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MacGuffin

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #135 on: December 31, 2007, 12:26:04 AM »
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Stone joins hostage-release mission

With its fearsome record of kidnapping and violence, Colombia's largest guerrilla army might seem a nightmare group to encounter. But not to Oliver Stone. The American filmmaker is jumping at a chance to meet with a group the U.S. classifies as a terrorist organization.

Leaving the glamor of Hollywood far behind, Stone arrived in the steamy Colombian city of Villavicencio on Saturday as part of a mission led by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to retrieve three hostages held for years by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

"I have no illusions about the FARC, but it looks like they are a peasant army fighting for a decent living," Stone said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press at his hotel bar. "And here, if you fight, you fight to win."

Stone is part of an international delegation expected to fly by helicopter as early as Sunday into the country's eastern jungles, an area the size of France, to collect the captives: former congresswoman Consuelo Gonzalez, Clara Rojas and her young son Emmanuel, who was fathered by one of her guerrilla captors.

When asked if he's concerned the heavily armed guerrillas could turn on him, he joked: "Well, if they took us, they would be swapping three hostages for 10," referring to himself and observers from five Latin America countries, France and Switzerland, along to supervise the release. "If I were them, that would make sense.

"But seriously, no, I'm not worried. The FARC knows there would be universal condemnation if they did that," said Stone, whose arrival has ramped up the media circus that already surrounds the pending handover.

More than 150 journalists have camped out in Villavicencio's airport since Thursday, waiting for the rescue operation to begin.

The mission seemed unlikely to be completed Sunday as originally promised by Venezuela, as rescuers were still awaiting word from the rebels on the exact location of the release. Meanwhile a rocket narrowly missed an air force cargo plane as it was landing in southern Colombia, underscoring the difficulties involved in crossing live battle lines.

The famous director's presence in this violent country, struggling through its fifth decade of civil conflict, is a worry to his Colombian and Venezuelan guides. They prohibited him from leaving his hotel in Villavicencio, a town rocked in recent years by turf battles between rival drug traffickers and far-right death squads.

Chavez personally invited Stone to join the rescue delegation after the pair, who say they are mutual admirers, met for the first time earlier this week in Caracas.

Dispatching rescue helicopters from Venezuela on Friday, Chavez joked that Stone was President Bush's emissary to the operation, while Stone called Chavez "a great man."

The hostage release could improve prospects for hundreds of other rebel-held captives, Stone said, including three U.S. defense contractors whose four-year confinement he said he has closely followed.

"This release could be a new start, a break in the ice — and the release has been well-propelled forward by Chavez," said Stone. "The important thing is that we build momentum so everyone can be released."

The mission also gives Stone a chance to get the lay of Colombia's political landscape for two upcoming movies.

Footage from the liberation will form part of a documentary on "North America, and that includes our relations with South America and people like Chavez and Castro," he said, without giving details.

He is also producing of one of two rival Hollywood biopics about Pablo Escobar, history's most infamous cocaine trafficker, who was gunned down in 1993 after a bloody war against the Colombian state.

The movie, which Stone hopes to film in Colombia, is based loosely on a book by Escobar's brother, Roberto.

"Escobar is still very controversial. Many people hate him but many people love him," said Stone, who first rendered the drug-smuggling underworld as a screenwriter for "Midnight Express" and "Scarface." "To some, he was this Robin Hood figure, giving money to the poor."
“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 #136 on: January 07, 2008, 10:16:41 AM »
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Stone: my part in hostage baby saga
Oliver Stone, the maverick American film director, speaks exclusively about his bizarre role in the abortive attempt by Hugo Chavez to release hostages held by the Colombian rebel group Farc
Source: The Observer

Oliver Stone, the maverick Hollywood director, has returned from the jungles of Colombia to launch a scathing attack on America's 'secret war' in the country and blame US President George Bush for the failure of an international mission to free hostages held by armed rebels.

Speaking exclusively to The Observer, the Oscar-winning maker of films including Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July and Wall Street gave the first full eyewitness account of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's effort to secure the release of captives from the rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

Stone also spoke out in defence of Chavez, whom he called 'an honest man, a strong man and a soldier', and condemned the United States for treating Latin America like a backyard to 'throw trash, piss, do whatever the hell they want'.
Farc said last month that it was prepared to release into the hands of the left-wing Chavez two women politicians - Clara Rojas and Consuelo Gonzalez - held hostage for six years, as well as Rojas's four-year-old son, reportedly born of a relationship with a guerrilla fighter. Colombians hoped it might be a step towards peace in their decades-long civil war. If Farc was willing to make this gesture, many believed, it could pave the way for a broader agreement for the release of all 46 hostages, including French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, three American defence contractors and dozens of local politicians and military and police officers.

Chavez sent helicopters to the city of Villavicencio on the edge of the Colombian jungle. He rallied support from Latin American governments which made up an international verification commission. An acquaintance of Chavez who worked with Stone on his film Comandante, about the Cuban leader Fidel Castro, invited the director to witness the rescue for his next documentary, a study of the US relationship with Latin America.

At first Stone was told to remain in his hotel for his own safety in case he became a kidnapping target himself, but he soon ventured out and passed time in town talking to 'coke dealers and murderers'. His trip ended in frustration as he watched Chavez's negotiations unravel. 'Chavez played a poker game where he was trying to really make this work, and I think that he couldn't do it alone,' said Stone from his home in California. 'From where I was standing, he was beating the drum to rescue these hostages and to break the ice in the ongoing war between the state and the rebels. I thought that it was a significant first move, and there was resentment towards him for this on the part of Colombia and the United States.'

He says Farc had promised to provide coordinates for the location where the helicopters could go to pick up the two women and the child. Each day began with the hope that at last the hostages would be freed and for four days each day ended in discouragement for their families. Finally, on New Year's Eve, Farc announced it was 'suspending' the handover. It was not possible, it said in a letter to Chavez, to continue because Colombian military movements were compromising the safety of the hostages and their captors.

This was vehemently denied by Colombia's President, Alvaro Uribe, who is credited with improving law and order in recent years, but is also accused of close ties with right-wing paramilitary groups. He claimed that Farc was not in possession of the four-year-old boy, called Emmanuel, who had actually been living in a state-run orphanage under the name Juan David since 2005. On Friday the Colombian government said that DNA evidence proved this to be true, and hours later Farc confirmed that it had placed the child in the care of 'honourable people' while a humanitarian agreement for a hostage release was hammered out.

Stone, speaking before Farc's statement was released, denied that the discovery of Emmanuel in the orphanage was a major blow to the rebels' credibility. 'Even if it were true, I would say to you, so what? What would be the motive for Farc to create such a build-up and not release the hostages? That would be such bad intention, such bad faith, that it would condemn them from the whole world, and if that was the truth I would be surprised and upset with them.'

Stone, 61, served in the US army in Vietnam, was wounded twice and received the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. He has won Oscars for his Vietnam dramas Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July, as well as for his screenplay for Midnight Express. Among his other best known films are Salvador, The Doors, JFK, Natural Born Killers, Nixon, Alexander and World Trade Center. He is a trenchant critic of US foreign policy.

He blamed the collapsed deal not on Farc but on President Uribe and his American backer. 'It's Colombia's fault, Colombia did not want it to happen, and I think there were other outside forces, like Bush. Uribe went to great lengths to justify his behaviour that day. For the President to fly down to this place and give a long press conference and have his general give a long talk feels like a lot of over-justification to me. I think there was a lot at stake in getting Chavez out of the hostage situation. I heard that day from two rival sources that Uribe had made a phone call to Bush the day before or that day. The Bush phone call is significant.'

Stone continued: 'I said at the time, shame on Colombia, shame on Uribe, and I meant to say shame on Bush, too. I think Bush has a spiteful attitude towards Chavez, as does the American establishment. They want to see Chavez fail. The New York Times had an article the next day saying: "Chavez's promised hostage release fizzles, his second major setback in weeks." If that's the headline, that's certainly a surprise to all those people who were down there, including the families of the hostages. It was a genuine effort to free them.'

Uribe's war on drugs has been waged with the support of Bush's programme to eliminate one of the most plentiful sources of cocaine in the world. Stone regards it as another chapter in America's long history of interference and exploitation in Latin America, supporting dictators when in its own self-interest. 'America seems to treat it as its backyard. I guess people do all kinds of things in their backyards. They throw trash, piss, do whatever hell they want, let the weeds grow. I think we've always had that idea, that it's ours.

'Colombia is the last one we have left. It's a big investment, I gather we're talking almost a billion a year now. It is the equivalent of a secret war. In my time it would have been shocking, the equivalent of the Laotian war or the Cambodian war. The country is crawling with military equipment and American equipment and supervisory technologies - satellite technology, information technology. It exists for the Farc, I think they know that. They're very paranoid; they're right to be. Every Colombian that I spoke to was scared of the military in some way or another; they're the most dangerous people, not the Farc.'

Farc is regarded as a terrorist group by the US and the European Union and is thought to be holding up to 3,000 hostages in the country's eastern jungles. But Stone refused to condemn it outright. 'I do think that by the standards of Western civilisation they go too far; they kidnap innocent people. On the other hand, they're fighting a desperate battle against highly financed, American-supported forces who have been terrorising the countryside for years and kill most of the people. Farc is fighting back as best it can and grabbing hostages is the fashion in which they can finance themselves and try to achieve their goals, which are difficult. They're a peasant army; I see them as a Zapata-like army. I think they are heroic to fight for what they believe in and die for it, as was Castro in the hills of Cuba.'

Farc has said its intention to release the two women hostages still stands but it has returned to an intractable demand: the demilitarisation of two municipalities in southwestern Colombia to negotiate an exchange of the hostages for jailed rebels. Uribe has repeatedly refused that demand and, given his apparent political victory in the case of the boy Emmanuel, is unlikely to change his position any time soon.

As they waited in vain for the handover, Chavez quipped that Stone was Bush's emissary; Stone in return called Chavez a 'great man'.

Asked to explain this description, he said: 'Because he's really made a difference. You sense a revolutionary spirit throughout Venezuela. He doesn't seem like a tyrant to me at all, he doesn't seem even like a strongman, he seems like a man who respects the law. He's abided by the constitution far faster than Bush has abided by our constitution.'

Stone also said that he was impressed with the socialist President at close quarters. 'America has heavily invested in publicising anything negative about Chavez, but I have to admire him in person as an honest man, a strong man and a soldier.'
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pete

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #137 on: January 07, 2008, 10:51:26 PM »
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don't trust anyone taking a clear side in the Colombia.
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MacGuffin

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #138 on: December 11, 2008, 01:20:53 AM »
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Oliver Stone to make Chavez doc
Venezuelan President subject of director's film
Source: Variety

It looks like Oliver Stone enjoys being in the company of presidents. The helmer is following up his Bush biopic "W." with a documentary about Venezuela's controversial President Hugo Chavez.

Stone has been working on the untitled doc for six months and is hoping to have it ready for next year.

"It's about Chavez and the South American revolution," Stone told Daily Variety in a reference to the wave of leftist pols elected to office in Latin America in recent years.

Stone was with Chavez in February during the dramatic rescue of hostages that Chavez helped to broker from the militant Columbian FARC group. The doc will not focus on the rescue but rather the opposition Chavez has faced at home and abroad, especially from the Bush administration, which has been vocal in its distaste for the populist socialism espoused by Venezuela's president.

Stone is also working on a second doc, details of which he is keeping under wraps. He did, however, deny rumors that he's planning to make a film about Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There have been reports in recent months that Ahmadinejad had authorized Stone to come to Iran and document him.

Stone's previous docs include "Comandante," about Cuban President Fidel Castro, and "Persona Non Grata," which began as a project about Yasser Arafat but eventually became a wider-reaching primer on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, after interviewing the now-dead Arafat proved an impossible task.

News of Stone's latest documentary comes as the helmer flies to the Middle East to present "W." as the opening-night film at the Dubai Film Festival today.

"Bush met his fate and destiny in the Middle East, and his policies changed something in the region," said Stone in a reference to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "I hope the film can help the Arab world understand him better and show them something more then they already knew."

Stone attended the Dubai fest in 2006 with his 9/11 drama "World Trade Center."

The fifth Dubai fest is starting as speculation mounts about the rapidly expanding emirate's susceptibility to the global economic recession.

Much of Dubai's spectacular growth has been built on the back of leveraged debt. With relatively minimal natural resources in oil and gas, Dubai has been seen by some analysts as more vulnerable to the credit crunch than its richer Gulf neighbors.

Fest organizers are hoping to assuage some of the naysayers with a glitzy event. Stars expected to attend the fest include Nicolas Cage, Salma Hayek, Laura Linney and Danny Glover.
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MacGuffin

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #139 on: January 16, 2009, 02:58:31 PM »
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Stone: Hugo Chavez has 'intoxicating' energy

CARACAS, Venezuela - U.S. filmmaker Oliver Stone said he sees Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as an energetic, principled champion of change in Latin American and hopes to capture the spirit of his drive to roll back U.S. influence in an upcoming documentary.

After two weeks of filming in Venezuela and elsewhere in South America, Stone said Thursday night that he probably has enough material "for two documentaries."

"The film's about the spirit of the changes in South America," Stone told The Associated Press in an interview. "It's to capture the spirit of this thing, which frankly is huge. ... There is something going on here, and it's outside the IMF, it's outside American control — that's what interests me."

Chavez takes the lead in the film, Stone said, "but the supporting cast is enormous."

Stone also interviewed Chavez's left-leaning allies in Argentina, Paraguay, Ecuador and Bolivia — all of whom have participated, he said, in the region's "liberation from the United States."

The 62-year-old filmmaker accompanied Chavez to the lot where his grandmother's house once stood, and to political rallies where he connected with crowds of admirers.

"The pure energy of the man is intoxicating," Stone said.

In their interviews, Chavez discussed world affairs, the oil business, socialism and independence hero Simon Bolivar — the inspiration of his movement.

"This is what I like about Chavez: He's a big man, he thinks big," said Stone, who described the Venezuelan president as a "world-changer."

The changes he has helped lead, Stone said, are "sweeping all over the place."

"Bolivar is back."

The Oscar-winning director said the documentary, as yet untitled, should be released in a matter of months. The film follows "W.", Stone's critical biopic about President George W. Bush .

The director said he hopes President-elect Barack Obama takes a different approach toward Latin America and "should meet with Chavez."
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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #140 on: February 12, 2009, 11:35:19 PM »
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Oliver Stone Drops Out Of ‘Wall Street’ Sequel, Still Hopes To Visit ‘Pinkville’
Source: MTV

One man who will not be coming to save “Wall Street” is Oliver Stone. Last fall, as the economic situation went from bad to straight up scary, Fox announced it was fast-tracking development of a sequel to the director’s 1987 classic about ruthless businessmen in shiny suits. Now, in an exclusive interview with MTV News, Stone revealed he will have nothing to do with the project.

“I dropped out,” he said. “I didn’t want to do another ‘Wall Street’ movie. I think everything I had to stay came through.”

There was a time, however, when he and fellow scriptwriter Stanley Weiser discussed picking up the story again. “We invested this a while ago,” Stone said, “but we couldn’t come up with the right way to go about it. I think there’s an interesting movie to be made in there. I’m just not interested because it’s so complex now. I don’t think people can understand security derivatives. But these types of people [on Wall Street] — essentially it’s the same mentality.”

One project that Stone is sticking by is “Pinkville,” a feature about the 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam, which was set to film with Bruce Willis, Woody Harrelson and Cam Gigandet until the writers’ strike interrupted development in late 2007. “‘Pinkville’ is not dead,” Stone said of what would be his fourth film about that war. “I own it. I could activate it again. I don’t know if the time is right now with the Iraq War still going on, but I love that project and it’s an important one. My Lai is a forgotten piece of history that’s crucial to remember. You never know, these things come alive.”

For now, however, the Oscar-winning director has no definite plans to jump back into a feature film after last October’s Bush biopic “W” (out now on DVD) and is instead focusing on a pair of documentaries. The smaller of the two centers on Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, while the larger one remains shrouded in mystery.

“It’s on the concept of history,” Stone said. “I don’t want to talk about it too much. This is not Ken Burns style. This is not America first, ethno-centric stuff. This is about the serious, objective view of the place of empire.”

Both documentaries were financed abroad and conceived to play on the small screen. But Stone is skeptical that either one will ever cross airwaves or cable lines in the States. “It’s not necessarily made for American television,” he said. “Eventually they might find their way to DVD here. But MTV might show it — you never know! MTV History will come in. Talk to your bosses.”
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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #141 on: May 19, 2009, 10:21:32 AM »
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Oliver Stone in Talks for Helter Skelter
Source:Variety

Liz Smith, reporting on behalf of Variety (see below), is hearing through the grapevine that Oliver Stone (Natural Born Killers, W) is circling a big screen version of "Helter Skelter."

The director is currently "in talks" with Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecuting attorney during the Charles Manson trial. Nothing is confirmed, however. Stone revisiting the '60s and taking on Manson? Feels like a natural choice.

"Skelter" was made into a tele-film in 1976, with Steve Railsback (Lifeforce) as Manson, and again in 2004, this time starring Jeremy Davies. Jim Van Bebber also made a pretty haunting Manson film of his own entitled The Manson Family.


AUGUST marks the grim 40th anniversary of the murder of actress Sharon Tate, and four others at the hands of Manson Family cult members. This terrible event closed the 1960's in a full circle -- a decade that had begun with such promise. It ended in assassinations, riots, upheaval and finally mass murder in Hollywood. So far nobody has had the bad taste to make a feature movie about the Manson slayings. Television offered up two films on the killings -- one back in 1970s, and another in 2004. But Oliver Stone, who goes where others won't, is said to be in talks with Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecuting attorney on the Manson case, to put the latter's book, "Helter Skelter" onto the bigscreen. If nothing else, it might be fascinating to see Stone turn the Manson saga into a convoluted conspiracy plot -- I mean, he even did it with "Alexander."
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SiliasRuby

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #142 on: May 19, 2009, 11:33:00 AM »
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Maybe this makes me a sick twisted fuck, but I'd be in heaven if he does this...
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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #143 on: May 19, 2009, 01:19:40 PM »
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I don't buy it. Apparently Vincent Bugliosi and Stone have a backhistory where the former doesn't much appreciate the latter. And while Liz Smith does represent Variety, she dumped this item in her gossip column. When she was affiliated with E! network, they would report a ton of movie deals based on her gossip coverage that never came to be true at all. 

I kinda wish it would be true because Stone has the lens in which to look at this beyond a docu drama study of a gruesome murder. I saw a wonderful documentary a few days ago about a Manson follower who described the atmosphere in which things started out normally and were reflections of general 60s counter culture, but slowly Manson yielded his influence on the group and everything escalated to a nightmare level. Stone has a mindset still in the 1960s so he could understand the initial lure the followers had where a lot of people would demonize and judge them from the outset.

SiliasRuby

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #144 on: May 19, 2009, 09:36:13 PM »
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Damn it....oh well I'll still have my fingers crossed. It would fit well in his oeuvre of 60's films and could have that intense similarity in the way its shot to 'Natural Born Killers' which gets a director's cut version of the blu-ray disc this year. Just so you know GT. Not sure how you feel on that specific film.
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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #145 on: May 19, 2009, 10:18:38 PM »
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Damn it....oh well I'll still have my fingers crossed. It would fit well in his oeuvre of 60's films and could have that intense similarity in the way its shot to 'Natural Born Killers' which gets a director's cut version of the blu-ray disc this year. Just so you know GT. Not sure how you feel on that specific film.

Natural Born Killers is a magificent film to me. Just behind Nixon as far as quality goes, but the new Blu Ray edition will feature the same old director's cut that is available on almost every DVD. The interesting addition is a short documentary about how Stone would make the film today if he had to.

I don't imagine a Natural Born Killers style for Helter Skelter though. The story certainly becomes intense, but it's about the escalation to violence for Manson and his followers. It all begins as 60s counter culture with sexual and drug experimentation, but Manson's control starts to take over and he ascends to a cult like figure in the group. He never started as leader. At first, he was just one of many, but it eventually led to him leading all the people. Then it became a full out nightmare. I imagine the structure of Stone's The Doors where that film starts out simple enough, but the story just continued to get wilder and more intense as it went along. Finally the story hit a crescendo when full hedonism was on display in the final concert.

Of course the escalation with Helter Skelter would be more intense and feature greater heights of violence and debauchery, but the style of Natural Born Killers was about painting all the characters as caricatures of media's inherent evil. The style was hyper realistic because part of the film is satire, but also part of it is semi surrealism about the effects of drugs on the psyche. I don't think Helter Skelter would exist in such a realm. I also wouldn't want Stone to play copycat of one of his best films either.

SiliasRuby

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #146 on: May 19, 2009, 11:19:32 PM »
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Damn it....oh well I'll still have my fingers crossed. It would fit well in his oeuvre of 60's films and could have that intense similarity in the way its shot to 'Natural Born Killers' which gets a director's cut version of the blu-ray disc this year. Just so you know GT. Not sure how you feel on that specific film.

Natural Born Killers is a magificent film to me. Just behind Nixon as far as quality goes, but the new Blu Ray edition will feature the same old director's cut that is available on almost every DVD. The interesting addition is a short documentary about how Stone would make the film today if he had to.

I don't imagine a Natural Born Killers style for Helter Skelter though. The story certainly becomes intense, but it's about the escalation to violence for Manson and his followers. It all begins as 60s counter culture with sexual and drug experimentation, but Manson's control starts to take over and he ascends to a cult like figure in the group. He never started as leader. At first, he was just one of many, but it eventually led to him leading all the people. Then it became a full out nightmare. I imagine the structure of Stone's The Doors where that film starts out simple enough, but the story just continued to get wilder and more intense as it went along. Finally the story hit a crescendo when full hedonism was on display in the final concert.

Of course the escalation with Helter Skelter would be more intense and feature greater heights of violence and debauchery, but the style of Natural Born Killers was about painting all the characters as caricatures of media's inherent evil. The style was hyper realistic because part of the film is satire, but also part of it is semi surrealism about the effects of drugs on the psyche. I don't think Helter Skelter would exist in such a realm. I also wouldn't want Stone to play copycat of one of his best films either.
I realize it now. The previous film I saw 'The Manson Family' was shot in the same sort of style 'NBK' was shot in and now that I think of it more, it didn't necessarily work...I've read up a lot about manson and I consider myself a expert on few things. One of those things is the time of the late 60's early 70's and the counterculture that started to go downhill after the rolling stone concert in altamont in '67. This would be a heavy huge treat for me IF Oliver does this. He could heavily elevate what has only been averagely done. When's your birthday GT? I would love to get you the Director's cut of 'NBK' on Blu-ray if you like.
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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #147 on: May 19, 2009, 11:43:25 PM »
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When's your birthday GT? I would love to get you the Director's cut of 'NBK' on Blu-ray if you like.

haha, that's considerate because from you I believe it's sincere, but I need the Blu-Ru player first. I'll pick up the DVD though.

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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #148 on: May 20, 2009, 12:05:38 AM »
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You can get the directors cut of 'NBK' used for a Dollar on amazon...
http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Born-Killers-Woody-Harrelson/dp/B00003BDXG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1242795628&sr=1-1

pretty simple and cheap for my SECOND favorite film of Stone's that he has ever achieved.
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Re: Oliver Stone......?!
« Reply #149 on: May 29, 2009, 01:04:07 PM »
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Well, the Helter Skelter rumor was squashed. Stone's production company denied involvement so in the end the cynics were right, but I must admit philosophizing about the would be film was starting to get fun.

 

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