect. Cuba was a big issue and Kennedy was backing off. He was making this new relationship, partly with De Gaulle, with Khrushchev. The world balance was changing. He did announce that he was coming out of Vietnam, whatever contrary evidence is presented. He had no intention of running for re-election on Vietnam, he knew it was a dead duck. So out of these factors, the military-industrial complex, as described by Eisenhower at the beginning of the film, was threatened. This guy was going to win the election in 1964 and the nutcase, his brother Bobby, looked like a 68 potential. This was a serious business, to stop the Kennedys.

ML: You mention Bobby Kennedy. There's a recent book, endorsed by Gore Vidal and others, suggesting it was a mob killing because Bobby went after the mafia.

OS: I know Gore, and I've talked to him about it and we just cannot agree. The mob has no history of doing this kind of thing, except for one time, maybe, with Roosevelt. They seem to be close order killers - they do The Godfather style shootings. This was an organised thing. The mob did a lousy job in Cuba - they missed Castro how many times? The good work they did was with Lucky Luciano in the second world war, when they were called upon, with the labour unions and strikes and stuff like that. But the mafia has never been a very successful ally of the CIA, unless they have some involvement with drugs, with I don't know enough about.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #118 on: February 07, 2007, 12:22:38 PM »
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Cut from a report off another site:

"Oliver Stone may have another 9/11 movie in the works.

Apparently the scribe of The Path to 911 is attached to write the screenplay, and now, EMILIO ESTEVEZ is involved, in an acting capacity.

The news comes courtesy of a pal at Chapman/ Leonard, the studio equipment facility, who worked on BOBBY with Estevez. Emilio keeps in touch with some of them - one who works with my brother in law - and mentioned the STONE project this week. Its called JAW BREAKER."

There is two news stories to this. Obviousy, Emilio Estevez looks like he got a job. While not a significantly known great actor, I actually don't mind the idea of him likely playing a politician. With his look and manner he could be very good at it. The second news story is that it looks like Jaw Breaker is actually developing and may be Stone's next film which is good news for all of his fans. I could have seen this film not coming to be with potential costs and its certain controversy.

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #119 on: April 20, 2007, 12:54:25 AM »
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Stone rolling with new ad against war
Source: Hollywood Reporter

Oliver Stone has been tapped to direct a proposed TV commercial questioning the Bush administration's military strategy in Iraq.

The veteran writer-director was hired by activist groups MoveOn.org and VoteVets.org to helm a 30-second spot derived from video of U.S. soldiers and their family members speaking out against the war. Members of MoveOn will select one of 20 video interviews on its site, as well as on YouTube, for Stone to turn into a commercial.

"We have leaders in Washington who say they're 'supporting our troops' -- but the people who suffer most from their policies are the troops themselves," Stone said. "I decided to participate in this project because, as a veteran, I know that America needs to listen to our servicemen and women."

The videos under consideration can be viewed at pol.moveon.org/videovets. The commercial is expected to air in the coming weeks.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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