The final word on Oliver Stone
July 30, 2010, 04:00 AM
A+
|
a-
Print Friendly and PDF
I have a nostalgic interest in Oliver Stone, going back to 1986, the Year of the Three Olivers (Oliver Stone's Salvador and Platoon, Oliver North's Iran-Contra Scandal, and Oliver Sachs's The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat). Clearly, Stone is over the hill and burnt out now, but for somebody of my generation, he's an interesting figure who burned brightly for a few years before everybody decided to hate him. Not that he doesn't deserve it, but he was hugely influential from, say, the screenplay for Scarface onward for a decade, so it might be worth trying to understand him.

In the comments, asfsdsdas says:

Oliver Stone's Jewish problem...

I think because Oliver Stone was born half-Jewish/half gentile, began on the Right and then moved to the Left, craves fame & fortune but believes in 'social justice', and blabbity and blibbity, there's a one-man civil war raging inside his soul. Even his leftist movies tend to be politically incorrect. Born on the 4th of July has a typical lefty ending, but there is much that defiles PC notions. Blacks at the VA hospital were hideous. And some blacks in Platoon were also pretty brutal and nasty. Any Given Sunday is both sympathetic to black athletes and angrily frustrated with their bulljive.

Anyway, Stone is like John Milius crossed with Gillo Pontecorvo. He grew up a Goldwater all-American conservative, went to Vietnam, got disillusioned and got caught up in 60s upheaval, and he's one messed up guy. But he probably likes being messed up because that's where the action is (as with Woods character in Salvador), creatively speaking. In a way, he probably identified with Nixon and even Dubya cuz they too were conflicted characters. Nixon didn't rise as an establishment conservative and Dubya wanted to reject the whole thing before being dragged back into it.

As a sports and war-and-guns maniac, Stone loves the man of power, the man's man. But he's also an intellectual and avid reader, so he loves ideas too. But the world of ideas is often at odds with world of action. Action often follows ideas, but action also often follows instincts, which are often non- or anti-idealistic. Stone wrote the script for the Scarface remake and it's clear that Stone admires Tony. He's a man of instinct than ideas but he's a man of action. He has big balls. He topples the half-Jewish/half-Cuban car dealer druglord. The Jew may be smarter but Tony has more guts. And though Wall Street is anti-greed, it's obvious Stone admires Gekko as a man of instinct and will to power. And Jim Morrison was portrayed the same way in The Doors. He may have been crazy but he compromised nothing for his art and brand of crazy living. Stone may feel that Jews are too cunning, calculating, shrewd, and manipulative to be REAL MEN. Those are good qualities to gain power and keep it, but they lack the excitement of raw honest power that arises from the gut level. A Jew is more like Hyman Roth. A real man is like Tony Montana. Stone has both Roth and Montana inside of him, and so he struggles but he has fun with it.